Catherine Huntley – The Genuine Article

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Catherine Huntley was almost one of the first people I got chatting to when I joined Twitter, I think we have a joint love of shopping (mostly QVC) and the same sort of naughty sense of humour! The small things make us laugh the most!

I met Catherine at the QVC Beauty Bash in January 2014 and I have to say she is a genuinely warm and generous person so I was thrilled when she agreed to be interviewed.

Catherine Huntley

1. Hi Catherine, thank you so much for agreeing to be my first interview for The Genuine Article on As a much loved QVC presenter, I know my readers are going to love learning a bit more about you.

It’s an honour, Jo. You know I love a good chat.

2. You have been a QVC presenter for quite a few years now, you obviously love it. But what makes it such a special place to work?

Where do I start? QVC is special in so many ways. If I had to choose only one reason it would be summed up in one word – people. There are the people I work with. They have a positive outlook, are happy and fun to be with whilst, at the same time, totally focused and committed to their work. Then, of course, there are the people who keep QVC at the top by shopping with us. My kind of people, my fellow shopping buddies. In other words, QVC customers, of which I am a prolific one! Through people comes all of the other fabulously special elements of QVC such as product choice, ease of ordering, great deals, expert guests and so on. We, as customers, have a very strong influence on what comes to air and the company really responds to us.

3. With regards to fashion, are you a slave to fashion or do you just buy what you like?

I can absolutely say I am no slave to fashion. I was always the awkward, goofy girl in school. The unpopular one who boys asked out for a laugh! I always seemed to wear the ‘wrong’ thing. Now I feel it’s actually a good thing to be different so I make my choices according to what flatters me rather than what is prescribed as ‘must have’. That’s probably why my style can be very eclectic. Often it’s a high heel, wiggle dress combo but then I can feel just as happy in Yong Kim, a pair of Diane Gilman jeans and snuggly Emu boots.

4. I know you love the clothing label Ingenue London (as do I), so what is it about this range that makes you repurchase?

I love the way the clothes fit as though they’ve been made for you. The stretch is in all the right places yet without losing the structured and tailored elements such as clever pleating, cinching and, sometimes, collars to finish the look. They cover and conceal my problem areas such as tummy, saddlebags and tops of the arms. I also love how easy they are to care for. No ironing, bung in the machine, quick dry and resilient fabrics. I could go on but don’t want to bore you too much so…next question!

5. This is a difficult question, I would have to think long and hard. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 items with you, not including friends, family, Popsiecat and Pixiecat what would you choose to have with you?

1. First aid box. A very big one with lots of cold remedies as I’m a big baby when I get a cold.

2. Cooking implements. Can I take my Vitamix blender? Just kidding about the blender…

3. Ultrasun sun protection, of course!

6. Catherine, I know that as part of your job you have to try out lots of skincare products, but what are your favourite skincare products and why?

Oh gosh, really too many to list! Like many though, I love Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. Just so easy and effective. Elemis pro collagen marine cream is great for my oily skin but I also like giving my skin a boost with some of Gatineau’s hard hitting serums. I tend to chop and change a lot according to specific needs and, of course, when trying new products for forthcoming shows, too. I know, I’m very lucky and count my blessings daily.

7. What is in your cosmetic bag at the moment and why?

Sooo much! Tarte cosmetics BB foundation, great coverage. Laura Geller balance and brighten. I use it over the BB. Tarte blusher, very fresh and youthful. New CID bronzer, perfect for contouring cheekbones and slimming down my hooter! Laura Geller’s fab new brow product. It’s a compact with two different colour tones and a double ended brush to help create a super brow. Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, I’ve always loved it for the perfect black line. New CID gel liners, just love the blue, green and purple when I want some colour. Mally’s volumising mascara, perfect pitch black and is the finishing touch for the eyes. Lots of lippies. I have Tarte’s lipstick, some Bobbi Brown, some Benefit mini glosses and, of course, my cherished igloss from New CID. The final touch is Mally’s pore less face defender. It helps to get me TV ready and is addictive as the pores seem to disappear! That’s just my current make up bag. I have tonnes more in my dressing room and my dressing table at home. I’m a self confessed make up addict!

8. What is your prized possession and why?

Well, as my children and cats can’t be classed as ‘possessions’ it’s really hard to answer. I’m not really a materialistic person even though I like nice things. The most prized possessions in my life tend to be sentimental such as the pair of very inexpensive earrings my now 21 year old son bought me with his pocket money when he was on a school trip aged ten or the good luck note my daughter gave me over ten years ago when I left my old job in dental nursing to become a QVC presenter. My father passed away when I was in my twenties. I have a collection of pieces of writing he did. Aside from gardening, writing was his passion. These are amongst my most prized but I can’t seem to choose just one…ok, I choose my sentimental keepsake file in my filing cabinet which contains some of the above and lots more.

9. The film that you could watch over and over again?

Moulin Rouge. It’s tragic, beautiful, a visual feast, charming, romantic, funny, magical. Superb on every level. The gorgeous Ewan MacGregor certainly makes it easy to sit through over and over again. I fall in love with him again every time I watch.

10. If you could be an invisible woman for a day, what would you do?

Jump inside the lottery balls machine and get my numbers to come out of it for the draw!

11. Temptations that you can’t resist?

Curries, Chinese food and pyjama days.

12. What do you like to do to relax?

I love going for long walks in the countryside no matter what the weather is like. I especially love it when it’s snowy out. I always find it very therapeutic and seem to discover new things to enjoy every time. I’m also pretty well known for my epic baths! I love just lying in the bath using my luxury yummy bathing products such as L’Occitane, SBC, Liz Earle and Elemis and topping up from the hot tap when the water starts to go cold. Mmmmm….

13. The person who has influenced you the most?

I’ve been trying really hard with this one but have struggled to even come up with one. I’ve always travelled, never stayed at a school for long before moving on and left home at fifteen. I suppose the biggest influencers on my life have been my children. They are everything to me and I constantly learn with and from them.

14. What figure from history would you like to meet and have a glass of wine with?

When I was fourteen I’d have answered James Dean! Now it’s really tough. From our times I’d love to meet with Michael Palin or Stephen Fry for a glass or two but from history maybe Salvador Dali as he was creative, intriguing and, I have a feeling, very entertaining to while away an evening with.

15. The song that holds special memories?

‘Butterflies and Hurricanes’ by Muse. In my early days at QVC I was often very shy and unsure of myself. To be honest it’s a lifetime’s work to battle against those feelings, believe it or not, but they were more intense when I first started with QVC so I used to listen to this song on my way into work to remind myself to keep going and believe I could get there in the end and feel worthy of my place in the company. I cherish what I have, it now feels like a second home to me but I am still quite shy and have to give myself a little pep talk now and again. I embrace an ‘attitude of gratitude’ as Uri Geller would say.

16. Do you like to cook, if so do you have a signature dish?

I do love to cook. I suppose my signature dish would be my roast chicken with lemon, garlic and balsamic vinegar along with all the trimmings. My roast potatoes are much admired by friends and family. I cook them in butter! Naughty but ooh so nice!

17. I know you’ve done some acting Catherine, but with regard to your career, what’s next on your list of things to do?

Several years ago I was offered a book deal but didn’t feel sure enough of myself. That sneaky little monster of self doubt crept in again and I declined despite meeting with a very well known publisher and being offered an initial payment of several thousand pounds to secure the deal. Perhaps I will find time to get my writing career off the ground at some point. Who knows? Maybe some Z list reality show will offer me the chance to fight off dangerous insects or fall on my bum on ice someday. I might like that opportunity…

18. Catherine, thank you so much for taking time out to be part of and I hope that one day we can meet again for a catch up.

Me too, Jo, you are an absolute joy and it was great to meet with you.

If you’ve enjoyed reading all about Catherine then you can find her quite regularly presenting on QVC, be warned you may have to make a purchase or three!

You can also follow her on Twitter @The Huntley

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