Skinfull Affairs, 34 Exchequer St, Dublin 2
Skinfull Affairs on Exchequer Street in the Creative Quarter of Dublin 2 isn’t a new cosmetic and treatment store, but it’s pretty new to me. I only got to know this little piece of beauty heaven in April of this year, and only visited this month – 20 months too late by all accounts because it is now my new favourite beauty spot.
Founded and managed by Grace Rubinger, whom suits her forename in every sense – elegant, courteous and full of good will, Skinfull Affairs opened its doors to the public on Christmas Eve 2016, a very special day but an opening date that wasn’t originally planned. As Grace put it – ‘We weren’t fully ready to trade on that day, but we had a few people knocking on the door wanting to come in – so we just made it happen! We had an overwhelming amount of people coming in wanting to check us out, see what we were doing and it was an incredible day – I will never forget!”
Skinfull Affairs is all about your affair with your skin, and the skins of animals, because not only are all the cosmetics and treatments cruelty free, but they are vegetarian – some products contain natural beeswax or honey – and in the majority of cases, vegan.
“Conscientious Cosmetics and Treatments”
And the reason Skinfull Affairs was born? Grace had been thinking about the Skinfull Affairs concept for many years. She always had an interest in natural beauty however, as soon as she started a plant-based diet, she knew that creating vegan treatments and lots of cruelty-free, vegan cosmetics was the right direction for her and Skinfull Affairs.
Grace believes “we should respect our skin” and is “a firm believer that our overall well-being is affected not only by what you put inside your body but also by what you put onto your skin. The skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs a serious amount of what it comes into contact with on a daily basis. We have many options in store that are 100% natural, and luxurious and effective!, and I feel the more natural you go, the better it is for your skin”.
Based at 34 Exchequer Street, a gorgeous building and previously the home of Flora, Grace knew the shop was going to make the perfect Skinfull Affairs Flagship Store even before the sign was ready to be hung above the door, and with the Flora staff telling her the shop “was a magical and special place, where they had spent great years” she couldn’t agree more. And nor could I – there definitely is something special about the premises.
Earlier this month after chatting with Grace via email about her favourite products – more on that in a later post, she invited me to experience a Skinfull Affairs Lemongrass Vegan Manicure and Pedicure, an offer advertised as a refreshing treat and one that I gratefully accepted. From the outside Skinfull Affairs looks inviting and from the inside it just gets better.
The front part of the store is mostly dedicated to Grace’s carefully selected cosmetics, which she has lovingly sourced from all over the world – some from her travels, others she has researched – she constantly uses herself as a guinea pig, trying and testing products for months on end until she is completely happy with their results before she stocks them. From Kripa a cruelty-free makeup brand made from organic ingredients imported directly from Italy – she’s actually been to the manufacturers, to natural deodorants such as Pit Putty, that she advises do work, keeping you smelling fresh all day. The store is a like a beauty wonderland. And if you can’t come to the store, the store can come to you because it’s online at skinfullaffairs.ie too.
Also in the front area of the store is the treatment area for manicures. Set up on beautifully designed tables and bench, that sit facing a feature wall of red brick that’s flanked by industrial style casing and hanging plants, and adorned with an on-trend neon sign. You can also choose to gaze out the huge store windows at the hustle and bustle of the street outside, whilst basking in the calmness inside. It’s a well designed space and understandable that some visitors have confused the store with a hipster coffee shop – I’d drink coffee there, but only after my manicure.
The back part and lower ground level of the store is dedicated to the Skinfull Affairs treatment rooms and services. It’s bright and clean, and the morning I was a guest – it smelt refreshingly crisp as the scent of lemongrass and its citrusy lemon aroma filled the air – waiting for me.
The pedicure was a pleasure. I was made feel very comfortable by Azita, who is also the Skinfull Affairs expert on Henna Tattoos and Threading, and we chatted as I enjoyed my pamper. Bathing my feet in scented warm water and having them gently exfoliated using a natural handmade foot scrub was something I could easily do with at least once a week. My feet were patted dry, cuticles were tidied, nails shaped and buffed and after I went through a zillion Ella + Mila nail polish colours – these polishes are long-wearing but free from all the usual nasties you’ll find in nail polish and as with the Skinfull Affairs ethos, they’re cruelty-free and vegan – I chose the colour “Melonade” and had them expertly painted. My feet were then put into flip-flops, yes for me, and I made my way to have my fingernails manicured.
Just like the pedicure, my manicure was a pleasure. I was offered water infused with fruit to drink, and I sat comfortably chatting to Grace who came to join me to tell me a little more about Skinfull Affairs products and services – from their pampering packages to henna tattoos (perfect for festivals). Their massages sound amazing, with the Bamboo Massage intriguing me most. Again I chose my colour from the Ella + Mila range “Fresh Powder” and watched as each nail was painted before they were left to dry.
The result: I left Skinfull Affairs happy in my soul and skin. My skin felt soft, my nails painted to perfection – and not a nasty chemical in sight, nor an animal tested to achieve it. It’s a good feeling, and the reason I only use cruelty-free products. With the addition of the botanical, fruit and herbal infused water and scrubs that were used – I was practically glowing. The ambiance of the Skinfull Affairs is calm and refreshing. The staff are probably the happiest I’ve ever witnessed in a salon – it’s like they’re one big happy family, with many members there since it opened its doors that Christmas Eve. I love the ethos Grace has brought to 34 Exchequer Street and I’ll definitely be back.
For more on Skinfull Affairs visit their Website. Grace hosts a number of workshops throughout the year in-store that range from beauty and hair events to those about health – so be sure to connect with the team via their newsletter as well as Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.
And remember to check back soon when I’ll be sharing Grace’s top beauty products.