Monday, July 11, 2011

Beauty destination: fabulous Amica Boutique

When it comes to doing things exactly the way they like it, Petra Rijnbeek and Kirstin Lloyd (pictured) can definitely call themselves experts. The co-owners of Grey Lynn’s latest and greatest beauty destination, Amica Boutique, they are truly inspirational as well as a hell of a lot of fun to be around.
Empowering women and the importance of friendship was the combined mantra that started the latest venture for the two old friends, who previously worked together 12 years ago. When I ask them why now was the time – of any point in their fairly impressive careers – for them to finally go into business together, Kirstin says that it was “just the right time… it was the right time for me to get back into the industry after having a while off, and when I called Petra for some advice on what to do she confessed that she was looking to start something of her own too.”
They met up for a coffee and a chat and two months later had a simply beautiful, small but perfectly formed salon in which to showcase their considerable talents. “I’m definitely not one to muck around,” laughs Petra, “and in my previous role at L’Oreal not only did I open businesses but saved businesses and grew businesses, so I knew the inside information on achieving what you want in a really short time.”
With more than 35 years’ experience between them, Petra and Kirstin have combined their talents to establish the European-inspired hair salon, which promises to deliver top-to-toe beauty indulgence, and then some. Previously a make-up artist for TVNZ as well as creative director for L’Oréal NZ and national make-up artist for Lancôme NZ, Petra has had an unbelievable amount of experience making over some of New Zealand’s most famous faces. Combined with Kirstin’s Servilles salon background and extensive styling experience, this duo is a force to be reckoned with.
“Auckland is humming with successful women who don’t have the time to pamper themselves and be immersed in current style trends,” says Petra. “We’ve created a friendly space where women feel comfortable to be themselves while enjoying specialist guidance on the latest looks to bring out their natural beauty.”
Kirstin agrees. “It was so important for us to create an indulgent yet friendly salon offering an holistic approach to beauty. Our services range from cut, colour and make-up to lash extensions, botox and will even give plastic surgeon recommendation. No matter what your beauty desire, we promise to take you there!”
The two were in full agreement when it came to the ethos that surrounded their new venture, “which was not just about what was going in the till but how a woman would feel from the moment she opened our gate,” says Petra. Salons can be intimidating places to enter at the best of times, “but we wanted women to instead feel really empowered and enlightened after their time here, and comfortable enough to kick off their shoes and have a glass of wine with us. We want it to be a home away from home.”
This relaxed feel even extends to their salont menu, which has some absolute treats on offer but can also be customised to exactly what you need. “Tell us what you feel like, how much you want to spend and how much time you have and we’ll work something out with you,” says Kirstin, “and don’t be afraid just to drop in for a coffee or a glass of wine, we’d love to see you.”
I did just that one wet and windy afternoon prior to a night out to experience their signature Dolce Vita treatment, which involved a truly spectacular blow wave followed by Petra unleashing her considerable talents with a makeup brush on my poor old face. I left feeling like a million bucks and sporting a stellar ‘do and a seriously sexy eye, and only wish is that I could drop in every day for the same!
My recommendation, get in there ASAP… I promise you will fall in love with it just as quickly as I did.

** Amica Boutique is located in Sommerfield Villas, Grey Lynn, and you can read more about it and how to book here.

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