If you’ve been surfing the blogosphere lately, chances are you’ve come across the buzz around MAKE, a new beauty line based in New York. The brand’s seriously bright lipsticks and eye shadows are popping up everywhere. What you might not know is that MAKE is the first for-benefit beauty brand for We See Beauty, a new e-commerce site dedicated to social change.
One-third of all MAKE sales (not just profits) are donated to the nonprofit We See Beauty Foundation, which helps accelerate the rise of women-led cooperative businesses in the US. I had the chance to interview MAKE Creative Director Ariana Mouyiaris about the vision behind her do-good brand and her personal beauty routine.
What exactly is a cooperative?
In a cooperative, each and every worker owns a portion of the company and shares the profits. That means they’re vested in the wellbeing of the company. Cooperatives can exist in fields ranging from agriculture to fashion. For example, Opportunity Threads—one of the We See Beauty partners—is a worker-owned apparel co-op based in North Carolina, which was once a center of the textile industry.
Who started MAKE and We See Beauty, and what does your job entail?
My father Nikos Mouyiaris was originally a chemist who launched a cosmetic manufacturing business, and over the years he worked with brands like Erno Laszlo and NARS. He has always been involved in social enterprises and bettering the community. As the Creative Director of MAKE, I’m in charge of concept, strategy, and positioning. My main challenge is how to launch a new cosmetics brand entirely online and how to interest people. I want the website to feel more like a candy store, for the colors and textures of the products to entice people.
How is MAKE different from other beauty brands?
When thinking about if the world needed yet another color cosmetics line—we thought, if it’s going to exist, it needs to be a game changer. At MAKE, our aesthetic sets us apart. We also partner with artists and designers every season to create concept collections like our first collaboration with London furniture designer, Faye Toogood.
What are your favorite beauty products and techniques?
I think dry shampoo is one of the best inventions of the last 50 years. As for makeup, I tend to be quite subtle: I go for a nude palette with varying degrees of eye intensity. Then again, I think it’s interesting how everyone has their own definition of a “nude” look. I like products you can use in multiple places so I can carry less in my bag.
I’m always in search of the perfect lip gloss, and I also love matte lipstick. I set my lipstick by dabbing a bit of translucent powder on top. It has a mattifying effect. I’ll totally dab a bit of lipstick onto my cheeks too—trust me, it stays.