Firmly established as one of Australia’s most well known beauty journalists, Sigourney Cantelo worked in the publishing industry for many years, before founding her own beauty website Beauticate.
With topics including Product Reviews & How To’s, Beauty News plus Interviews with inspirational women - Beauticate is a website packed with fascinating beauty content and a place for both beauty junkies and for those wanting to learn more about make-up.
We sat down recently with Sigourney, and chatted about her life, experience and Beauticate:
NBN: Has the beauty industry always been something you’ve been fascinated by?
Sigourney: Yes, Mum was also a journalist; a news reporter and presenter. She had the most epic collection of make-up and she always used to come home with some new tip or trick she’d picked up from the makeup artists on set. This was where I first realised the transformative power of cosmetics. I really saw this come into play when, as a magazine journalist, I would meet readers and hear them talk about their products. Later, I did some volunteer workshops with Look Good Feel Better - the program that helps women with cancer use cosmetics to combat the devastating effects of chemo and radiation. Nowhere is “Makeup Power” more evident than in those workshops, and seeing the women light up when they feel confident again. When they see their features coming back to life in the mirror - it’s amazing.
NBN: You created your website Beauticate a couple of years ago now. Congratulations on how well it’s going! Are you able to share a bit about how Beauticate came about?
Sigourney: Thank you! I was working in magazines at the time and saw a gap in the market for a clean and polished beauty website that was both thoroughly researched and highly credible. I also loved sticky-beaking in other people’s beauty cabinets so I dreamt up a way to justify that! I started profiling inspiring and influential women in their homes and asking them about their beauty rituals. This became the “Who’s” of the site. The “How To’s” are the tutorials and videos that break beauty into simple but comprehensive concepts. And it just grew from there.
NBN: For anyone keen to work in the publishing and beauty categories, can you share any tips for how to succeed.
Sigourney: Be enthusiastic. Do an internship or write and submit pieces to publications you love. Be hungry for information and collect stories that you like, and try and work out why you like them. Read everything about topics that interest you, and then write as much as you can. Practise! And start to hone your aesthetic. Start a blog or Instagram account and photograph things you love. Curate imagery and write magnetic captions. Then put yourself in front of the people you admire and ask them if you can help in any way. Talent gets noticed and people who go that extra mile always stand out.
NBN: Can you let us know any of your objectives and plans for 2018?
Sigourney: I’m working on a redesign for Beauticate, a shop and also another website - a sister site to Beauticate. But first we have to do a back end migration to a new content management system. It’s a long process but it’s going to be gorgeous in the end!
NBN: Have you spotted any beauty trends that you think are going to be really big this year?
Sigourney: I think the natural and organic segment is only going to continue to grow. The more we learn about what certain ingredients do to our skin and the planet, the more we seek to use purer alternatives. The trend of personalising and customising products is also really interesting, and we’re seeing more brands come up with ways to give consumers choices when purchasing or allowing them to monogram or choose their own packaging.
NBN: What do you think are a couple of the most important beauty products that every Aussie woman should own?
Sigourney: Sunscreen - obviously - since our ozone layer is such a problem. It also means that we are experts at sun protection. A mineral makeup is an excellent option because of the natural sun protection that zinc oxide contains.
NBN: Do you have a favourite Nude by Nature product, and why?
Sigourney: Tough question! It would have to be the Flawless Concealer. I love the size of it, the texture, the coverage and the beautiful packaging. I have one in every handbag. The Touch of Glow Highlight Stick is a close second.
NBN: When you’re chilling out, what’s your favourite social media platform to scroll through?
Sigourney: We’re renovating our home so lately I love to get on Pinterest! Insta Stories are fun too - when done well!
NBN: How about other blogs and social accounts or influencers that you follow and love?
Sigourney: Celeste Barber, Violette_Fr, my friends sites - The Grace Tales and Sugarmamma TV plus Megan Hess, Chriselle Lim and Pat McGrath.
NBN: What’s on your travel bucket list?
Sigourney: A whole lot of spa experiences. The onsens in Japan, hamams in Turkey, rhassoul masks in Morocco and the “leg spa” in Capri. All completely justifiable research!
NBN: Do you have any tips when it comes to beauty products to pack when travelling?
Sigourney: Mini sizes and sachets. I never take full size products. Clear zip up bags so you can see everything and find it quickly. Multi-use products such as a blush cream you can use on your lips or a highlighter cream that you’ll use on your eyes. A silk eye mask is essential and really good silicone ear plugs. I personally like the Macks brand. And, a lavender mist to spritz your pillow and help you sleep on the plane and in the hotel.
NBN: Lucky last question! As a Sydney-sider, what do you think is a quintessentially Sydney place or thing to do?
Sigourney: My favourite way to start the day is to do a beach or harbour run followed by a plunge into the water. The Bondi to Bronte walk is always spectacular, or a soft sand run at Balmoral Beach is pretty gorgeous too. A stretch on the sand and then a swim in the water is the best way to recharge and greet the day.NBN: Thank you very much, Sigourney!