Paula Callan began working as a makeup artist for an up and coming photographer in 1992 and then spent 5 years working freelance. She started working for MAC in 1997 and soon became their first senior artist for Ireland the UK. Having worked with the likes of The Saturdays, Girls Aloud, Amy Huberman, Sophie Dahl, Elle McPherson, Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum, Paula has gone on to open two very successful hair and makeup salons and has created two cosmetic brands.

Paula describes her works as very current and it can be seen in many leading Irish magazines. She has always been interested in writing about all things cosmetic and is the beauty editor for JUNO Magazine.

After years of working in the industry, Paula has shared with us the most important things to remember when planning your bridal makeup look. She even gives us a list of some of her favourite products right now. By the end of this blog post, you’ll be wedding-ready!



     –     Most importantly, book your hair and make up. If you have someone in mind, get on to them quickly. I have some brides trying to book 3 years in advance so it’s never to soon and I think it’s one of the most important parts of the preparations.
     –     Once your make up artist is booked, I would advise the trial to be organised within 3-6 months of the wedding date. This will give you time to retrial if you have any concerns.
     –     The most important thing to think about when choosing your bridal make up style is to stay true to your own look and personality. For example, if you’ve never worn a red lip, then don’t think about wearing it on your wedding day. It’s way too high maintenance.
     –     I would always advise future brides to bring in pictures of make up looks that they love or even create a Pinterest mood board. It’s amazing how “natural make up” can mean so many different things to different people. Maybe wear your everyday make up to the trial to give the make up artist an idea of your style.
     –     At the trial, you should discuss your colour palette, how much make up you normally wear, if you like dewy or matte skin, and if  you’ll be wearing lashes. Figure out what is your favourite feature and how to enhance it… I love doing bridal make up and, for me, every bride should look like themselves, albeit the most perfect version of themselves…
     –     Skin is also so important on the big day so it’s essential to start looking into getting a good facialist to prep yours about 9 months beforehand. To recommend a personalised skincare regime, I’d advise that you stick with the same routine once you find the perfect one. Chopping and changing can be detrimental to your skin.
Paula’s Picks:
     –     At your trial, you will be advised on the best foundation for lasting and for suitability. One of my favourites at the moment is NARS all day luminous foundation. It has amazing coverage without looking cakey.
     –     I would also suggest a really good quality, translucent, loose powder to top up with during the day. A lot of people are scared of powder because they think it’s going to look heavy or show up lines but, believe me, the powders nowadays are so finely jet milled and light-reflective that they will do nothing but enhance your skin. I love the Laura mercier powder. It’s beautiful.
     –     For adding sheen and dewiness, the Charlotte Tilbury “film star bronze and glow” is my all time favourite. It comes in a palette with a contouring pan and a highlighting pan and suits almost all skin types and tones.
     –     One of my favourite-coloured lipsticks for brides is from MAC. It’s called “peach blossom” but MAC have so many lip colours that you’re bound to find at least one to suit you!!!
At Callan&co, we will be doing countdown prep packages, looking after everything from hair, make up, brows, tanning and skincare from up to a year before the big day. We will also have bridal shower packages for brides. If you are getting married abroad and have to do your own make up, we will also have masterclasses and lessons on how to do bridal make up, starting in late March/early April.

 What an huge amount of incredibly useful information!! Paula certainly knows what she’s talking about when it comes to getting the best makeup looks. Have you tried any of the products she mentioned? What are your own favourites? The Callan&co prep packages and masterclasses sound amazing too. Sign us up!


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