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Beauty

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It’s a fashion boutique, gift shop, furniture store, salon, and more — all under one roof. Read on to learn about this new one-stop-shop in Mason.

 

Lavish Grace is a beauty salon, gift shop, fashion boutique, and furniture store.

It’s a fashion boutique… gift shop… furniture store… salon… oh my!

Owner, Angie Adkins had worked in the beauty industry for over 20 years before opening Lavish Grace Boutique and Salon in the heart of Mason last spring. The boutique and salon is one of a kind, offering affordable and trendy beauty services as well as “couture on a dime” apparel, gifts, accessories and furniture both new and vintage.

In addition to the boutique, Lavish Grace offers a variety of beauty services. Adkins works with another hair stylist, Carissa Ames, to create beautiful looks. Ames has worked in the beauty industry for five years and loves the challenge and creativity involved with her role. She offers haircuts, coloring and formal styling to women, men and children.

Women’s fashions, accessories, gifts, and decor are some of the items sold at Lavish Grace.

“Angie and Carissa work to build relationships with each of the customers,” says Cassandra Kingman, marketing director. “Angie has a strong relationship with her long time hair clients and decided to bring her love for fashion and beauty together to create a salon and boutique as there was not yet a boutique in downtown Mason.”

According to Adkins, Lavish Grace filled the void and has quickly become a go-to spot. “I opened in a quaint historic district, which many of my clients lovingly refer to as The Steel Magnolias of Mason,” she laughs.

The Lavish Grace staff prides themselves with offering the best in quality, hair design, and a variety of contemporary and southern fashion. The sizes range from small to a 3X so there is always something for everybody. Their typical clients are women between the ages of 35-55, however Lavish Grace takes hair appointments for any age from children to seniors. As for the boutique, Adkins says it’s easy for anyone of any age or gender to find what they’re looking for.

“Our inventory is ever changing and we are constantly bringing you the latest trends in women’s boutique clothing,” Adkins adds. “We feel it is important to keep the boutique feel by continuously bringing in unique items several times a month.”

In addition to fashion, the boutique also sells resurrected furniture from “Not Too Shabby” by Crystal Williams. Adkins says these unique pieces are full of character and also affordable.

According to Adkins, Lavish Grace is the perfect place for relaxation and fun, and also a great boutique and gift shopping. Every third Thursday of the month from 5-8p.m. customers can join the boutique for special deals, discounts and giveaways. “Each customer is always treated as a VIP,” Adkins says.

Adkins’ passion for beauty and fashion was truly brought to life in Lavish Grace Boutique and Salon. “I love what I do! I have had the honor of lavishing love, faith, beauty and fun upon many women and families in the Northern Cincinnati area,” she explains.

Lavish Grace is located at 105 East Main Street in Mason. To learn more about them, follow along on Facebook.

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Learn about a local photographer that teamed up with hair and makeup experts to provide innovative, eclectic, and stylized photography sessions.  

 

Purplei Potion is a photography studio located in Covington.

Our greatest talents are often discovered on accident. That’s what happened at six years old when Tashia Harris’ mom gave her a camera and said “go play.”

From that moment, a passion began to develop. Today, Harris owns her own photography studio, Purplei Potion, she launched in 2012 based in Covington, where she specializes in photography of portraits and small weddings, in addition to hair and makeup services to complement her shoots, and she also sells select pieces of African jewelry.

For 20 years, Harris worked in clinical research but she always kept her passion for photography on the side. “It was always about what crazy projects I could come up with,” she says. “I always kept that creative gene with me.”

Tashia Harris, Owner of Purplei Potion

But after collaborating on a photo shoot to help her friend with an organization to support young teens with leadership and confidence, she knew she needed to make her photography studio dreams a full time career.

Today, nearly six years later, Harris enjoys being as creative as possible with her shoots. She describes her business aesthetic as fierce, bold, eclectic, and cool. The name Purplei Potion is a combination of her favorite color and how she views the art of photography.

“Photography is magic. It’s healing, like a potion,” Harris says. “When you get someone in front of a camera, people transform to be someone else or to do something crazy.”  

Purplei Potion offers three different photo packages, and the starting rate is typically $250. They also offer three specials a year in the spring, summer and fall. Harris mainly focuses on portraits but she also does small weddings, usually of 60 people or less.

Harris does all her photography on her own, and works with two local makeup artists for her shoots as well as a creative director to bring her ideas and her customer’s ideas to life. She is typically is attracted to very abstract concepts which is something that makes her photography different compared to something you would see on Pinterest.  

“One thing we do differently is we don’t pose,” she explains. “Things in my pictures aren’t perfect because they aren’t supposed to be.”

Another exclusive aspect of Purplei Potion is that they sell handmade jewelry. While visiting family in Africa a few times a year, Harris works with a local artist to make the jewelry. These one of a kind pieces are available for purchase and are also used in her photo shoots. One of Harris’ favorite shoots so far was actually last Tuesday, Oct. 24, where she photographed the jewelry on a young woman who wore it in distinctive ways to showcase the originality.

In addition to Africa, Harris enjoys traveling around the country and to different parts of Europe. “Traveling allows you to see what different cultures have to offer, see things differently, what pushes and inspires people,” she says.

To learn more, visit the Purplei Potion website at http://www.purpleipotion.com.

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We talk with Venita Allen, owner of lahVdah about her natural soaps, how she got started, and how she’s growing her sudsy success.

 

Soaps, scrubs, and a success story. That’s what one local beauty product shop, lahVdah, was created with a lot of hard work, passion and love. The all-natural shop sells a variety of soaps, bath bombs, lotions and other beauty products including lip balms, eye shadows, and argan oil.

All of these products are handmade by the owner, Venita Allen, who started dabbling in the soap business about a decade ago. Allen had just retired from the Butler County Sheriff’s office when she started taking care of her father in law, who had been diagnosed with cancer.

“I made these things for him because he hated taking medication,” says Allen. “I think having the hope and trying these things gave him the desire to trust and believe that God blessed my hands that helped him.”

In addition to soaps and beauty products, Allen also makes and sells a variety of therapeutic oils. These all-natural products include argan oil, headache relief, detox mask, and natural perfumes.

Allen began her business by just selling her products on the weekends at Findlay market located on Race St., until she opened up her own shop on Main St. in Hamilton. She was inspired to open her shop by her own strength. Growing up in a large family with six siblings, she overcame many struggles in her childhood. From a young age, she managed to always work a few jobs to not only feed her siblings but also help her family. Today, Allen has the love and support of her husband Ron, who she says has always encouraged her passion.

“I was a fighter and I was not giving up,” she says. “I was determined to show that anyone can do this, and to never say never!”

Allen’s compassion and love is what makes her business such a success. Customers are able to come and shop in a friendly and open environment. Allen also enjoys helping her customers and loves answering questions about why or how she makes her products.

“When it comes from the heart, no one can make anything better because love is the secret ingredient and the best quality I have. My customers are family,” she says.

Her determination and success directly reflects the name, lahVdah. Playing off the phrase, lah-de-dah, Allen chose to name her shop with the V standing for Venita and victory.

Some of Allen’s most popular products are her lip balms, lip stains, moisturizing cream, and her handmade soaps. The products also come in a variety of sweet scents, including pink sugar, mango papaya, pineapple, and many more. She also makes bath bomb truffles, bubble bath cakes, or waffle bath bombs that Allen says are a lot of fun. The waffle bath bombs come in pink lemonade, blue watermelon and a unicorn theme.

lahVdah recently launched a subscription box service so customers can try out a variety of her new and exclusive — but always natural and non-toxic — bath and body products on a regular basis. The “OMG! lahVdah Box” is shipped monthly to your doorstep. The themed boxes are $25 each month, and includes one or more full size item, plus sample items with instructions and recommendations.

Allen says she is blessed to have an amazing group of people to support her and help her along this journey. With such a positive outlook on life, she says her business is never about the money. “It’s about the family that is being created with the love and work and the gift God gave me,” Allen says, “I know it’s not what many success stories are like but it’s mine, and I’m different. I am the V in lahVdah.”

You can visit Allen’s shop at 408 Main St. or visit her at Findlay Market Friday-Sunday. Learn more at www.lahvdah.org.

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In need of a creative outlet, a local medical professional launched a beauty and style blog. Learn how her cultural background draws inspiration for her intriguing topics.

 

Yuliya Azirbayeva launched the blog Style As Needed while in her final year of pharmacy school.

Yuliya Azirbayeva is a pharmacist by day and a style and beauty blogger by night. Azirbayeva says she launched her blog, Style As Needed, as a creative outlet.

“I am a pharmacist so my day job does not provide for any creative ability and I have always been very into fashion and beauty,” she explains. “I have been a long time blog reader myself and I thought about starting Style As Needed for years before finally taking the plunge.”

That leap of faith finally came for Azirbayeva about a year ago, when she was in her final year of pharmacy school. he launched Style As Needed, also known as Style PRN (PRN is the short code for “as needed”)

Azirbayeva says that Style As Needed focuses on style and beauty, although she also loves to incorporate travel into her posts as well, as it is another passion of hers. Azirbayeva moved to the United States from Almaty, Kazakhstan when she was 10, and has lived in Cincinnati ever since.

Azirbayeva says that one of her favorite things about running Style As Needed is getting feedback from her readers. “Nothing makes me happier after working hard on a post than getting a lot of comments and reader feedback,” she says.

She also likes the planning and thinking that goes into blogging. “I enjoy the aspect of blogging that has to do with planning and creativity. You constantly have to be thinking about your next post or what you can write about that would be interesting for your readers, so I love the brainstorming aspect.”

When asked what it is that makes Style As Needed unique, Azirbayeva says that it’s her cultural background. “My sense of style that draws influence from my culture makes my blog unique,” she says. “I am constantly looking into styles and trends from overseas and like to incorporate those into Style As Needed.”

One of Azirbayeva’s favorite posts on Style As Needed was comparing beauty subscription services such as Ipsy, Birchbox, and Sephora Play. “That post took a lot of time and effort and I think it definitely paid, off,” she said. “I also love the posts I did on my Italy trip. I had details on our tours, where and what we ate, and absolutely stunning pictures from that trip.”

Now that she is done with school, Azirbayeva says that she is hoping to put more time and effort into Style As Needed to help expand it as much as possible. “I am hoping to work with more local companies around Cincinnati since there are so many great ones around,” she says.

Azirbayeva is also looking forward to upcoming seasonal fashions. “I am currently looking forward to working on all of my fall and winter style posts as those are my favorite seasons when it comes to fashion,” she adds.

To learn more about about Style As Needed, visit https://styleprn.com/ or follow along on Instagram.

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A local stylist opened a new salon with a mission to offer products that are safe for clients and beauty industry professionals alike. Keep reading for more!

 

Two years ago LeAnna Gonzlaez began breaking out in hives. She found out that it was the hair color she was using on clients that caused the allergic reaction.

“I was panicked because not doing hair is not an option for me. I love my job,” she says. “So I started this quest to find products and that are not full of chemicals. I’ve spent the last two years researching what this industry has to offer in a safer form.”

Gonzalez began doing hair 12 years ago when living California. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, she now lives in Northern Kentucky where she recently opened Organix, a salon and spa that focuses on healthy products that won’t cause harm to clients or stylists.

“Organix is a salon that has done the guesswork for you,” she explains. “We have done the research to bring you better products. It takes the body 26 seconds to absorb a chemical. At Organix, we proudly feature ammonia-free hair color.”

Currently, Organix offers hair and makeup services, and the makeup products used at the salon are non-toxic and made locally in Kentucky.

Not only is Gonzalez big on offering products that are non-toxic or harsh for stylists and clients, she also wants to give back to the environment. “As a kid, I recycled with my dad, so for me it was second nature to think about our planet,” she explains. “Living in California, I realized how easy I had it or how easy it was to care about my body and our planet.”

She says that her dream is to have a happy and safe environment for “natural,” inner beauty to flourish but also a safe place for stylists to work, and a place that nurtures and supports the community.

Gonzalez says that Organix is unique in that the salon and spa strives to bring services and products that uses organic essences and is as low as possible on the harsh chemicals scale. “It’s not just about your hair color, it is about using products that aren’t harmful to you and your environment. It’s about a safe haven for inner beauty to grow,” she adds.

Organix also offers a recycling program where customers and clients receive 15% off your new product for your empty ones.

Gonzalez says that she will continue expanding the services offered at Organix. “We are adding the space side next, so expect facials and body waxing, and lots of secret formulas with essential oils,” she says.

To learn more about Organix, visit them on Facebook.

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One local lady took her love for animals and launched a mobile pet grooming business. Learn more about this purrfect solution for busy pet owners!

 

Maggie Secor has always loved animals. That led her to graduate from the Melody Manor School of Dog Grooming in 1997 and work in an animal hospital for 12 years.

It’s also what led her to take a leap of faith and start her own grooming business, Maggie’s Mobile Paw Spa, in 2016. But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill grooming business.

Through her years working in the business, she noticed an unmet niche. One where pet owners want the best for their pets, but don’t always have the time for it. So, she decided that she would take the grooming to her clients’ homes, traveling to nearby locations such as Colerain, Mt. Healthy, Mt. Lookout, Pleasant Ridge, Montgomery, Hyde Park, Western Hills, and other Tri-State locations.

According to Secor, there are several advantages to bringing the groomer to your pet, rather than taking your pet to the groomer.

“There is no prep time, and that means no fussing with your dog to get ready for a day at the groomer,” she says. “There’s also no need to track down a car to take your dog from the city to the groomer, no need to find parking, no stress or car sickness for your dog, no scratched seats in your car.”

Maggie’s Mobile Paw Spa brings grooming services to your doorstep with a mobile spa.

And the stress-free environment isn’t the only positive of a mobile grooming business like Maggie’s Paw Spa. The spa is cleaned thoroughly between dogs and between visits. “You do not have to worry about sharing cages or germs,” she says. “And we groom your dog right outside your home in a crate-free spa, so your dog receives individual grooming attention for the whole visit.”

Each package offered through Maggie’s Mobile Paw Spa includes an individual consultation where the groomer and your pet can get to know each other before the styling begins.

“We will discuss all aspects of grooming from coat and skin, to personality, to style,” says Secor. “We work with you to select a look that works for both you and your dog.”

Services from Maggie’s Mobile Paw Spa include a bubble bath as well as full grooming and even extra services such as de-skunking, flea and tick treatment, and a Hydromassage Bubble Bath. The cost of services depending on the size, breed, and weight of your dog, says Secor.

To learn more about Maggie’s Mobile Paw Spa, visit https://www.maggiespawspa.com/.

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A local all-organic beauty studio now offers a new skin care treatment that will leave you fresh faced and truly glowing. Read on for the details!

 

Alba Beauty Studio recently began offering dermaplaning to its list of beauty and spa services.

Alba Organic Beauty Studio has one main focus: providing customers with high-quality salon and spa services without using any harsh, toxic chemicals. To continue forwarding its passion for safe and healthy products, but effective results, Alba recently introduced new dermaplaning services.

“Dermaplaning is a safe, provided the person performing it is properly trained, and highly effective exfoliation procedure,” explains Andrea Lauren, owner of Alba Organic Beauty Studio. “It requires the use of a sterile, surgical scalpel to gently ‘shave’ the skin’s surface, removing the top-most layer of dead skin along with fine, vellus hair, aka ‘peach fuzz.’ Dermaplaning leaves your skin brighter, smoother, glowing, and more youthful.”

Lauren says that it was the removal of vellus hair as well as its deliverance of exfoliation that encouraged the team at Alba to add dermaplaning to its services. “We wanted to offer dermaplaning as another tool for our guests to have when selecting their anti-aging skin maintenance options,” she explains.

What makes dermaplaning unique is that it is a mechanical exfoliation. An esthetician uses a small, sterile blade while holding the skin. They’ll swipe the blade in gentle, upward motions. While it may sound scary, Lauren says when it’s done by a trained professional, it isn’t.

Lauren adds that dermaplaning is a great way to prepare your face to pair with a chemical exfoliation service, as well as other services like an organic skin care facial because removing the top-most layer of skin will allow for those other services to more easily penetrate the skin.

“In addition to exfoliation, removing the peach fuzz is beneficial since the fine hairs trap debris and oils and give skin a dull look,” she says. “Makeup goes on smoother as well. Dermaplaning is the perfect procedure to begin pairing with other treatments, such as our peels and anti-aging facials.”

Dermplaning at Alba is $75 while dermaplaning and a facial is $115.

To learn more about Alba Organic Beauty Studio and the services it provides, visit http://www.albabeautystudio.com/. You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

Watch this exclusive webcast that follows our Editor-in-Chic as she tries out the new microdermabrasion services at Alba!

 

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Learn about an Oakley-based beauty studio specializing in waxing, lash extensions, and body spray tanning that'll have you saying "you glow, girl!"

 

AfterGlow is an Oakley-based studio that offers waxing, spray tanning, and brow services.

At AfterGlow, you’ll find that the studio likes to focus on its customers. With services like waxing, lash extensions, and body spray tanning, the studio wants to help clients look their best.

“It is my goal to deliver the best service, using the highest quality products in the industry,” says AfterGlow Owner Kristi Backer.

By providing the best service with the best of products, Backer hopes to give customers an experience that will make them come back time and again.

When Backer launched AfterGlow, she wanted to create a studio that would help customers feel comfortable follow their services, similarly to the definition of afterglow.

“Afterglow means the comfortable feeling following a pleasant experience or a lingering impression of past glory or success,” she explains. Thus, the name of her studio, AfterGlow.

AfterGlow, opened in 2013, offers customers waxing, spray tanning, and lash extensions. Prices for services like a nose waxing start at $10 and go up from there, depending upon the service you’re having done.

In addition to her traditional studio services, Backer’s AfterGlow also offers party packages for weddings, bachelorettes, photography sessions, homecoming, prom, pageants, cheerleading and dance competitions, and Just Because parties.

Backer says these parties are perfect for having a girls night in, prepping for a big day, or just to relax. Customers who receive services through one of the party packages also receive a discount.

Parties aren’t the only way to get discounts from AfterGlow. Backer says that she has three different programs to give customers discounts. The Loyalty Program: for every four same services you receive the fifth service at 25% off. The Referral Program gives you $5 off any service when you refer a friend and the Review and Receive Program gives you $5 off any service when you leave a review on Yelp, Google, or Facebook.

AfterGlow is located in the heart of Oakley, at 5725 Dragon Way, Suite 101, in Cincinnati. To book an appointment, click here or call 513-413-0116.

To learn more about AfterGlow, visit http://afterglowcincy.com/. You can also like them on Facebook or follow along on Instagram.

 

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See why this Oakley-based men’s salon is the highest-rated in the city (not to mention how they keep the FC Cincinnati players so well-groomed!)

 

18|8 Fine Men’s Salon in Oakley is owned by Chris Brown and is the highest-rated men’s salon in Cincinnati.

It’s been 19 months since 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon opened its doors in Oakley. The salon’s owner, Chris Brown, wanted to give Cincinnati’s men a place where they could go to get high-quality, premium, and on-trend grooming and salon services when he brought the national franchise to the Queen City.

Today, 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon is the highest-rated men’s salon in the city based on reviews from Yelp and Facebook, and with 90 franchise locations throughout the country, the Cincinnati location is No. 2 in the nation.

According to Brown, in about a year and a half, 18|8 has seen more than 5,000 guests and completed more than 18,000 haircuts, 1,000 waxing services, 2,000 straight razor shaves or beard trims, 750 coloring services, 220 facials, 250 man-icures or pedicures, and 100 scalp treatments with its four barbers and eight stylists in-shop.

“When it comes to our stylists and barbers, they are the best,” says Brown. “Specifically trained and have had additional education in the art and craft of cutting men’s hair and grooming services. They will offer our guests personal consultation and on-trend suggestions.”

Although the salon continues to grow in popularity in the Queen City, 18|8’s core services will continue to be customized, handcrafted haircuts complete with a scalp and shoulder massage and hot towel facial in addition to a plethora of other men’s grooming services like straight razor shaves, scalp treatments, facials, waxing, and nail treatments.

A new service just launched at 18|8 as well, True Solutions for Thinning Hair. “It’s a portfolio of products and services such as low level light laser helmets to address the full spectrum of thinning hair concerns,” explains Brown.

Guests interested in this treatment can call the salon for a free consultation.

The numbers behind the services aren’t the only impressive thing happening at 18|8. The salon is also the official men’s grooming experts of FC Cincinnati Men’s Soccer Club.

“We are proud to be their partners and excited about their success and the small part we play in helping them get ready for game day,” says Brown. “Because, as we like to say at 18|8, when you look better, you feel better, and perform better.”

Brown will be helping even more men in the Greater Cincinnati area look, feel, and perform better as he continues to move forward with plans to open a second 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon location.

To learn more about 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon, click here. You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook.  

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A local cosmetologist is bringing beauty to your doorstep with her new mobile salon and spa. Read on for more!

 

MOBA Mobile Salon and Spa is bringing beauty to your doorstep with wedding packages, princess packages, and more.

Ever wished you could avoid the traffic and stress of getting to the salon, and your stylist could just magically appear at your front door? That’s all possible with MOBA, Ohio’s first mobile salon and spa.

“Today’s life is hectic and saving time and money is every family’s priority,” says MOBA Owner Allison Riddle. “MOBA does both for you, by bringing the salon to you and have affordable prices because we are not your typical brick-and-mortar salon.”

MOBA is the first mobile salon and spa of its kind in Ohio.

Riddle opened up MOBA as a 20-year licensed Master Stylist and Cosmetology Instructor. She’s spent time in various upscale salon and spa settings in Cincinnati, Indiana, and Hollywood, California, and participated in several high-end fashion photo shoots.

Riddle says that she as inspired to launch MOBA when she realized the need for a mobile spa platform that brings the salon to her customers.

Riddle brings ease and convenience to brides through her wedding packages and other salon packages.

Wedding packages include “Her Special Day,” which is on-location for a party of four. For $375 Riddle offers custom formal wedding styles for the bride and three bridesmaids, including a preplanning trial for the bride. The package also includes a personalized MAC makeup session for the special day. Additional bridesmaids can be pampered for $70 each.

There’s a “Bridezilla” package that is on-location and $475 for a party of four. This includes the same at the Special Day package plus a manicure with a stress relieving hand and arm massage including the polish of your choice. For this package, each additional bridesmaid is $80.

MOBA offers on-site wedding packages for brides-to-be on their big day.

Prom packages are $300 for a party of four and is on-location. Clients will get a custom, trendy style of their choice and a personalized MAC makeup session. Each additional girl for prom packages is $60.

A princess party package for four girls is $200. It includes a fruity scrub mini manicure and mini pedicure.

Riddle says that she hopes to purchase additional mobile salons for MOBA and create a legacy of the one-and-only first mobile salon business in Ohio. “Tell your friends, tell your family,” she adds. “MOBA mobile salon is the newest rage in the beauty industry.”

To learn more about MOBA, visit mobamobilesalon.com. You can also contact Riddle at 513-252-6091 or check them out on Facebook.