The Modern Gent – Catering to Cork’s Modern Man

The Modern Gent is over 40 years old, and one of the last remaining traditional barbers in Cork. Located on Winthrop Street, the salon has been through a modern revamp, with the addition of male grooming services on the premises.



Jennifer Sweeney had worked at the barbers for over ten years, before she took over at the helm in 2014. She began to work in less traditional services, offering clientele hot towel shaves and some male waxing. She got a positive response, and decided to fill this gap in the market. The Modern Gent is the first salon of its kind in Cork. It is solely dedicated to male grooming and specialises in professional waxing and skincare treatments suited to men’s skin.

So, what’s on offer? Well after a quick trim off the back and sides, you can stick around and take a bit off the chest too! For all you brave Cork men out there, the salon offers a variety of waxing treatments as well as tinting and even manicures, all at competitive prices.


Source: Facebook

The pampering doesn’t stop there. The Modern Gent will even take care of your skin, with a selection of tailor-made facials. Treatments offered include skincare routines to suit all skin types, from dry to sensitive. There’s even a purifying treatment for your back.

In an interview with the Evening Echo, Jennifer was looking forward to broadening her services, and getting to work on the men of Cork. “Usually a client will be nervous, but afterwards they are so happy with the results that they can’t believe it’s taken them so long to get the treatment.” She finds the majority of her clientele at the salon simply want to look good for a special event. Jennifer finds the summer period that little bit busier for treatments, as clients want to feel confident when they’re relaxing on the beach during the holidays.

To meet with Jennifer and the gang at The Modern Gent, you can make an appointment here.


Bia Beauty – Naturally Good Cosmetics

We all love a rags to riches story – right? Especially when it’s one of our own! The lovely Tracey Ryan is a herbal science grad based in Cork, and has spearheaded the successful Bia Beauty natural cosmetics brand.


Tracey Ryan (source:

Her organic range of cosmetics was born on her kitchen table in Cork, after a CIT college project went from assignment to obsession. As part of an innovation module, Tracey was tasked with creating and marketing a natural, unique product. after creating a natural food based moisturiser, Tracey found herself producing the cream long after the project had finished, due to popular demand. She was consequently awarded a scholarship, and her mentors at CIT assisted with developing a business plan that worked for her. The demand has thankfully continued, and Bia Beauty now supplies over one hundred stores across Ireland, with a view to exporting in the coming months.

Tracey’s business has gone from strength, with award recognition from Tatler Beauty Award in 2013, the Network Cork Business Woman of the Year in 2014 and Cork Innovates Bursary in 2014. Her products are sold online and the production remains in Cork, where she resides with her husband and her two boys.

Tracey’s products focus on good quality natural oils and their ability to enhance our skin’s own protective function, feeding the skin. Bia Beauty contain top class natural oils that quickly penetrate the skin so you’re not left feeling greasy.


Bia Beauty Facial Exfoliant and Cleanser (source:

Their Orange & Grapefruit Facial Exfoliant & Cleanser has a cult following and is reasonably priced at €16.95. It contains castor and thistle oil which rid the skin of impurities with natural jojoba grains, while simultaneously cleansing. These grains gently remove dead skin cells and brighten the complexion. The addition of orange and grapefruit essential oils create a fresh and invigorating scrub.

Due to the overwhelming success of Bia Beauty, Tracey has opened her doors to others, who are looking to invite more natural products into their skincare routine. So if your skin isn’t happy with you, maybe Tracey can help! She provides courses and demos in her native Cork, tailor-made to each to suit your particular skin type. The next Natural Skincare Course takes place on June 11th, in the city centre. So all you Corkonians out there, you’ve no excuse! Contact Tracey today, or book your place here.

Cillian Murphy

Homegrown Talent in Hollywood

Hailed as ‘Cork’s answer to Colin Farrell’, Cillian Murphy has done the rebel county proud and has taken Hollywood by storm.


With his dazzling blue eyes, he’s landed roles in Blockbusters such as Inception and Red Eye. From humble beginnings, Murphy was born in Douglas, Cork City.

He got his first taste of stage acting, while he was a member of UCC’s Dramat drama society. He performed in their amateur production of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, which coincidentally also starred comedian Des Bishop.

He landed the lead role in Disco Pigs, which was originally slated for a three week run in his native city. Due to the phenomenal success of the adaptation, the play ran for almost two years across Australia Canada and Europe. It was at this point in his career that he left University and pursued his newfound passion.

His first taste of international stardom came when he was cast as ‘Jim’, the hero of the piece in Danny Boyle’s post-apocalyptic masterpiece 28 Days Later. He soon caught the attention of acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, and was cast as the Scarecrow in 2005’s Batman Begins. Of the casting, Nolan remarked “He has the most extraordinary eyes, and I kept trying to invent excuses for him to take his glasses off in close-ups.”

He has lent his talents to many Irish productions too, starring in the top two grossing movies in Irish box office history; Intermission and The Wind That Shakes the Barley. His passionate portrayal in the latter garnered rave reviews, and was a very personal subject matter to Murphy. Shot in his beloved Cork, the movie depicted the fight for Irish Independence, and went on to win the Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Murphy filming in Cork in 2005. Source:

Critical accolades came pouring in for Murphy, with a Golden Globe nomination and an IFTA win for his turn as lovelorn transgender Patrick/”Kitten” Braden in Breakfast on Pluto. He continued his winning streak with Nolan, and was cast in psychological thriller Inception in 2010. The movie was a blockbuster success, and grossed $160,000,000 worldwide. Since 2013, Murphy has played the lead in BBC’s Peaky Blinders, a series about a criminal gang in post-WW1 Birmingham. Peaky Blinders has attracted a huge audience and big-name actors like Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley fought to join the cast in season two. The critically acclaimed show has been given the green light for a third season, which is due to hit screens later this year.

Despite his success, Murphy is decidedly private, avoiding the chat show circuit and often skipping the red carpet. He works without a publicist and routinely attends his movie premieres alone. He has expressed his distaste for Hollywood, refusing to uproot his family and relocate. Although he now resides in Dublin with his wife and two boys, he remains a proud Cork man, despite having left over twenty years ago. “I am definitely proud to be from Cork, when you come back and drive through the city you can really see how beautiful it is”.