Beauty editor Sarah Halliwell SHARES five new launches made in Ireland that are worth a closer look …
Irish beauty is on a roll. From the wonders of The Handmade Soap Company to the naturally effective Modern Botany, it’s easier than ever to support local businesses and buy Irish, without compromising on quality – Nicola Connolly’s Nunaia is a fine example.
Though it doesn’t mean that we rate every single Irish beauty launch. We want to support homegrown gems, but not at any price. We’d pass, for example, on a recent new candle launch – too expensive at €40 when you can get superior options for that price (or THSC candles and others, see below, for less). Elsewhere, a natural solid perfume, Arona (sounds like a car?), smells lovely, but it’s nearly €90 for just 7g. A shame, as it’s a nice idea. I also tried out a new mineral powder, JM Minerals, but it’s not really an improvement on existing ones, and it’s pretty well the same price as long-established versions. It’s made in the US. Mineral powders can be handy to brush on as sun protection over make-up (this one, €26 for 5g, has a natural SPF of 20). Bear in mind it is too messy to take with you anywhere – firmly a dressing-table option.
A final general caveat. If you truly want “Irish” beauty, check the labels on the packaging, just so you know what you’re getting. Regularly, you’ll find Irish beauty with “Made in RPC” on the box, which isn’t quite the same thing – “Irish-founded” beauty, perhaps.
Aimee Connolly has just launched new products in her successful Sculpted range (made in China/Taiwan, bar the Italy-made eyeliner), stocked in pharmacies and Boots. The pink lip and cheek cream colour (€18) is pretty enough, though the case isn’t great. Personally I’d stick with the existing Liquid Lights Blush and Highlighter, which work well as dewy colour on the skin. The brand is now working with TerraCycle, so you can return empties via the website or the Dundrum store. Buy at Boots Ireland for a free gift worth €50 when you spend €25 on more than 1,900 different selected cosmetics.
Here are five new launches made in Ireland that are worth a closer look:
1 Oíche Apothecary is a new Irish skincare range created by sisters Lorna Stewart and Aisling Boyle (pictured top). Kicking off with two face masks, the brand is centred around organic Irish peat which is locally and ethically sourced from the Dublin hills in Glenasmole Valley. The “gathered from ancient Irish bogs” tagline is perhaps designed for customers further afield. The sheet masks, Midnight Dew and Twilight Dreams, are €12 and are biodegradable, with recyclable packaging, and they’re made in Ireland – a plus point, as is the ethical and cruelty-free ethos. The key ingrdient is aloe leaf juice extract, with glycerin in there and rose flower water too, so it smells good and certainly packs some moisture into the skin. I’m not generally a huge paper mask fan in general, but I’d use these again. Looking forward to seeing what the girls come up with next. www.oiche.ie
2 Long-established family business Seavite has the benefit of two renowned skin doctors behind it, the Drs Mulrooney – so when the claims include “no skin irritants” and “powerful antioxidants”, you can trust them. I like the (reusable) blue glass jar Atlantic Blue candle which smells of the sea (and ten per cent of proceeds go to Clean Coasts), and the skincare is decent value. One pick? The Super Nutrient Replenishing Face Crème (€52), with avocado oil and shea butter, has a winningly velvety texture. Stocked in pharmacies nationwide and www.seavite.com.
3 Codex Beauty is a premium-priced range that has good credentials – it’s certified vegan, cruelty-free and organic (COSMOS), and is an excellent choice if you are concerned about allergies, sensitivity or want to go as natural as you can without compromising on quality. They are clear about ingredients, and it’s made in Ireland. You do pay for these aspects – the new Antü eye cream, for example, is heftily priced at €70 for 15ml, while the new Radiance Mist face spray (with recyclable cap and glass bottle), is €30 for 30ml. Expensive for something that’s mainly witch hazel. But you are getting clarity on what you’re putting on your skin, and an Irish-made option. www.codexbeauty.com
4 Check out Faerly for a range of eco-friendly products from the Irish sustainable retailer. From Grace & Green period products to solid shampoos and Warrior Botanicals natural deodorants, it’s a handy one-stop shop for some innovative Irish solutions. I especially love the sound of Ryan McSorley’s Neat multi-surface cleaners, concentrated fragrant solutions to clean your bathroom with – just add water. You’ll also find favourites like Oxmantown skincare and Roza Natural Cosmetics on the site. www.faerly.ie
5 Wild Soul Wellness Candle. There’s no need to spend a fortune on a simple scented Irish-made candle – this soy wax one by yoga teacher Margaret Young is bright and fresh with uplifting, gentle lemon and May Chang and costs just €18 from www.wildsoul.ie – where you’ll also find online yoga classes, meditation and more – and is stocked also at C Beauty Studio in Blackrock, Co Dublin.