Hands up, I knew M&S had those new-fangled beauty boutiques in its stores. Honest I did. Like, for example, in Henry street and also in Liffey Valley, there are all manner of fancy brands and things to buy.
But until last Friday I was wholly ignorant of the fact that the same thing exists in the Grafton st branch, and I’m guessing lots of you are too. Tucked away upstairs adjacent to the bras and knickers is a treasure trove of beauty booty, with hard-to-find and unique to Ireland brands too.
I’ve featured 12 in the gallery that I think are worth a look but that’s just a very small selection of what’s on offer; head in for a look yourself, it’s a browse of brilliance – honest.
Josh Wood, self-proclaimed Guardian of Colour, is a Big Deal in in-the-know beauty circs. A backstage regular, what this guy doesn't know about colour isn't worth knowing, frankly. M&S tapped him for a range, which you won't find anywhere else, and which is excellent. It also happens to contain these rather bloody brilliant Blending Wands, which come in a few shades and which are used to tamp down greys. Paint on - they're liquid - using the soft brush applicator, heat seal using a GHD or hairdryer, and you'll get up to three washes out of each application. Smart, huh?
More haircare in the form of the Philip Kingsley range, which is comprehensive and filled with heroes like the famous Elasticizer. Buy full sizes or trials, there's tons of choice here.
You go, Glamglow: apparently they had a waiting list for this after India Knight wrote about it.
An interesting skincare line, M&S is the only stockist of French medi-cosmetic brand Filorga that I know of. Interesting picks are the BB creams and the Micellar water, which comes in a 400ml bottle, as well as hyaluronic and peptide-packed anti-agers.
Apivita, a Greek naturals line, is well represented across face, body and hair.
In makeup, there are two beauty buys worth looking at and one of them is Diego Dalla Palma, an Italian brand that's also available in Tesco stores in the UK. A small core range is supplemented by limited editions.
Grape extracts; resveratrol for ageing... This is M&S's answer to the Caudalie brand, but at a much lower price. Find the Pure range, and specifically the Pure serum in the store now.
Pur Minerals is the second of its makeup lines of note; while I'm not blown away by this brand at all, there are a couple of nice pieces, like these shadow trios.
Bliss! Nuff said, eh?
These limited blushers are clearly modeled on Paul and Joe and are very pretty indeed.
And can anyone say Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess, hmm?
Lastly, this branch carries Fragonard, a mid-price French perfumery brand you can get anywhere there for sort of similar to L'Occitane prices, but which is impossible to buy in Ireland. Not any more!