Irish women – and increasingly Irish men – love beauty. We are a nation of aesthetes, making the world determinedly more glamorous as we move through it. In fact, we’re known internationally for this – over a career of more than 10 years in beauty, every major make-up artist and brand founder from Charlotte Tilbury to Caroline Hirons has told me that they find Irish consumers uniquely educated and enthusiastic. We know about skincare. We are savvy when it comes to ingredients. And by God we own more bottles of foundation per capita than any one of our less well-groomed European competitors. We find joy in make-up and skincare, and we buy a lot of it. We always have.
For this reason (and many others) it has been an exceptional privilege to enjoy a home here on irishtimes.com and in the pages of The Irish Times Magazine for almost a decade. It is generally understood to be – and has certainly been for me – the very best job in Irish beauty. A uniquely independent editorial space in beauty, where every product recommendation I have ever shared has been entirely autonomous. Advertisers hold no truck on this page – if it’s mentioned here, I liked it. Those were always the criteria, and that is incredibly rare these days. I have been incredibly lucky to have editors over the years who have safeguarded this page as a space of integrity. It’s why we have the trust that we do.
Readers are curious, communicative and love beauty just as much as I do. My email inbox has always been brimming with your beauty questions, your feedback, and your warmth. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to occupy a position of trust and to be the person who filters the expert advice to help you figure out which moisturiser is best for the perioral dermatitis which is getting you down, or what the best wedding mascara is for your mother-in-law, who is a crier. Through this column each week, I’ve witnessed first-hand the power of beauty to help comfort, reassure and hold people up through difficult experiences – from chemo and job interviews to acne and hair loss.
Together, we’ve navigated a decade of beauty fads and trends, including matte liquid lipstick (remember 2015, when everyone had a pinched mouth like a knotted balloon?) which has apparently come back this season, with brands like Lisa Eldridge and Charlotte Tilbury jumping on the bandwagon with some lovely offerings (though Charlotte Tilbury did discontinue Hollywood Lips – a very similar product to the new launch – a couple of years back).
The beauty cycle is endless, trends always roll back around, and so I thought that this would be a good time to share the timeless products discovered over the last decade that I’ll love forever, and will be carrying off with me into the sunset of a new life in Australia. They’re all serial repurchases which have held esteemed space in this column over the years and also hold a place in my “forever” skincare and make-up bag (provided they’re not discontinued – a pain beauty enthusiasts will know well).
As the cycle continues – let us pray that whisper-thin brows never come back around – this column will soon be occupied by a new voice. The Irish Times will continue to be a leading voice in Irish beauty. You can find me on Instagram @laura_m_kennedy, where the love of beauty which first brought us together here every week will no doubt endure. From Australia, you can expect a lot of SPF content. I’m so very grateful to have been a part of your weekend for all these years.
Laura Kennedy’s ‘forever’ products
Skin Rocks The Moisturiser Fragrance Free (€72 at Space NK)
MAC Lustreglass Lipstick in Thanks, It’s Mac! (€22 at Brown Thomas)
L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Mascara (€17 at pharmacies nationwide)
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF50 (€18 at Boots)
Signature de Chanel Intense Longwear Eyeliner Pen (€40 at Brown Thomas)
Lisa Eldridge Insanely Saturated Lip Colour in Strawberry Shock (€32 at lisaeldridge.com)