It Works

The Irish serum making a name for itself

Some new launches stand out in a crowd. This neat little bottle of skin-hydrating serum is appealingly simple, unpretentious and effective, and presented in chic black and white packaging. Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum is the product of an Irish family business: Sonia Deasy works with her husband Padraig, a portrait photographer based in Kildare. Travelling the world teaching photography, Deasy became increasingly aware of hair and make-up for fashion shoots: “Shooting portraits, we both noticed that a lot of people’s complexions are really dull.” At 39, Deasy was also becoming aware of wanting something simple but effective for her own skin, and was surprised to find that none of her friends used serums. Spotting a gap in the market, she worked with her sister, a biochemist, to formulate this concentrate of hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. Friends are converted, finding this lighter than other serums but with instant, noticeable effects; two drops give skin an instant radiance in a pure and natural way (it contains no alcohol nor parabens). Deasy’s phone is constantly buzzing with people anxious to stock up. She doesn’t look old enough to have five children, aged between five and ten, and credits a healthy diet based on Indian food and tons of water. It’s exciting to see a brand at its very beginning, and Deasy is clear about its potential. “I know I have a hero product here,” she says. “It’s something you can use all the time, and I’ve found I use less foundation after it.” Balancing two businesses with five children is demanding, says Deasy, who strives to keep home and work separate, working in the studio until three then zooming home to monitor piano practice. Further products, including a mask and candle, will follow. The challenge now is to decide how to take the brand forward. As retailers vie to stock it, we anticipate big things for this small beauty. €42.99 (including shipping) from Another homegrown name to watch, One therapy is a one-stop therapy for skin and hair, crafted in small batches in Co Mayo, with ingredients sourced through NHR Organics, including frankincense, ylang ylang and sandalwood. Light and silky, the oil has a divine scent that will also help you sleep. €48 from

This story appears in the January issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in next issue, out Thursday February 5

A Scent Library

Create a collection of fragrance as individual as the books you love

1. YSL Opium eau de parfum Collector Edition, €95, at Brown Thomas: the ultimate spicy oriental. 2. Cloon Keen Atelier Tulum eau de parfum, €80, Cloon Keen Atelier, 3 Kirwan’s Lane, Galway; warm and sunny mango, lime and pepper. 3. Bella Bellissima Riviera Lime eau de parfum, €125, exclusive to Brown Thomas: fresh yet lasting lime, lemon and bergamot. 4. Amouage Fate, €245, seasonal frankincense and rich leather. 5. The Library of Fragrance Snow and Christmas in New York cologne sprays, €15 each, at Boots: evocative singular scents. 6. Burberry My Burberry, from €54, at www.; monogrammed bottles available at sweet peas, London rain. 7. Eight & Bob eau de toilette in book, €149, at aromatic cologne. 8. Profumum Roma Ichnusa, €205, at fresh fig and herbs.

This story appears in the December issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in next issue, out Saturday January 3

Beauty Wish List

The standout beauty buys of the year, selected by the experts ...

Sharmadean Reid, NAIL EXPERT
“I am addicted to bioeffect EGF Serum [€151.19 at] – you wake up with a whole new face! I also swear by a vogel Comfrey Cream [€9.50, at health stores], which feels like whipped cream.”


Marija Aslimowska, PERFUME EXPERT

“We introduced Portrait of a Lady by Frédéric Malle to Ireland for the first time in February and since then it has been conquering hearts like I’ve never seen before. Customers instantly fall in love with this scent, over and over: as a perfume lover and shop owner, I couldn’t wish for more. The overdose of incense, rose and patchouli in this composition is genius and seems to strike a chord very close to the heart. Women tell me all the time how it makes them feel, about their experiences while wearing this perfume and the vast compliments they get.” Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady eau de parfum, from €160, at Parfumarija, Westbury Mall, Dublin 2;

The Face Forecast

Amid the sequins and glitter, we’re looking ahead to a fresh, clean new year. Here are five things set to be big news in beauty in 2015

“No make-up” continues to be a huge thing next year, with a focus on looking natural, fit and healthy: see Gisele in the Chanel No5 ad campaign, all freckles and sun-warmed skin. We’ll be seeing a rise in products that give a low-key beauty boost, like YSL’s luxurious Volupté Tint-in-Oil (launching in February), which gives lips a sheen and enhances their natural tone. Rather than a full face of make-up, try just using concealer (Nars Concealer, €24, is brilliant), or a primer like bareMinerals Prime Time (€25) to even out skin tone where needed.

Researchers at YSL Beauté are focusing on a new phenomenon that they say is set to affect us all: “social media face”. They have identified that the way we constantly look down at our devices is affecting our face shape, especially the face contours, neck and décollétage. YSL’s Y-Shape creme and concentrate, launching in January, aims to restore elasticity and remodel the skin’s matrix, especially around the jaw, to “reshape” the face.

This story appears in the December issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in next issue, out Saturday January 3