Vegan Pampering at Skinfull Affairs in Dublin

As vegans, we often deal with stressful situations in our daily lives; omnis giving us hassle, tummy grumbles while picking over a pitiful lettuce salad, militant vegans calling for death to all humans on Facebook groups. Basically, a lot of the time we need to take a chill pill. We need a mojito and a spa day.

Well, the mojito should be fairly easy to get, but a spa day seems impossible right? Many spas and salons offer relaxing treatments, but how many of them offer vegan products and treatments? How many are even cruelty free??

Worry no more, because a salon offering vegan friendly treatments recently opened in Ireland. Yes, Ireland. You read that right. Called Skinfull Affairs, it’s based just off South William Street in Dublin and not only offers vegan eyelash and eyebrow tints, vegan friendly massages and facials, but also vegan manicures so you can walk around with beautiful nails knowing full well that they’re cruelty free.

I was really excited when I found out the salon, so when my birthday came around I decided to treat myself. I booked an appointment for an express facial, a back, neck and shoulder massage, and a file and polish. All for €70! As someone who has paid that much in the past for just a massage, I think it was a brilliant deal, especially because it was all vegan friendly. Just make sure to tell the girl at the desk when you arrive!

skinfull affairs

When I arrived for my appointment, the lady at the desk got me to fill out a form on the salon’s tablet to make sure they knew about any conditions / allergies I had etc. I was offered some cucumber water while I filled it out, and although I was a little worried bout dropping and breaking the iPad, it was nice that the salon was particular about knowing about any issues I had.

The decor in the salon is so unique. There’s lots of plants and wood and a big neon green sign that says ‘Skinfull Affairs’ above the nail area. There’s also a huge wall of products of all kinds (even lubricants!) and a comfy looking chair that’s exclusively for things like threading. Also, all the products that are suitable for vegans have an ‘I’M VEGAN’ sticker on them. Woo!

Anyway, after I filled out the form I was taken downstairs to the treatment area, which was clean and modern and nicely heated. I was left to undress and wrap myself in a towel before letting the lady know I was ready and set up on the table. The massage was lovely (it’s been a while since I had one!) and you couldn’t hear anything of what was happening upstairs on the shop floor, which was great. The music, too, was very calming, though there is a slight pause between tracks that’s a little distracting, but it’s not a big thing.

The facial began basically as soon as the massage finished. I was asked to turn over and I was made comfortable with a rolled towel under my feet and one under my head as well. Overall it was very relaxing and lasted a lot longer than I thought it would for an “express” facial.

skinfull affairs

Afterwards, I was told to take my time getting dressed and ready, so I did, and I took a few pictures of the treatment room for this post while I was at it. There is a sign in the room encouraging this anyway! When I came upstairs, the nail station was laid out and I was told to pick a colour from the nail polishes lined up on the wall. There was a HUGE range of polishes in every colour from Ella + Mila. After a lot of deliberation, I went for a green teal colour, which was so shiny and just gorgeous. I wanted to buy it but it’s €15 per bottle which is very expensive, so I left it (though I believe there’s a deal on at the moment where if you buy a manicure you get 10% off nail polish purchases).

While getting my nails done, I spoke to the lady who works there about the products lining the walls. There was so much there, I could’ve stayed an hour just looking through it all. In the end, I chose a moisturiser and hand cream from Dr Konopka, a little known vegan skincare brand from Estonia I believe. It’s been a month since I first tried the products and I can officially say that they are very high quality (full review coming soon!) and I actually bought more products from the brand when I was in Dublin again recently.

As for the staff, they were so lovely. The girl who took care of me was very pleasant and helpful and answered any questions I had about any product. She was really knowledgeable and was able to recommend products from Skinfull’s shelves to match my skin type. I was so happy with my experience, I just can’t praise it enough.

Overall, if you’re looking to treat yourself or the vegan in your life, choose Skinfull. This isn’t an ad or anything, I’m just so happy that vegan-friendly products and experiences are becoming mainstream and easier to find, plus my whole experience was wonderful and really made my birthday.

Have you been to Skinfull Affairs before? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Sova Vegan Butchers | Restaurant Review

As a vegan, nothing is more inviting than the thought of sitting down with a menu at a restaurant and not having to direct a barrage of questions at the waiter. As someone who loves going out to dinner, it can be a bit of an ordeal these days unless I’ve called ahead to ensure there’ll be something for me to eat. Since hearing of Sova Vegan Butchers, a 100% vegan restaurant off Camden St, I’ve wanted to go. The food in the pictures I’d seen looked fabulous and I’d heard nothing but good things.

sova vegan butchers review

This weekend I FINALLY got to go. It was my birthday and my boyfriend was treating me, so why not go to the one restaurant in Dublin where I can relax and not have to worry about what I’m eating? I booked a table a month in advance (not that you have to, but I was so excited I wanted to sort it straight away!) for me, a friend and my boyfriend. We got there in plenty of time so that there’d be no issues with our table and I wasn’t at all shocked to see the place was packed. It isn’t exactly a large venue, but there’s a ground floor and first floor with just enough floor space to shimmy around.

sova vegan butchers review

After walking up the curvy staircase, we were seated next to the stairs, where we were given menus straight away. The decor is very minimal but there are some great art pieces on the wall featuring abstract animals, plus you’re so excited to just be there that it doesn’t even matter. The atmosphere is bopping anyway because of the number of people, but surprisingly it didn’t feel overly crowded despite being quite close to other diners.

We ordered quickly and all of the food reached our table quite fast, which was impressive given the number of people being served. That’s part of the beauty of eating out vegan – you don’t have the same wait times that you’d expect when ordering steak for instance.

sova vegan butchers review

I ordered king scallops on a bed of dill potato cakes with marinated cauliflower and black pudding and the other two ordered seafood chowder. Both starters were gorgeous. I’d never had seafood chowder before so I don’t have anything to compare it with, but it was fabulous. Similarly, I’d never had scallops before but the whole starter was delicious, particularly the dill potato cakes and black pudding. Surprisingly, I loved the cauliflower bites even though cauliflower wouldn’t usually be my cup of tea, as it were.

sova vegan butchers review

We soon moved on to the main event! I ordered seitan steak with pepper sauce and a big dollop of potatoes with toasted kale. Although the texture isn’t steak-y, the meal itself tasted lovely and when I smothered the steak in sauce it definitely brought back memories of that meaty taste. The potatoes, too, were perfect.

sova vegan butchers review

Unfortunately, the soya schnitzels that my boyfriend ordered were not very nice. It was such a pity because the rest of the meal was so tasty and really high quality, plus it was all beautifully presented. I really couldn’t say anything good about the taste of the schnitzels, if I’m honest; I don’t know if it was a bad batch or if that’s really what they’re meant to be like, but I’d recommend avoiding them as the rest of the menu offers much tastier alternatives.

sova vegan butchers review

For dessert we had lime cheesecake. Full disclosure: I HATE lime. Like, I hate it. It’s the beetroot of fruits! However, I really wanted to check out the texture of the cheesecake on offer at Sova so I decided to give it a go. Although the lime taste was awful (not Sova’s fault, just my tastebuds), the texture was great and it was well presented just like the rest of the meal. So next time when they have a different flavour on offer, I’ll happily get the cheesecake again! The other dessert offered was a chocolate avocado mousse, but I’ve had that a hundred times so I took the chance to try the cheesecake texture. No regrets!

sova vegan butchers review

My two guests had a great time and we all plan on coming back again soon. The only problem they brought up was a €6 corkage charge for wine and €1 for beers, as it’s BYOB. To be honest, I didn’t think this was a problem because so many restaurants in Dublin do this and you can actually end up better off. For example, you could pick up a cheap bottle in Lidl/Aldi and bring that instead of having to opt for a very expensive bottle in-house. Look at the glass half full!

Overall, Sova gets a solid 4 stars from me. It has friendly staff, a varied menu, reasonable prices for the quality of the food, and a 100% vegan menu. Although the experience wasn’t perfect, I really enjoyed my night and I loved the food. Do yourself a favour and visit Sova. Your tummy will thank you! If tummies could talk, which they shouldn’t. If yours does, get that checked out.

Have you been to Sova? What did you think? Do you agree? Let me know in the comments! 

Address: 51 Pleasants St, Dublin 8

Tel: 085 727 7509

5 Places To Get Yummy Vegan Treats In Dublin

Hey all! 🙂

I recently took another trip to Dublin for my birthday so naturally I sought out all the yummy vegan treats that the city has to offer! Not only did I spend way too much money on vegan goodies (which I’ll be showing in an upcoming video), I also finally got to try out Sova Vegan Butchers! I had some lovely food there on my first day in the city and I also got some delicious dinners at Umi Falafel and Cornucopia.

Besides all the hearty vegan dinners, I also treated myself to goodies. In case you don’t know where to look (or in case you do and you’ve just missed some of the great businesses popping up around Dublin), here’s a list of places you can go to get some yummy vegan treats:

Antoinette’s Bakery 

Believe it or not, I lived right around the corner from this bakery for months and had no idea there were vegan options available inside. Although, to be fair, I wasn’t vegan at this point so I wouldn’t have cared, but it’s always sickened me that I could’ve had a delicious cookie on my way to work had I only walked inside and become vegan a year earlier! Sigh.

Picture from Antoinette's Bakery Facebook page

The bakery is so quirky and charming inside (though it is VERY small so don’t expect a table!) and it offers lots of vegan friendly options like banana bread loaf, a selection of doughnuts, cinnamon cookies and you can even order a vegan cake for special occasions!

Murphy’s Ice Cream 

Murphy’s is an iconic Irish ice cream brand that’s well known for its quality, but what you may not have known is that there are two sorbets that are totally dairy free and suitable for vegans! You can choose between blackcurrant and raspberry; they’re both yummy but the raspberry is my favourite!

vegan dublin

Murphy’s even used to do a chocolate sorbet which they might be getting back (here’s hoping!) but until then, the berry sorbets will do just fine on a hot day.

Scoop 

As far as I know, this ice cream shop just opened! Honestly you’d have to be blind to miss it because the exterior is a blue and red colour pop explosion just at the top of Camden Street.

vegan dublin

Although I thought that all of the ice cream was dairy based, I asked just in case and I’m so glad I did because I got to try the banana, strawberry and lemon before choosing a pot of the icy goodness. You get a much bigger portion than you would at Gino’s too!

The Rolling Donut 

This place has featured pretty heavily on my Instagram feed and I’ve talked about it on the blog before, but it still deserves a mention in case you haven’t heard of it before. The Rolling Donut serves… obviously… doughnuts!

vegan dublin

And there isn’t just ONE vegan flavour – there’s many! I always go for the pistachio or the chocolate hazelnut, but there’s plenty more to choose from if neither of those tickle your fancy!

vegan dublin

Yogism 

I noticed Yogism catered for vegans just by chance as I walked through George’s Street Arcade over the weekend. Not only do the offer a dairy free frozen yogurt, but they also have vegan pancakes on the menu!

vegan dublin

Made with buckwheat flour, they’re served with homemade coconut yogurt, caramelised pineapple, almond nibs and almond butter. Yum!

vegan dublin

Where are your favourite spots for vegan treats in Dublin? Let me know in the comments!