Occasion Make-Up: Paula Callan Shares Her Expertise

Prepping for a day at the races or a big celebration? Paula Callan shares her expertise on perfecting occasion make-up, whether you're the guest or the centre of attention.


It's all down to the application. You can't just put on a bit of foundation and hope for the best. I always like to start the process with a skin illuminator like MAC Strobe Cream, €34; there's a new one out now called Goldlite, which has a beautiful yellow/gold sheen, which is perfect for toning down redness in the complexion. Next, choose a good light-to-medium coverage foundation - NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, €45, is my go-to at the moment. Applying with a fluffy foundation brush will help the base last longer. After that, use an opaque concealer to hide any blemishes and dark circles - I love Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer, €47.63. Then, using a soft powder brush, gently press some fine translucent loose powder all over your face to set. I know some people are afraid of powder, but I promise you powders have advanced so much in the past few years that you won't believe how light and dewy they feel on the skin. This final step is crucial to achieving a perfect base that lasts.


I'm a huge fan of all false lashes - strip, individual and clusters. However, I go for semi-permanent lashes if I'm going to a wedding or big event. That way I don't have to think about them once they're applied. We're doing a new service in Callan & Co called LVL lashes, which is basically a lash lift. No false lashes, just your own lashes with a gorgeous curl and lift put into them, making them appear longer (and you can apply mascara to them).


Don't get overwhelmed by all the glitz, sparkles and new products on display. I have a huge number of clients who have drawers full of products still in the original packaging that have never been touched because they don't suit them or the clients were ill-advised. Go in with an idea or a picture of make-up that you love, whether it's of a celebrity or model... This will give the assistant a clearer picture of your personal taste.

Paula Callan is a celebrity make-up artist and owner of Callan & Co, 1 St Mary's Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, 01 668 0060; callanandco.ie.

To read the article in full, check out the May issue of IMAGE magazine, on shelves nationwide now.?

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