How To Contour Like A Queen – Brown Sugar MUA Cara Macken for

Master illusionist Cara Macken – makeup artist at Brown Sugar, – shares her tips for clever contouring in the comfort of your own home.

As with any trend, the way we contour is always changing. For the past while, a strong contour has been the statement, but things are beginning to return to a more natural look. Make-up artists have always contoured, but now we get clients requesting to have it done like it’s an add-on.


Choose a contour product that’s two shades deeper than your natural skin tone. With your fingers, find the hollow beneath your cheek bone – this is where you’ll apply the product. Apply with a brush, making sure not to bring the shade too far down, as that would equally drag the face down. Choose a cool tone when purchasing a contour product – this will add definition. You can then add warmth to the face with bronzer.


If you are confused as to where to apply contour, take a make-up brush and line up your ear to the start of your smile line – that’s your guideline. Also, contour isn’t just for cheeks: foreheads can be minimised and noses transformed with some clever shading … Just remember to use a smaller brush for more detailed places, such as down the side of the nose.


While Irish women are great with a tan, there’s always confusion with bronzer. The golden rule is that contour creates a shadow on the face, bronzer adds warmth. Apply bronzer after contour by taking a large brush, load with product and create a large “3” shape, from the forehead, along the cheekbone and back around the jaw; repeat on the other side. Add a sweep down the nose and chin too, for a sun-kissed look. I call this the 3E technique.

Your perfect starter kit: Left, The Balm Mary-Lou-Manizer, €21.50, Top right, Sleek Face Form contour, highlight, and blush trio, €14.49, Bottom right, Kohl Blush in Captive, €22


Highlight adds brightness and a glow to the face, so apply this to areas you want to show off – the brow bone, and top of the cheek-bone, above contour. The cupid’s bow of the upper lip, and the bridge of the nose are also great places to highlight. The blush comes last, as it adds colour to the face. My cardinal rule is to choose one place – either the apples of the cheeks or up towards the hairline – but not both, as that can look overdone.


Emily Ratajkowski from Gone Girl is one of my favourites – she always seems to get it right on the red carpet.
I guess it’d be rude not to mention Kim Kardashian too. Her makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, is unreal at transforming faces … I’m constantly on his Instagram.


Finally, when it comes to contouring,I always say, think natural! I love my make-up, but going too severe can look false. Remember, you always have the option to build it up for a more impactful night-time look.

Get these beauty tips and more in the Image Magazine August issue, available nationwide.

Original Article: 

Roy Leigh ImageBOB15 Awards

Sunday night saw the return of the highly anticipated Image Business of Beauty Awards 2015 where our very own Roy Leigh was crowned Best Hairstylist and rightly so, if we do say so ourselves!

The newly awarded stylist is elated over his win “thanks for voting, I’m over the moon I can’t believe I got it!”.

Roy has been behind countless stand out styles created in Brown Sugar and we are delighted he has been recognized for his work, congrats Roy and thank you to all who voted!


Makeup Artist Edel Kirke shares her Kohl Product of the Week!

Screen shot 2015-03-19 at 12.12.03

Makeup artist to the stars and Brown Sugar team member Edel Kirke, has revealed that her favourite Kohl Cosmetics products of the moment…

“My favourite product at the moment is the natural lip pencil as it contours lips and gives a really natural pout which is really on trend at the mo . The pencil colour works with most lip colours and when paired with the micro nude lipstick, it’s super on trend with Kylie Jenner and her style”.


The above products and the full Kohl Cosmetics range is available in Brown Sugar and Sugar Cubed salons.

New York Fashion Week ’15 – What we’ve loved so far

New York Fashion Week is upon us once more and the only thing more exciting for us than the star studded front row, is the styling!

Here is our favourite looks from the week so far;

The Reem Acra show has really stole the show for us – high necks, lace and centre partings with lightly tousled hair  were the theme of the collection.

reem ac


The Altuzarra show saw fur and leather combined to make for an incredibly chic collection, paired with slick back hair and minimum makeup.





Vera Wang combined tailoring with fringing in this androginist look, teamed with messy middle parted locks and a violet eye we are already planning ways we can re-create this look!


vera wang

Hair and Beauty picks from the 2015 Grammy Awards

With both the BAFTAS and the Grammys held on the same night, it made for a great morning of chat in salon sharing our favourite looks!

We have finally managed to whittle it down to a select few, namely Gwen Stefani, Jessie J and Rita Ora


gwen makeup

It is rare Gwen steps out without donning her signature red lip, but we are loving this sweep of nude paired with her platinum locks. On the topic of her hair, we think this swept back in this pompadour-esque style is one of our favourite looks for her.



Jessie J rocked her bluntly cut bob in a glamorous slicked back, wet look fashion, paired with long lashes and maroon lips we think she looks amazing!


rita ora


Rita Ora stepped out with her freshly cut pixie cut. This cut is perfect for showing off her chiseled cheekbones. We can’t wait to see how many Ora-inspired cuts we get to do in salon!


Styling tips from guest blogger Laura Reid

Brown Sugar Senior Stylist and L’Oréal I.D artist, Laura Reid, is our guest blogger for today! Laura has been working closely with L’Oréal this past year for the I.D Artist programme, running workshops with her I.D artist team, in Manchester, which is then brought back to each I.D artist’ region. The 2012 collection is focused on ‘retro nouveau’ – a new twist on 50s and 60s classic iconic styles. Laura wowed the crowd, on Monday night when she displayed the collection in Dublin during the L’Oréal Catwalk Showcase, pictured below.

Laura has come on board today, to lend her expert advice on this seasons biggest trends, offering styling tips and tricks to take note of for perfecting some of her favourite  hair styles!


“When styling hair I always tend to blast a cocktail mix of L’Oreal techni art Pli and playball texture tonic into clean dry hair, as this mixture makes hair feel like a fabric allowing it to become very malleable. From there, possibilities are endless” says Laura.

Top Knot-tastic

Coating the hair with this cocktail mix works great fo one of the hottest trends to come straight off the catwalk, the top-knot. When trying out this look “secure the hair in a bobbin at the crown of the head, lightly back-brush the hair and pin into place.” says Laura. Due to the coating of products in the hair, you shouldn’t need a sponge to complete this look…

Bouncy blow-dry effect

Another trick of Laura’s while generously coating the hair with Pli and playball texture is to set the hair – “pop down to your nearest Penneys (Primark) and pick up a a pack of velcro rollers, which will set you back a mere €2, pop them in the hair, (which ever way suits you best), heat them up with a hair dryer on medium heat, allow to cool completely before remoive and voilá, you have a gorgeous bouncy blow-dry effect.”

Whats trending

“Grown out bangs are a big trend this season, Cheryl Cole and Nicole Richie have perfected this look, framed fringes around the eyes give a mysterious retro sex appeal – consider this trying this look, if you’re in the business for the new style” says Laura.

Laura works her magic in Brown Sugar flagship salon in South William Street. Love her tips? Drop in to the salon, she would be more then happy to discuss any of the above with you… 

Cold Weather Hair Care Tips From Colour Technician Mark Byrne

Mark Byrne, senior colour technician in our flagship salon in South William Street, has been colouring hair for over ten years. Mark’s colouring skills are second-to-none and have seen him go on to give inspirational training for the L’Oreal academy, among other things.

Mark has lent his expertise to us, to offer his top five tips for keeping your tresses in check during the cold winter snap. Many women would imagine summer to be the most damaging to hair, but in fact, snow, sleet and rain can wreak havoc on your locks. Try these few Autumn/Winter hair care tips for keeping your maine in great shape throughout the colder months…

1: At Home Essentials 

“Home care is essential and would be at the top of my list for keeping your hair healthy during the cold snap” says Mark. “Investing in a good shampoo and conditioner is key, I would recommend Kérastase or Serie Expert which will help to lock in moisture that is sapped from the air during the colder months”.

2: Regular Cuts

Many clients query why having regular trims is really beneficial to having healthy hair, Marks explains; “regular cuts or light trims every 6-8 weeks help to avoid split ends before they occur” says Mark, “split ends give the appearance of frizzy, dry, uncared for hair which will look severely worse during the winter months”

3: Cutting Down On Heat

Another useful tip from Mark is to cut down on the use of hair tools like blow dryers, wands, curling thongs, straighteners which all draw ever more moisture out of your hair! Mark’s advice is to “limit the use of heated hair tools to just weekends or special occasions”.

4:  Protecting Your Locks!

Tying hair up daily and wearing rough textured fabrics throughout the colder months can be detrimental to hair pulling out around the hairline or causing damage or breakage – Marks advice if you are going to wear fabrics around your tresses “opt for wool hats or silky scarves with a non-rough texture, and ensure hair is completely dry before donning a hat, if your hair is even slightly damp you will be setting it flat against your head as it dries”

5: Treatments

“Kérastase elixir is the worst kept secret in the industry, but for good reason, this hair treatment is the holy-grail of beautifying oil treatments” says Mark. Kérastase elixir now available for three different hair types, including colour-treated hair. “Elixir Ultime adds a triple whammy of moisture after shampooing and conditioning hair”



Liam Boland

Liam is Brown Sugar’s newest addition to our ever-growing family, he has been in the industry for over 25 years and has been an artistic director for 15 of those! He has spent the last 8-10 years perfecting his trade working in a salon London.

Some of Liam’s clientelle have included supermodel Kate Moss, Spice Girls Melanie C, Geri Halliwell and movie starlet Jennifer Love Hewitt! Liam has also leant his expertise to numerous London Fashion Week shows and New York Fashion Week.

Top-Tip from Liam: “Don’t be afraid to bring pictures with you to your appointment or consultation, this will aid in achieveing the exact result you are looking for without crossing wires with you stylist”

Liam favourite product to use in salon is Shu Uemura Volume Maker which is a precision hair powder brush that gives instant root lift, texture and body! It also helps to refresh any blow-dry for long lasting hairstyles, invisible powder works on all hair colours.

Liam is a senior stylist in Brown Sugar and will be alternating between our South William Street Salon and Blackrock salon.

Liam is a senior stylist here in Brown Sugar and will divide his time between our South William Street salon and sister salon in Blackrock.

7 make-up tips for date night!

Our Industry experts have given their 7 top-tips for you to  create a sexy, unforgettable look that will captivate your date, here are 7 summer beauty tips for date night… to help you out!


I know its tempting to skip a makeup primer ladies but it’s the secret to keeping your makeup from disappearing. Apply primer after you use a moisturizer and before your makeup foundation. A useful summer makeup tip is to to apply an extra layer to greasy-prone areas like your nose and forehead.


Eye makeup is one of the first things affected by heat. Give your eye shadow a base to cling to by applying eye primer to your eyelids. A top summer makeup tip is to apply a powdered eye shadow over a cream eye shadow for long-lasting durability. Hot eye shadows that are all the rage include sea-side inspired hues like sandy brown, emerald, champagne and turquoise blue.


Create captivating cat eyes with liquid eyeliner because it won’t smudge and disappear with the heat. Add a vivid burst of color to your eyes with eyeliner shades like ocean blue, aqua, lavender or mint green. Or use metallic silver, gold or bronze eyeliner if you want a glam look. A helpful summer makeup tip for novice liquid eyeliner girls is to use gel eyeliner because it’s so much easier to work with.


Use gel blush instead of powder blush because it lasts longer. One great summer beauty tip is to use blush shades like bright pink, peach or coral to give your face a sexy I-just-ran-a-mile-on-the-beach flushed appearance. Dab a bit on your fingertip. Smile and gently rub the gel blush on the apples of your cheeks. Remember to blend the color in because you don’t want to look like that creepy puppet from the Saw movie that had those bright red swirls on his cheeks!


Tempt your date to lock lips by wearing lip stains in wine, coral, cherry crush or strawberry pink shades. Use a nourishing lip balm and let it set for a few minutes. Apply the lip stain with your finger and let it dry. Then add another layer of lip balm.


Don’t leave home without mini essentials that can help you maintain gorgeous tresses all evening. Pack a couple of bobby pins or a hair elastic that matches your hair color in your purse. If you notice your hair lacking volume as the evening progresses, twist slightly damp hair into a cute chignon and use bobby pins or the hair elastic to secure. Rock the dance floor for awhile then when you finish, remove the bobby pins or hair elastic. Flip your head over a few times and voila! Instant waves that are pretty and full of volume!


Finally, a dusting of Illuminating powder on your forehead, nose, cheekbones and chin will make you look like a summer goddess. It’s light reflective properties brightens any color skin tone, enhances your facial features and helps to conceal skin imperfections. Use illuminating powder to make your skin glow and your date won’t be able to keep his eyes off you.

There you go ladies! Those are our favorite top summer beauty tips for date night that will make you totally babelicious! Do you have any you would like to share? Feel free to post any tips below.

Olympic Hair!

In need of some gym hairspiration? Check out how the Olympians do their ‘dos before competing in the biggest workout of their lives – London 2012!

Gorgeous Team GB cyclist Victoria Pendleton’s sleek brown ponytail, we rocked this look for our A/W 2011 campaign, you can’t go wrong with this!

Ashleigh Brennan of Australia wears her hair in a pretty bun whilst competing in the vault during gymnastics.

GB Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson wore her long, voluminous locks tied back in a low pony whilst competing

Okay, she’s not an athlete but we couldn’t resist including this pic of Kate Middleton looking sporty, besides those gorgeous loose curls! Hair (and hubby) envy…

Angelique Kerber of Germany rocks a chunky plait and visor to keep her locks under control on the tennis court!

All of these styles are perfect for having gorgeous looking tresses while you hit the gym, and they are easy to achieve too. Don’t worry if you get the style a little messy, it will add to your over all look. Give one a try on your next workout, a report back to us with your thoughts.