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Spotlight on Makka

‘Finnish’ What You Started

Spotlight on Makka

Spotlight on Makka

‘Finnish’ What You Started

Naturally caffeinated and fully effervescent, MAKE UP FOR EVER Head of International Education Makka Elonheimo started out studying languages in her native Finland. Quickly realizing that working as a TRANSLATOR wasn’t going to be as exciting as she initially thought, she did an about-face. And hasn’t looked back since. We sat down and talked about what she and her team are up to.

 

YOU JUST CELEBRATED 15 YEARS AT MAKE UP FOR EVER. HOW DID THAT JOURNEY START?

I was studying languages and came to France as a student to do an internship at Disneyland to practice my French. Yes, Disneyland! I hated spending so much time studying in libraries – I am a girl of action, I need to realize physical & visible things and see the result immediately– but I was taught to see things through. That you don’t give up easily. So I kept going, studying to be a translator because my first passion was languages but also to have a “serious” job.
After 5 years semantics and phonology, I realized I had to take my life back.
Working as a hostess in a restaurant in Paris with another girl, one day we discussed about what we really wanted to do in our life and she said, “I am thinking about becoming a makeup artist.” I thought, “Wow, this is a real thing??” I had always been really good at drawing and creating things, her idea sounded like an evidence to me. The next day I enrolled in makeup school in Paris. It felt right from the first day.

 

SO YOU STOLE HER DREAM?!

That’s funny, yes, I guess so. Oops! But it was so clearly the right thing for me to be doing. It was about action, creating with your own hands, trying to translate emotions by concrete, immediately visible things, not by untouchable words. After a period in freelancing, I was hired as a reinforce for a big podium at the Galeries Lafayette counter- at that time when MAKE UP FOR EVER started to expand for public - without knowing that it would be the determining step in my career.

 

HOW DID YOU GET FROM THE COUNTER TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

By working, working, working. Just doing what you do the best way you can. I never had a career plan. I just followed my heart and always searching new challenges. I don’t like when things come too easily, without effort. I am at my best when there is a risk of failure.
And I am who I am today thanks to Dany Sanz, the Creator and Artistic Director of MAKE UP FOR EVER. During all these years I have been working under her watchful eyes, I have learned a lot with her.
I had been at Galeries Lafayette for six months so, to me, I knew it all already (she laughs). I knew that the company was expanding into other countries so I went to my manager and said, “Oh, by the way, I speak German, Spanish, English, Swedish and, of course, Finnish.” I planted the seed. And eventually, they called me. First, to go to Austria…then Munich, then to Holland…Next thing I knew, I wasn’t at Galeries Lafayette anymore, I was all over the world.

 

DID YOU ENJOY IT? DIDN’T YOU MISS YOUR OWN BED?

No. Can you believe I said no?!! (insert big laugh here). I sleep so well in hotels. And yes, I loved it. I saw the world and got know many amazing people and cultures. 
I love Japan – it’s a different world.
Of course, the first time is always the best! The second time you’re already into the check-in, freshen up, go to work, stay a few days, work, go home rhythm!
I also love Dubai & the other Gulf countries. The people are wonderful. They talk too much, as myself! They are lively and sometimes too much, but so real.  

 

YOU ARE HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

My team of international educators trains all the MAKE UP FOR EVER sales EXPERTS all over the world. We train the trainers in each country – there are more than 25 educators & education managers all over the world. They, in turn, have trainers under them and they train the Makeup Artists & sales experts in our all sales points; boutiques department stores & distributors. This department has only existed since 2008 – when I started, it was just me! Today, I am proud to see how the brand has evolved.

 

LAST QUESTION – YOU’RE GOING TO A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT ONE PRODUCT WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU?

Would there be a mirror on the island? If so, our Aqua Smoky Extravagant. Dynamic, sweeping lashes & it’s waterproof. We’d be surrounded by water, after all. If there wasn’t a mirror….don’t tell anyone, but I might not bring any makeup with at all!

 

 

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