Make up is a way of life

| 9 June , 2009 | 3 Replies

I’m a big fan of playing with all the little pots of colour in Make Up Store in Paddington and I’ve also had the pleasure of having a makeover, learning new ways to wear make up in a hurry, so it was my pleasure to get the goss from Maria Gabriel Ertas, General Manager and Makeup Artist for Make Up Store.

Maria became a part of the Make Up Store phenomenon in 2005 when she and her family (two brothers, sister and relative) decided to introduce the Swedish brand to the sunny shores of Australia.

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With family in New York, London, Sweden and in Australia they decided together that there was a clear gap in the Australian market for great quality cosmetics that also has such a huge range of colours. The brand is also distinctive because of its schooling history and Maria was particularly interested in this. Mika\’s vision began in 1990 as a makeup school and he then added an independent beauty and cosmetics brand in 1996. Make Up Store Australia was launched with a huge bang in November 2005.


Maria certainly knows the brand inside out. Not only has she worked the floors of the stores in Stockholm, but she was also trained by Olle Johannson, head make up artist and product developer of Make Up Store.  For a number of months, Maria spent every day by Olle\’s side, watching, listening, learning, and absorbing every piece of information and knowledge he could offer her to bring back to Australia.

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Maria says the key lesson that Olle taught her was “&everybody has two eyes, a nose, and lips. It\’s what you do to compliment their features that makes the difference. We can bring out the beauty in everybody; you just need to know how to work with your skills and their assets.” These wise words have given Maria the confidence she needs (and she passes this advice onto her staff in training), “With that understanding in mind, I know I can achieve anything a customer requests when they walk through the door. It doesn\’t matter what nationality, what age, or the state of their skin, all I do is focus on capturing the beauty in everyone”.

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The first two years of Make Up Store has seen three stores successfully open in the tough Sydney market, and when asked if the company will move into other cities, Maria is certain that Make Up Store will be popping up in every capital city before you know it.

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Many Australian and international celebrities and make up artists have been through the doors of Make Up Store in Australia and are becoming fast supporters of the brand. From Janet Jackson to Gwen Stefani and Pink, international stars are big fans.

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On a local level, Natalie Bassingthwaite, singer and host of Australia\’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance\’ stocks up on Make Up Store fabulous eyelashes and more. Top Australian Make Up Artists, Rae Morris, Dotti, Nigel Stanislaus, are just a few of the many make up artists who also drop in to see Maria and the team to regularly stock up their kits with Make Up Store treats. One of the reported trade favourites are the creamy eye pencils, which are fast becoming a staple item in every professional\’s makeup kit.

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1. How and why did you start Make Up store?

Well, as much as I want to take credit for this brilliant Brand, not sure I can say we “started” Make Up Store. It’s a Swedish Brand and in fact one of the most successful Scandinavian brands – now becoming a global giant cosmetics brand. My family actually worked with the creator in Sweden and brought the brand over to Australia. So I guess this great brand, Make Up Store, was thrust upon me. I have a lot of family in Sweden and all they talked about was Make Up Store, Make Up Store, Make Up Store. So from the second I saw it, touched it, felt it; I fell in love with it. All our devoted customers here in Australia feel the same way.


2. What do you love about what you do?

It\’s just outright exciting. I truly love to build wonderful things. My family is the same and we took a brilliant brand, which has innovation, creativity, originality and market leading qualities to Australia – a country which appreciates all these qualities and rewards hard work. If you see what Make Up Store is creating day to day you would be amazed. To work on something so wonderful and to build it from the ground up and then share it with our Australian community – how can I say anything else other than I love what I do.

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3. What five favourite things can’t you live without?

This is going to sound a bit cheesy but – my family, my vacations to Europe, my makeup kit, yoga, shopping!

4. Which Sassi Moment bests describes you and why?

Hmm&I have had all of these moments! But I probably best relate to the bad hair day pic. These days only happen every now and I used to stress but I don\’t get too fazed anymore. A hat or gorgeous headscarf usually solves the problem pretty painlessly!

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5. Your favourite fun and girlie thing you like to do – That\’s easy no doubt shopping

6. Who would you like to have at a girl’s night in and why? (It can be anyone around the globe)

I use to think Oprah (no need to justify) or Tina Fey (she’s so funny) but now No question Michelle Obama! Can you imagine? She is one of the most powerful women in the world and she is a true inspiration. And that fashion sense?!!? Amazing! imagine the things you could learn from this woman?!!?


Get browsing at the Make Up Store’s website to find your nearest Make Up Store location, flick through the gorgeous online Make Up Store magazines and then have fun playing and creating a new look for yourself and trying to decide what you want to buy first, seriously you won’t know where to start!

Your Pop Culture Gossip Girl

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  1. Wednesday says:

    Interesting post!

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