independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Don't forget the little people ...they walk among giants

I feel we have an obligation to buy Irish products whenever they are equal in terms of price, quality and value. Buying Irish means more Irish jobs and smaller dole queues. Oh My God, I sound like Eddie Hobbs.

It isn't easy for small Irish producers to get a toe in the door of the hugely competitive beauty world, where big companies with big budgets rule the roost. I've seen that Adele, the singer, has reportedly been in a bidding war with the giants of the beauty world. LOreal, Christen Dior and Estee Lauder have offered her €10 million to be the face of their company. You can see how it's very hard for two new Irish companies to compete with this.

Financial affairs aside, as I see it, the beauty business here in Ireland is making a shift towards both Irish and natural products. So, taking all this into account I found two new Irish companies that use natural ingredients, have created jobs and are very worthy of our support. To begin with let me tell a story.

Once upon a time in the enchanted forest near Magh Eala in Co Cork, pixies used their special brand of magic to create a pure, natural skin care range, harnessing the revitalizing essence of mother nature, created by hand with many suffused in essential oils. They have gels, spells, lotions and potions. I love their bath muffins, 'bath bombs', bath powders and bath oils. The magic for me is the price, with gift sets from €9.95. Now I know I am turning into Eddie Hobbs. Rose cleansing mud is very popular in Pixie land. You can guess what it smells of, it helps to get rid of toxins and at €9.95 you can't go wrong. New to Pixy is coconut hand cream. Do you remember the add on the telly years ago, where your one was on a dessert island eating her bounty bar? Well, this hand cream transports me to that island. It has beeswax, cocoa and shea butters that soften the skin. It melts on the skin like butter on warm toast. Lemon cuticle balm is €5.99 and has lemon myrtle essential oil that works as a strong but gentle disinfectant to heal and prevent nasty nail conditions. Nail beds will thank you. If you are looking for a pampering night in- try Pixy sensual bath oil. You only need to use a few teaspoons so it would last for ages and the heart shaped bottle would be fab in a bathroom. Pixy is in over 20 pharmacies in Cork and over 10 in Kerry, so spread your wings and wave your laser wand and make them appear.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Tracey Ryan from Cork and I found her to be a very gentle, soft-spoken lady who is passionate about her work. Tracey, who studied herbal science at Cork Institute of Technology, had the idea of combining food and skin care and thus Bia Beauty was born. She uses nuts, seed oils, fruits, herbs, spices, cocoa and avocado butter to feed the skin.The media love her because she ticks all the boxes, Irish, natural products and purse friendly. Ireland AM and Expose regularly features Bia products.

Her mother and baby gift set is a hero product, a perfect gift if you know any expectant mums. It has a body butter and eye gel for mum and natural baby cream which has calendula oil, aloe vera and shea butter all of which are safe for baby and luxurious for mum. I bet Amy Hubberman received one and that Pippa O'Connor Ormond will also get one. New to the range is natural mellow mandarin moisturiser (try saying that fast) and my favourite is orange and grapefruit facial exfoliant and cleanser. There is no need for a separate cleanser and exfoliant, which makes this product a multi- tasker and time saver. It is powerful but gentle and at €16.95 good value for two products in one.

Both Pixy and Bia have great facebook pages, with all the latest beauty products and great competitions.

• Next week, BB creams and CC creams.

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