Saturday 14 March 2015

Interview: Rachel Kavanagh

Let me introduce you to Rachel Kavanagh, the Managing Director of Glossybox UK & Ireland. For those who don't know, Glossybox is the number one beauty subscription box in the UK... it is also one of my favourites! Since Rachel joined Glossybox, the brand has seen significant growth, as well as some amazing, limited edition partnerships. Her inspiring career success shows that Rachel packs brains, as well as beauty!

Luckily for me, I got the opportunity to grill Rachel on all things business and beauty. We discussed everything from Rachel's career history to her top beauty tips...

Rachel Kavanagh Glossybox interview

What inspired you to work in the beauty industry? And how did your career journey begin?

I had my first beauty business at 18, manufacturing and selling clip in hair extensions. Beauty was then a natural path for me after I left college. 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, which won ten beauty awards in two 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 - it was the natural next step for me. I moved to London to take the position in 2013 and I haven’t looked back!

What is your career highlight?

The growth of GLOSSYBOX UK since I took it over. I quadrupled Irish sales in what was previously an untouched market. We are also the UK’s number one beauty box, which is a big feat considering both the competition on the market and the mechanics that go into the beauty box subscription model. 

Another highlight has been our limited edition partnerships with industry leaders such as Harvey Nichols. The Harvey Nichols box sold out in three hours!

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in the beauty industry?

If you want something, you need focus and have pure determination, however you also need to be strategic in how you want to achieve your dreams and goals. Look at the end result. What level of management do you want to be at? What field really brings out your talents? Marketing, creativity or customer experience etc.? Be realistic - it won’t happen overnight. Be willing to intern and be pretty broke for a few years if it gets you a foot in the door to the company you want to work with. Some of the best talents in the world started at the bottom and worked their way up, this still stands today.

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

I don't see any celebrity as a beauty icon, as it's always the makeup artist behind the celebrity that creates the ‘icon’. For me, the ultimate beauty icons are the industry game changers, in this case Charlotte Tilbury. She is an amazingly skilled makeup artist who has gone on to create a makeup line that actually preforms and revolutionises beauty.

What are your makeup bag essentials?

I'm obsessed with the new NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. It covers blemishes and uneven skin, whilst lasting all day and not looking heavy on the skin. Hard combination! I love cream blushers - the Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour is my favourite right now. Brown crayon liner with a purple undertone is also a must for me, it's so easy to create a fast but subtle smokey eye.
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
What is the biggest beauty crime a person can commit?

Wearing a foundation that isn't the right colour for your skintone. If someone picks both a colour and tone that is much darker then their own skin, it masks the face and no amount of contouring will give back their bone structure.

What is your top beauty tip?

Learn to contour!! I am obsessed with the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate contour palette. It is an investment but it will change your life, and your face!
Rachel Kavanagh interview
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