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Image / Beauty

Tips and tricks for perfect summer make-up with Paula Callan

21st Jun 2018

Prepping for 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 you 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-mediu 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, €42. 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.

MAC Strobe Cream, €12


If you’re going to be spending a good part of the day outside, wear an SPF under foundation to protect skin from UV rays. Most foundations have an SPF of around 8, but that’s not enough when in the sun all day; and don’t be fooled by clouds – you can still damage skin if it’s cloudy.


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 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).

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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.


I’m not a huge fan. They tend to dry out the lips and after you’ve eaten or had a drink or two, they can leave a weird gunk around your mouth. I’m old school – I like to just re-apply when needed.


I always say that a beautifully applied neutral coloured make-up will always be in fashion, but I do love to add a touch of trend focus. At the moment, blue/purple eye pencils and mascaras are making a comeback, but they are being used in a very subtle way, so introducing a pop of colour around the eye or just on lashes teamed with a soft gold/brown smoky eye is the way to go. Also, lashes are becoming softer and fluffier rather than sharp and graphic.


Powder, for touch-ups. Lipstick. I always? bring my bronzer with me to add a little more for the evening. A brown eyeliner to smoke the eyes up a little – I think it’s more flattering than black for summer. Your signature perfume.


Backstage photography by Jason Lloyd Evans

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue IMAGE Magazine. From more beauty features, check out the June issue, on shelves nationwide now.