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Image / Style / Beauty / Irish Design

#ShopIrish Spotlight: AYU, the Irish cosmetics brand helping women feel their best


by Holly O'Neill
03rd Dec 2020
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Supporting Irish business is a passion of ours at IMAGE and it’s easy with so many entrepreneurial and innovative Irish businesses to buy from. From now until Christmas we are highlighting Irish businesses or business people that we are excited about. Today it’s AYU, the make-up brand by make-up artist Suzie O’Neill empowering women to feel their best.


What is your name, and what is your business?

AYU, an Irish based, Irish owned company by Suzie O’Neill. The name ‘AYU’ is derived from an Indonesian word meaning “very feminine, beautiful.”

How long have you been in business? And what was your mission from the outset?

I started AYU 7 years ago with a dream of making great quality make-up brushes accessible to everyone. From there I expanded into cosmetics and it has always been with the end goal of empowering women and helping them feel their best.

Of what part of your business are you most proud?

I am so proud of our cosmetic line and how it makes women feel. We get messages every day from women telling us that they feel the best they’ve ever felt wearing our products and that is what it is all about.

 

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Who are your business heroes? Personal heroes?

Sara Blakely and Bobbi Brown are my business heroes. I have seen and listened to everything thing they have ever done and just love their ethos and drive. They are all about empowering women. My personal hero is my granny Joy. She is such a strong and independent woman – she is always elegantly turned out and has so much sass! She will be 90 in February and is so independent that she just inspires me every day.

How have you found the last six months professionally and personally?

As we are an online business, professionally we have been busier than ever! When the first lockdown happened we didn’t know what it would mean for our business so we made a plan to just be there for women and give them an escape – it was such a lovely thing to be able to do and we connected on a really personal level with everyone during that time. Personally, it has taught me to really appreciate what I have. Before I may have been chasing an idea of what success was but when we were forced to slow down it made me realise that I had been running in so many directions I was forgetting to see what was right in front of me. I now allow myself more time for me and for my family and don’t feel so guilty for not being ‘on’ 24/7 anymore.

What keeps you positive?

I am a very positive person in general but I do credit exercise and audiobooks for this too. I run a lot and feel that whenever things are stressful or I am anxious about something that a good run will generally give me the answers and peace I am looking for.

 

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What new perspective have you gained from 2020?

That life is for living and that when all is said and done our health is our wealth so to appreciate each and every day that we are given.

Best/worst moment from 2020?

My best moment was completing my first marathon. The training was tough but the feeling of achievement after was worth every minute of it! The worst has been not seeing my family for so long. I really miss being with them in person.

How will you celebrate the holidays this year?

Please god, we will be able to go and see my parents and spend time with them. It will be a cosy and quiet Christmas at home just enjoying the company of my family and friends.

 

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Another Irish business you want to shine a spotlight on?

One of my sisters set up a company last year called The Irish Country Home. She started the business from her kitchen table and creates the most beautiful faux flower arrangements. I have them all over my house and in our office – I just love them She is a busy mum of two small kids who went after her dream and I think she is amazing.

Anything else you would like to let us know?

That anything is possible. If you can see it in your mind you can hold it in your hand so if you are thinking about starting something just go for it. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain!

You can find AYU here and on Instagram.

Related: #ShopIrish Spotlight: Susan Hunter Lingerie is a Dublin stalwart of luxury and service

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Related: #ShopIrish Spotlight: McPadden is a new knitwear brand with a mission to make people smile

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