I think the title of this post is possibly the closest you’ll ever see me get to a competitive sport. Having lived here all my life, I’ve loved seeing Dublin develop – a huge part of this has been retail expansion, which of course equals a far wider selection of city centre retailers. Here are my picks for beauty shopping – I thought it might be handy if you’re not here often, or might have a day trip/city break coming up in the near future. If I’ve missed your favourite spot, just shout!
You can’t talk makeup counters without talking about Brown Thomas. Their beauty hall was recently done up, and it’s long been one of my favourites in Dublin city. Here you’ll find the usual high-end suspects – Tom Ford, NARS, Jo Malone, Dior, Chanel and loads more. Their MAC is also one of the world’s busiest counters belonging to the brand worldwide – seems like we really love our Studio Fix! You can also find another busy MAC standalone store across the river up on Henry Street.
Space NK Grafton Street was a super-welcome addition to Dublin’s retail lineup last year. I’d been ordering online from them for years, as well as stopping in UK branches whenever I had the chance, so it’s really lovely to finally have one nearby. I haven’t gone too crazy in there since it opened last summer, but it’s very nice to have the option!
Arnotts is another great department store up on Henry Street. Their beauty hall rivals Brown Thomas and has another large selection (dangerously near the Shoe Garden), including Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, Origins, Michael Kors Beauty and even a standalone Kiehl’s.
Clery’s is kind of the ‘forgotten’ department store – people often say to me that they can’t remember the last time that they were in there, but it’s recently been revamped and the place has never looked better. I wish they never got rid of the little Topshop concession, but beauty-wise, the selection is great these days – they’re a wide range of counters (including Shiseido and Décleor), as well as a boat load of the more affordable brand – NYX, Sleek, L’Oréal, Essence, Catrice and more.
Penneys are a great pit-stop for beauty bits and pieces; their Mary Street flagship has the best selection and recently opened a salon on the shop floor where you can get Shellac, threading and eyelash extensions for bargain prices. I haven’t tried the salon yet – mostly because it’s always so busy when I’m passing by – but will definitely be trying their manis asap. In terms of brands, Penneys do all the usual affordable bits – Rimmel, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Catrice, Essence, and now their own Love Beauty range. I absolutely love the lipliners from that range in particular – keep your eyes peeled for a post on them coming soon.
In terms of pharmacies, there are plenty of brilliant ones littered all over the city, but one brilliant recent addition is Foody’s Pharmacy. Nestled at the very top of Harcourt Street (beside Starbucks), they stock a brilliant selection of brands – NYX, Caudalie, Sleek, TheBalm and more. I’m a regular visitor and the staff are lovely – plus, they offer a bit of a discount if you work in the area – handy for an NYX binge!
If you’re looking for the best Boots branches in the city centre, I’d name the Jervis branch, followed closely enough by the Stephen’s Green store. The Jervis one is my absolute favourite, although I do think we could do with a larger Boots with high-end counters and concessions, like the Liffey Valley and Swords Pavilions branches. This is the type of thing that keeps me awake at night, folks…
Dublin is home to a lot of INGLOT stores – in town we have the Jervis centre concession (beside Boots, handily enough), and the flagship on South Anne Street right next to Grafton Street.
Beauty supply stores are something I don’t really talk about enough – specialising in haircare, Terrisales are a brilliant gem of a store on Abbey Street. They do a lot of brilliant Revlon products as well as Orofluido and Wella. Over on the southside, Sally’s on Drury St does everything from haircare, to wax, to China Glaze nail polish.
I’ve heard rumours of KIKO arriving here – that plus a Sephora would definitely round out our selection of make-up stores quite nicely!
Now, I might have the capital down, but what about everywhere else? Let us know your picks for Cork, Belfast, Galway, Limerick and anywhere in between! Oh, and we might follow this up with our favourite hairdressers and beauty salons around the capital – let us know if you're interested!