Laura Kennedy’s top five Irish beauty brands
Cloon Keen Atelier, Max Benjamin: a growing number of Irish brands use local ingredients
With a few exceptions, Irish beauty brands have not traditionally performed all that well in a market where competition has always been rather ferocious. We always seemed to be a little behind in areas like formulation and packaging, but times have changed. The number of innovative Irish brands using ingredients from here at home has blossomed, and we have a booming home-grown industry to be proud of. Irish brands like Max Benjamin, The Burren Perfumery, Cloon Keen Atelier and Pestle & Mortar are all beautiful and eminently worthy of your hard-earned money. Here, I’m listing a few of my favourite Irish brands which don’t always get the publicity they deserve, but certainly should.
Warrior Botanicals (warriorbotanicals.com)
Warrior is a natural brand founded and curated by Reidin Battle and based in West Cork. I have waxed poetic on the excellence of their completely natural Deodorant Cream (€14) before – yes, it really does work. No, it doesn’t contain anything at all potentially harmful. Try their Powder Shampoo (€16) – it comes in two shades – if oily hair is a bother for you, or their Wild Rose Nourishing Mist (€22) for a sumptuous addition to your skincare routine. The aesthetic of the brand is minimalist perfection and each product is handmade in small batches and packaged in recyclable materials.
Blank Canvas (blankcanvascosmetics.com)
Blank Canvas is particularly good for brushes. Any of their blenders are worth investing in, but I love their Dimension Series Six Piece Travel Brush Set (€49.99). I recently brought this vegan-friendly little kit with me on both a weekend break and a wedding abroad, and found that it met all my needs comfortably. The flat-topped fluffy foundation brush is a particular hero in the kit, blending foundation beautifully for an airbrushed finish.
Another native brand from the West coast of Ireland, Kinvara was initially developed by Joanne Reilly for use by her own family, then bloomed into a beloved brand with a devoted following. Kinvara’s selling point is its simplicity and use of organic ingredients. The Absolute Cleansing Face Oil (€22.95) is a cult favourite, though I prefer their 24Hr Rosehip Face Serum (€32.95) for its gentle hydration and lovely texture.
Field Day (fielddayireland.ie)
Field Day was formerly known as Bog Standard, and I have been buying their scented candles and diffusers for several years now, as gifts for others and for myself. The brand has really gained ground in the last few years, and you’ll find it all over the country, including in Dublin’s Kilkenny Shop. Inspired by the Irish landscape, Field Day’s range includes offerings like Gorse, Woodland, Linen and Tea, though I keep going back to their Fireside and Wild Rose large candles (€17.95). They are a small flavour of Ireland to fragrance your home with and the quality is great.
VOYA started out as family-run seaweed baths in County Sligo, and has grown into a successful spa brand with an extensive product range. As well as skincare for face and body and a range of hair products all containing the seaweed that made VOYA’s reputation, they also produce a range of home fragrance products like scented candles and diffusers. If you’re looking for a way into the brand, their African lime and clove diffuser is great starter product and a perfect gift, while their Angelicus Serratus Nourishing Body Oil (€38) is an incredibly effective, transportingly fragrant nourishing body product with universal appeal.