Interview with Arabella Preston

by Alexandra Radiance,

Alexandra talks to expert makeup artist and founder of cult skincare brand Votary about simplified routines, what makes the perfect skincare product and the story behind the brand loved by everyone who’s everyone, counting Alexandra Shulman, Calgary Avasino and Cherry Healey amongst their fans.

Arabella Preston

Having tried the Votary Super Seed range - we’re already totally addicted, and are complete oil-cleanser converts. Soft skin, super simple and packaging which you’ll want to give pride of place to on your bathroom shelf.

So, tell us the story behind Votary. How did you go from celebrity make up artist to launching products into Liberty?

As a busy beauty editor and make up artist working all over the place - my skin was suffering and what I needed was a simplified skincare routine, which I could trust. I’d recently discovered oil cleansing which I was a complete covert to - it left my skin soft and nourished rather than dry and tight, but I just couldn’t find an all natural, plant oil without all the emulsifiers and preservatives.

So, I started making my own! Not long after I was having lunch with (co-founder) Charlotte Semler and some other high powdered women in beauty - we were talking about natural skincare, and something clicked and Votary was created almost over night. Within 11 months we’d launched into Liberty - it was all very fast!

What an amazing story! That must have been a busy year…! So having gone from making the products yourself to launching a shelf ready product - what are the core values which go into the products?

What was important to me was that we were creating all natural, beautiful products which genuinely could put a stop to overcomplicated routines and harsh products. Ultimately we want to inspire confidence - and our products offer an amazing base for make up - clear, hydrated skin, combined with a touch of aromatherapy from the essential oils which also gives a relaxing feel. We are completely plant based, and our products are manufactured in the UK which was really important to us. You will have noticed our packaging is really simple, but still beautiful - which is exactly what we wanted. As years being a make up artist and seeing some pretty incredible bathrooms - I wanted our products to be in packaging people were proud to have out on their marble counters. 

The packaging is absolutely beautiful, and currently has pride of place on our shelves. We also love that the glass is recyclable, and being made in the UK the carbon footprint is really minimised as well. All these elements are so important, and often missed by bigger beauty conglomerates so we love the care and thought which has gone into every detail.

Of course, being an organic juicing company our favourite products in the range just had to be the Super Seed Range which in your words ‘connects the kitchen to the bathroom’. Can you tell us a little about the new range, and the much anticipated launch of the cream?

Absolutely, the Super Seed range really was inspired by creating something which connected back to food, but also for clients who perhaps wanted to try something non essential oil based. The SS oil is a blend of over 20 seed oils - including gorgeous ingredients such as Chia, Green Tea, Pomegranate, Rosehip and Broccoli. It was pretty scary line to launch - as it was just so different to what was out there, but since its launch it’s become something of a cult-product which we are thrilled about. 

We are so excited to be launching the cream into the range for 2018 to join the cleanser and facial oil. This is a first for us and really came from our client feedback which makes it even more exciting . Though for many the combination of an oil based cleanser and a facial oil will often be enough, for some people they really feel as if they need just a little bit extra. That’s where the development of the cream came in - to offer an extra step to help seal in the oil, keep the skin nourished and provide a protective barrier - which is particularly helpful in the cold harsh weather. Its also a completely fragrance free oil (which trust me - is so difficult to find!). 

Such exciting times ahead, we cannot wait to try the cream! We are also loving the nutritional supplement which is included in the range. What was the inspiration behind that?

Our Super Seed Nutritional Oil is a blend of 10 cold pressed virgin oils and really came out of a personal choice to find an alternative to fish oil. Fish oils have excellent levels of Omega’s but are often extremely costly to really get the right quality product, and I truly feel like our plant based oil is a brilliant trade off, and though the levels aren’t as high - they’re pretty good. When we were researching products when we were developing the products we also read an alarming statistic that said something like 50% of the fish oil products on the market actually contain rancid oil - which was convincing enough for me to make the switch! I use our oil in salads, smoothies as it has a nutty flavour or even taking it by the spoon (though that’s for the slightly braver).

As a make up artist, and skincare expert - how do you combine the two? Do you have any favourite natural make up brands? We love RMS Beauty (read our interview with Rose Marie here) - but what’s your take on it?

Yes, I absolutely love RMS - its doing so well and really changing the industry. The landscape is changing really quickly in make up, and though there aren’t that many natural brands which on a professional level are quite there yet - I’m really confident that we’ll see some great innovation in the next few years. Part of the reason for creating Votary was to provide an amazing natural skincare barrier, to protect skin against some of the chemicals you will find in (genuinely good) make up, so we’re making the first steps!

Thank you so much for talking to us, and its been amazing to hear more from you about Votary and the story behind it. 

  


Kind to the Earth - Sustainable Homeware

by Alexandra Radiance, , link

We're absolutely thrilled to have been working with Dassie Artisan this season to celebrate the launch of our Winter Cleanse for 2017. At Radiance, we strive to be as sustainable as possible with our packaging - using rPet bottles, non-air freighted cool bags and reusable ice packs. We're always trying to reduce our 'juice miles' too, and we only use certified, organic produce from sustainable suppliers. We are so delighted to have found a homeware brand which shares our values in sustainability, and it certainly helps that the products are gorgeous too!

Read on to learn more about the philosophy behind Dassie Artisan, some top tips for how to choose more ethical materials and what's on trend this season.

 

Could you tell me a bit more about the story behind Dassie Artisan? What was the reason behind setting up? 

Dassie Artisan was launched in 2012 by husband and wife duo David & Roxi Zeeman upon moving to the UK from South Africa. After finding a lack of unique, handmade, feel good homeware on the market, they decided to combine their collective career experiences and their inspirations from their global travels and African roots, to share with the Western market.

We absolutely love the look and feel of the products - the handmade feel makes them feel so special. Is there a particular style you feel Dassie Artisan represents? 

Dassie Artisan fuses traditional crafts and design elements from cultures around the globe. These skills have often been passed down through many generations and take years of practice and training to achieve the high level of detail and care that goes into each and every product. We work on Fairtrade principles, meaning extra time and care has been taken into each item. We embrace the small quirks that come with handmade goods, embracing these ‘imperfections’ as signatures of the personalities that go into making them.

We love your motto 'Kind to the Earth' - what does that mean to you and as a brand? 

As part of the World Fairtrade Organisation (WFTO), it’s important to us to give back to the communities that have founded these ancient crafts. We exercise clear supply chains and use of sustainable materials wherever we can, constantly researching innovations in responsible materials and techniques that ensures a lower impact on the planet. It’s all about striking a balance between an appreciation for mother nature’s resources without taking advantage of the materials available to us.

 

 

As experts in ethical and sustainable sourcing, do you have any advice for our clients about how to navigate this in an ever-changing world of choice in homeware. Are more materials more ethical than others? 

Our best advice is to research all you can! Ethical companies will always be honest and open about the materials and source of their products and the people behind them. With stories coming out every year about the effect our rates of consumption have on the planet, making clever buying decisions has been more important than ever. Hardwearing materials and timeless design are key in creating a home with story and personality. 

Natural materials are always a better option when they have been sourced responsibly. Materials like mango wood and bone are by products that would otherwise be wasted, while materials such as seagrass and hyacinth are farmed to maintain the ecology in rivers etc in countries such as Vietnam. Avoiding man made materials and harsh chemicals is a sure way to reduce your carbon footprint and avoid devastating water sources around the world.

 We imagine your staff must all be somewhat specialists in interiors! Do you have any top tips for our clients who are looking for some interior inspiration? 

 We are blessed to be living in the digital age when it comes to finding inspiration for our homes. Pinterest and Instagram boast a wealth of design experts. These visual online platforms are a breeding ground for creativity and inspiration, drawing in creatives looking for strong aesthetics and bloggers wishing to share their expertise to a wider market. Finding a couple of key bloggers and accounts to follow, that reflect the style you hope to achieve, will provide a pool of visuals and products you may otherwise not come across during hours of browsing multiple brands online.

Remember, if you want to make a house a home, injecting your personality and experiences is the best way to create a true reflection of you! We offer a diverse range of products that resonate with countries travelled and nostalgic time periods through traditional and timeless design. 

We can't quite beliebe its alread November! Do you have any trend tips for Christmas this year?

 This Christmas, we’re embracing dark tones and mixed metallics to create a forward thinking vibe, that also fits in with traditional festivities. Candles and lanterns create a warm glow, on otherwise dark and dreary evenings. 

With an intrigue in to the world of Hygge this year, creating a scene of hospitality is one way you can’t go wrong. Introduce comforting textiles, statement items of furniture to gather around and sharing platters in a room full of charming and stylish festive decorations!

 

 

Where can our clients find Dassie Artisan products? 

Dassie Artisan is a predominantly ecommerce retailer. Products are available to order online through our retail site www.dassieartisan.com . We work with a multitude of independent and chain stores throughout the UK and Europe, with our flagship store in Royal Tunbridge Wells also reopening in November.


Free Gift - Handmade Dassie Artisan Organic Mug

by Alexandra Radiance, , link

We're thrilled to be collaborating with Dassie Artisan for the launch of our Winter Cleanse 2017. 

We have a special set of 30 Dassie Artian Mugs which we will be gifting to clients booking cleanses this Winter. The first 30 bookings will recieve a gorgeous, handmade organic mug from Dassie Artisan. Use to enhance your cleanse by enjoying your delicious Spiced Cashew Milk gently warmed. 

To add your free mug to your cleanse, just enter WINTER17 at the checkout. This promotion can be used with any 3 or 5 day cleanse

Visit the Dassie Artisan website to find out more about these gorgeous products, and the story behind the brand.

Dassie



Established London 2009
100% Organic Cold-Pressed
Delivered across the UK