*Please note: friends, family, and employers- if I am ever missing for more than several hours and you can’t reach me by phone/text/facebook/twitter/foursquare/email/BBMessenger, etc., there is a VERY strong possibility that I am at Preen. Seriously…look there before filing a missing persons report.
As you will find out if you continue reading my blog in the upcoming weeks, you will learn quickly that I LOVE make-up. I said last week that I love shoes, but I love make-up more. Much more. Whether it’s a highly pigmented, finely milled eyeshadow in the ‘right now’ dramatic shade, or the blackest black mascara with a big fat brush, or maybe the yummiest, sheerest, not too sticky gloss that leaves just a bit of color, I love it all. Is it the excitement of getting something new & shiny? The creativity of trying new colors and techniques? The ability to be up to the moment without dropping $700 (or more) on this season’s Louboutains? Heck if I know. All I know is it makes me sublimely happy and I have discovered my new little slice of heaven about 5 minutes from my house!!
Preen Apothecary is located at 2508 Far Hills Ave. For those of you (like me) who need landmarks, it’s right by DLM. Although they have received national attention in several magazines, if you don’t know it’s there, you might just drive right by (sometimes several times a day as I have apparently done for the last few years!). I finally stopped by there recently and instantly dubbed it my favorite place. Or in dramatic Nikki fashion, “my most favoriteist place eveerrrrr”. Although it is located right on 48 with traffic buzzing by outside, the moment you walk in, you feel the calm. No bass loaded techno and bad fluorescent lighting, no army of sales people ready to pounce, just a sunfilled menagerie of girly-ness and 3 lovely ladies who could be your best friend.
One of these great women is Nicole Gianuglou, Preen’s owner. Nicole spent many years in New York City working in the Beauty Industry, more specifically as a National Makeup Artist for Nars. Some of you may already be familiar with the Nars brand and even if you don’t have any of the sleek black packages residing in your make up bag, you have probably heard of his cult favorite blush, Orgasm (the perfect peachy pink that perks up almost any complexion). Nicole spent a lot of time traveling the country for Nars & while at a small shop in Nashville, the idea of opening her own store started to form. Upon returning home to the Miami Valley, Preen became a reality. With fingers crossed, Nicole soon discovered a loyal customer base (you’ll understand why after spending 30 seconds in the store!).
During my most recent visit, I had the opportunity to have my makeup done by Tracy. She is described by Nicole as “beyond belief as an artist”, after she did her magic, I certainly agree! We started off with the basics. All skin prep was done using Peter Thomas Roth’s line which included: Max Sheer Defense SPF 30 (weightless on my skin), Unwrinkle Primer & Foundation (loved them both- even though we were layering, there was no masky, heavy feel at all), Intense Anti-Aging Eye Cream & Bronze Instant. Tracy was so knowledgeable in regards to the products themselves as well as technique. Most women skip eye cream on their upper lid in hopes of getting more staying power from their shadow….well guess what? Stop doing that! Whether you are opting for some sparkle or a matte finish eyecolor, moisturizing first keeps it all smooth (and younger looking!). My other favorite tip from Tracy was the choice of brush used to apply the foundation. It was a blush brush! Nars brush #6! It provided a lighter touch and more blendability than a standard ‘foundation’ brush would. Love it!!
So once we had a nice finish on my face, it was time to move on to the fun stuff. I gazed longingly at the very extensive collection of electric purples, insane blues, deep burgandies and glittery blacks lined up like little soldiers in the Nars display. My imagination was running wild with thoughts of an intense smoky eye that would make even Adam Lambert jealous. It was rock star time…or was it? Tracy was gathering some shimmery champagnes, soft pinks and copper colors. Huh?? Let me just say that I’m sooooo glad I just shut up and let her do her thing. She worked a new look for me that I never thought I would try….very natural. I felt a little confused when I checked out my reflection and shrieked “OMG- I LOVE IT!”. As a self-proclaimed smoky eye fanatic, I was half tempted to run home & toss all of my super dark shadows. Mmmm hmmmm….this lady is THAT good! As a new brunette after spending my entire life as a blonde, I hadn’t yet realized that by toning it down, I was actually enhancing certain features. Thank you, Tracy for that (literally) eye opening experience. I could have happily skipped out of the store & been on my merry way, but no ma’am, we were not done. After gushing over our mutual love of mascaras with a big brush (not the plasticy ones that have become so popular lately) Tracy applied just a couple coats of Lash Fusion Mascara. There are polymers in there & some science stuff and blah blah blah,,,,all I know is my lashes were long & full & lovely! Then, just to kick it up another notch (and put me in my comfort zone again) Tracy took my day look into night with just a touch of a deep eggplant color along my lashline. Perfection.
I intentionally left out the part about the brows as well as creating the perfect pucker because those will be future installations of my Adventures. I think I have been blessed with pretty good brows, but we’ll see if that holds true once I sit down with Beth, the Brow Guru. She is one of the dynamic Preen trio and I’m so excited to chat with her next. There’s no doubt I’ll learn something new
Rest assured, Preen Apothecary will make regular appearances in The Adventures of Nikki Nett! I left out so much….all of the ‘gifty’ things, the Alexis Bittar jewelry with it’s cult like following, the hair products and, the subject closest to my heart…the obscene amount of lipglosses & color. I need to stop before I slip into a hazy makeup coma.
Nicole, Tracy and Beth have worked hard to make sure all of Preen’s customers feel appreciated, pampered and heard. I think they have done a remarkable job with that! When asked what the best beauty advice she ever received was, Nicole quoted Francois Nars and said “Don’t be so serious, it’s only make up”. AMEN to that! With the turning of the leaves and transitioning from tank tops to turtlenecks, find a minute to stop in and see what new looks can take you into snuggle season.
Can’t wait to find out more? Have a suggestion on where the Adventures should take me next? Comment below or let me know via twitter @Nikkisayswhat