When Katie Chang opened Miomia, a unisex apothecary on Bedford Avenue, she wanted to demystify skin care products as much as she wanted to sell them. For Chang, finding high quality products that make customers feel good about themselves is a downright rebellion against much of the rest of the beauty and grooming industry.
“I’ve made it a principle to never carry products that use fear as a motivator,” says Chang. “There’s already enough of that out there. I always say, I’m not a dermatologist and I’m not a plastic surgeon. But if you’re acne prone, if you have some fine lines, if you want something to exfoliate and get super soft skin–I’m your girl, let’s talk. There’s no culture of fear here.”
In addition to selling products, Miomia also offers on-site facials and facial waxing from Hillery Sklar, a licensed aesthetician whose regular clients speak so highly of her services that their reviews are routinely blocked on Yelp because they seem t0o good not to be a shill. Sklar offers a 30-minute express detox facial for $45; a 60-minute, five-step European facial for $75:, and a facial for beard-os called The Bearded Gentleman for $60.
“There are countless reasons why I love working with Hillery, and why she is so special,” says Chang. “She would never push anything she doesn’t love or believe in, since she’s not driven by sales or commissions.” Each facial is customized to your skin type and what you need–whether that’s detox and relaxation, extractions, deep moisturizing or something else. Many spas perform the same cookie-cutter facials on everyone, only adjusting slightly from person to person.
Most of all, though, Sklar is known for her exceptionally intuitive touch. “She’s gentle but thorough,” says Chang. “Her extractions are exquisite–you can quote me on that. And, she gives a killer face massage. People leave feeling light as air.”
Sklar is especially skilled at tackling acne-prone skin. “Pimples are powerless against Hillery,” says Chang. For facials she primarily uses Mari0 Badescu products–a New York-based company that produces amazing moisturizers, face washes, serums and scrubs at drug store prices. The line is a staple at Miomia.
In keeping with Chang’s focus on comfort and accessibility, the inside of Miomia feels intimate, but not girly–Chang stocks several product lines especially for men, like Baxter of California and several beard-centric items, like beard wash from the Pittsburgh-based company Bluebeards. Many of the product lines she specializes in have a truly unisex vibe, like Malin+Goetz and Ole Henriksen. (The store is a great resource for holiday dude-gifts.) On a recent afternoon a couple came in looking for shaving cream that would minimize post-shave bumpiness for the guy. When she heard about the frequency and severity of the bumps, Chang suggested that he visit a dermatologist and then recommended a soothing moisturizer, new shave cream and sent them home with a handful of samples to try, along with their purchases.
While almost anything in the store would make a great Christmas gift, Miomia’s collection of scents from cult fragrance maker/men’s clothing boutique, Odin are a fantastic splurge. McBride Beauty’s Instant Rescue Balm is a cold-weather staple–the all-natural healing salve soothes the driest of skins, and it’s great for children too. We’re hoping to spice up the shower on Christmas with Pattern black pepper body wash. The matte, rock star-inspired nail polishes from Brooklyn-based company Knock Out Cosmetics, in colors like flat black, oxidized copper green and cherry red, are stocking stuffers that will inspire squeals of joy on Christmas morning. Miomia is also offering some last-minute holiday gifts-with-purchase from Mario Badescu, Embryolisse, Billy Jealousy, Menscience and Dermelect Cosmeceuticals, for all you last-minute shoppers out there.
To book an appointment (or purchase a gift certificate for a facial for a friend) with Hillery Sklar, call (917) 834-3438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Miomia is located at 318 Bedford Avenue between S. 1st and S. 2nd. Free shipping on orders $75 and up from Miomia’s online store.