OMChristmas 2013: Guaranteed Irish Gifting

GUARANTEED IRISH We are a small island, but we make a whole lotta stuff. It’s not all jam and rashers either — although! I can thoroughly vouch for the deliciousness of the brown bread that comes from Fitzpatrick’s Woodlands House Hotel in Adare, as I have scarfed that up myself during a stay there, reviewing Revas Spa for the Irish Tatler Spa awards earlier in the year. Must post about that here…

Anyway! I spotted a loaf during a recent presentation from Guaranteed Irish, a showcase of the very best that Ireland has to offer during the festive season. Everything looked gorgeous, and it was a revelation to see how well-represented the Irish touch is, in terms of self-care — and by self-care, I mean beauty products and candles. Candles are so important.

IRISH STILL LIFE 1I wanted allll the candles. Having been made familiar with the Cloon Keen brand, thanks to their presence in the Shelbourne Spa, I was happy to see them represented, and was also happy to meet a new brand, about which I will talk below.

I don’t even know what’s on this table, and I’d enlarge it but I was so overwhelmed, it’s a little bit shaky. Maybe not overwhelmed as such, just dead impressed at the lovely, lovely things arrayed before me.

Here’s more:
IRISH STILL LIFE

And here’s a small round up of things that I love, and think you — I mean, your loved ones! — will love, too.

IRISH BIA feed your skin
BIA BEAUTY Feed Your Skin set {€80} includes Mellow Mandarin Moisturiser; Orange & Grapefruit Exfoliant; Stop the Clock Eye Gel; Apple Blossom Body Butter; and Detox Body Scrub. All take their scents from essential oils, and the scrub in particular is terrific for treating cellulite. There’s more info at the Cork-based concern’s website on biabeauty.com.

GREEN ANGEL face cream set
O, seaweed! Is so awesome. GREEN ANGEL offer up their fab duo, Daily Moisture Face Cream & Night Cream {€39.99} I can personally gush about the day cream: it is so silky and absorbs perfectly, yet feels so rich. I love the little blast of aromatherapy too, as the Jasmine and Neroli are invigorating enough to give me a wakey-wakey boost in the morning, but not so much that I am bouncing off the walls. Go to greenangel.com to see the full line.

IRISH PIXY TEMPTING GIFT BOX €14.95
All of PIXY NATURAL SKINCARE’s Christmas offerings are priced under €20! I myself am tempted by their Tempting Gift Box {€14.95} which comes with a heart-shaped soap, two skin nourishing mini bath bombs, a creamy lip balm, and the Internet’s favourite Lime Body Scrubs, also heart-shaped, and a perfectly natural exfoliating treat. See pixy.ie for more well-put-together gift boxes.

LA BOUGIE
Ooh, LA BOUGIE! Also from Cork — what is going on down there, is it like the locus of creative beauty entrepreneurs or wha’? — the company present us with candles in an array of scent combinations that are spectacular. Pictured is my very own Sweet Pea & Pear 140g candle {€19.95}, and I gotta say, I am deeply attracted to the Ginger & Black Pepper and the Honeysuckle & Sea Salt. This bad girl will burn for 40 hours; there’s 220g versions that burns for 55! {€29.95} Go for the glow on labougie.com.

IRISH VOYA
VOYA is also a purveyor of Irish seaweed-infused products, and here’s three gift sets that pretty much are like their ‘best of’ collection of hits: the Organic Voyager Set {€40} features 75mls each of Squeaky Clean Body Wash, Softly Does It Body Moisturiser, Silky by Nature shampoo and Forget Me Knot conditioner; 1,2,3, Glow {€58} comes with a full-sized Ritzy Spritzy facial toner and Cleanse & Mend facial cleanser, and a mini 7ml jar of Me Time moisturiser; the Body Gift Set {€48} Softly Does It body moisturiser and Squeaky Clean body wash. Not pictured is the Hair Gift Set {€40} Silky by Nature shampoo and Forget Me Knot conditioner. The full complement of product is on voya.ie.

NAT'L PRINT MUSEUM FAIR
The Christmas Fair at the NATIONAL PRINT MUSEUM runs from 29, 30 November and 1 December; rock up on Friday between 16.00-20.00, and on Saturday and Sunday between 11.00-16.00. It’s free to enter, although your wallet ought to be lightened considerably once you clap your eyes on all the artistic, unique offerings. There are also make-your-own opportunities for all the family, although I’d say it’ll be a bit late to be hand-printing your Christmas cards, hmmm? See nationalprintmuseum.ie for directions and the like.

Also, for more creative goodness, check out TALBOT GALLERY & STUDIOS on Talbot Street, D1 and their Selection BOX exhibition. All the artworks are 12 inches x 12 inches and priced at €200, making for an affordable start/expansion of your collection. Find the list of artists here; I bought a picture a couple of years ago, and it’s really one of the nicest things you can do for yourself — loved ones! Loved ones! Everybody! Art is for everyone!

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