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The 411: Face Stockholm’s Martina Arfwidson


Plenty of editorial real estate has been devoted to talking about Stockholm as the new capital of cool in recent years, but one brand helped establish the Swedish city as a hip haven nearly three decades ago. That would be Face Stockholm, the Scandinavian makeup brand that set up shop with a coterie of outrageous colors way back in 1982. It was founded by Gun Nowak, who ultimately enlisted the help of her daughter Martina Arfwidson, who abandoned her dream of becoming a singer in the name of the family beauty business. Arfwidson now helps keep the brand focused on creativity and innovation—like, for instance, its new Lash Booster Mascara—from her home (and the company’s headquarters) in Hudson, New York. And thanks to genius moments like its most recent lipstick duet collaboration with J.Crew, Face Stockholm has managed to retain all of the cool cred it was built on. Here, just in time for the holiday weekend, Arfwidson spills her favorite places to primp upstate, with a single Manhattan diversion for a facial that’s well worth the 2.5-hour drive on the New York Thruway.

The Makeup Regimen: Personal Best
“Every day, I use Face Stockholm Tinted Moisturizer #1, Bronzer #3, Brow Shadow in Myrrah, eyelash curler, the new Lash Booster mascara, and the Face for J.Crew lipstick in French Martini. The non-Face Stockholm companies I always keep around are Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Mineral Powder Brush SPF 50 for the face and L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion on my legs and arms.”
Available at; Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Mineral Powder Brush SPF 50, $60,; L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion, $9.99,

The Yoga Enclave: Sadhana Center for Yoga and Meditation
“Sondra Loring is the real deal. I don’t get to yoga class as much as I’d like, but this space is beautiful—a domed ceiling sits atop a converted turn-of-the-century ballroom.”
403 Warren St., 3rd fl., Hudson, N.Y., (518) 828-1034,

The Tough-Love Trainer: Brian Lawson
“I cannot say enough good things about Brian. He has been my ‘body architect’ for eight years. He’s loyal, enthusiastic—just amazing.”
Visit for more information.

The Morning Routine: Double Shot
“These two amazing shops share the same storefront: Swallow is where I get my morning coffee. There is no place outside of Paris that has better joe. And Loaf has the most amazing bread…really turning out stuff that rivals European loaves!”
433 Warren St., Hudson, N.Y.

The Fashion Treasure Chest: Five & Diamond Vintage Clothing
“This place has the most beautiful vintage clothing! It’s a must-see if you’re in Hudson.”
502 Columbia St., Hudson, N.Y., (518) 828-1557.

The Taste of Home: Da Ba
“An amazing Swedish restaurant and a little taste of home—their meatballs taste just like mor mor’s (that means grandmother in Swedish)!”
225 Warren St., Hudson, N.Y., (518) 249–4631,

The Home Goods Go-To: Rural Residence
“One of my favorite places in the world! A well-curated collection of home goods, gifts, and cards. Owner Timothy Dunleavy is my interior style guru and he’s the head of the Hudson Historical Society to boot! A favorite!”
316 Warren St., Hudson, N.Y., (518) 822-1061

The Alternative Beauty Destination: Sweet Botany
“My dear friend Helen has opened this lovely outpost, where she does traditional Ayurvedic treatments and sells her amazing candles! An hour with Helen will change your life, I promise.”
Sweet Botany at Tivoli Ayurveda. For more information, e-mail

The Regular Restaurant Table: Santa Fe
“OK, shameless plug—but my husband’s restaurant in Tivoli has great food! What can I say?”
52 Broadway, Tivoli, N.Y., (845) 757-4100,

The Massage Therapist: Polly Pitts-Garvin“Polly is an amazing massage therapist. This woman has saved my life on more than one occasion.”For more information, call (845) 332-9908 or e-mail

The Facialist: Aida Bacaj
“My appointments with Aida for facials are the only ones I will never cancel. I gladly get on a train for two hours to see this woman! Working in the beauty business, I have tried everything for my very difficult skin, and her facials are the only thing that have kept it in check. And I swear by her [Biologique Recherche] P50 Toner.”
Aida Bacaj Salon, 61 E. 75th St., NYC, (212) 879-5257.

Photo: Courtesy of Face Stockholm

Beauty Insider