All posts in: Brown Sugar

Our Adele Moment…

Awards season is always an exciting time for the whole team at Sugar Culture. Our salons host some of the most talented and competitive individuals within the Irish hair and makeup industry, so it’s no surprise that we take awards very seriously, especially awards as coveted as the annual IMAGE Magazine Ireland Business of Beauty Awards.

Last year we received a whopping NINE nominations across the board for our stylists, colourist and make-up artists. We went home with the award for Best Brows & Best Blow-dry in the business, something we’re super proud of, but this year we wanted THAT Adele moment…

To say we came back fighting this time around, would be somewhat of an understatement. With nominations in EIGHT of the categories, we began our campaign to secure one or hopefully two of the esteemed trophies, at the glitzy awards ceremony, held in the Dublin 4 Clayton Hotel.

The eight nominations

  1. Best Stylist – Laura Reid (Brown Sugar)
  2. Best Colourist – Aimee Penco (Sugar Cubed)
  3. Most Creative In Hair – Roy Leigh (Brown Sugar)
  4. Best Bloody Blow-dry – Aidan Darcy (Brown Sugar)
  5. Best Makeup Artist – Eilis Downey (Brown Sugar)
  6. Best Front of House – Pam Brennan (Brown Sugar)
  7. Best Barber – Suzanne Redmonde (Sugar Daddy Barbers)
  8. Best Salon – Brown Sugar


As nerves mounted among our nominees, the room filled with some of Ireland’s elite in beauty and they brought with them a hunger for a superb evening of awards. Little did we know just how successful we we’re about to be…

First up was the award for ‘Best Makeup Artist’, which saw Eilis Downey take the bronze for. Suzanne Redmonde was up next for ‘Best Barber’ and our first gold was in the bag! Up third was Roy Leigh for ‘Most Creative in Hair’ and two golds are banked! Aidan Darcy prepares himself as ‘Best Bloody Blow-dry’ is read out next and in the blink of an eye we have three gold awards…

After a short break and a calming of nerves we’re back for round two! Aimee Penco is up for ‘Best Colourist’ and we bag our first silver award. Pamela Brennan sits calmly as they come to ‘Best Front of House’, our second bronze of the evening is secure. A relatively calm Laura Reid bows her head in anticipation of the next category ‘Best Stylist’. After what felt like an eternity, we await the winner of the gold and it’s secured by the seriously talented Laura Reid! Is this real life?

We gather together as a team, as a unit, proud of the accomplishments of the night and expecting no more, what happened next was a moment that’ll never be forgotten. Darren Kennedy and Melanie Morris read through the nominees for ‘Best Salon’… a rare moment of silence draws over the room and before we know it the team are up on stage collecting the award for the top spot. Best Salon goes to BROWN SUGAR!

Rewatch the moment below

A huge thank you is owed to our incredible supports who voted daily for our deserving nominees and all of the team at IMAGE MAGAZINE. We finally got out Adele moment.








Mother’s Day Mini Brunch With Macaron’s by Andrea

It’s been exactly one week since we partnered up with Macaron’s by Andrea to offer our Blackrock customers a fabulous pre Mothers Day mini brunch, with 50% off mom’s service charge, Prosecco and Gunpowder Gin Cocktails on tap paired with a range of delicious Macarons.

As self-confessed Macaron addicts, having Macaron;s by Andrea in our salon was literally the icing on the cake for our warm up to Mother’s Day celebrations. Vanilla, Raspberry, Blackberry, Pistachio and Baileys were the flavours on offer, much to our customers delight.

Local woman, Andrea, the baker behind these patisserie beauties is mother to two young children and began baking her Macaron’s over two years ago. She’s since brought her business to life, taking orders for weddings and events offering an exquisite addition of sweet treats that isn’t your bog-standard cake.

We were so over the moon by being able to offer these to our customers and we owe all our gratitude to Andrea who was so warm, friendly and professional. Make sure to check out her website here:



In Good Colour Company – Meet The Sugar Colour Collective

“It’s not the tools you have faith in–tools are just tools–they work, or they don’t work. It’s the people you have faith in or not.” ~Steve Jobs, Apple

The above quote is very much a part of the Sugar Culture ethos. We’ve become very well known for the time and training we instil in every staff member company wide to ensure that our customers feel 100% comfortable that they ARE getting the best of the best when they visit any Sugar Culture Salon.

Tools and trends are buzz words used more often than not when it comes to colour but it’s important to remember that it’s the master-at-play applying your colour who are ultimately responsible for achieving that sublimely blended balayage that doesn’t compromise health and vitality.

We’re lucky enough to have a band of colourists who live and breathe what it means to be a colourist in today’s ever changing hairdressing industry, constantly upskilling, constantly striving for the best and using their platform to share and educate others with new found knowledge.

As with all great teams, they’re lead by a great leader and that for us is Frank O’Keeffe.

Frank O’Keeffe


We feel safe in saying that Sugar Culture’s colour captain Frank can be easily counted as one of the finest international hairdressers and the best man to steer the Sugar Culture Colour Collective in the direction of success. Frank is highly regarded for his colour credibility in every aspect of colour application –  because of this he’s constantly shadowed by fellow colour technicians who want to share in his wealth of knowledge.

Dubbed ‘The Scientist’ by his peers, because of his love of the technicality within hair colour, Frank has accumulated almost 30 years experience ranging from education to product research and development working at the helm of L’Oreal Professionell, splitting his time between Dublin, London and Paris.

Frank’s keen eye for spotting up and coming new talent puts him at the forefront of Sugar Culture education. He has been a key player in launching the Sugar Culture Institute and works closely with all Sugar Culture staff from the ground up.

Cosmas O’Donnell

toupee uk

Salon manager Cosmas has been a household name to Co.Dublin residents for over 20 years. Precision and reliability is what you can expect from this A-grade colour technician… Proved by his stellar client list that have kept Brown Sugar as one of the most sought after salon destinations for colour in Blackrock. Cosmas has been heavily involved in developing our Blackrock ‘Sugar Babies’ bringing to life a  new generation of award-worthy hairdressers.

Aimee Penco


One of the original ‘Sugar Babies’ – Aimee is up there with some of the most innovative colour technicians between the UK and Ireland. Having trained with both L’Oreal and TIGI and over 15 years hairdressing experience, she brings a forward thinking vision to the Sugar Colour table having recently developed a range of new colouring techniques that have become big hits with industry professionals and clients alike.

Emma Carroll

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 10.19.15 a.m.

Bespoke colour with a modern edge is Brown Sugar Colour Specialist Emma Carroll’s distinguishing feature. With over twelve years hairdressing experience with eight of those years colour being her area of concentration. With a colourful background of completed educational courses from Vidal Sassoon Advanced Colour Course to being a part of the L’Oreal ID Artist team, Emma is a powerhouse of colour knowledge. Her passion for colour has taken her to London, Paris, Madrid and Budapest to name but a few.

Niamh Paget

 WhatsApp Image 2017-03-10 at 17.13.41

Our resident senior colour technician in Brown Sugar Ranelagh. Niamh is a master at fashion colour. Her scrutinous attention to detail when applying colour means she always achieves her goal without compromising healthy hair. Niamh is a lover of pastels and an exceptional colour technician who thrives on new experiences that further her abilities as a hairdresser. Check out her instagram page full of inspiring colour changes here

We’re proud to say Niamh landed herself the ONLY available spot available to Irish salons on L’Oreal’s A-List Innovation Team 2017.

Lisa Mooney


Another superstar colourist within the Sugar Colour Collective, Lisa has been hairdressing over seventeen years. She obtained her colour specialist degree back in 2006. Her career as a colourist has taken her to London and Paris to compete in highly regarded hairdressing  competitions. Lisa is very much a hands-on colourists and gets her kicks very much from working on the salon floor, but education has always been another element to her colour career which she enjoys and hopes to expand on.

Patrick Mooney

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 6.10.10 p.m.

We knew when Patrick started that there was something really special about him. He has proven his hairdressing excellence over and over again. He came to us when we launched Brown Sugar Ranelagh and he became a vital part in making the salon a roaring success.

Rosemary O’Keeffe

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 2.28.22 p.m.

Your first mistake is underestimating Rosemary O’Keeffe…  While she may look innocent our Blackrock colour chameleon has boundless personality and thrives on hard-work. Rosemary has over 23 years hairdressing experience having obtained her colour specialist degree in 1998. A former L’Oreal Redken educator, Rosemary gets results and is a major key player in the Sugar Colour Collective.

Elayne Archbold


Another Sugar Baby, Elayne has been nurtured from the very start of her career to mould her into what we can now call one of the greatest hairdressers / educators we have ever produced from Sugar Culture. Passion for her craft exudes from this young woman who has achieved so much in such a short amount of time. Elayne is cherished by her clients, family, friends and colleagues alike. She’s recently obtained her Colour Specialist Degree and we’re ready to watch her make her mark in the colour world.

Book in with any of the Sugar Colour Collective via our booking link here.

Lustrous Locks with Gold Fever – Now in Brown Sugar

Dreaming of lustrous long tresses? We can make your dreams a reality in Brown Sugar Salon, using  gold-standard hair extensions ‘Gold Fever’.  At Brown Sugar, we see ourselves as pioneers of providing thick, long, rich hair and Gold Fever are the cream-of-the-crops when it comes to Hair Extensions. The barely there bonds make Gold Fever a firm favourite with our clients, while giving you the kind of silky shine you can only dream of (or see in commercials).

Our staff are trained to the highest standard to provide superior quality application, so you get longevity out of your new tresses.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Little Bit Of Background

First Class Indian Hair

Gold Fever uses only the finest Indian hair available on the market and has exclusive access to innumerable sources that supply this precious raw material.

They personally oversee everything that they buy and how it is processed in their new bespoke facilities thus ensuring that only the highest quality product is brought to market.


Thick & Luxurious

Gold Fever Hair strands are thick and luxurious, all the way down, and without the “stringy” ends regularly encountered in today’s market place. “Stringy” ends in a strand occur when the individual hairs that make up that strand are of noticeably different lengths. The word “Taper” defines the difference between the shortest and the longest hair in an individual strand. The greater the taper the less expensive is the raw material at source since large quantities of short hair would be present. The greater the amount of short hairs in a strand the more hair strands that would be needed to achieve volume at the ends. Gold Fever removes these short bob hairs in order to permit fabulous and luxurious volume at the ends and with less strands having to be purchased in order to achieve this.

This treatment is now available in all Brown Sugar Salons. Fast and effective you will be in and out in no time, ready to take the town by storm with your luscious new locks.

human braiding hair

Highlights & News…

Each month we round-up some of the top news from inside the Brown Sugar Brand. We live and breathe our motto; Our Culture, Our Way because Brown Sugar is so much more than just another salon to us. We get the opportunity to work alongside the best in the business and our staff are nothing-short of amazing – which is why we want to let you in on some of the exciting and mind-blowing work these people do.

Here is a rundown of some of the top news stories this month:

Gloss ‘Look The Business’ 


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Ireland’s business elite were out in force for The Gloss ‘Look The Business’ networking event, last Wednesday night in Dublin’s RDS. Guests were treated to a mouth-watering dinner, witty speeches and a jam-packed fashion show, showcasing some of Ireland’s most notable fashion designers such as; Samui, Selected Femme, LK Bennett, Kildare Village, M&S and Louise Kennedy.

Our very own Sugar Culture superstars were on hand backstage to preen and prep the models before they took to the longest catwalk ever seen in Ireland. Roy, Laura, Neill and Aidan were on hand to create two sleek hair-up and hair down looks, while Dearbhla, Eilis, Rachel and Cara fronted stunning make-up for this distinctively stylish and unique event. We were delighted to provide goodie bags for the event which had over 1,000 of the country’s most powerful women in business.

Sugar Culture Welcomes


Eduardo Perez

wholesale toupee and hair systems for men

One of our newest stylists to join the Sugar Culture family. He come to us with many years experience at the top of the industry. His passion and dedication can be seen through his results, this guy knows how to work a scissors! Be sure to keep an eye out as Eduardo is going places.

Norma Jean O’Reilly


Norma Jean has one of the most decorated CV’s in the industry! Hair stylist to the stars and winner of numerous awards, most notably 2016 Best Hairstylist in the Image Awards, Norma Jean is another exciting addition to our team.

Be sure to book in your appointments with both Eduardo and Norma in our South William Street salon.

Brown Sugar Graduates



Every year at Sugar Culture, we get the pleasure of welcoming some of our senior trainees into life in the fast lane, as they graduate.

Our trainees are at the heart and soul of our core goals as a company, without them it wouldn’t be possible to provide the premium service our clients enjoy. We pride ourselves on our training and each year we really notice the difference in each individual, as they soak up all the knowledge and advice on offer to them at Sugar Culture.

This year it was the turn of rising stars; Naoise & Ellen Daly, Ruth Farrell, Amy Foley and David Attride.

Keep an eye out for them in salon.


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: 

celine cummins

Celine Cummins – the Interior Designer Behind Sugar Culture

We’ve been lucky enough to have the incredible Celine Cummins design all our salons – the original Brown Sugar, Brown Sugar Blackrock, the newly designed Brown Sugar, Sugar Cubed, and Sugar Daddy.

With a meticulous eye for detail and impeccable taste, Céline’s designs are synonymous with the values and reputation of the Sugar Culture family.

celine cummins

Celine began her career at 16 in Brown Thomas, rising quickly to full responsibility for window displays in her early twenties. She moved onto retail design and exhibition work, building an impressive international career that continues to this day.

No matter where in the world she is – from Manhattan to Paris, Celine has kept a keen eye out for influences and design inspiration from international salons. Her strong connections with Sugar Culture have led her to create mood boards with photos she has taken in an array of places.

Celine and Mark have known each other for over 10 years, with a strong working relationship that goes beyond words. Together they have designed beautiful salons with unique personalities and atmospheres. We wanted to take a look back and find out from the woman herself what inspired each one.

Brown Sugar Blackrock

The second Brown Sugar salon opened in 2008, with Céline coming in to recreate the luxurious atmosphere of the original, with a unique take.

The inspiration behind Brown Sugar Blackrock was luxury – a place where clients would feel pampered in the safe hands of staff.

celine cummins

Show stopping Swarovski light fixtures decorate the salon, creating an implosion of light.

celine cummins

Marble floors throughout the salon with wood paneling on each station gives warmth to the salon. The darkened therapy room is a tranquil space, ideal for clients that want to immerse themselves and relax in the Sugar Culture experience.

Like all the Sugar Culture salons, Celine was inspired to create a space that reflects the incredible staff. She wanted to give them credit with an interior that encapsulates the above-and-beyond attitude of all stylists and staff.

celine cummins

When you step into a Sugar Culture salon, every sense is taken care of. From the handmade chocolates and delicious coffee, to the pure relaxation of a massage in the therapy room. Clients get more than just a service, they get an experience.

Celine Cummins

Sugar Cubed

Sugar Cubed opened in 2013 and offers an original concept in hair and beauty for a new generation of fashionably slick individuals. The interior design encompasses the best in urban street style, mixed with creative flair and design.

Located on Clarendon Street, in the heart of the city centre, the salon is mindful of the influences impacting the capital. Celine is a fan of incorporating stylistic elements from different places and times.

celine cummins

To get a sense of what the building would have been like in the past, Celine used a number of nostalgic elements like meat hooks for mirrors and leaded windows in the Therapy Room.

celine cummins

Younger generations are often drawn to the past, and generations who have come through recessions even more so. Celine chose to incorporate these elements in the design to engage with this.

Each station is a vintage school desk, complete with names carved into the woodwork and inkwells that find new use as curling tong holders. This mix of the old and the new are what makes Sugar Cubed so memorable.

celine cummins

One of the standout pieces in the salon is the state of the art shampoo basins with musical plugins, so clients can listen to their own music as they relax

celine cummins

Brown Sugar

It was only fitting for Céline to redesign the flagship Brown Sugar salon at No.50 South William Street for our 10th Birthday.

Her original Brown Sugar design was renowned for its sleek design, synonymous with the luxury Brown Sugar service.

Celine’s original design was widely praised, the beginning of an amazing working relationship.

celine cummins

celine cummins


The new redesign offers a cool, calm oasis in the midst of Dublin’s city centre. Opting for a palette of natural, bright colours, the design embraces the original architecture of the building.

celine cummins

In the early stages of planning, Celine put together a mood board as always with a mixture of ideas for the design. The inspiration behind it was the feeling of dying and going to heaven – something three clients have already said to Mark since the salon opened!

Again, Celine wanted a salon worthy of the angelic staff, a caring atmosphere reflective of the Sugar Culture experience. Shafts of heavenly light adorn the foyer and salon rooms, falling directly onto the client and stylist.

celine cummins

Each stylist has their own station, something important to Celine and Mark. This is just one of the many small touches that help staff go the extra mile each day. They’re able to stay attentive and focused on the service they are giving.

celine cummins

The new salon also has white garment bags for clients, meaning that they’re belongings are kept separate and safe.

The foyer is restored to its former glory with pure white natural tones giving a spacious, heavenly feel to the salon and therapy rooms. Natural wooden floors are used throughout to balance out the elegant feel of the interior.

celine cummins

celine cummins

One of Celine’s favourite aspects of the newly designed salon is the inclusion of a shower for clients. This means Brown Sugar can offer a complete transformative service. Clients going to an event from work can shower and change in the salon, with hair and make-up services on hand and a taxi waiting to drop their belongings home as they leave feeling refreshed and confident for the night.

celine cummins

Little things like this mean that Sugar Culture clients get a personal treatment no matter what service they come in for. Each station has it’s own charging facilities and a hospitality station with drawers of magazines ready and waiting.

Sugar Daddy

2015 marked a shift in Sugar Culture to include the men of Dublin in the experience. The new high-end barber offering means we can welcome a new range of clients, just in time for Christmas!

celine cummins

Sugar Daddy was created to offer trend-seeking Irish male consumers a high-quality barber. The Sugar Culture team felt that Dublin was lacking somewhere for male consumers with a comfortable, upmarket atmosphere. Offering a space exclusive to men allows them to feel like they belong.

celine cummins

Using this brief, Celine created a comfortable, upmarket space for men to come and relax. She opted for dark Herringbone Parquet flooring, elaborately carved oak stations and white Quartz counter tops to give an elegant but masculine finish to the space.

celine cummins

The overall feel is that of a gentlemen’s club with a classic colour palette of dark timbers and greens.

celine cummins

celine cummins

With these four incredible salon interiors already done, we’re looking forward to working with Celine again for future projects. It wouldn’t be a Sugar Culture salon without her expert design!

Makeup for AW15

Now that it’s November we can no longer deny that we are well and truly into the Winter months. We love and welcome change here in Brown Sugar, especially a new season and the new trends it brings with it. We’ve looked to some of our favourites featured on the runways of AW15 to offer up the most on-trend looks and inspiration as we enter into what is undoubtedly the most glamourous time of year. It’s the perfect opportunity to be a little bolder in your makeup, and here are some of our favourite looks below.

Roberto Cavalli & Versace show just how effective a kohl eye can be even with a muted lip. It adds a little rock’n’roll edge that can transform your look from day to night

 VersaceVersace AW15

Roberto CavalliRoberto Cavalli AW15

If you usually focus on your lips when putting the finishes touches to your makeup, then the autumnal/winter colours are a dream to work with. Dark plum, cherry or a classic rouge are always a timeless look.

Marc JacobsMarc Jacobs AW15

Phillip LimPhillip Lim AW15

If you want to ensure your eyes and lips are getting equal attention, then go for both like this gorgeous look on salon favourite Cara Delevigne

Dark lips 2

Don’t be afraid to be bold and adventurous in trying new looks that our trained salon MUAs are all set to recreate for you this Autumn Winter

To book an appointment call us on

+353 1 616 9967 (South William Street)


+353 1 210 8630 (Blackrock)

Debs Makeup Tips With Eilis Downey

Debs season is well and truely upon us. Here are some debs makeup tips as shared by Brown Sugar MUA Eilis Downey for your big day!

Screen shot 2015-08-06 at 14.53.46

1. Don’t go too colourful. You want your photos to last forever. Makeup trends go in and out of fashion, so stick to neutral colours and keep the look classic.

2. Use a good primer to absorb any oils and set with a translucent powder to make sure your makeup lasts the whole night.

3. Don’t match your makeup to your dress. Pink dress shouldn’t equal pink lips or eye shadow! Too much colour is overpowering.

4. Remember to bring a select few products with you. I would recommend bringing a lipstick and your powder to freshen up your makeup after a night on the dancefloor.

5. I would also recommend lashes individual or a soft strip of lashes to open up the eyes and give definition to the lash line.

Screen shot 2015-08-06 at 14.53.55Screen shot 2015-08-06 at 14.51.45


To make a booking with Eilis for debs makeup using KOHL Cosmetics in our South William Street salon call 01 616 9967

A change of colour doesn’t always mean committing

As the seasons change so do colour trends. This summer, blues, peaches and rose golds have been the go to shades. Such colours often require a lot of up keep and a lot of courage!

Introducing, L’Oreal Professional Chromative. This colour treatment is offered in Brown Sugar salons and is the perfect way to introduce a dramatic colour change, without the committal.

L’Oreal Chromative is available in a range of beautiful shades, offers amazing condition and shine with no hydrogen peroxide and no ammonia.

This treatment lasts up to 10 shampoos and is perfect for those who like to change their look regularly, or want to try colour for the first time.

Stylist Laura Reid recently added peach and rose gold tones to our Brown Sugar MUA Elis with amazing results.

Screen shot 2015-07-22 at 14.32.59

To book in a patch test and consultation for L’Oreal Chromative or for more information, simply call the salon to book an appointment

Brown Sugar South William Street – 01 616 9967

Brown Sugar Blackrock – 01 201 8630