Monday 23 October 2017

Make it up: Heaven and Hell

Crystal mouthpiece, stylist's own
Crystal mouthpiece, stylist's own
Leather waistcoat, €3,120; tulle skirt, €355, both John Rocha, Havana. Eel-skin cuffs, €45 each, Makki, Rebecca Davis
Leather dress, €890, made to order, Joanne Hynes. Tulle dress, €900, Eilis Boyle, Bow Boutique. Shoes (not in shot), €750, Christian Dior, Brown Thomas Dublin. Leather cuff, €45, Rebecca Davis. Diamond cuff, Phiippe Audibert, €465, Havana. Bangles, €45-€75, Kenneth Jay Lane; chain bracelet, €40; spike ring, €175, Merle O'Grady; gunmetal ring, €125, Kara Ross, both Rebecca Davis. Headpiece, hairstylist's own
Silk-chiffon dress, made to order, Peter O'Brien. Leather boots, made to order, Roisin Gartland. Silver slave ankle-bangle (worn on arms), €550 each, Rhinestones. Skull horn ring, €185, Alexander McQueen, Harvey Nichols. Belt, stylist's own
Dress, €755, La Petite Salope, Havana. Model's right hand: Silver ball ring, €265, Havana. Skull horn ring, €185; skull ring, €185, both Alexander McQueen, Harvey Nichols. Model's left hand: Spiked ball ring, €165, Merle O'Grady, Rebecca Davis. Crystal skull ring, €330, Alexander McQueen, Harvey Nichols. Spike ring, €175, Merle O'Grady, Rebecca Davis. Headpiece, hairstylist's own. Shoulder pad, stylist's own

Less holidays and fewer nights out are among the many things we have begrudgingly sacrificed in response to the downturn.

However, one thing we women haven't been able to surrender is our make-up. You can't put a price on the instant pick-me-up that comes with buying a new lipstick or discovering a quality mascara. That's why, according to Paula Callan O'Keeffe, co-founder of Brown Sugar, beauty is more important than ever.

Brown Sugar is an award-winning, high-fashion hair and beauty salon, located in Dublin city centre and in Blackrock, Co Dublin. It's the brainchild of Paula, who worked for Mac on the International Pro Team, and Mark O'Keeffe, the former manager of Peter Mark in St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre.

The inspiration for this beautiful shoot is "heaven and hell or good versus evil", says Paula. The extreme Lady Gaga-esque hair, dark, smouldering eye-make-up and the clever use of accessories contribute to a high-end, couture-like feel.

Paula Callan O'Keeffe and stylist Paula Hughes share the same creative vision: a love of the striking and the very beautiful. For this shoot, Paula Hughes used mainly Irish designers.

"Instead of using the high street or pieces that we're used to seeing every day, we wanted that unique, one-off feel to the shoot -- the likes of Eilis Boyle, Joanne Hynes and Tim Ryan and, of course, Peter O'Brien, did that," explains Paula Hughes.

"We always want to keep it beautiful, and keep the model beautiful. With the clothes, I would always try not to take away from the make-up, but choose things that will enhance it, so I suppose the colours -- or lack of them, in this case -- were chosen for that reason."

Keeping the clothes soft and elegant allowed Paula to overplay the accessories, using strong, statement pieces from the likes of Merle O'Grady, whose star is ever on the up, with celebrities such as Cheryl Cole, Alexa Chung and Rihanna wearing her designs.

"I would have chosen her pieces regardless of whether she was Irish or not. They're absolutely beautiful, with good prices too," explains Paula Hughes.

This party season, many of us will be forced to fall back on a long-standing black dress, but it's comforting to know that we can reinvent our look by simply changing our make-up. The key to flawless make-up is "good skin preparation", says Paula Callan O'Keeffe.

"You have to make sure your skin isn't dry or flaky. Once everything is done in steps and looks perfect, then you can start thinking about colour. The thing is to take your time with it."

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Stockists: Havana, 2 Anglesea House, Donnybrook, D4, tel: (01) 260-2707, or see; Rebecca Davis, Westbury Mall, D2, tel: (01) 764-5694 or see; Peter O’Brien, tel: (087) 756-2369 Roisin Gartland, The Design Tower, Trinity Technology and Enterprise Campus, Pearse St, D2, tel: (01) 671-0020, or see ;Rhinestones, 18 St Andrews St, D2, tel: (01) 679-0759; Joanne Hynes, email, or see; Bow Boutique, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, D2, tel: (01) 707-1763, or see; Harvey Nichols, Dundrum Town Centre, or see, Sandyford Road, D16, tel: (01) 291-0488; Brown Thomas Dublin, 88 Grafton St, D2, tel: (01) 605-6666, or see

Photography by Barry McCall

Styling by Paula Hughes Assisted by Kelly Barnes

Brown Sugar make-up: Paula Callan O’Keeffe, assisted by Michelle Kinsella and Martina Coffey; Brown Sugar hair team: Christian Shannon, Tanya Power, Joanne Merrilees and Laura Reid

Brown Sugar, 50 South William St, D2, tel: (01) 616-9967 and 36 Main St, Blackrock, Co Dublin, tel: (01) 210-8630, see

Headpieces created by the Brown Sugar team for the L’Oreal Awards 2010

Model: Tiffany Jocelyne Collier, Premier Model Management

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