This month is a pivotal time in the life of fashion-editorial and celebrity make-up artist, Paula Callan. Having co-founded Brown Sugar, with her former husband, Mark O’Keeffe, and, a few years after, CallanBerry, with fellow make-up artist, Derek Carberry, Paula has just opened her first ever solo venture, Callan & Co — The Experience, just opposite the Dylan Hotel, Dublin 4.
Paula’s vision for the new salon is unique: to be unlike any salon we have seen before. A one-stop destination for every conceivable beauty need.
“It doesn’t look like a salon — it could be a boutique restaurant or hotel,” Paula explains. “It is a place where you can get everything you need done under one roof. We will have hair, make-up, nails, brows, lashes, tanning, facials, massage — everything beauty.”
Based in the former Expresso Bar Cafe building, from the outside, the salon does not look big. But that is an illusion. Once you go past the elegant reception, complete with beauty, hair and gift ideas, you enter the world of Callan & Co — The Experience, and witness all that it offers, including original concepts for brides and bridal parties.
“One of the main reasons I opened the salon is that a lot of my work is briderelated. That was kind of an accident, because I come from fashion-editorial work,” Paula explains. “But over the years of working with brides, I got to know them well; many become friends. And always, always, afterwards they would be calling me, looking for a person who did a good tan, or good brows. I’d then go looking for my little black book. So I started thinking about how I don’t do those services, but I know good people who do. Now a lot of the people who were in my little black book are working in Callan & Co — The Experience.”
Fashion-editorial hairstylist, Michael Leong, is one such valuable name that can be booked through Callan & Co — The Experience. Part of Paula’s vision is that Callan & Co — The Experience offers unique packages for brides, from two weeks to a six-month campaign, to prep their skin and hair to optimum levels. Also, in partnership with the Dylan Hotel, Callan & Co — The Experience has great alternative options to the typical hen party.
Exclusive to Callan & Co — The Experience are Kevyn Aucoin make-up, and James Read skin-luxurious tanning products, which are used on the models in the Victoria’s Secret high-octane shows.
“I have spent a long time choosing the products that will be in my salon. I will only have items in the salon that I truly love,” Paula says. Callan & Co — The Experience also carries Stila make-up, CallanBerry make-up brushes, hair care by Shu Uemura and Kerastase. Colour will be L’Oreal and L’Oreal Professionnel, nails by essie and skincare and facials by Decleor.
“You know, this is completely a dream come true. I always wanted a home and this is it,” Paula tells me. “Hopefully, forever.”