When it comes to sustainable beauty, there’s one notable British name which springs to mind.
Founded by former make-up artist Arabella Preston, plant oil-based Votary has garnered a loyal following since its inception in 2015, and for good reason too.
Preston founded the brand at her kitchen table and five years later still personally blends and tests the formulas herself so as to ensure their efficacy. In terms of the ingredients, Votary uses a blend of both organic and non-organic plant-based oils, ultimately opting for those which she considers to be of the best quality and greatest potency available.
Ahead of the brand’s latest launch, an Intense Overnight Mask, infused with squalane and hyaluronic acid, we caught up with Preston to learn a little bit more about how she stays zen.
First thing you do in the morning…
Grumble and stretch!
First thing you eat and/or drink…
Coffee and peanut butter on toast.
When do you exercise and what do you do? How often? What different types of exercise…
I do an online HiT class a few times a week first thing in the morning, a weekly yoga class and an evening restorative yoga session too. Yoga is the only exercise that makes my body and mind feel equally good. I can’t run, it makes me too cross.
Talk us through your morning skincare regime
I do an oil cleanse with a clean, warm flannel every morning. It really is the difference between my skin looking meh, or at its best and glowing. I then use Votary Super Seed Serum (£75, buy now) with peptides with a layer of Super Seed Facial Oil (£70, buy now) on top to seal everything in. Then I pop SPF straight on so I don’t forget.
Are there any ways you mentally prepare for the day? E.g. mindfulness
Making sure I eat breakfast and exercise before I start work leaves me pretty energised for the day ahead. I also look at the family diary over breakfast and discuss the day ahead with my husband and kids.
What do you have for lunch?
Usually a salad or soup. Something quick and easy. I never skip breakfast but find I can easily get to 3pm without remembering to eat lunch. It’s a bad habit as means I snack in the afternoon and it’s never healthy enough…
If I eat 3 proper meals then I don’t need to snack and my overall diet is balanced and healthy.
Work wellness: is there anything you do throughout the day to keep you calm?
Stepping away from my desk, moving and stretching is crucial to de-stressing. I keep the Votary Detach fragrance (£45, buy now) on my desk and smooth it on my pulse points to soothe my nerves when needed!
What do you have for dinner?
I am a pasta fiend and am always happiest with a big bowl of linguine in front of me.
Do you drink alcohol?
I love a glass of decent red wine but am drinking less and less the older I get.
Talk us through your night-time skin routine…
The earlier I can start my routine the better. I find that if I wait until bedtime I tend to rush more. I do a really thorough oil cleanse first. If I’m wearing make-up then I will double cleanse with our Super Glow Mask (£45, buy now) – usually, I will layer this in and then get in the bath with it on my face. The 2 per cent salicylic acid makes sure my skin gets a really deep clean without drying it out.
I then smooth Intense Night Oil (£135, buy now) all over my face and neck – it contains a gentle yet effective retinoid to help smooth away fine lines.
I finish by applying a generous amount of our new Intense Overnight Mask, a luxurious treat for tired skin. It contains narcissus and camu plant extracts to help brighten the skin. Plant oils and hyaluronic acid mean you wake-up to firmer, smoother more radiant skin.
How do you prep for bed/what’s your sleep hygiene routine?
Phones away (easier said than done), a hot bath, clean pyjamas and sheets is my formula. Not being stressed or anxious is also important but far less easy to control.
Are you a bath or shower person?
Bath – I have one every night and smooth Antidote Night Oil (£75, buy now) into my skin as soon as I get out to prevent dry skin.
What supplements do you take?
I take a spoonful of Votary Super Seed Supplement (£35, buy now) every morning at breakfast. It’s an omega supplement made from seed oils and contains essential fatty acids to keep my skin healthy and glowing.
What regular beauty treatments do you have – weekly, monthly, and yearly? Where and why?
Very minimal. I have a Votary facial with one of our amazing therapists every few months but otherwise a hair cut and colour two to three times a year is pretty much it.
How has your approach to wellness changed over the years?
It’s always changing and shifting, adapting to different life stages. My core principle of ‘everything in moderation’ always remains, however.