This Is Face Stockholm
When you think of Sweden, you probably think of cold, minimalism and Ikea. And while all of those things are quite representative, you won't find them at FACE Stockholm! The experience of walking into one of their brick and mortar locations is warm and homey. It feels like stepping into your aunt's beauty parlor back when you were young- a space where women gathered to exchange fresh, saucy gossip, and get their hair and nails done at the same time. You'll hardly find a makeup brand that makes you feel like this. Not just in Sweden, in the world. It's a feeling of acceptance that lets you explore the world of beauty in your own way, not in the way the brand tells you to. No one implies you should look a certain way. There are no guidelines on how a woman should look. You can be whoever you want to be. Do you feel like having a full beat face? They got you covered, literally. Their Picture Perfect foundation is supposed to be stage-worthy and covers everything you want to hide from the world. Not so much into full coverage? It's all good. One of their best sellers is actually a lipstick/balm called Veil. If you're a fan of tinted balms and no-makeup-makeup, then you'll definitely love this one. The founder of the brand, Gun Nowak, explains, “I think makeup is wonderful and fun because it can be like theater- it allows you to play and to act out whatever you want to be. But the most important thing that we want to express to our customers is that we are all beautiful, in one way or the other.”
The brand was founded back in the 80'. Gun was frustrated by the fact that she couldn't find makeup in bright, vibrant colors that would match her personality and clothing choices, so she started her own makeup line. FACE Stockholm is now selling in countless locations all over the world, but there are only six official physical stores. Two in New York and four in Sweden. Keeping the brick and mortar experience exclusive and boutique-like is their top priority. It's important that the customers feel comfortable and at home when they enter the store. And by the looks of it, they sure do. When we stopped by their location on Biblioteksgatan in the center of Stockholm, there were a lot of women who were their loyal customers. All races, all ages. It was incredible, and it felt like they all know each other. If we go back to that feeling of being in your aunt's beauty parlor, this is it. “Putting makeup on a woman is such an intimate experience. It’s a beautiful interaction. It allows you to see who people really are. And I think this interaction is the essence of what FACE Stockholm is all about: making women feel good about themselves. That is the part of our work that we both love.” says Martina, who is the daughter of the founder and her business partner as well.
Gun now lives in the States and splits her time between the US and Sweden. She oversees the production and is still involved in every detail of the brand, just as she was years ago when she was hand-picking antiques and furniture for the stores. Her beliefs and values are truly reflected in the brand. You can really feel her spirit in everything, from the people who work there to the space itself. The brand might be big but they've managed to keep it very genuine and personal. All of the products are made in America except for a line of skincare called Scandinavia, which is as the name implies made in Scandinavia. Yes, they also make skincare! And if you were perhaps wondering, all of the products are cruelty-free!