The co-founder of VOTARY, the British-made natural plant oil skincare brand, talks podcasts, favourite sites and social media.

Former beauty editor, Arabella Preston lives and breathes makeup and skincare. She is co-founder of the natural plant oil skincare VOTARY that harnesses the natural power of plant oils and active ingredients to deliver dewy, glowing, healthy skin. Her brand VOTARY, co-founded with Charlotte Semler, has a cult following. Arabella gave The Duchess of Cambridge makeup lessons before her wedding to Prince William. Other high profile clients include Stella McCartney, Daisy Lowe and Lily James.

We recently spent ten minutes quizzing Arabella on the film review podcast she can’t do without, her fave site and meeting Skye McAlpine via social media.

My favourite website… The Pool - Some of my favourite female writers contribute to it and I love their approach to beauty. They put a number at the top of each article to indicate how long it will take to read. Such a simple but brilliant idea.



My favourite app… This sounds unbelieveably dull, but we use Xero at Votary and their app has been life-changing for me. I'm often out at meetings and being able to quickly upload expenses is super handy. I know book-keepers across the world must breathe a sigh of relief that there are less receipts lost.

My blog of choice… Caroline Hirons - THE skincare expert to know. She has the total trust of her followers and I still refer to her amazing cheat sheets. She blogged about the Votary Cleansing Oil when we launched and it was a pivotal moment for the business. She also has a wickedly dry sense of humour, which I adore.

My most recent buy online… Some Great Dixter note cards from Scribble & Daub for my Christmas thank-you notes. I think if you are going to the bother of handwriting and posting something, it should absolutely be worth the effort in terms of design. These cards never fail to give joy.

The book I just read… Lucy Manghan's 'Bedtime Stories For Stressed Out Adults' - It immediately takes you back to your childhood. It's a clever edit of proper stories, the sort you lose yourself in before falling deeply asleep. That, plus a spritz of Votary Pillow Spray is my magic formula for a great night's sleep.

My favourite podcast… Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review - It has become of crucial importance to me to know what Kermode and Mayo think of the week's film releases. I adore going to the cinema but can't make a decision on what to see until I've heard them on the matter.

My favourite instagrammer… @jo_lorenz. - I adore Jo's beautiful feed which is stylish without compromise. She uses stunning imagery to get across her messages about sustainability and social issues. She is also just a lovely human being.



Social media allowed me to meet… Skye McAlpine - I have just ordered her latest book, A Table in Venice and was lucky enough to be introduced to her via social media. Her feed is pure escapism and inspiration.

Most worthwhile newsletter I subscribed to… Beauty Independent - My inbox is always a busy place but Beauty Independent is a beauty industry newsletter that really understands what the pressing issues for beauty business owners and retailers are. I open their newsletters without fail.

Pet hate about life online… is the lack of nuance and subtext.

Standout online memory… Learning that our Super Seed Facial Oil was a favourite with the Goop team and then launching with them earlier this year.

My favourite social media tool… I've just started using Schedugram to plan the Votary feed and it does seem to help me with getting an overview of the look and feel.

My favourite communications tool… FaceTime - I FaceTime with my business partner Charlotte several times a day. We both work remotely and it allows us to have meaningful meetings and catch-ups with zero hassle. Without FaceTime, we actually couldn't run Votary in the way that we do.

iPhone or android: I had a Mac before iPhones came out so it was an obvious transition for me. My husband bought me my first iPhone when I was pregnant with my daughter; I was put on bed-rest and it kept me sane and connected to the outside world. There's no doubt that technology has brought people and families closer together. I wouldn't be without my school friends' WhatsApp group for the world!

January 2019