If you haven’t yet experienced GIELLA Cosmetics at MWS, you have quite a discovery ahead of you! GIELLA creates custom blended makeup to perfection. It can allow you to truly highlight unique beauty in every way. This is cosmetics at its best, offering self expression and celebrating every hue of beauty. We spoke with Founder Giella Poblocki and Master Blender Erica Figueroa to find out more.
MWS: Giella, can you tell us a little bit about your background and what got you into cosmetics? What made you decide to create your own line?
Giella: I always loved color and fashion since I was 14. I always did makeup for friends and family and shopped for them as well (personal shopping.) I also worked in fashion retail as well. I originally majored in Accounting but then switched to Marketing and thought Fashion Buying would be a good path for me. Along the way, I did an internship at Family Circle in Beauty and one of the lines recruited me to work for their custom blend line of cosmetics in Henri Bendel on 57th Street. I worked for that company for 12 years from sales to National Sales Manager until the company dissolved.
My experience in fashion influenced the way I relate to color. However, I attribute most of my color expertise from working with a chemist for several years, studying with my uncle who was an artist and on-the-job training. My sense of color became sharper and clearer over those past 10 years.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an M.B.A. in Marketing as well.
MWS: Erica, how long have you been with Giella? What is your background?
Erica: I have been working for Giella for about 8 years, and have been working in the beauty industry for 14+ years.
MWS: How did the company evolved?
Giella: My position as National Sales Manager at Vidal Sassoon was eliminated. I had so much invested! 12 years in formulating colors and products, experience with chemists and packaging suppliers, developing a reputation as a makeup artist, product development, expertise in marketing, not to mention 3000 clients whose custom blend formulas I had on record and who were extremely loyal!
I had just finished my MBA and felt very comfortable with business knowledge. I had a window of opportunity to take on this venture.
It was basically a continuation of what I had been doing at Vidal Sassoon. The big leap was that now it was going to be 100% in my control. I had to invest both capital and an incredible amount of time to get it off the ground. I also had great industry contacts, people I could use to test ideas, to rely on, to help me.
GIELLA: Unique Concepts
MWS: What makes Giella cosmetics unique?
Erica: I think what makes Giella unique is that we have the ability to create anything, while also using natural ingredients. We are able to make all your cosmetic dreams come true by allowing you choose the consistency and color you desire. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Giella: GIELLA is the first totally integrated cosmetic line for face, eyes and lips that recognizes each individual’s color profile. The Color Perfect Analysis System is a consultative analysis that looks at hair, eye and skin color.
Using the system, we can help a client select the perfect red, pink or brown lipstick according to their hair, eye and skin coloring. This is the heart of our philosophy. It really takes the guesswork out of matching color to an individual’s unique color profile. It is the perfect Brand Me cosmetic solution!
MWS: Are there any makeup “rules” that you think should be followed?
Giella: Each person and request is individual. We look at everything objectively and really try to understand the request. Even if we are asked to design the lip, cheek or eye color, we ask so many questions as we want to understand our clients and then use or expertise in giving them the perfect color.
Sometimes we are asked to replicate a discontinued color for a client that may not be their “best” choice. We can recommend other colors but it’s ultimately what makes the client happy and that’s important to us; putting smiles on our client’s face.
MWS: What are the advantages to custom blended makeup? How can custom blended makeup transform a look?
Erica: The advantage of custom makeup is that it is completely tailored to your needs and concerns. We really take our time to listen to our clients and make sure we are making them happy. We keep all of our clients formulas on file in order to perfectly recreate your custom color in the future.
It also makes a great gift for someone, as most people don’t know but you can actually give the gift of color. You would purchase the empty container, which can be brought in to any of our Giella locations to be filled with a custom blended product. So not only are you able to give someone a unique gift but also you’re giving them an unforgettable experience.
Giella: Custom blending allows you to get the PERFECT shade and texture and aroma that you want. Why settle for less? And why should you have to use 3 products on your lips to get the effect with one?? There’s so many value-added benefits of custom blending.
We have always offered a color corrector, primer, glow, pore minimizer, SPF and moisture in our foundations before BB and CC creams were created. Custom blending gives you every choice you want in one product.
MWS: Are you able to recreate colors? For example, would you be able to recreate someone’s favorite lipstick color that has been discontinued?
Giella: Yes, we specialize in recreating discontinued cosmetics: lipstick, lip gloss, cheek tint, blush, powder, pencils, foundation, highlighters, nail polish, brows and eyeshadow.
There’s a lot of emotion attached to cosmetics. People remember wearing a particular lipstick shade on their wedding day, or a shade of nail polish that their mom gave them or a lip gloss that their best friend gave them. And when we can recreate them, it brings a warm smile and connection to the person and event associated with it.
Erica: Also, we are able to perfectly match both color and texture, unless instructed otherwise – because sometimes you love a color but don’t exactly love the texture, we can recreate the color for you with the texture you desire.
MWS: Do you use parabens in your cosmetics?
Giella: Our lipstick, lip gloss, mineral powder, mineral blush, cheek tint, mineral eyeshadow, pencils and most of our skin care is paraben-free.
MWS: When it comes to customizing makeup, it requires part chemist and part artist. Is there one aspect that excites you the most?
Erica: This is a tough choice for me, as I do truly enjoy both aspects. But if I had to choose, it would be the chemistry behind it all. I feel that I am able to constantly discover and create new things, which is always new and exciting. The possibilities feel endless, and it’s quite rewarding to have an idea come to life.
Giella: I truly enjoy both, creating solutions for my clients. I love to ask a lot of questions to see what people are looking for and then start creating and blending solutions/products that are exactly what people are looking for! I love people and I love custom blending.
MWS: Do you have a favorite product to create?
Erica: Lipstick would have to be my favorite, too. What’s better than the perfect red or nude created just for you, tailored to your undertones, so that the shade of color perfectly suits you??
GIELLA: Certification Program
MWS: Can you tell us a little bit about the certification program? What do you teach in the program?
Giella: It’s a 40 hour course that teaches you how to mix and market your own custom blend cosmetics. You learn color theory, formulating, and how to blend cosmetics on-the-spot. Imagine creating your own foundation, mineral highlighters, blush and powder, eyeshadow, lipstick, lip gloss and skin care according to how you want them to look and perform! And the ability to control the color, density, texture and ingredients of each product you create.
The course supplies you with what you need to be your own chemist, making only what you need when you need it!
The GIELLA Blending Box Contains:
85 Blush, Powder, Mica, Glass, Glitter, Metal, & Fluorescent Pigments, Emollients, Transformers and Color Correctors to blend Liquid Foundations, Mineral Foundations, Setting Powders, Eyeshadows, Blush, Highlighters, Gel Liners And More. Plus our Blending Box includes a Heater and Glass Vials for mixing and pouring cream products such as Lipstick, Lip gloss, Cream Blush, Cake Liners etc. Our Blending Box also offers Lipstick Molds as well as a variety of Retail Components and Palettes to fill.
You also learn how to market this in your own company with GIELLA: sell through direct sales, or in brick and mortar retail locations.
MWS: Amazing! Thank you both for sharing your insights and passion with us!
If you’d like to come by for a consultation, Erica is at MWS on Thursdays and Fridays from noon until 6PM.
If you’re interested in the Certification Program, it’ll be happening at MWS on the following dates in 2018: