How does a small town girl grow up to be the head of an award-winning image branding company that has pampered the looks of such celebrities as Paris and Nikki Hilton, Donald Trump, opera star Frangoulis, Greek actress Debbie Matenopolous and has exclusive vending access to the Yale Club in New York City and Mara Lago Club in Miami? “You have to have drive,” Maria Miliotis says. Maria is the President of Faceworks International, an award-winning company staffing artists for special events such as photo shoots and videos. She has been featured on the Lifetime Channel as a celebrity artist and is a leading expert in the beauty and branding industry. Her company is recognized as the top 5% in customer services with 5-Star ratings nationwide.
At www.greekamericangirl.com, we were able to experience her dynamite dazzle at work transforming clients from humdrum everyday types to personalities that exude with their own personal brand. Beauty in the 21st century is not so much skin, hair and nails, as much as it is about image and image branding.
GAG: How did you get into the beauty/branding business?
I started my career in the beauty industry in the early 90’s earning degrees in skincare, hair, nails and make-up. I later moved from Virginia to Miami and was listed as a make-up artist and stylist for agencies such as Ford and Elite. I also worked behind the scenes as a spokes model for national commercial promoting cosmetic products as well as a print model. In 2000 I established my own company Faceworks which staffed other artists specializing in wedding party hair/make-up services. My company was recognized as the leading hair/make-up agency in South Florida and was even interviewed on Lifetime TV including shows such as “Get Married.”
In the year 2010 when the economy hit a nose dive and many people were out of work, I felt inspired to help . I gathered a team of photographers, stylists and directors and came up with a cost-effective idea to help everyone feel and look great while achieving their business goals. Years later my Image Branding Shoots developed a following nationwide that it brought me to NYC in 2014. We continue to have monthly photo shoots that include a detailed consultation with me personally, a game plan with backdrop, clothing choices, a complete make-over with direction during the shoot. We book a location and book 4 clients so that we keep the rates low but the quality of service high. There are different packages available from headshots for social media to website action shots to post. Since I have decades of experience behind the camera and in front, I’m able to offer a far more valuable service than just an average photo shoot.
GAG: How is image branding different from just doing hair and makeup and looking your best?
Having a service performed is simply bringing an image to an artist and having your hair/make-up styled into the desired look. Image Branding is specifically a consistent image that one wants to portray to the public. The questions that I ask my clients are what is their logo? Color scheme ? Where do they work ? What do they do in their spare time ? Image Branding for business is not just about looking fabulous but being real , professional and consistent with who you are and what your message is.
GAG: What tips/advice do you have to give Greek women in Greece and in the US with regards to beauty and/or branding?
In Greece, be authentic to the Greek in you and keep your style European . In Greece I’ve noticed many of the younger girls try to look American, but we are Mediterranean. I think it’s far more charming to have a European style/look so celebrate that!
For Greek American women , do not shorten your name. Honor your heritage by adding something in your logo or mentioning your contribution to the Greek community in your biography page.
As far as beauty treatments, we have some of the best solutions for dry skin and hair by using olive oil and yogurt. Not only do you look more youthful when ingesting these but slathering them on your skin and hair helps too.
GAG: Talk about your successes as a business woman. Speak of one obstacle, either internal or external or both, and how you overcame it.
I was a high school dropout and from a small town in the south working in a local beauty salon. I did manage to get my degrees and starting working at 17 …but had no real opportunities of making it big. What I did have was passion and drive. As a Southern girl who moved to the big city of Miami and later NYC on her own, I am proud of having been brought up in humble beginnings and that my parents encouraged me to do things on my own. I have seen things and met people that at times seem surreal. My clients are an elite crowd and am proud how they appreciate my talents. Money and education to get a head start in life is great, however the most valuable tool that you can have is drive. Drive will fuel passion and courage, important qualities in order to take risks to see how far you can fly.
GAG: What advice would you give Greek women with regards to image branding?
Be true to yourself! Ellen Karis ‘the Greek Goddess of Comedy” was one of my Image Branding clients and we put her in a toga in the midst of a hustling city and it was very NY, funny and Greek, all things she is!
A few points to remember
1- Do not compare yourself to anyone be the best YOU
2- Your style consists of your clothes, hair and make-up and should reflect you ! Make sure you love how you feel/look and do not follow trends if it’s not flattering.
3- Be sure to look gorgeous and let everyone know you’re Greek so we represent well.
Greek American Girl: Who are some of your more illustrious clients?
Donald Trump – worked with him often and his club members at The Mara Lago in Palm Beach.
Paris and Nikki Hilton – regulars in South Beach and would make house calls as a make-up artist.
Josie Bisset- 90210 fame
Eva Larue – CSI Miami
Debbie Matenopolous – The View
and countless more…
GAG: What project/work are you most proud of till this time?
In the past my company was featured on Lifetime TV
Most recently it would be a magazine cover of The Mann Report where I did the styling for the most powerful men of NYC.
Published article in The Fashion Edition .
Preferred vendor for The Yale Club clients for private events and all my happy brides singing me praises
These were my accomplishments for my first year in New York.
Bravo FaceworksInternational and to its gorgeous and driven head, Maria Maliotis, a true representative of Greek American Girlhood.
Check out what she can do on Wedding Wire and YouTube:
You can contact Maria for your ImageBranding consultation at: