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The Makeup Studio is proof that demand for local beauty still persists

WORDS BY JONTI RIDLEY

The family-run business has gone from strength to strength, with no signs of slowing down.

Over the past 12 years, the beauty landscape has changed. You’d be forgiven for getting lost in the labyrinth that is trying to work out what makeup brand is owned by who. International names continue to flood into our local stores, overshadowing the Australian names on offer. The sheer volume of new collections and label launches in the last year alone is enough to make your head spin. Simultaneously, a deluge of new names and side projects continue to crowd the market, seemingly focused more on Instagrammable packaging than high-performing formulas.

And all the while, The Makeup Studio has held its Ramsgate post.

Maria and Frances Tsatsoulis are the mother-daughter team behind The Makeup Studio’s success, with decades of industry experience between them. Locals first became familiar with the studio as a retail space when it launched in 2008, and continued their loyalty as the space expanded to include industry courses and training. It’s now long evolved from its days as a beauty retailer, having launched its own in-house line seven years ago.

Maria decided to introduce The Makeup Studio’s own products after realising those they were using – while high quality – weren’t quite what their customers were looking for. “I needed to produce a foundation that was great for both young and mature skin,” she explains.

With their customers quite literally at her fingertips, Maria and Frances worked with a range of clients to develop their original formulas. It’s an approach that’s proven useful and the pair has used it to develop a rather extensive range of products.

“The trialling process can be well over three months,” says Frances. “We have plenty of people come in, and we trial the products on as many different skin tones as we can.”

“We also give our customers samples and ask them to take it home and trial it. We then get feedback directly from them,” adds Maria.

With the benefit of this insight, Maria and Frances have together built a product range that meets their clients’ wide-ranging needs. But it’s also given the pair another touchpoint to connect with their customers, beyond applications. “We always want to give people that personal experience,” says Maria.

It’s perhaps this personal touch that’s been pivotal to The Makeup Studio’s success. While the pair expected a decline in business following the restrictions brought on by COVID-19, they were shocked at the support they received from their community.

The brand saw a marked increase in online sales, despite having halted all in-store beauty services and classes. This led them to further expand their presence online, offering personalised consults and one-on-one tutorials to customers who can take part using the products they already have at home.

“It’s something we always wanted to do, but we never really got around to it. And then we had no other option but to do it,” says Frances.

“We were getting people from across Australia, who were finding looks on Instagram or Facebook, and saying, ‘Oh, I’d love to be able to do something like this!’.

Another silver-lining arising from the recent restrictions is that the brand has found time to focus on sourcing. The Makeup Studio has long had a focus on natural ingredients, but now it’s shifting a number of its formulas to instead use ingredients from local providers, bringing the supply chain closer to home.

At the same time, Maria and Frances continue to expand the range. The latest addition to the brand’s product line is its cheekily-named Lip Plumping Pill. The ‘pill’ gets its name from its capsule-like packaging; it is indeed a clear, plumping lip gloss.

“You just apply it directly to the lips and straight away you’ll feel a tingling sensation,” explains Frances. “It’s made with ginger, which brings the blood to the surface, giving a fuller appearance of the lips.

“There are a lot of products out there that are gimmicks. They’ll plump up the lips, but it will only last for a good two minutes, and you’re back to square one. Whereas The Lip Plumping Pill actually lasts.”

Frances is quick to add that full lips aren’t for everyone, however, noting there is no one way to approach beauty. “If you wear a full face of makeup and you love your lashes, or you want to pack it on, fantastic! If you’re more no-nonsense; a bit of gloss type of person; or you don’t want to wear anything, it’s all beautiful.”

If youre looking to add to your kit, The Lip Plumping Pill is out now and waiting to be added to your cart. You can check out The Makeup Studios opening hours, full product line and online services here.

themakeupstudio.com.au

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