In the early 1980s, FACE Stockholm founder Gun Nowak owned three of the hippest fashion boutiques in Sweden. FACE Stockholm grew out of her frustration at not being able to find makeup to match the neon fashions of the time. “I didn’t set out to do makeup” says Nowak, “but I wanted every color and I couldn’t find them anywhere. I saw the opportunity.”
Starting with her first shop in 1982 in Stockholm, FACE Stockholm was an immediate success.
As the business grew, Gun turned to her daughter, Martina Arfwidson, for help. Sharing a passion for color and design as well as a playful sense of humor, Gun and Martina have formed a unique partnership, carving an exemplary niche for themselves in the cosmetics business.
Their values are reflected in every detail of the FACE Stockholm brand: from the clean, welcoming boutiques, impeccable service and top-quality product, to the nurturing of top-notch makeup education and artistry.
But it is their commitment to discovering the deeper meaning in their work that has kept them devoted to FACE Stockholm for over 30 years.
“Putting makeup on a woman is such an intimate experience,” says Martina. “Rarely do you get so close to someone — maybe with your doctor or your family — but 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.”
“I don’t think we would enjoy the work as much if it weren’t for a deeper purpose,” says Gun. “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 the important thing that we want to express to our customers is that we are all beautiful, in one way or the other.”
FACE Stockholm is still owned and operated by Gun and Martina is now available at over 100 locations worldwide.