A few weeks ago I woke up and took a really good look at myself in the mirror (you know, the ultra-magnifying, light up with bells and whistles mirror). I saw the good, the bad, and then the “ugly.” My first thought was: My poor husband ACTUALLY pretends he’s attracted to this is the morning? My second thought: When did I start growing hair there?
A color client of mine, in which I take all of her suggestions as if they were gold, told me about a new skin care business opening up called “Paulina” located in the village of Tosa on Harwood Avenue. The owner, Kelly, apparently worked magic, and this color client I speak of only tells true stories.
I made an appointment and was warmly welcomed and led to wait in a lounge you will never forget.
Well, how did the service go? I’ve never had a better experience in my life. The only thing I have to compare this to are the facials I had in my hometown of Kohler, at the Waters Spa. Except forget the spa music with the streams and animal noises and cue up Frank Sinatra! The atmosphere allows you to relax without being stuffy. It’s a class act in my opinion, and soon to be a household name.
I had an hour facial with much needed extractions and a light peel. In the past, I’ve always broken out after a facial like a monster. To my shock, my skin only got better in the days following.
Then I received a service that I’ve wanted to do for YEARS: eyelash extensions. The single most best decision I’ve ever made regarding my “no makeup bedtime look.” A technician (mine was named Nicole; she was amazing) individually bonds a lash extension to your real eyelash. The process takes a couple hours, but is well worth it once done! The lashes are permanent, however they need to be filled every 3-4 weeks when your natural lash sheds and the extension goes with it. They don’t hurt and I’m not even aware they’re there until I look in the mirror and PA-POW, luscious lashes that will make everyone jealous. I don’t even need to wear mascara! My husband loves them.
Take a look!
I had a moment to sit down and speak with the owners, are a husband and wife Dan and Kelly, to tell me more about their blooming new business.
Tell me about your personal self, interests, business training and accomplishments?
It has been a dream for us to start a business together. I have always wanted to own my own shop concentrating just on skin care. I have loved makeup, beauty and working with people for as long as I can remember. I went to the Institute of Beauty and Wellness for esthetics, and starting working at Beauty on Farwell. With the support of Tom and Stephanie Miller, I learned a lot about both the salon business and how I wanted to grow my career. I knew that I wanted to be continuously educating and growing and to help others do the same. Dan’s degree was in administration. He has been working with small businesses for over 10 years and knows the ins and outs of running a business. He is great with people and really knows how to make a business take off. We both love the “small town” community feel, and after buying our home in Wauwatosa, we knew we wanted to set up our shop here as well. Especially in the Tosa Village, it’s really experiencing a renaissance right now.
How was the idea for Paulina born?
When I started working at Beauty, one of my close friends with my same name already worked there. So I had to change my name! They wanted me to have a somewhat exotic name, so I took my great-grandmother’s name (Pauline) and made it my own. She was a strong, beautiful and sassy woman. So my “salon name” became Paulina. When we were picking a name for our shop, Dan said, “Well, when you ask anyone now where they go for their services, they say Paulina, and not the shop.” So we decided to make it an easy transition by calling our shop Paulina. We built the brand off of my career, how I have cared for my clients and performed my services. We wanted to open a business where we could both do what we like and what we are good at. We traveled and scouted areas around the country for years, and when it came down to it we decided Wauwatosa is our home and that’s where we want to stay. We love Tosa and we want to help our community grow. Our friend Hilary James has supported us by investing in the business. And her husband, Matt, was also a big help by pitching in a few hours on his weekends to help with some of the build. Kelly and I built this business ourselves, from dreams to research to the construction. We didn’t hire contractors to do the build for us – we did it together every single day, from start to finish.
What is the style and feel of Paulina?
The style of the shop is like us, very warm and welcoming, somewhat edgy. Nothing fluffy or overtly feminine. There are small details of wrought iron that we brought in to bring a feeling of New Orleans into the space – timeless and a little gritty. We used pictures of our families as our art. We have great pics dating all the way back to the early 1900s. It’s very personal and a little charming, but not in a traditional way. We play blues, jazz, vintage French and American music that makes you feel like you are in another time and place. Our products are all organic, no animal testing, paraben and chemical free. They are all products that are reasonably priced that work really well, without any harm. We carry small boutique lines that are all fun to use, and can be tailored to your exact needs.
What sets you apart from other skin care spas?
Well, first off, we are not a spa! We are trying to change the perception of skin care and establish our very own niche in the Milwaukee market. When people think spa, they think a once-a-year splurge, with sounds of crashing waves and birds singing in the background. What we are is an esthetics boutique. A skincare specialty shop. Our price points, location, services and atmosphere are all tailored to allow women (and men!) to have a facial every six weeks, or have their brows done or any other service regularly. We all go and have our hair done regularly, we get manicures and pedicures, but think a facial is something decadent…why? Skin care, or even great brows, are so crucial to our health and well being.
Why is it important to get facials/skin care done regularly?
Our skin is our largest organ. It shows signs of aging, stress, exhaustion and sickness. It is also the first thing we forget about. And no matter how much makeup you put on, if your skin is not healthy it will never look good. I find that overwhelmingly women and men really have no idea what skin type they have, or how to treat their skin appropriately. We are consumers, and every day we are barraged with ads about products that sound so amazing, but in actuality, they could be doing way more harm to your skin. So many of my clients are frustrated or feel like they have horrible skin or acne, and they don’t! They actually have amazing, beautiful skin – they just need a little education and guidance on how to achieve their skin’s balance. We all get to an age where we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see, whether its dullness, dryness, redness or breakouts and why should we just try to cover it up and not feel great in our skin? Nothing feels better then looking in the mirror and seeing beautiful, glowing skin.
What kind of training do your specialists have?
We are all licensed in the state of Wisconsin for esthetics, cosmetology or massage. We all take extended education courses to keep up to date on the newest technologies and to continuously learn. I also train everyone on body waxing, brow shaping and facial procedures. We strive to be the best at what we are doing. One of our specialties is brow shaping and body waxing. We use hard wax for bikini and Brazilian waxing, which makes a world of difference! Less pain and a smoother, longer lasting finish. We also strive to make everyone’s brows as amazing as possible. I usually start with a grow-out process that can last 3 to 6 months, which is painful, but worth it. A brow truly changes a person’s looks, and all of my clients have seen the change, and are all amazed and in love with their brows!
Paulina is definitely a different, new and wonderful experience. I left feeling not only relaxed but better about myself! Check out their services and products at paulinamke.com and “Like” their Facebook page.