A pioneer in the Irish beauty industry, founder Una Tynan changed how people applied their makeup in Ireland with her innovative beauty brand.
Award-winning Irish makeup brush brand, Blank Canvas Cosmetics has witnessed a plethora of economic challenges during its decade-long journey since its inception in January 2012. From recessions, pandemics, and everything in between, Blank Canvas, created by Donegal native and beauty entrepreneur Una Tynan, continues to innovate and change the beauty landscape in Ireland.
A professional makeup artist, Una pivoted her career as a secondary school teacher in favour of changing Ireland’s beauty industry. Leaving the security of a teaching job, Una pursued her passion in the beauty industry, flexing her entrepreneurial skills in the process and influencing people’s approach to makeup application by bridging the gap between the everyday makeup lover and the professional makeup artist. Blank Canvas Cosmetics was designed to give beauty enthusiasts access to a broad selection of high-quality and affordable brushes to create unique and trend-led makeup techniques.
At a time when makeup tools were limited to a foundation and powder brush and only used by true makeup artists, Blank Canvas took a leap of faith into the beauty world that would swiftly change the attitudes of the beauty community and beauty novice. The beauty brand launched not one but a whole collection of high-quality makeup brushes for the face and eyes at an affordable price when brush collections were virtually unheard of.
Speaking about her launch into the industry, Una Tynan, Founder of Blank Canvas Cosmetics, said, “Flawless skin was fast becoming a hot topic within the beauty industry and people were no longer talking about what foundation and concealer they used but what makeup brushes they used to achieve the no effort, flawless look.”
Later in 2012, Tynan firmly stamped her reputation as a beauty entrepreneur with the launch of the F20, a flat top kabuki brush to suit all skin types that can be used with virtually any makeup medium. The launch of the F20 firmly set Blank Canvas apart from any other beauty brand and soon caught the attention of makeup artists and Youtube beauty bloggers. This was a crucial decade for beauty brands to succeed at a time when the beauty influencers, YouTubers and online shopping were just coming to the forefront.
“The popularity of the F20 makeup brush grew phenomenally from its launch. The term ‘influencer’ had not yet been coined, the role itself didn’t yet exist in the way it does now and as such, there was nowhere to advertise our brand and so the growth of Blank Canvas was purely organic. Blank Canvas was being talked about and used by people who genuinely loved the brand. One of those people was Sinead Cady of the MakeupChair. She was one of the first Irish Youtubers to hit the scene, launching her channel when Youtube was relatively new and developing. Sinead quickly became part of the Blank Canvas family and remains so to this day,” Una said.
Blank Canvas continued to come up with trumps for make-up lovers looking for first-rate products at low-cost prices. Each new collection was bigger, better, and more customer-focused than the last. By the end of 2012, due to customer demand, Blank Canvas began their retail journey and launched into pharmacies across the country, making its brand easily and wildly accessible to the consumer.
In 2013, Blank Canvas exhibited at its first trade show, the Irish Beauty Show which took place at the RDS Dublin every year. In a pivotal moment for the brand, Blank Canvas was given the platform to meet with genuine fans of their makeup brushes as well as professional artists and the opportunity to gain invaluable feedback. It was at this show that the brand built many of its existing relationships with some of Ireland’s biggest beauty influencers and makeup artists in the industry.
In 2015, Blank Canvas launched its first beauty collaboration with Irish businesswoman and lifestyle influencer, Pippa O’ Connor Ormond. Known as the ‘Pippa Palette’, it was the first beauty collaboration in Ireland at a time when the blogger world was growing rapidly. A combination of neutral eyeshadows, blush, highlight and contour, the Pippa Palette quickly became a much loved and best-selling product for Blank Canvas and cemented its reputation as a fresh and innovative Irish make up brand that could stand up against any of its competitors from overseas. In late 2021, the beauty duo teamed up again and joined forces to create an Irish luxury beauty brand, UP Cosmetics – U for Una Tynan and P for Pippa O’Connor Ormond.
Founder Una Tynan comments on what is next for the award-winning Irish beauty brand, “To think that 10 years ago I started Blank Canvas with the help of my sisters, working from the box room of our home and packing orders to now supplying makeup brushes and cosmetics across the globe has easily been one of my greatest achievements. There is so much more to come from Blank Canvas over the next 10 years.”
To mark Blank Canvas’ 10 years in business, the award-winning brand has revamped and re-launched some of its iconic makeup brushes including the One-Stop range.
Blank Canvas is available online from www.blankcanvascosmetics.com and pharmacies nationwide.