When we say that British brands are in a league of their own, we mean it. The Brits are disrupting the global market and challenging the stronghold that big name cosmetology and beauty brands have had us in for so long by creating natural products that feel and are great for our skin.
One of those plant-based champions is Votary, created by the illustrious makeup artist Arabella Preston and business extraordinaire Charlotte Semler. These two are stirring something of a beauty revolution and getting us to wake up to the benefits of natural oils for cleansing and powering our skin. We had a chat with them on what they stand for as a brand and how we novices should go about entering the world of natural oils.
What was the inspiration for the brand and does that remain a part of your ethos?
Votary was inspired by our co-founder, Arabella Preston who was a high-profile makeup artist. Arabella started blending pure plant oils to cleanse her own skin, and to prep the skin of her famous clients. She was so thrilled with the effectiveness of the products that she teamed up with friend, former colleague and serial entrepreneur Charlotte Semler to create Votary.
We are passionate about the power of natural, plant-based skincare to give you healthy, dewy skin whatever your age. We believe that skincare should be natural and sustainable. Most importantly we believe that skin is healthier, happier and more beautiful when you stick to natural ingredients. Everything we’ve learned on our journey with Votary just reinforces our belief.
What does your skincare routine consist of?
It depends on the time of year. I’m a great believer in listening to my skin – it changes depending on seasons and hormones. Heading into autumn my skin is feeling dry and showing the effects of summer sunshine. I’m always careful to apply SPF but at my age summer still results in some uneven pigmentation. so my autumn routine is Rose Geranium Cleansing Oil (morning and night) followed by Toning Serum and 4 drops of Super Seed Facial Oil. In the evenings I’ll replace Super Seed with Intense Night Oil which contains a gentle retinoid to even out skin tone and reduce fine lines. I like to keep my routine simple, my skin is much happier that way.
Your story started in the kitchen, where are your products produced now and how involved are you in the process?
We still make all our products in the UK – we work with family owned manufacturers and we’re still super involved at every stage. I check and approve every batch that we make and often even the raw materials.
Natural oils feature heavily in your product range, what are the benefits?
I’m passionate about the natural, transformational power of Votary plant oils. I believe they have the ability to transform skin and to make it healthy, strong and beautiful, whatever your age and skin issues. Unlike mineral oils, which are cheap, clogging, and environmentally questionable, Votary plant oils are pure, natural, and bio-compatible. This means that they are skin-friendly, readily absorbed, and quickly work their magic. All Votary plant oils are expertly blended from specific base oils, which means each formula works in a different way to address your skin’s needs.
What is your favourite product in the range?
The first product we created was the Rose Geranium Cleansing Oil and it’s still my favourite. It gives you clean skin that looks so healthy it glows. It removes all makeup and grime but leaves your skin totally hydrated and comfortable. I can’t live without it.
For newcomers, what would your recommendation be for introducing natural oils to your skincare regime?
Start with a natural cleansing oil – that means one that doesn’t foam and doesn’t rinse off without a face cloth. cleansing is really where so great skin starts and often it’s where people are going wrong. if you switch to a natural cleansing oil you’ll see rapid, real improvement in skin health.
Curious about Votary’s range? You can try some of the skincare heroes in our following boxes: