Yesterday, 24th April 2017, marked one of the most anticipated events of the year within the Sugar Culture calendar, the 7th annual trainee competition., held in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane.
From the outset, it was very clear that this year was going to be our biggest, most extravagant competition to date where 1st, 2nd and 3rd year assistants go head-to-head with two models, showcasing their hairdressing capabilities.
The competition started back when Brown Sugar had just two locations, South William Street and Blackrock. Add on a couple of years and three new locations, we barely had enough room in the 250 person capacity auditorium for staff, family members and hairdressing legends.
The Judges: Sugar Culture Colour Manager Frank O’Keeffe was top of the table on the judge’s panel followed by Sugar Culture educator Elayne Archbold, guest judge Stephen Kelly (off the tele) and finally Gino Reilly, our late friend and colleague Eugene’s Dad, who has presented the overall award since the very beginning and hopefully many more to come.
The Contestants: In term one, Shauna (Brown Sugar Blackrock), Maryann (Brown Sugar Ranelagh), Emma O’Neill (Brown Sugar South William Street), Kerrie (Brown Sugar South William Street), Chloe (Brown Sugar Ranelagh), Tammi (Sugar Cubed), Emily (South William Street) and Kirsten (Sugar Cubed) all went head to head with Chloe coming in 3rd, Maryann in 2nd and Kirsten in 1st place.
In term two, Lyn (Sugar Cubed), Neil, (Blackrock), Alba (Blackrock), Alix (South William Street), Emma (Sws) and Grace (Sugar Cubed) competed against each other with Neil nabbing 3rd place, Grace coming in 2nd and Lyn securing 1st place.
In the final category, term three, we had Selena from (Sugar Cubed), Craig from (South William Street), Lucy (Blackrock), Helen (Ranelagh), Shakira (Blackrock), Shauna B (South William Street) and lastly Shannon (Blackrock). Helen secured 3rd place while Selena came in 2nd and Shakira secured 1st place and the overall Eugene Reilly award for the third time.
The standard of hairdressing was in a word, phenomenal. Mark said “If this is the standard of hairdressing coming from our trainees, we can safely say the future of Brown Sugar, Sugar Cubed and Sugar Daddy Barbers is in very good hands.”
Mother’s Day poses a challenge to us all, every year. No matter what age you are “Don’t go buying me anything expensive” is the response you’d probably get if you decide to ask your mum what she’d like for the occasion.
Mum’s are mythical creatures and nobody knows why they do the things they do, including the odd splurge, which is solely reserved for both their own offspring and grandchildren. Mum’s rarely take the opportunity to spend their hard-earned cash on themselves which is why Mother’s Day is all the more important as it gives us a chance to really give back to the one woman who gave us life and her last penny.
We’re big fans of mums and this year we have some fabulous sweet-treats lined up to make your mum feel that extra bit special – keep scrolling to find out what they are:
Mum’s get 50% OFF
This year, when you book in for a blow-dry and makeup between 20th – 25th March you’ll have the option to book your Mom in with you HALF PRICE.
Services are strictly for Blow-dry and Make-up only
Blackrock customers are in for a special treat as our Co.Dublin sister salon is set to be transformed into a Parisian style boulangerie on Thursday 23rd March with a mini-brunch from 9am to 2.30pm Macaron’s by Andrea will be serving up a range of delicious sweet-treats while you unwind and enjoy the sumptuous surroundings of our award-winning salon.
Gin & Tonic Trolley
You may or may not have heard about our beloved Sweet Infusions drinks cart. We’ve re-stocked and we’re ready for cart-to-customer trolley service serving up delicious Drumshanbo Irish Gunpowder Gin & Tonic’s, over ice and garnished with a zesty slice of Grapefruit.
Brown Sugar X GOK Fashion Brunch Club
We’re closed on Mother’s Day 26th March, but we’ll be on location at GOK’s Fashion Brunch Club in the Hilton, Dublin – ensuring all mum’s holding tickets have the most fabulous and fashionable day with plenty of prosecco and high-fashion. What more could you want?
It will be a Mother’s Day to remember.
If you’re completely stuck or abroad for Mother’s Day this year, there’s still time to have a Sugar Culture voucher delivered to her door so she can set about a pamper day herself. You can purchase vouchers for all Brown Sugar salons at this link here
It is with great pride that we can reveal Brown Sugar colour specialist Niamh Paget’s appointment as Ireland’s L’Oreal Colour SpeciA-List Innovation Team member.
Ranelagh’s colour captain secured the ONLY spot available to Irish hairdressers and will join other innovation team members from the UK for the very first time in a yearlong journey of Innovation, Education and Communication.
This amazing opportunity offers winning candidates the chance to experience the bespoke preview launch of L’Oreal Professional’s latest colour innovation. The latest colour predictions and techniques. Regional eduction dates with Colour SpeciA-List Innovations days, A-list creative tour and Colour congress 2018.
This is an amazing accolade for Niamh and huge advancement in her career. We’re overjoyed for this talented young woman. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
As we get older we realise that we should have listened to our mothers every time they told us not to pluck our eyebrows. Mothers know best after all. Instead we chose not to listen which resulted in over-plucked and underwhelming eyebrows. Enter M2BEAUTE
M2BEAUTÉ is a specialist among luxury beauty brands. The company focuses on developing innovative cosmetic products to maximize and optimize your natural beauty.
Time for a bit of science… In recent years research technologies have enabled science in the areas of medicine, chemistry and biology to acquire new and accurate insights into the effects of specifically defined molecules that activate the body’s own growth and regeneration potential.
These research findings provide M2BEAUTÉ with the foundations for developing revolutionary new ingredients for cosmetic products that contribute toward achieving optimal and most importantly, natural beauty which represents an alternative to conventional, conservative and sometimes even invasive treatment methods that are designed only to provide care.
M2 BEAUTÉ is without a doubt one of the leading innovators within the beauty industry. This has been duly noted by all of us here Sugar Culture and we are proud to now stock two of their latest products in all Brown Sugar Salons.
M2BROWS EYEBROW RENEWING SERUM 5ML
Providing renewed vigor for sparse or over-tweezed eyebrows, this innovative serum, based on proven and effective MDN complex and enhanced by the prized natural ingredient Black Sea Rod Oil, stimulates the natural growth of your eyebrows, giving you restored, thick, strong, and healthy eyebrows that highlight your natural beauty and open up a world of possibilities for trend-conscious styling. Application is easy – and the results are amazing!
EYELASH ACTIVATING SERUM 5ML
Watch Your Lashes Become More Beautiful By The Day
Here it is, (Shh) the secret to ravishingly beautiful eyelashes with amazing volume: This highly potent activating serum contains the highly effective MDN complex. This carefully dosed active ingredient stimulates the roots of the lashes, bringing about a longer growth phase while also creating fuller, stronger lashes.
These products are making waves across the beauty industry.
We’re now stocking M2BEAUTE in all Brown Sugar Salons.
Anyone that has worked in a salon will know how hard hairdressers and makeup artists work. Long hours on your feet, standing on hard floors, often not moving more than a couple of feet, with your arms in an elevated position and your hands constantly moving. The description alone makes you aware that this kind of work is not what your body was designed to do and now you begin to realise why hairdressers and makeup artists report having more musculoskeletal issues than most workers.
Recently a study was done by the Centre for workplace health, health and safety laboratory in the UK. They interviewed 147 hairdressers and 67 non-hairdressing office workers. They asked for details of complaints/pain that they had and then asked them to specify what they thought, were work-related pains, below are their findings
Immediately you see that hairdressers report a much higher percentage of pains in all categories, the only ones that come close are wrist/hand pain and neck pain, which are big issues for office workers that sit in poorly designed workspaces for long periods of time, looking at badly placed computer/laptop screens while typing and using a mouse. Also, if you consider that neck, upper back and shoulder pain are quite often different descriptions of the same thing, the study suggests that 1 in 4 hairdressers report that they have a work related pain/complaint.
Why do Hairdressers have these complaints?
Hard unforgiving floors. Standing for long periods of time.
Posture while working
Elbows at chest height and above. Stooping while working or reaching upwards
Continuous scissor work or use of hairdryers and brushes/combs
The salon environment can be very dry and caffeinated beverages won’t keep you properly hydrated, water is key here.
Louboutin said high heels are “pleasure with pain” and after 7 or 8 hours on your feet in a busy salon you’ll agree with at least 50% of that statement. The picture below demonstrates what some footwear can do to your feet. Keep in mind your feet are how your body interfaces with the ground when you walk/jog/run so it’s vital they can do their job properly.
One of these factors in isolation is bad enough but when you combine them you start to understand the stresses that a hairdresser/makeup artist’s body is under. Complex, unnatural movement by tired, dehydrated muscles is almost certain to cause musculoskeletal dysfunction, in fact 1 in 4 is now looking a little low which leads me to wonder if hairdressers and makeup artists so accustomed to feeling tired, sore and stiff that they only notice a problem when it has become severe? If ever there was a collection of people that need regular maintenance treatments, they are those people.
So what can be done about it?
Well firstly I’m going to make some assumptions. I’m going to assume that wearing sensible flat shoes, having a personal floor mat, taking copious water breaks and self levelling salon chairs are on the “maybe list” so what’s left?
Get an Amatsu treatment. An Amatsu treatment (also called a balance) uses gentle techniques to release excess tensions in your musculoskeletal system and restore your body to a balanced condition. Regular Amatsu treatments will not only improve your posture and movement but unwind the damage done by years of bad posture/movement or previous injuries.
The Salon Floor is the salon floor; it’s not going to change so please keep this in mind when you choose your footwear. By all means wear heels, maybe rotate with different heel sizes, wedges or if your salon allows, fashionable trainers/converse. Look after your feet, massage them, remove calluses/exfoliate them, protect bunions. If you work all day in heels, spend the evening in your bare feet or in socks. Do not underestimate how important your feet are in relation to your overall musculoskeletal health.
Use a cutting stool; you don’t have to use it all day but periodically. Consider it a break. For those of you that are tall, either higher the clients seat or use the chair, if not you’ll end up with big problems over time. For those that are not so tall, consider lowering the clients chair or use the stool. Be aware of your own posture when you work, there are plenty of mirrors around. Slouching when you stand is not good either.
Massage your hands, especially your scissoring hand. We all know how to do this, use some lotion and massage away the knots and tension. Its better to gently massage over a longer period than to “get right in there” your hands are your income after all.
Get yourself a plan. If you want to be a hairdresser or makeup artist, you will be working long hours in unfriendly environments (from a musculoskeletal viewpoint). You can get away with a lot when you’re in your early twenties but at some stage bad habits will catch up with you and you don’t want to end up unable to work at what you love. Consider getting regular Amatsu treatments to keep your body in balance, work to improve your posture in and out of work, think about your footwear and take great care of your hands. Remember that movement is your best friend, both in work and on the dance floor.
For further information on Amatsu and how it can be part of your maintenance plan for your body,
Much to our delight after taking home the gold last year, the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Awards returned to Dublin on Monday 20th June. Taking place in Dublin’s Convention Centre, the event labeled as the Oscars of the hair and beauty industry, proved to be a truly amazing event
Having grown from three salons to five in the space of a year and increased from a staff of 60 to 100, the presence of our Sugar Culture Tribe was more distinct at the Colour Trophy this year than ever before.
The glamorous event was a proud night for our MD Mark O’Keefe as seven tables filled up with 70 Sugar Culture stylists, colour technicians, make-up artists, trainees and extended Sugar Culture family members.
As the competition got underway, nerves ran high with four Grand Finalists in the Men’s Image Award and three in the Ladies category. Every year, it is impossible to predict who is going to win the top prize but one thing that always shines through is that the standard of hairdressing in Ireland is nothing short of spectacular.
After a champagne reception and a delicious three-course dinner, it was show time! ZEBA and Peter Mark both put on visually stunning shows that impressed all in attendance. Anyone who has ever been through the process of putting on the L’Oréal Final Show understands the pressure that comes with the elaborate production and watching it come to life is an emotional affair every time.
Tensions ran high in the build-up to the Men’s Image winner announcement and to our delight, Sugar Culture proved successful in their enthusiastic efforts. We had two very deserving winners with our Blackrock Style Director Roy Leigh and Educator Elayne Archbold crowned winners with their model Conor Gonzales. Unfortunately we didn’t take home the top spot for the Ladies category but Dylan Bradshaw deserves massive congratulations on their winning look.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page to see all the social pics from the event.
17 Sugar Culture assistants, 34 models and months of planning, all in preparation for one very special day, the annual Sugar Culture Assistant Competition.
Since it’s conception, our assistant competition has always been one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, in the Sugar Culture calendar. Assistants are the backbone of our Sugar Culture family, ensuring all senior staff operate at full capacity by devoting every working hour to doing whatever is needed of them, all-the-while applying themselves in classes to learn and grow as an individual and young stylist/colour technician.
Sugar Culture Senior staff receive multiple opportunities to flex their creative muscles and compete against industry professionals every year, which is why we feel it is our duty to pass the torch to our all-important assistants for one day only, giving them the opportunity to shine, in the company of their peers, and boy did they not disappoint!
The competition is broken down into three categories; beginners, intermediate and advanced. Assistants are placed into a category depending on their length of service and what level they are at as an assistant.
Beginners were challenged with creating two looks. (1) a blow-dry with shape and (2) a classic hair up look. Neill, Megan, Emma, Grace, Lynn and Alix competed against each-other with Alix taking the crown, followed by Lynn in second place and Grace in third.
Intermediate were challenged with creating a classic cut with coloured hair followed by a hair up editorial/fashion look. Natalie, Shauna, Helen, Craig, Selena, Lucy, Shannon and Alba all worked tirelessly to take home first place, but it was Selena who won this round followed by Craig in a close second and Shannon in third.
Advanced had the challenge of creating an advanced hair cut using a minimum of two colours and a hair up Avant Garde look as their piece du jour. Amy, Leonie and Dave went head-to-head-to-head in this round with Dave taking first place, Amy in second and Leonie in third.
But the awards didn’t finish there! Every year a very special award is given to one assistant, which commemorates the memory of our dear friend Eugene Reilly and highlights this one individual as the overall winner of the competition. The Eugene Reilly Trophy was awarded to Selena for her skill, execution and presentation in our 5th annual Assistant Competition, which couldn’t be more deserved.
Special thanks to our judges, Gino, Christian, Rachel and Peter and our hosts Mark & Jill for a wonderful Assistant Competition. For more photos of the day, head over to our Facebook page.
New trends are showing us that artificial remedies for eyebrows and eyelashes are being replaced by natural beauty, leaving the generation of over-pluckers with a serious problem, enter M2BEAUTÉ.
This specialist beauty brand offers a range of products that promises to maximise and optimise your natural beauty. New technologies have allowed M2BEAUTÉ to develop cosmetics that activate the body’s own growth and regeneration leading to more natural beauty.
A new wave of Hollywood’s elite ( Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid ) have sparked huge interest in more natural looking beauty in girls of all ages. We see it in our client requests on a daily basis which is why we’re happy to announce that we have taken on two great new products from M2BEAUTÉ; M2BROW Renewing Serum & M2LASHES Activating Serum, both which come highly recommended by top beauty magazines and our own Sugar Culture Make-up Manager Dearbhla Keenan.
Thanks to the MDN complex of proven efficacy and improved with natural ingredient “Black Sea Rod Oil” you will get thicker eyebrows that will again offer you the freedom to shape them as you want. Take control of your look and highlights your beauty with more expressive eyebrows.
This active complex stimulates the roots of the eyelashes, prolonging the natural eyelashes growth phase to create full eyelashes. It is highly effective because of its key active ingredient: MDN complex.
Monday night was a memorable one for Sugar Culture at the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Awards 2016. It was a huge change from our first time at the event, where 8 staff members showed support in the audience.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve grown to 5 salons and 1 barber shop, plus a team of almost 100 staff. It was this dedicated staff that gave up their time to support friends and colleagues at the 2016 L’Oréal Colour Trophy on 20 June 2016. Big change from 8 seats!
It was a surreal moment for Sugar Culture, with every salon nominated at the event. Take a look at our photo diary from the night below.
Credit to Assets Model Agency and Morgan The Agency for their beautiful models and Ian White for photography on the night.
It was a night of celebration for the Sugar Culture team at the IMAGE Business of Beauty Awards on Sunday March 20th, at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel.
The night was off to a great start as our Sugar Daddy manager Robbie Barrett picked up the first award for ‘Best Dressed Gent.’ Styled head-to-toe in Diffney, he beat stiff competition to win a weekend stay at the G Hotel, Galway for himself and his wife Sarah.
Our brilliant South William Street receptionist Xanah Robinson picked up Best Runner-Up for ‘Most Stylish Lady’ in her stunning caped pantsuit.
We were treated to a cocktail reception and a delicious three-course meal amongst Ireland’s fashionable elite. Brown Sugar regular Darren Kennedy and IMAGE Magazine Editor in Chief Melanie Morris presented awards to the country’s standout salons and beauty clinics.
Sugar Culture was well represented with nominations for our professional MUA’s Cara Macken from Brown Sugar Blackrock and Eilish Downey from Sugar Cubed. Christian Shannon from Brown Sugar South William Street got a nod for Best Hair Stylist, and both Xanah Robinson and Sarah Barrett were nominated for Best Front of House. Our director Mark O’Keeffe was nominated for Best Beauty Innovator and Brown Sugar South William Street was nominated for Best Salon.
It was an honour to be nominated, but we were delighted to see Mark pick up the Best Innovator award on the night. He was amongst some of Ireland’s greats, including the fabulous Marissa Carter, founder of Cocoa Brown Tan.
We live streamed the event on our Brown Sugar Facebook page to make sure the rest of the Sugar Staff and fans could enjoy the fun of the night.
Hats off to IMAGE for the brilliant goodie bags packed with treats from Bourjois, Benefit Cosmetics, Fuscia, Blank Canvas, The Body Shop, Colgate, Imadeen, VitaCoco, Brodericks, and Just Eat.