Arabella Preston has plenty of reasons to smile with the success of her skin care line, Votary. (Photo: Votary)
Makeup artist Arabella Preston launched a line of skin care in 2015 called Votary consisting of a cleansing oil and three types of moisturizing oil. The line grew from Preston’s interest in organic facial oils, which she had been using on her clients as a base for their makeup and on herself as a way to soothe her skin. She formulated the products and started Votary at the urging of her business partner, Charlotte Semler. It arrived in Liberty stores in the U.K. last year and in Anthropologie stores in the U.S. this spring, with a new fragrance-free collection called Super Seed appearing this month.
Super Seed is created from 21 different types of seed oils, including broccoli, chia, pumpkin, and strawberry seeds, and is meant to combat aging, dryness, redness, and sensitivity. The collection is made of primarily organic ingredients, reflecting a lifestyle of health and wellness.
Preston, who reportedly gave Kate Middleton makeup lessons before her wedding to Prince William (although she is not allowed to talk about it ), spoke with Yahoo Beauty about how best to incorporate face oils in your skin care routine and what ingredients you should avoid.
Arabella Preston: It’s connected to how Votary started because I was going on a personal and professional journey when it came to my skin care and the skin care I was using on clients. I had started using an oil to take my makeup off and an oil to moisturize and found that my skin had never been happier. I was also using natural plant oils to prep my clients’ skin because I found that it gave the best base for makeup. People think the opposite — that oil is going to make your makeup slide off and make you too greasy and too oily. But natural plant oils absorb directly into the skin, so I found that massaging that into the skin made an absolutely flawless base. Super Seed is an extension of where Votary began because I was working with a lot of health and well-being experts in London, just being really inspired by them on a personal level and starting to eat more healthily. I began to think about what does a woman like that, who really cares about what she puts in her body and what she eats, want in a beauty product? Because what you put on your skin is just as relevant as what you’re eating. I was trying to connect the dots and take the kitchen into the bathroom and the bathroom into the kitchen.
Why did you make it fragrance free?
We decided to make it fragrance free, which is quite a bold move because seed oils have this earthy, woody smell to them, which I love, but it is a very natural smell. But a lot of customers were writing to me saying they couldn’t use fragrance and they couldn’t use essential oils on their skin. I love essential oils, but I definitely have my moments where my skin is a little sensitive and I need to really strip things back and go really simple. I wanted to make something for those moments in my life. I wanted it to be this product that was really nourishing, really natural, and wasn’t going to cause any irritation. It’s really good for hormonal skin and aging skin.
How do you recommend applying the oil?
I recommend three to four drops at the most. Where most people go wrong with face oils is using too much. That is my biggest tip: Don’t use too much. One of the best benefits is the massage you get from it, which you can’t get with a cream. The actual rubbing into the skin boosts the circulation of the oxygen, which plumps it. I take a spread of it in my hands and rub it all over my face, making sure I have good coverage, and then do a face massage with my fingertips using small, upward circular motions. You should be firm but at the same time gentle. Don’t pull or stretch the skin too much, especially around the eye area.
How many times per day should you use the oil?
I only use oils in my skin care routine. That’s what works for me. I use an oil to take my makeup off, and then I use an oil as my moisturizer. That’s what suits my skin, but you’ve got to find your own way with it. You know your skin better than anyone else. Perhaps you use an oil only at night. Perhaps you add a few drops to your existing moisturizer. Some people even add a few drops to their foundation. For me, it’s all I use. I’d encourage anybody to give it a go. I really believe that my skin has been transformed by it.
What tips do you have for transitioning from chemical-based skin care to organic skin care?
Just start! It’s not like your skin is going to suddenly go “Whoa, that’s crazy! What are you doing?” A cleansing oil is the gentlest, most effective cleanse you can do. It’s cleaner and less irritating than a chemical-based product. It’s really gentle. The majority of skin problems you can probably trace back to dehydration and something drying the skin out, which is usually a cleansing issue. So if you’re going to start with one thing, start with the cleansing oil. Based on what people are normally doing, that kind of switch is the most transforming. And then move on to a face oil. And it’s great for blemish and acne-prone skin. If you stop drying them out, you can see the blemishes recover faster and you can reduce the amount you get in the first place.
Are there any unconventional ways you can use these oils?
There’s a few things. One thing is that we’re finding that men are buying our products. My husband uses our Neroli oil, which is probably our most unisex, as a post-shave oil. And, again, his skin has been transformed. He used to suffer from blemishes on his chin and that’s completely stopped since he started using this oil. I use the oils in my eyebrows. I love conditioning my eyebrows and my eyelashes with them. It keeps them really healthy-looking. And I have long hair so I use our face oils on the ends of my hair. I always have a bottle in my handbag, so I’ll often use them on my hands too. All sorts of ways!
Is there anything you refuse to use on your skin?
Anything with mineral oil. Mineral oil really doesn’t suit my skin — I find it clogging and I react to it. It’s a product of the crude oil-refinement process and that doesn’t ring well with me. So I avoid anything with that. And it’s a cheap ingredient, so when I see it in any expensive skin care product, alarms start ringing. In body and hair care I won’t use anything with sodium lauryl sulfates — the foaming agents. I don’t love those. Those two are my big no-nos.
What’s next for Votary?
We’ve done everything quite organically, and I think that’s why it’s been a success. It’s got integrity, and we’ve never forced anything. I never intended to set up a business. It’s still just the two of us running it, and it’s very low-key. At some point that will change as we grow, but at the moment we are still formulating and making products I use on myself and that I really believe in. We have new ranges coming out at the end of the year. We’re working on a night range, something that has a beautiful, relaxing smell and does lovely things to your skin overnight. And more coming out next year.
Original article and pictures take https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/arabella-preston-votary-super-seed-collection-115820935.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=pi site