When I started spending money on makeup, it was all about big international brands. Aside from the perfume I wore (Inis), I don’t remember a single Irish brand entering my consciousness. Fast forward 20 years, and the landscape has changed dramatically. These days, there are loads of Irish beauty brands at the top of peoples’ list of favourite products . Just in case you haven’t gotten on the train yet, I thought I’d recommend some of the ones I consider to be standouts.
kincare is certainly a realm Irish brands are succeeding in. Jennifer Rock is long established as one of Ireland’s leading experts, so it’s no surprise that her skincare brand, Skingredients, is top tier. The range is consistently good across the board, but Skin Shield SPF 50 (€52 via arnotts.ie) is an exceptional product. It offers high protection against UVA and UVB rays, as well as lightly moisturising the skin, leaving it looking dewy and even (thanks to its peachy tint).
Sonia Deasy’s Pestle & Mortar skincare range offers beautifully packaged and highly effective products based on an ethos of combining ‘high-performance active ingredients with nourishing natural extracts’. The brand’s Pure Hyaluronic Serum (€43 via meagherspharmacy.ie) is super-hydrating and anti-ageing, as it draws hydration to the surface, resulting in plumper, juicier skin.
Kinvara Skincare’s Absolute Cleansing Oil (€24.95 via kinvaraskincare.com) does a brilliant job of removing makeup and grime from your face at the end of the day. Simply rub it over your face to loosen anything that needs to be removed, and then remove it with a hot face cloth.
When it comes to makeup, there is no doubt that Aimee Connolly’s Sculpted brand is something of a phenomenon. The makeup artist just opened a store on Grafton Street, and her products are an absolute staple of Irish makeup bags and can be seen on the beauty pages of magazines across the UK. The reason is simple: the products are excellent. Then, you probably already know that. In fact, you probably already own them. Just in case you don’t, I heartily
recommend the brand’s complexion products. Second Skin (€27 via cloud10beauty.com) is a medium-coverage buildable foundation which suits all skin types of all ages.
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Tint and Glow (€25 via millies.ie) is a tinted moisturiser and SPF combo which offers an even and radiant finish. Brighten Up Concealer (€16 via sculptedbyaimee.com) is as good as any other award-winning formula I’ve tried. Hydrating and comfortable to wear, it covers what you need it to and lasts brilliantly.
Makeup brands by beauty influencers sometimes get a bad name, but our own Keilidh Cashell and Aideen Kate have released products that perform brilliantly.
Kash Beauty’s Colour Trip Palette (€44.95 via kashbeauty.com) is notable thanks to its 20 highly pigmented shadows and 10 water-activated liners spanning the colour spectrum. I could own only this palette and I’d be happy.
True Beauty by Aideen Kate’s True Essentials Face Palette (€39.99 via mccauley.ie) has become essential to my makeup process. It contains cream and powder blushes and bronzers, making it perfect for layering, and the colours are excellent.
For the body, Green Angel’s Seaweed Body Smoothers (€39 via greenangel.com) are excellent for scrubbing away dead skin or residual fake tan but leaving the skin hydrated via essential oils. Unsurprisingly, we’re also great at false tan, with Bare by Vogue, BiaBelle and SoSu Dripping Gold all exceeding expectations. We may be a tiny country, but we clearly know our stuff.
Natural deodorant has grown in popularity as people become more conscious of what they put in and on their bodies. Vico is a Dublin-based business, selling deodorant in three fragrances: Lavender, Lemongrass and Orange Blossom (€12.99 via vicodeo.com). The product is made out of all natural ingredients and packaged sustainably in plastic-free tubes. Cruelty free and vegan, this is a great option for those wishing to give chemical ingredients a miss.
The Organic Pharmacy has spent the last two decades developing formulas which fuse ‘nature and nurture’, resulting in pharmaceutical-grade organic skincare. Like all vitamin C products, the brand’s Stabilised Vitamin C Serum (€65 via thecleanbeautyedit.com) aims to brighten the complexion and reduce pigmentation, as well as boosting collagen production and adding moisture. ‘Stabilised’ means the vitamin C is in a less-potent form — ideal for sensitive skin. But don’t worry, consistent use of even very low concentrations of vitamin C have been shown to have results.
… Something new
Voya is a family-owned brand founded in the west of Ireland in 2006. Its products are all luxury and organic, with scientific backing. Voya recently launched a Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum (€75 via voya.com) after years of testing and rigorous feedback, according to a member of the team I met recently! The serum is formulated with super fruit and seaweed antioxidant complex, as well as a gentle derivative of vitamin C. It is lightweight and absorbs quickly, making it an easy product to add to your skincare routine.
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