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Swedish cosmetic brands are known for being innovative and trendy, using pure ingredients, and focusing on enhancing your natural beauty rather than painting on a new face. Brands range from affordable to exceedingly expensive but what they all have in common is the desire to help women look their best. Here are ten Swedish makeup brands you should know about – and try.
The ’80s seem to be the decade when many Swedish makeup brands took off and the story isn’t any different for Isadora, the go-to affordable makeup brand that puts the emphasis on quality products that are 100% mineral. This brand is often the first one younger consumers try but that doesn’t mean it’s only for the kids. The elegant packaging, non-perfumed products, and extensive range of choice make it a favourite among all age groups.
This Swedish beauty brand, founded in 2011 on International Women’s Day, is a makeup line based on highly purified minerals. Product development is done in consultation with dermatologists and Swedish researchers, which means their products for face, eyes, lips, and nails suit even the most sensitive skin. Available only in Swedish pharmacies, it’s worth a trip to Sweden just to get your hands on Idun.
Maria Åkerberg started as a skincare line that was all about ‘deepskin organics’, which means that the products work from deep within the inner layers of the skin. The brand has since expanded into makeup which is an extension of the same philosophy: with these products, you get to play with a wonderful palette of beautiful colours that not only make you look good, but also protect your skin from daily stress. The line uses vegetable ingredients and minerals, and is perfect for those who want to put only the best on their skin.
Back in the early ’80s, Gun Nowak was known as the owner of three of the hippest, trendiest fashion stores in Sweden, and while she never set out to create a makeup line, her frustration in not being able to find the right makeup to match the colourful fashion of the time translated into a golden opportunity. In 1982, she opened the first FACE Stockholm shop and it was immediately a roaring success. The FACE Stockholm of today has evolved with the times and has a global following.
CEO Mika Liias opened the first Make Up Store in Sweden in 1996 and today it’s one of the fastest growing cosmetics companies in not just Sweden and Scandinavia but across the world, boasting 235 stores in 22 countries. Known for its high-end ingredients and staying one step ahead of trends, Make Up Store has earned a loyal following. The fashion-forward fans of the brand want quality, but don’t want to look like they’re trying too hard.
Swedish makeup artist Diarry Maréna, originally from Senegal, developed Maréna Beauté in order to meet the needs of darker-complexioned consumers and address the lack of quality products in this market segment. The collections are created exclusively to match the complexions of women of colour and, by doing this, Maréna has created a wildly successful brand that covers all your needs.
This wide-ranging skin care and cosmetics brand is rooted in an organic philosophy and all products are ecologically certified. The high standard Apolosophy sets for itself is apparent in both the quality of the content and the stylish packaging. The line consists of makeup for the eyes, skin, lips, and nails. Available at Swedish Apoteks, this is one of those hidden gems that’s worth seeking out.
You won’t find Oriflame’s wide range of cosmetic lines in any store. This brand offers its products through sales consultants around the globe. It was founded 50 years ago with a desire to not just do away with brick and mortar shops but also to empower women by giving them the chance to earn their own money. Oriflame continues to conquer new markets and although it has a huge sales force, you can now also buy products online.
Swedish makeup artist Petra Strand created Pixi more than a decade ago, launching her flagship store not in Stockholm but in London’s Soho. With great products that claim to create a ‘just had a good night’s sleep’ look, Pixi has a significant following. The cosmetics are infused with botanicals and this brand, too, focuses on the natural beauty of women.
Known more for being the posh, big sister of H&M, at & Other Stories the focus has been on fashion, but now the makeup line is garnering attention and a growing number of fans. This is due to not just affordability but also because the makeup compliments the fashionable items on the racks. They offer the full range of lip, brow, eye, and nail products, and the line is updated regularly.