This week, we interviewed the gorgeous and talented Rachel Kavanagh, Managing Director for GLOSSYBOX, the ultimate in beauty subscription. Rachel graduated in business and politics from Trinity College Dublin, and straight away came up with her first business venture, Rockstar Tan, which secured leading retailers such as Debenhams and Boots. Rachel was awarded Image Magazine Young Business Woman of the Year in 2014. She lives in London with her husband and toddler son.
You became Managing Director for GLOSSYBOX at just 29 years’ old. Tell us a bit about how your career began and how being a self-confessed beauty junkie has lead you to where you are today.
I had my first beauty business at 18 manufacturing and selling clip in hair extensions. It was then a natural path for me after I left Trinity College Dublin. I discovered a game changing tanning product in the US and approached the manufacturer with the intent to produce my own line. I developed and launched a retail and professional tanning brand in 2007, winning 10 beauty awards in 2 years. I investigated a GLOSSYBOX sampling opportunity for the brand when launching in the UK. The concept just blew me away and I stayed in touch with the then MD. When she stepped down she contacted me to take the position and it was the natural next step for me. I moved to London to take the position in 2013 and haven’t looked back!
We’ve read that you used to be an actress – tell us a bit about this; would you ever consider returning to acting?
I trained as a professional actress form the age of 3. My father is an actor, so drama school was a no brainer for me. I loved it and did want to pursue it until the world of business stepped in! I was a leading character in an Irish drama series for 3 years throughout college. However after I finished my business degree, the entrepreneurial bug bit and I gave up the show and pursued my own brand creation. I still get to dip into the world of showbiz courtesy of my dad, but I wouldn’t go back.
What advice would you give to mothers juggling a successful career with motherhood?
Learn to prioritise well! Something always has to give, but if you are well organised, you don’t end up half doing something or being pulled in 20 directions. When I’m with my son I’m 100% with him and vice versa with work.
It’s a tough juggling act and one I am always working on. You also have to give up on the guilt. Being a working parent is a strong example for children and you need to always keep that in the back of your mind.
Share with us your top three beauty tips.
- Learn how to contour! It will honestly change your face shape and give your great definition
- Try and work a daily tan moisturiser into your weekly beauty routine you will be amazed at the subtle lift it gives and it’s so low maintenance compared to full on self-tan.
- Although dipping your wet nail polish in cold water helps them dry faster they also chip faster and the polish won’t last as long.
What’s your idea of a perfect family weekend, and where are your favourite family-friendly places to go in London?
I love children’s interiors and as I’m currently doing up nursery no.2, I’m spending a lot of my weekends shopping for children interiors. Bobo Kids is by far the best I have ever come across, it’s a lovely shop to visit so my son enjoys going too.
I love Bishops Park, it has a wonderful playground and sandy “beach” for kids. There is also a farmers market every Sunday.
Kew Gardens is a lovely weekend option with loads to do for kids and great places to eat for all the family.
Share with us your favourite family recipe.
We’re a combination of meat eaters and vegetarians in our family so I tend to juggle a number of meals each evening. A family favourite though is quite simply the best tomato pasta sauce and it’s ready in minutes. I use the Waitrose cooks ingredients tomato passata, add some salted butter, some salt pepper, and dash of red wine and let it simmer right down. Add peas/spinach to it for some extra nutrients and colour. I usually have it with quinoa not pasta.
What are your top five recommended must-have beauty products for mums on the run?
- I was introduced to Erborian’s CC Cream by make-up artist Emma O’Bryne, and it’s truly life changing! It’s ideal for Sundays when you want to switch to something lighter than a foundation. It goes on white and turns to a shade to suit your skin – it’s like magic!
- I love a multi-use product for lips and cheeks, currently I’m using one in a lovely peachy shade from mineral brand Belle Pierre.
- NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. It glides on so you only need a tiny amount, but it provides AMAZING luminous coverage that lasts all day.
- If you miss having defined cheekbones get the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate – it hasn’t left my sight since I bought it!
- For tired eyes and concealing the bags, I turn to Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher.
What’s the one children’s product you couldn’t live without?
Baby wipes. I’m absolutely obsessed with them I literally use them for everything including spills on my clothes on the carpet or even as an eye makeup remover if I’ve had a late night and am feeling very lazy!
What’s in the pipeline for you next?
I’m due my 2nd baby in August so that’s what I’m currently prepping for personally. Work wise we have an amazing collaboration with one of the biggest global make up brands in November, so I will work on this throughout my maternity leave. But it’s so exciting I couldn’t miss it!
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Busy but happy.