Don’t pay extra customs charges for your beauty buys. Leonard Daly shares five favourite Irish websites …
One of the casualties of Brexit that I didn’t anticipate was beauty. Since January, I have noticed that many people have been waiting for weeks on end for beauty products ordered from UK websites. I ordered some kit from a London-based company from whom I’ve been buying professional make-up for the last two decades. But when I received a message saying that I would have to pay almost the same amount in duties to have them delivered to me in Dublin, I cancelled them and found a store in France to order from instead. I know that some brands have currently stopped delivering to EU countries to avoid their clients having to pay extra duties, including Lisa Eldridge who makes the most divine lipsticks; hopefully they will obtain EU distributors soon. I also noticed that when I ordered some Charlotte Tilbury products that they originated from the Netherlands, so no duties were added. It seems that bigger companies with a global presence have moved European deliveries to an EU logistical centre; the effect on smaller businesses in the UK will be devastating.
Irish business Sculpted by Aimee is expanding into the UK. “I wouldn’t say our business has been damaged by Brexit as it’s a growing market for us,” says Aimee Connolly. She has had some difficulties with refilling orders, but that seems to be the only issue. It seems like European business really tried to get ready for Brexit yet UK-based suppliers are only now trying to catch up.
The downside is that many giant UK-based websites are no longer be viable for us, with long delays and lots of extra costs. But this brings huge positives for some Irish businesses, particularly those selling online as lockdown restrictions continue. Cloud 10 beauty is one of my favourite places to buy beauty online: it is Irish owned and based, and over the past year they have been working to ensure that their product supply is not disrupted. They deliver really quickly, and offer a huge range of brands – soon enough we won’t have to rely on bigger websites at all.
There are now several Irish beauty websites that carry brands previously unavailable in Ireland. MyBeautyEdit.com, launched last summer, focusses on cruelty-free and conscious beauty, carrying brands like Smudge (who make the best reusable cotton pads), REN, Lixir Skin and Faace, a capsule collection of face masks that are results-driven and targeted to specific skin problems. Another great site is TheBeautyKit.com for brands such as Alpha H, who make the bestselling Liquid Gold exfoliating treatment with glycolic acid.
THE GLOSS beauty editor Sarah Halliwell rates BeautyBuys.com, as it’s Irish owned and based, with free delivery over €49. “It’s a bit like a beauty version of The Outnet. It’s a reliable spot to find favourite brands from Olaplex to Acqua di Parma, and is especially good for perfumes – you’ll often find discounts (for example, Giorgio Armani My Way 30ml eau de parfum is currently €58 rather than €65). Top of my wishlist is Chanel’s hard to find Le Voyage 3-piece gift set of Les Eaux fragrances, €235, and the No.19 spray deodorant, €48.”
Also take a look at Millies.ie for tonnes of brands that previously were salon exclusives or not to be found in Ireland, including professional ranges Image Skincare and Redken haircare, plus great brands Neom and Embryolisse – their Lait Crème Concentre is a must in most make-up artists’ kit. There’s a 15 per cent discount code when you log on for the first time.
In the past year, most of us are really trying to buy local and support Irish jobs and industry. And while the lure of cheaper beauty products from the UK was too great to pass on, now with new Brexit rules and charges finally Irish sites can compete with the big guns and we can fully support homegrown companies.
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