Best of British: VOTARY Review

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When I first mentioned to my friends that I would be spending the month of March in the UK/Europe, Votary came highly recommended and now I know why. Discovering and subsequently falling in love with this brand is exactly the reason I wanted to do a “Best of British” skincare series. I feel like we all use the same old, well known (and perfectly good) brands but I wanted to take this opportunity to try something new and see what else was out there and I am so glad I did.

To give you a little bit of background about Votary, it launched exclusively in Liberty just this past September and only last month become available in the US exclusively through Anthropologie, so they are quite a new brand. It was co-founded by the lovely and talented Arabella Preston, who is one of Britain’s foremost makeup artists (the Duchess of Cambridge is a client) and highly accomplished businesswoman and start-up mentor, Charlotte Semler. Together they combined Arabella’s love of oils and beauty knowledge with Charlotte’s finance and business expertise to create and launch a beautiful line of products that has already been hailed as “destined for cult status” and I couldn’t agree more. Votary has some beautiful products and it’s time you knew more about them.

Cleansing Oil 100ml £45/$72

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Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Flower Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Limonene+ Citronellol+ Geraniol+ Linalool+ + Naturally occurs in essential oils.

This is probably one of the most luxurious cleansing oils I have ever tried. Everything about it from the texture, scent and packaging is just so indulgent and sumptuous and creates the ultimate cleansing experience. The way this cleanser feels on my skin makes it impossible for me to do anything other than slow down and enjoy the process of cleansing and give my skin the proper facial massage it deserves.  When I use this cleansing oil I can feel all the stress and tension melt away and I feel so relaxed – it is truly a joy to use.

It has a thin but refined texture that glides effortless over the skin and the scent is a mix of herbal and floral and is incredibly relaxing and soothing. I find myself working this in to my skin for far longer than I would with any other cleanser and that’s a testament to how amazing it feels. It does not emulsify with water, which usually is usually a turn off for (lazy) me, but with this cleanser I appreciate having to use a wash cloth (an excellent one is provided) and love the results. My skin is left so supple, smooth and soft, completely balanced, plump and glowing.

This has become my go-to cleanser for when my skin needs that something extra special and I love it for the first step in a spa day routine where I can do a facial massage for 5-10 minutes (or more) and I immediately see the difference in my skin. It’s an expensive product but one I would happily recommend because it’s just so beautiful and the cleansing experience it gives you is like nothing else.

Toning Serum 50ml £75/$112

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Ingredients: Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Flower, Water Aqua Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Sucrose, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Despite my absolute love for the amazing Cleansing Oil, this is my hero product out of the bunch and the one I fell in love with immediately. With all the travelling I have been doing lately my skin has invariably started to look a little dull and lacklustre and it wasn’t until I started using this, did I realize by how much. This toning serum has been a revivial for my complexion and is a staple product for me now. I love using it in my “acid toner” step and have definitely seen a difference in my skin tone and texture over the few weeks I’ve been using it.

This serum is very much like a traditional toner in that it has a light, watery texture that absorbs immediately and leaves no trace. It comes in a little dropper bottle with a pipette and I find this method of application so much easier and more convenient than using a cotton pad. I simply take a few drops in the palms of my hands and then apply the product directly to my face. It has a beautiful light floral scent from the mix of neroli and lemon and I have found it to be a very gentle alternative to the usual acid toners we see on the market. Some might not like the inclusion of alchol denat. or phenoxyethanol but I have’t experienced any dryness or irritation with it and in fact, it has really helped to improved the quality of my travel worn skin.

Facial Oil – Jasmine and Calendula 30ml £65/$102

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Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Herb Oil, Dalbergia (Rosewood)^ Helichrysum, Italicum (Immortelle) Oil, Limonene+ Linalool+ Geraniol+ + Naturally occurs in essential oils.

I love a good facial oil and this is definitely a beautiful one. It has a simple mix of excellent oils like Rosehip, Calendula and Immortelle and is incredibly calming and soothing. It has a lovely, light herbal scent and has a gorgeous refined texture that is lightweight and does not feel heavy on the skin. This would be perfect as a daytime oil to give you that coverted glow without the grease or excess shine and would be a great option to use under makeup for a dewy, natural looking finish.

Votary are one of the few brands out there where the high price point (and it is quite high) is completely justified by the beauty and quality of product. The packaging is stunning with emerald green glass bottles, metallic rose gold labelling and off-white embossed art deco boxes but it’s also functional – the green bottles act as a natural preservative and it’s details like that which make Votary so special. These are not products you buy to simply “get the job done” (even though they do). They deliver a quinessential sensory and usually much needed skin pampering experience that leaves you feeling relaxed, soothed and recharged. Every step of using a Votary product evokes a feeling of luxury, decadence and indulgence that is mood altering, skin rejuvenating and worth every penny.

Arly

VOTARY is available exclusively in the Uk from Liberty here and in the US at Anthropologie here.

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9 thoughts on “Best of British: VOTARY Review

    1. Hi Mayah! I know what you mean! I was in London last year and saw them in Liberty but as I hadn’t heard anything about them I decided against getting them. Big mistake! The cleansing oil is beautiful and the toning serum is my new obsession.

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