Sephora-addict asked yesterday, “I really miss Sephora! Is there an equivalent shop to Sephora in Dublin by any chance?”
Oh, we miss it too, lady, and we’re a regular bunch of visitors whenever we’re in a country possessing a branch. For the uninitiated, Sephora is a chain of beauty stores that stock all manner of cool and cult beauty products, as well as their own affordable line of cosmetics. But Sephora-addict’s question got me thinking. Beaut.ie is read globally and if you were coming here for holidays or to live, wouldn’t it be handy to read a post on the best shops in the city? So while there is no direct equivalent to Sephora here, Dublin doesn’t actually do too badly in the business of beauty really.
We have several excellent department store beauty halls that stock a massive variety of brands. Arnotts (12 Henry Street, Dublin 1) is the nicest and biggest in the city and has a selection of brands that are hard to find elsewhere, including Make Up Store, Make Up For Ever, Dr LeWinns, Faces and SPC, in addition to counters for Clinique, Darphin, Elizabeth Arden, Chanel, Clarins, Benefit, Lancome, Guerlain, Urban Decay, Trilogy and Smashbox, among many others.
Staying on that side of the city, Clerys (18 – 27 Lower O’Connell Street, Dublin 1) gorgeous, airy hall boasts Neals Yard remedies, a fab Origins counter, skincare by Decleor, REN and Dr Hauschka, as well as Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder, Smashbox, Benefit and Dior counters.
Brown Thomas (Grafton Street, Dublin 2) has some exclusives you won’t get elsewhere in the city centre, like Giorgio Armani, Prevage, Frederic Fekkai, Laura Mercier, Tom Ford and Sisley. This must be one of the most jam-packed beauty floors known to man: MAC, Dior, Clinique, La Mer, Benefit, Make Believe, Abhana, Aveda, Chanel, Prescriptives, Estee Lauder, YSL, Dior, Dr Sebagh, Nars, Stila, Jo Malone, Bobbi Brown, Shiseido and Trish McEvoy are all also jostling for space.
Round the corner is Dublin’s dedicated beauty boutique, Nue Blue Eriu (Nue Blue Eriu, 7 South William St, Dublin 2). Home to luxe and hard to find products from La Prairie, E Coudray, Miller Harris and Phyto, it’s also a great place for serious skincare from brands like Ole Henriksen, Murad and MD Skincare. It’s also excellent for off-kilter fragrance, and it’s the only place to buy 3 Custom Colour, Chantecaille and Mineralogie makeup. There’s another smaller branch of the store at CHQ in the docklands too (Nue Blue Eriu CHQ, The CHQ Building, Docklands, Dublin 1). Note: these stores are now closed
In town there’s also a Make Up For Ever (Clarendon Street), stocking the Face 2 and Make Up For Ever brands as well as Leighton Denny nailcare and you can check out The Make Up Room ( 7 Pembroke Place, Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin 2) who sell Nix’ie and Beauty Blender. Debenhams stores are good places to buy Biotherm and Givenchy products, and some also sell Too Faced and Urban Decay, as well as yer more regular Lancome and Clinique. Brown Sugar (South William Street) sells its own brand skin and cosmetics line, Kohl, and One, a lash bar in Powerscourt Town House Centre (enter from South William Street), sells all manner of fab lashes as well as an own-branded beauty line. Queen Beauty Emporium (Aungier Street, Dublin 2) is also a fab place to pick up exclusives like Planet Skincare, Kevyn Aucoin and Girlactik, as well as MD formulations skincare and Butter London nail polish.
Moving out of the city, head to Dundrum Town Centre (take the LUAS from Stephen’s Green and get off at Balally), a high-end shopping mecca that boasts Ireland’s only Harvey Nichols store, as well as a huge House of Fraser department store. There are also branches of Molton Brown and L’Occitane elsewhere in the centre. Within Harvey Nicks, you’ll find Beyond Beauty, a calm floor dedicated to the best in posh purchases. New is Elizabeth’s Daughter, a premium range of teen skincare, as well as skincare from La Mer and Omorovicza, plus makeup from Cover FX, Trish McEvoy and YSL. Get your paws on Butter London, Bliss, Real Hair, Robert Piguet and Bond No 9 too, and there’s also Space NK in-house at Harvey Nichols. They stock Eve Lom, Chantecaille and lots more – check here for a full listing.
Wander then to House of Fraser where Annick Goutal, Aveda, Origins, Bobbi Brown, Carita, Darphin, Clarins, Givenchy and Guerlain plus much more is on offer.
But for my money, the beauty store that most closely matches Sephora in terms of choice, brands and affordability is Boots in Liffey Valley. It’s an excellent mix of the accessible, the hip and the high-end, and within its walls you can buy yer regular choices like Lancome, Clinique, Clarins, Dior, No 7, Chanel, Arden and Estee. But you can also pick up gorgeous bits from Nuxe, Origins and Ruby and Millie, as well as Soap and Glory, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Revlon and Urban Retreat. There’s a plethora of makeup stands from Rimmel, Maybelline, Max Factor, 17, L’Oreal Paris and Bourjois too, as well as the more usual rows upon rows of what Boots does best: bath lotions and potions, haircare, affordable skin and body care. It’s a mecca, quite simply, for anyone into products.
That’s my run-down of the best in Capital beauty. Of course, the city also boasts a huge number of spas and salons, most of whom sell retail products. And Ireland also has a pharmacy sector that’s similar to that of France. Our strong network of independent pharmacies means they’re a great place to buy skincare – and get advice – from brands like La Roche-Posay, RoC and Vichy.
But in terms of the most noteworthy beauty spots, I think I have it covered. If I’ve missed anything – let me know in a comment!