Events, x Skin Food x

Irish Alchemists: skin food part 3

You know those extortionate face creams, designed to lure you from your money and your trusty brain cells? The big branded ones, created in labs with unpronounceable ingredients?

They don’t work.

An industry does not grow into a $460 billion monster by permanently solving the problem it is designed to address.

Unless the ingredients were hand-harvested by George Clooney, and blessed by Kylie Minogue under a full moon, I’m not falling for it. Ever. Again.

We deserve more respect. (So does my overdraft).





What hooked me into making my own beauty products at home was the undeniable pleasure it adds to everyday life. The commercial cosmetic industry is a headless beast, driven by an insatiable libido of profit. For them, it makes perfect business sense to use cheap, low quality ingredients with glitzy branding. I can’t stand being their target. So I vote with my wallet. It’s as good as giving industry giants the two-fingers and beatifically laughing into my own crazy cool lab.

So in 2017, I’ll be continuing to post DIY skincare recipes using ingredients you’ll find in your own kitchen. Natural ingredients like argan, honey and rosehip are potently strong. It’s skincare with integrity. They outshine all the high-branded crap.

For now, here’s a list of rad Irish alchemists, making their own organic skincare products. They deserve our support and applause (especially if it’s unlikely that you’ll whip up your own badass body oils). These are my favourite of the lot.


barechic fiona carr



> Blue Flower Face Serum, by BARECHIC SKIN <


Fiona Carr is the wizard behind Barechic Skin. Fiona hand-crafts all her products on the west coast of Ireland, and never ever uses anything but pure, cold pressed, ethically sourced oils like pomegranate, tamanu, argan, seabuckthorn, rose otto and rosehip seed. I am obsessed with anything and everything she makes. You will be too.



… the scent. Utterly beguiling. I feel like Sophia Loren wearing her skincare range. The scent does something funny to my confidence and imagination. Bewitching.

Their boutique packaging puts Barechic way above anything else on the Irish market. They’d make very slick gifts for guys and girls.

Vegan friendly.



Very difficult to find. I think it’s only private clients for now, until Barechic’s online stable launches. Contact via Twitter.  (If you’ve found it elsewhere, please let me know in the comment section below).



Tired skin. Dry skin. Combination skin. And comes personally recommended for exhausted mums who just want to feel sexy again.




> Rose Mist Water, by Flourish Organics <


Flourish is a tiny company in Kerry, run by a very cool couple who sent me up samples to try out. They hand craft their own ‘beautyful’ creams and serums in micro batches. There’s something very special about using a beauty product that someone personally whipped up for you, only using pure, unadulterated ingredients. It feels both physically and emotionally nourishing.



… no alcohol content. Most toners and mists contain unnecessary amounts of dehydrating alcohol (yes, go check yours. I was so disappointed to see so many brands using alcohol in their toners). Flourish misting toner only has 3 ingredients; pure organic rose water, mulla mulla and shea oak. At €14 for a large bottle, it’s exceptional value.



Only online orders, and select boutique hotels across Ireland like Brooklodge in Wicklow.



… anyone with sensitive skin.

High fives also for green beauty enthusiasts on a budget.

Great for ex-pats, wanting to order authentic, handmade Irish gear online as Christmas pressies.





> Hydrate & Perfect Treatment Oil, by Georgia Jane <


When I started doing DIY beauty recipes on my website, Georgia Jane sent me a few of their hand-made natural serums for inspiration. I hadn’t come across them before, so was fairly stoked to try out a brightening serum for sun damaged skin. Natural aging is their focus, with antioxidant rich botanical oils like raspberry seed oil and watermelon seed oil.



… specifically targets pigmentation. I need all the help I can get. If I develop any more sun spots, my face will look like a map of Europe etched out by a 4 year old with sienna-brown crayola.

Loved the smell, and the science.



Online orders primarily. Let me know if you’ve found it elsewhere (in the comments below).



… reluctantly aging folk.








And finally, from the Department of Disclosure:

1.     I will only review products I like, and whose work ethics I dig (ingredients derived by nature, organically or mindfully, with no hidden nasties). My grandma always says “if you’ve nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” While generally this advice can be very unhelpful in many situations, especially if you count yourself as a modern woman or feminist, I think it’s probably spot on for my blog post. So I don’t include products that I disliked, however minor or major.

2.     I do not receive freebies, payment, nor contra in any form for the products that I review on my website.

3.     If I receive sample products to review for my site, you will be the first to know. Full disclosure. You are my friends. I have no intention to mess with your mind.





How to Survive the Silly Season

Tips, to help with festive frolics;


For burnt batteries, try sticky black or red rice; filled with anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, antioxidants, and energy-boosting B Vitamins for your body. We particularly love B3, the vitamin responsible for lifting mood (like day dreaming about Dominic West, or making teeny changes to Donald Trump’s Wikipedia page).


When you feel like horsing into a tin of Quality Street, try whizzing the flesh of 1 soft avocado with 3 tablespoons of cacao,  1 tablespoon of nutbutter, splash of soya sauce and nip of maple syrup into a supersonic anti-cholesterol mousse. Score.


Tired? Try juicing ginger into lemon and water. No juicer? No problem. Peel some fresh ginger, freeze it for 20 minutes, and grate into water with a squeeze of lemon or apple juice. Add a pinch of cayenne to get your blood beating like a voodoo drum.


Hungover? Try 1 tablespoon of certified spirulina powder with a small glass of fresh apple juice. This will help keep your liver on speaking terms with you. Bigly. (Although, your taste buds will understandably revolt).


When your body feels like a petri dish, get some raw garlic into you. Mix with olive oil and tumble onto a toasted wedge of sourdough. Avoid obvious stimulants – coffee, Nigel Farage, and Xmas FM – which only worsen your condition.


Man, woman, or hybrid; you need this stuff on your skin to make it sing louder than Kylie’s. Hand-made in microbatches on the west coast of Ireland. Special order via Twitter. Wizardry.


When your digestion conks out, try eating sauerkraut,  kimchi, papaya or pineapple before every meal. Crazy shit, but it works.





Don’t forget to check out my exclusive Christmas spread in the Sunday Independent, out December 11th.

Fa la la la lahhh …


Cookery Demo (SOLD OUT SORRY)

Friends – this is my final wholefoods cookery class in a Very Long Time. I’ll be taking a break from the kitchen to hibernate with my pen in 2017. (And industrial quantities of coffee bean halva. And Bradley Cooper movies).

Come along and have a cuppa with us!

I’ll be signing books, and dishing goodies out next Tuesday at Avoca Kilmac, near Greystones just on the border of Co. Dublin and Co. Wicklow.

Tickets are 15€ and will include tea, coffee, and special treats I’m making for you.

Lots and love and goji berries,


SJ xx


The Virtuous Tart cookbook competition