Debbie Bondar, the creator of FACE Atelier, is an inspiration to all business women. She is a mother of two, an entrepreneur & she has successfully delivered the perfect solution to a problem most women face – finding the perfect foundation! Read more to find out how Debbie started up her businss & what inspired her!
What prompted you to create FACE atelier?
FACE atelier is part of my post-divorce reinvention. I’d helped my ex build a business that wasn’t mine to keep, so once the dust settled I decided to start my own. Makeup appealed to me as even though I hadn’t mastered its application, I knew that there was magic in the bottle! Post-separation, a makeup artist friend taught me how to apply it properly and much to my amazement, I discovered that I couldn’t find a foundation to match my dark olive skin. That got me thinking that there must be a lot of women with the same problem.
Also, as the mother of two daughters, I knew that good self-esteem was the best accessory a girl could have, yet low self-esteem seemed pandemic among women of all ages. I believe that makeup is an important tool in a woman’s tool box to help her look and feel better about herself. However, the beauty business seems to be more about marketing than performance, and the selection was dizzying. Thus I decided to create a carefully edited line of sophisticated yet versatile age and race neutral makeup that simply worked, and worked simply.
Ultra Foundation is a fantastic product, what inspired you to create this wonder foundation?
From my own frustrating experiences, I knew that finding the right foundation was often a fool’s errand. My entry into the beauty business was at a time when silicone was being introduced as an important new ingredient in formulations. I had a sample of an early silicone-based foundation that was good but not great. I gave it to my lab and told them to make it better. When we celebrated the launch of Ultra Foundation, my chemist told me – with tears in his eyes – that he would put Ultra Foundation up against any foundation in the world. It was that good. And he was right!
What is a typical day in the life of Debbie?
It’s not very glam but 95% of my time you’ll find me on the computer! I’ve customers and vendors from around the world, most of whom I’ve never met. There’s also the never-ending job of ensuring that we’ve inventory to sell, people to sell it to and on-going product development. I write a lot of emails.
What is your favourite part of your job?
It may come from a customer who’s fallen in love with the products or a makeup artist who claims that our products have changed the way they do makeup. It’s about making a difference in people’s lives, regardless of how trivial it may seem. Every little bit helps!
What’s the one thing about your job that people might not know?
When it’s your company, there’s no job too big or small. One moment I may be working on my new website or testing a new product, and the next I could be reorganizing the warehouse. I rarely ask my employees to do something that I haven’t – at some point – done myself.
What’s in your makeup bag every day?
FACE Atelier Ultra Foundation, Camouflage Duet, Ultra Bronzer, Façade, neutral eye shadows that I use largely for contour, lip pencil, lipstick and Crybaby Mascara. When I’m done, I invariably look in the mirror and remind myself how much I love makeup!
Excluding FACE atelier, what is the one beauty or hair care product you cannot live without?
My stash of now-discontinued Lowilla soap, a hypo-allergenic cleanser that I’ve been using for 30 years. It cost about $4 each and when I discovered that it wasn’t being made any more, I bought the last 50 bars I could find in North America!
FACE atelier is the makeup of choice for many celebrities, which celebrity would you most like to meet?
This answer has nothing to do with makeup! I’ve always admired Bette Midler and recently saw her in a play on Broadway. She seems like a very neat woman who has her all of her ducks in a row.
What is next on the horizon for FACE atelier?
We’re working on PreFACE, formulated to be an ideal skin preparation before makeup. There will be one for dry to normal skin and one for oily skin. Both will plump and brighten the skin while reducing redness, and there will be a mattifier in the version for oily skin. We’re also perfecting a second foundation called Ultra Skin. It is in-between a tinted moisturizer and Ultra Foundation, with light to medium coverage and a unique, soufflé-like texture, similar to Façade.
Quick Fire Five
Favourite Food Chicken
Favourite Place Other than my home in Calgary, Kona
Favourite Film Too many to narrow it down, however I never tire of watching All the President’s Men. I’m a bit of a political junkie…
Favourite Shop Ooh La La, my best friend’s boutique in Calgary.
Favourite Book 100 Years of Solitude
What an inspirational lady. Thank you so much Debbie for taking the time to give us a fantastic insight into your life and the story of FACE Atelier. xx