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Image / Beauty

#IMAGEInspires: Doing Digital Beautifully: Una Tynan

by Holly O'Neill
10th Nov 2017

To be successful in the beauty industry today, you need to embrace all things digital, from e-tailing to social media. Ahead of our eleventh IMAGE Businesswoman Of The Year Awards, we introduce the women who are leading the way forward.  Next up, Una Tynan.


WHO: Una Tynan

WHAT: Founder of Blank Canvas Cosmetics


PRODUCT: Irish women’s one-stop shop for professional quality beauty tools at an affordable price

In 2008, while Una Tynan was working as an academic administrator in a Dublin college, the first thoughts of an affordable beauty brand that wouldn’t compromise on quality entered her mind.

She had been teaching since 2000 and working in academia for five years, but her career began as a freelance make-up artist. A self-proclaimed beauty product addict in love with all things make-up, Una was ambitious to say the least, and keen to start a more creative role, in her own business.

Blank Canvas Cosmetics would mean a lot of commitment and dedication, but the biggest challenge would be funding. Starting a business at the height of a recession meant banks were not handing out loans, so Blank Canvas would have to be self-funded. Using her redundancy and savings, Una built the brand, but as it was a website, that created another hurdle. Without the funding to pay for to be created, Una had to teach herself coding and web design.

The humble roots of Blank Canvas Cosmetics started as a range of professional make-up brushes and has expanded today to become the first stop for beauty professionals and beauty lovers to buy affordable, excellent quality professional tools and make-up palettes. Make-up artists and influencers shouted about Blank Canvas until it became something of a national treasure, and if that sounds ridiculous, wait for it. The Pippa Palette, created by influencer Pippa O’Connor in 2015, is the perfect lesson in the power of social media and digital influence driving business sales. The Pippa Palette sold out in pre-sale within 24 hours. Reportedly, 150,000 Pippa Palettes have sold to date.

Determination and savvy digital skills have made Blank Canvas Cosmetics a household name among Irish women and for Una, the future of her beauty business is itself a blank canvas.

Meet the ultimate winners at the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2017, sponsored by Samsung, Kuehne + Nagel, Grant Thornton, The Loop and No 7 and proudly supported by Newstalk,, Enterprise Ireland and Marks & Spencer. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner, on Monday, November 20, at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.


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