With 14 years as a beauty journalist under her belt – and one, or 10, awards to that affect – Sigourney Cantelo’s latest venture, Beauticate, is a charming look into the (sometimes) illusory world of make-up. As a website devoted to the “Whos” and “How Tos” of the beauty industry, Beauticate is designed to shed light on the insatiably fun and transformative properties of make-up. Whether it be a tutorial on mastering the dark lip, an in-depth tour of a skincare lab or a profile on model and musician Cheyenne Tozzi, Sigourney deftly demystifies the industry, while giving readers an insight into her decades of experience, in both beauty and journalism.
We recently caught up with Sigourney to get the low-down on everything from her best kept secret and guilty pleasure to her biggest life lesson – and of course, her beauty tips for 2015.
What or who are you inspired by?
My two-year-old son Max is constantly reminding me to be in the moment. Playing trains and dancing with him is the best time out. Who needs Eckardt Tolle?
What has been your biggest success?
Having the courage to go out on my own was the best decision I’ve ever made and I’ve not looked back once.
What has been your biggest failure?
I try to learn from my failures then forget them and move on, so nothing huge or life changing really stands out. One recent thing I could have done better was to be really clear with a client upfront about my editorial integrity, and what I was and wasn’t prepared to do. They wanted me to deliver a very brand-heavy presentation to an audience and we discovered at the eleventh hour that we had very different opinions about how best to communicate their key messages. We had to abort the mission with considerable time wasted on both sides. It’s always best to be clear about how they see something playing out rather than assuming you’re on the same page.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
My husband Damien – who is a born entrepreneur (he just launched a pet GPS tracker!) and very comfortable with risking it all for a good idea – always says, “No risk, no reward!” I think it’s very true and I’m so glad I listened to him on that one!
Your biggest life lesson?
One door closes, another one opens. All the moments in my career when I thought all was lost (I’ve been through three magazines closing) something would present itself and in some quirky way I’d be better off than I was before. You might not always work out how or why straight away, but in hindsight it often becomes clear.
Sigourney let’s us in on her beauty product secrets…
The time saver:
Lash extensions from Love Those Lashes – I think they save me at least 10-15 mins a day in putting on and taking off eye makeup. I definitely wear a lot less makeup these days and with lash extensions I feel okay about it!
Lanolips 101 ointment – love it for dry lips, cuticles, cuts, scratches, flaky bits. My mum was raised on a sheep farm and we used to buy this very rustic, strong smelling lanolin from the chemist that came in an ugly jar. Was thrilled when Kirsten Carriol came up with a slick little tube of medical grade lanolin that doesn’t stink.
Must have travel companion:
A cashmere throw – I really feel the cold and am usually rugged up like an Antarctic explorer – even for a flight to Brisbane. And a notebook. I brainstorm for the site during take off and landing when you can’t use your laptop!
Best kept secret:
I eat chocolate in the bath.
Desert island product:
Actinica sunscreen. I wouldn’t go near a desert island without a really good sunscreen and this one leaves your skin looking dewy and fresh.
Having a glass of wine while cooking dinner and dancing around my kitchen to old school hip-hop.
Something no one knows about you:
I’m an open book, so that’s a really hard one. Maybe the fact that I can bend my second toe? But, my friends know this because I’ve probably shown them! Or maybe my shady choice of lullabies? I could never think of the words to sing to Max so I used to sing him Hotel California.
Your 2015 lust-haves:
I’m loving Charlotte Tilbury makeup, everything at Alfresco Emporium (Hamptons style home wares heaven!), white lace dresses, straw boater hats, neoprene cossies, Gascoigne & King candles, Subtle Energies ayurvedic oils, Pukkah tea, Belle Gibson’s Whole Pantry cookbook (in particular the chocolate nut butter cups), and finally Scarborough Rose wines.
I love old school music from the seventies, eighties and nineties – I never get tired of The Stones, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Guns N Roses. Since I started my own business I don’t have time to watch TV as I’m often working at night, but I’ve recently reinstated reading into my schedule. I read a few pages before bed and it helps me switch gears. I’m currently chipping away at Shantaram, but at this pace it will probably take two years to finish!
Images courtesy of Sigourney Cantelo