Our "Spotlight On..." series allows us to introduce you to the creative, intelligent and all-round brilliant women who inspire us. Everyone one of them is a #lilyandlionelgirl.
Catherine Robinson is the Beauty Director of Conde Nast Traveller UK & US. She has a weekly on line column on the best travel size beauty products to take on holiday, as well as her monthly beauty pages in the magazine. She previously worked as a beauty editor at Vogue and Tatler before pressing pause to bring up her four children, Zac 14, Ben, 13, Edie 10 and Jojo, 6. She lives in St Johns Wood with her husband, kids and dog, Teddy.
How would you describe your personal style?
On a good day, A mix of make up artist Gucci Westman, Ali MacGraw, Emmanuelle Alt, Julianne Moore, Louise Redknapp and Isabel Marant.
Whose style inspires you?
All of the above!
Three items in your wardrobe you can’t live without?
A Zimmerman dress
Rag and Bone T Shirts
Frame or Zara Jeans
Why did you pursue a career in beauty?
As far back as I remember, I’ve always loved beauty products, my pocket money would be spent on Body Shop Kiwi Lip Balm and Max Factor Mascara. Cosmetics transport me to a glamorous world, as if I’m a character from Dynasty or The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills. The squelch from a luxurious cream, the powder rose smell of an untouched lipstick bullet, the transformative effects from an amazing face mask. I can’t get enough. At 16 I got work experience as a beauty intern and it was the best week of my life. The second I saw ‘the beauty cupboard” I knew, for sure, this was where I wanted to be.
You are stranded on a desert island and you are allowed five beauty products; what are they?
1. Nails Inc Balm. An amazing balm for lips, cuticles any dry patches that feels incredible on your lips and skin without being sticky.
2. Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro - an at home LED light mask - it’s single handedly the best investment I have made for my skin, it gives you the skin you’ve always dreamed of having.
3. Augustinius Bader - a fortune but the best moisturiser that is best used alone so no need for serums (ideal when I only have 5 products to take!)
4. Milk Make Up Lip and Cheek in Werk - if I was restricted to only use one make up product, it would be this. Apply to cheeks, lips and eyelids, using the same colour throughout your face is incredibly flattering.
5. Josh Wood Colour Correcting Stick - I don’t want grey roots even if I am stranded on a desert island and this is the easiest, most natural cover up I have found.
Your favourite places to go in London for drinks, a meal, a gallery or museum...where do you like to spend your free time?
Scott’s to have dinner with my husband, River Cafe for dinner with friends, The Royal Opera House to switch off (it’s the only place in London where you are guaranteed not to hear a mobile phone go off). The beauty halls in Selfridges, Harrods and Liberty’s. Hampstead Heath to walk the dog and Barry’s Bootcamp for a great workout. As a Londoner born and bread, the ultimate treat is to stay in hotel and experience the city as a tourist. Next on my list is the Belmond Cadogan Hotel, I went there recently for a make-up launch and was blown away by the beautiful rooms.
How do you unwind after a busy/stressful day?
A glass of red wine on the sofa reading a great magazine, usually Conde Nast Traveller or ES Magazine.
Leopard or Floral?
Tough but I’d have to go floral.
Massage or Manicure?
Manicure. Life isn’t perfect but your nails can be!
Dress Down or Dress Up?
Dress Up. I enjoy the ritual of getting ready for a party more than the party itself! Summer Friday Jet Lag face mask to get the pre party glow, Elemis eye masks to de puff, a bath filled with Jo Malone Rose Bath Oil (I leave my dress hanging in the bathroom so the steam from the bath tub gets rid of any creases and the dress absorbs the faint scent of the bath oil). If I couldn’t write about beauty, I would apply it and could spend hours doing my make up.
Work or Play?
Playing feels more worthwhile if you’ve done a good days work.
Coffee or Cocktails?
Wine and a lot of it.
Lipstick or Liquid Liner?
City or Countryside?
City, all the way. I don’t know what to do in the country.