Face Stockholm Store in Manchester Visit and First Opinions!

Face Stockholm is a Swedish beauty brand that I have heard of but have not tried anything from. It offers a huge range of products in a variety of shades; 200 lip colours, 150 eye shadows, a mixture of base products in a large range of shades and they are eco conscious, using minimal packaging and they do not test on animals.

They recently opened their first and only UK store in Manchester, so I arranged to pop in and have a look around to get a feel for the brand and store.

Cue ramble…

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Image is from Face Stockholm’s Spring Collection, Bohemian Rhapsody

The store is located on King Street, a swish part of town where there are lots of fancy stores (Boodles, Hermes etc.). It’s right at the bottom of the street and in fact it was by complete chance I saw the shop (it has been open since November!). So when I went into the store to have a look and have a make up done, I found it had a very bright, boutique feel to it (similar to Cosmetics A La Carte), perhaps slightly less ‘cosy’.

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Admittedly you could argue the bright lights are better for make up, but since this shop is a standalone, natural light is just a few steps away. I just would’ve liked more of a cosy feel.

The store otherwise, is quite open plan, with all the products out so people can go round and swatch as they please. I’ve taken photos of the stands for you to peruse.

These are the matte shadows:

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Everything was very clean and well spaced out. They could do with slightly louder music. Not blasting though the ear drums MAC counter music, just so that you can’t hear your own shoe squeaking.

Smaller shimmer shadows:

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The polishes are pretty nice! One tempted me, a pink with blue sparkle:

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I had my make up done by one of the store make up artists, Helen, who was very nice with a soothing voice (trust me, it helps). She used some of their skincare on me (they have a comprehensive range) and she did my base, eyes, lips. It was a pretty; simple but a wearable every day look.

The stand out product from the makeover was the creme blush (£20) – super pretty sheer flush for the cheeks and lips:

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When it comes to the base range, there’s a huge amount of choice; cream foundation, liquid, powder etc. They seem to cover a large range of shades which is good:

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These concealer wheels look interesting! They have them for different skin tones and some speciality corrector ones!

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Again, they have a lot of products to choose from in terms of base items; their concealers come in wand form or pen, or stick. They have pot correctors too and eye and lip primers:

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Blushers – they seemed fine but I prefer the creme ones they do:

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If there’s one thing that struck me about the store and range though, is that it seems to lack a killer product or killer shades. I’m not exactly a hard one to tempt, but I probably saw about 2 things in the whole store which I REALLY like the looked of…and with such a vast range I should’ve been going crazy for the products!

Lip glosses:

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There was a tray of fun glitters and pigments. These are eye safe even though they look a bit chunky:

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The other issue is price point. The Face Stockholm range is not that cheap, at £16.50 for a lipstick, £20 for a creme blush, £15 for a solo eyeshadow, £26 – £25 for a foundation.

Other premium brands that also offer a huge range of products and shades but come in cheaper include MAC, Make Up Store (also Swedish!), Inglot, Illamasqua.

Some of the brands that come in at a similar price are Shu Uemura, Make Up For Ever, Cosmetics A La Carte are better known and have strong reputations already.

So it’s difficult to pick an unknown brand when there are other more established ones to choose from, especially if they’re more affordable.

Face Stockholm also have a UK online store you can peruse. The foundation swatches are poor – I wouldn’t buy a base following them so hopefully you can request samples to make sure it matches your skintone. If they could change this so that they are real swatches then this will undoubtedly help.

Verdict:

Few make up brands, realistically, could have a stand alone store in Manchester and survive – MAC is the only one I can think of that could – but if more people find out about the Face Stockholm store then it’ll have a fighting chance.

Note: I was sent some Face Stockholm pieces to try and also purchased a few, which I shall review shortly.

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Comments

  1. Yes…we swedes prefer quiet stores with everything laid out for us to play with!
    It´s true I´m a bit shell shocked by blaring music when I go abroad :D

    The idea about the “swedish makeup shopping experience”is that the makeup artist(not sales girls!)should be there,undisturbing yet come whenever you want help or suggestions…

    Love your blog;found it via my other favorite Lotus Palace!
    It´s so well written,interesting and funny

  2. I went in at the end of January to browse with my friend and we were the only ones in there on a busy Sat lunchtime…and although the lady was very nice and not pushy at all, it was still rather awkward with us being the only two…I know exactly what you mean about the music being slightly louder, we sounded a bit echoey in there lol We left without buying anything, everything seemed “functional” but nothing that wowwed me with packaging or unique selling point or whatnot. That said, I did like the boutique feel of the shop, staff are lovely, the products look professional and there were a few skincare products that caught my eye. Might pay a visit again but probably when it looks a bit busier inside lol

  3. XD

    I know EXACTLY what you mean Jen-we swedes are quite awkward in conversating and chatting*blushes*and that reflects in our ideas about shopping!
    Would say that Face Stockholm&Makeup Store are the IKEA:s of makeup…extremely bright lights in stores,nothing fancy but the costumers can try out the testers without having to ask for them to be brought.
    Also the hygiene of testers are good in Sweden;hope the FS&MS keep up that abroad:)

    Oh well,there´s areason for me being hooked on asian brands after all…

  4. Emma, I like the thought of Face Stockholm being the Ikea of makeup…I love browsing around Ikea :) And I kind of meant awkward as in because it was so quiet and we were the only two people in the store lol kind of like when you walk into a super-expensive designer store and you’re the only customer in there! I like how their policy is to not hound customers, she introduced herself and offered her assistance, and asked us to feel free to ask if we had any questions…there’s nothing worse than a makeup consultant trying to tell you about the new latest product when you’re blatantly not interested :)

    • Hi Jen

      Oh yes the customer service is good so that’s great. But I think no matter what store I go to, I hate to feel awkward like when you are the only one there….hehe. Better to go in with some friends I guess.

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