Beauty Files: An Interview with Ariana Mouyiaris, Creative Director of MAKE
Slow beauty. Personal style over trend. Unexpected color. MAKE's Creative Director Ariana Mouyiaris preaches what she practices. Her philosophies are the backbone of MAKE's ethos, her expertise shines in product development, and her eye for design wins hearts through MAKE's product design. Let's be honest, we like a natural look here at the studio. MAKE is one of those beauty brands that is so cool it makes us, the most make-up free women, want to pop on some yellow eyeshadow on a regular Tuesday. It started with the matte lipstick, moved on to the Celeste e Verde Palette by Maryam Nassir Zadeh, and further expanded into the expert skincare like the Moonlight Brightening Serum, the Succulent Gel and the Sea Salt Exfoliator & Marine Lip Repair Duo. MAKE is color for women who usually like natural palettes and behind the scenes skincare for girls who aspire to be too cool to need it. We spoke to Ariana Mouyiaris about what she finds beautiful, essential and exciting.
How do you define beauty?
In the world, something that moves you emotionally or aesthetically. In terms of the individual, feeling comfortable in your own skin and exuding that.
What is your personal beauty regime?
I start inside out: take probiotics, try and eat nutritious food and things that help my skin stay clear and glow. Aloe Vera (internally) and with our Succulent Gel are great for that.
I have my staples that I rarely go without. My modern minimals: Sculpting Lash & Brow Gel for a clean, groomed look, Marine Salve for lips, The Universal Stick for a quick flush of color and our Matte Dew for a quick, natural highlight and to mattify any area I don’t want to shine. If I’m going to be on my computer on doing a lot on my phone, I’ll substitute our Succulent Gel for the Moonlight Primer to protect my skin against HEV and Infrared Light.
At night I try to have ritual time with myself before bed which often includes a hot soak (Cleopatra’s milk bath is a new favorite). I’ve been testing a new cleanser we’ll be launching which is detoxifying and amazing and apply the Succulent Gel again for nighttime hydration.
What drew you to this industry?
It’s actually the last industry I thought I’d ever work in! My background is in design and curating. But I was actually born into it. My father started a cosmetics manufacturing company in the 70s on his own with the help of a loan from his brother and grew it into one of the most respected ones in the US making for all the types of brands you or I would know as consumers. I was born in the 80s so grew up running in and out of labs and around the factory playing with product and meeting the people who help bring this all to life. About eight years ago, he decided he wanted to create a company that would do more with its bottom line, a social enterprise with a philanthropic backbone. I studied International Relations at Brown and was interested in different models of development and the mission spoke to me. With my background, I wanted to try and create a brand that would be relevant for our time and speak to people like myself that didn’t identify as ‘beauty girls'.
What have you learned most from your experience with MAKE?
Not everyone is going to get what we do but for those that our approach and aesthetic resonates with will become loyal friends and fans, which makes it all worthwhile.
What are you looking forward to in the year ahead, for yourself and for MAKE?
I will be launching a new wellness concept and space in East London before the end of the year that I’m really excited about. Stay tuned!
And for MAKE, we’re continuing to launch with exciting new retailers internationally, like Selfridges, which is really great exposure for us. We’ll also be releasing some new products that I’m already addicted to and that have been in development for a few years. So, looking forward to seeing how people respond and to finally being able to use them in proper MAKE packaging vs. the lab samples.
The Dreslyn beauty focuses on minimal make-up and a natural look. Can you guide us through the best products to achieve the perfect "no-make-up" effect into a low-key, everyday regime?
I’d take my basics from above: Sculpting Lash & Brow Gel for defined lashes and groomed brows. Use our Brow Pen, if you need to fill them out in a natural way. Add a touch of color to cheeks. I use our Universal Stick for a natural sunkissed look (you can rub to have the color bloom and layer for added intensity) or our Blot Pot which can also be dabbed on lips for a fleshy, deep pink pout.
Finish with our Matte Dew for a glowy highlight and to mattify any unwanted shine. And Marine Salve on lips for an everyday, subtle but polished natural look.
How can we refresh our daily makeup? What are key products that easily layer into evening?
For the above, it’s super easy. Use our Bronze Pot for a dewy sheen on lids with a hint of color. Add a Matte Lip alone or with Face Gloss on top to make it more moisture-rich and wet looking. And you can add slightly more prominent face makeup: a Matte Blush or Solstice Bronzer for a sweep of color on cheeks or all over the face.
Color can be a little intimidating, both on eyes and lips. Can you give us some tips on how to effortlessly incorporate color using the Make Celeste e Verde Palette by Maryam Nassir Zadeh?
The lipstick shades I often will use on my cheeks (like Coral). You can also use them with your finger tips instead of a brush to just add a hint of color and then blot your lips so they look more muted and natural. I also add Marine Salve on top sometimes so they’re not as dramatic. For the eyeshadows, two of the tones are very earthy and can be paired with a bolder lip. The pastels are amazing and if you’re feeling like you want to try them without committing to a full-on matte-coverage look, you can use a brush or fingers to swipe a light powdery layer which gives a subtle wash of color without the boldness you see in the palette.
Is there an innovative new look or trend you've seen in make-up that you're excited about?
I don’t tend to look at makeup trends/looks as I’m drawn to people personal style more than a fixed makeup look. But I think I’m still loving the way that people keep pushing the minimal look by layering products and using graphic lines and elements to be minimally decorative and innovative in ways that I would like to one day try (although I feel I’d need an occasion to actually feel comfortable rocking).
Any tips for making lipstick last longer?
Generally take care of and prep your lips by exfoliating (our Sea Salt Exfoliator Duo does the trick). Conditioning at night is great and will make it easier for lipstick to adhere to your lips instead of flaking. Use a Lip Primer under lipstick (we have one we love)! You can also blot after you apply a first layer or two. Then add another layer and blot again. Also, stay hydrated. Otherwise, you’re likely to unconsciously lick your lips and remove your lipstick in the process.
It's all about the glow. What products do you recommend, both skincare and makeup, to get the look?
For skincare, our Moonlight Brightening Serum to even skin tone and brighten (this really works best when used in a dedicated routine i.e. you’ll see the best results over time), our Succulent Gel for face and Marine Salve for lips or Face Gloss alone or over lip color. For Makeup, our Dew Pots are a must. The shade Dew to highlight, the Bronze Pot for lids and Blot Pot if you want a tint of color on cheeks for a glowy finish or a fleshy lip. You can also use the Solstice Bronzer and then add the Dew Pot with a bit more coverage and warmth. Or if you want to use a colored shade on lids, even if a natural hue, use a Matte Shadow and add Face Gloss over for a super glossed look.
We try and be very careful when it comes to sun exposure, but we don't always get it right. We've tried your Succulent Skin Gel and were so pleased with scent, texture and ease of application. How did you achieve that?
I gave a very specific brief to the lab that I wanted the hydration and beneficial properties of Aloe Vera and Prickly Pear without the stickiness. They skillfully achieved it and I, for one, will be forever grateful!