I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
Living in Ireland, I've learned that this country is full of creative people making beautiful things on a small scale, often inspired by the unique landscape and natural resources available here.
I try to buy Irish whenever I can — it always gives me the warm fuzzies to buy locally — so I wanted to share with you some of the best Irish-made beauty products I could find if you want a little Irish magic in your bathroom cabinet.
Human+Kind makes natural skincare products that are affordable and multitasking, two goals I can definitely get behind. I was initially skeptical of the tagline on their website which says that their products are "chemical-free" because everything is a chemical. But on closer inspection, it seems that their aim is to produce products without using petrochemicals, which on balance I think is a fair aim. A number of their products are available at Sephora.
I have been using their In-Shower Body Moisturiser a lot this summer. I have dehydrated skin, and using this light cream after I've turned off the water but before I've stepped out of the shower delivers moisture that really lasts through the day. It's awesome for warm days when you want to glide around feeling smooth and silky like one of those ladies from a Gillette Venus commercial.
In my opinion the Family Remedy Cream is the hero of this line. Formulated for dry patches, burns, bits, itches, and scratches, this fresh-smelling balm makes for an amazing hand cream. The tea-tree scent is just medicinal enough. I have used and loved Weleda's Skin Food (a cult classic) in the past and this product reminds me of that.
Voya makes products developed with organic seaweed extracts. Seaweed is abundant in Ireland and seaweed baths have long been used therapeutically here. There are several Irish companies using seaweed extracts in their products, but Voya stands out as one with a commitment to sustainability and the environment: they harvest all their seaweed in a sustainable manner, and support Seal Rescue Ireland.
Cute baby seals and skincare? My two major interests come together, finally!
I've been using Voya's Palmarosa Balm as part of my nighttime routine for the last six weeks. Half a pump of this serum adds a moisturising boost to my regimen with a light herbal scent. I have quite dry skin, and on days when I need more precious dewiness, I mix a small amount of this with my foundation before applying.
The Handmade Soap Company
The Handmade Soap Company has a comprehensive range of beautifully packaged products including soap, candles, hand cream, and body lotions. I love their heavy glass jars, which look so pretty on my bedside table.
Formulated with sunflower seed oil, shea butter, and cocoa seed oil, their Grapefruit & May Chang Body Butter is solid in the jar but melts on contact with your skin to a rich oil. I've been using it all summer to get some extra sheen on my legs and shoulders.
I have a problem when it comes to their Lemongrass & Cedarwood line. I cannot stop smelling it. I love lemony fragrances in general (I've come close to eating Lush's Lemony Flutter cuticle balm so many times) and this one really hits the mark. I love using their soap-free shower gel in the morning. This baby comes with a handy pump, bubbles up beautifully, and fills my bathroom with a super fresh aroma. I even bought myself the candle to go with it.
Waters + Wild
Waters + Wild is an organic perfumery based in West Cork, one of the most beautiful and remote parts of Ireland. I spent a particularly magical weekend there last February with two of my best friends who actually got engaged on a cliff top while my boyfriend and I tried to act casual in the background. Yay for West Cork!
Anyway, Waters + Wild makes simple but intoxicating perfumes and very kindly send me some samples to try.
Tuberose + Frankincense is aromatic and floral, the kind of strong, womanly scent that isn't normally my jam. The simplicity of this fragrance really impressed me and won me over. I knew I would like Rose + Oud because rose is one of my favorite perfume notes, but the addition of oud gives this fragrance depth and a masculine edge that makes it feel very grown up indeed.
Finally, there's Cedarwood + Cognac, which I was surprised to find was my favorite. This fragrance reminded me a little of the smell of a freshly-opened box of chocolate liquors: sweet and alcoholic in the best way. The cedar adds an austere note that stops this fragrance from tipping head-first into full-on gourmand, which is fine with me because I'm not super-interested in smelling like cake.
- What are your favorite local products?
- Do you feel good about buying products made in your country?
- What international products do you buy to get a taste of another country?