It takes a lot to get me to venture north of Bloor Street here in Toronto (I know, I know, I’m that person) but, it’s true. However, one quick sneak peek of the stylish beauty studio that recently opened its doors on Eglinton West had me intrigued. What was this place? Who was behind such a gorgeous looking spot in a neighbourhood that’s not exactly known for being “trendy”? Needless to say, I hopped into an Uber and went to find out. Inside B. Beautiful I immediately met its owner, Brittni Alexandra; young, cool, with an obvious eye for design, I quickly sat down as Brittni got to work on taming my wild brows. We chatted about her space and the brands she carries (all exclusive to her in Canada), her love for L.A., and, of course, why she strongly recommends waxing over threading. If she could change my outlook on brow maintenance in one swift visit, I knew she was the real deal.
Keep reading to learn more about Brittni and her business, and why you should totally make the trek to visit.
Business Name: B. Beautiful
Name & Title: Brittni Alexandra, Owner
Location: Eglinton and Avenue Road (402 Eglinton Avenue West)
Education: 2 Degrees and 13 Specialist Certifications
Edit Seven: Tell us about your business, what do you do?
Brittni Alexandra: B. Beautiful is a beauty and lifestyle studio located on Eglinton West in Toronto that specializes in facial beauty services – this includes everything from eyebrow waxing, shaping and tinting to micro-blading to eyelash lifts and tints (just to name a few). We also offer exclusive products at the store including clothing, beauty and skin care products and jewelry that you won’t find anywhere else in Canada.
E7: How did you start your business? What inspired you to start?
BA: After working in both L.A. and Toronto for a number of years, I was able to see many different sides of the industry. Los Angeles has such an incredible beauty scene and is home to some of the world’s top studios and brands. Being from Toronto, I saw an opportunity to bring some of that L.A. style and professionalism to our city, which is how B. Beautiful was born. I also found that I really I wanted to own a business that is 100% me. I’ve learned that when you are your true authentic self and passionate about what you do, clients naturally find you. Of course, there is more that goes into it than that, but the opportunity to create a space that embodies my style and personality was the biggest reason for launching my business.
E7: Why do you love what you do?
BA: I genuinely love my job, and when you’re passionate about what you do, you will never have to “work” a day in your life. At the end of the day, I get to help women feel beautiful by enhancing their own natural beauty – and there is nothing more rewarding than that. Giving back is also so important to us. We also get to work with The Cancer Foundation, where we’ve had the opportunity to give women and men their brows back through our semi-permanent brow service. That is definitely the most rewarding yet hardest part of my job, because it’s such an emotional experience for them.
E7: What makes your business special?
BA: What really makes B. Beautiful stand out is our unique expertise and the L.A. style that we bring to Toronto! With over 13 certifications, we offer services and treatments that you will rarely find under one roof. In addition, many of the products, clothing and jewelry we sell are exclusive to Canada. I personally try every product and service multiple times before it’s ever offered to a client. If I don’t genuinely love it, you won’t find it in my studio. This reassures clients that everything we have and use is very high quality and only the best of the best.
E7: What makes your waxing style special?
BA: I was trained in L.A, by Nicoleta Beverly Hills, formally trained by Anastasia Beverly Hills. If you’re familiar with any famous brow artist, you know that their style is very different than anything offered in Toronto, and I wanted to bring that style of waxing here. We use wax that is specifically made for the face, so it doesn’t hurt and won’t leave your skin red and irritated! A lot of people make the assumption that waxing has to be painful and irritate your skin, that is because many people use wax that is made for the body and not for the face. We also are a one time use environment and dispose of everything after each appointment.
E7: What are some of the main differences between waxing and threading?
BA: The biggest difference between the two is that threading is not as hygienic and put simply, it HURTS! Wax removes hair from the root if done hygienically, so it is a very clean and safe process with minimal pain, just one quick pull in the direction that your skin naturally moves. With correct wax and technique, you get a much
nicer look! Threading is just that – a piece of thread. Many estheticians hold the thread in their mouth which is not hygienic or approved by Health Canada. You have to stretch the skin on the eye for 20 minutes while it rips your hair out one by one. If not done properly, the procedure can result in cuts and scarred tissue around the delicate eye area. Let’s put it this way: do you know any famous or notable brow artists that thread? There aren’t any.
E7: Why is waxing or threading better or worse for you?
BA: Waxing is safer for your skin and requires a certified esthetician, whereas Threading is quite the opposite. The cost of threading is a lot cheaper for supplies than waxing, so many beauty professionals offer the service more frequently. In Toronto, you also don’t need any certification to thread but you do need it to be working on someone’s skin i.e. waxing. It’s unfortunate, but it definitely happens to many people, including myself. This is how I came to specialize in brow correction.
E7: What process (and products) do you use for the best results with the least amount of skin ageing?
BA: I use special wax specially formulated for the skin on your face! Especially the brow area. When waxing, I hold the skin tight so there is no pull to the eye area or any other areas on the face. I finish with a calming cream to hydrate and calm the skin because any form of hair removal is also a form of exfoliation. To finish, I conceal the area and show you how to fill in your brows correctly so you can do it at home as well! We have take-home kits for every brow look.
E7: What would you tell someone interested in waxing and or tinting for the first time?
BA: Make sure you go to someone who really knows what they are doing and ensure they are properly certified. I’m talking the best of the best with years of experience. Check out their work (not edited work), and always ask around.
E7: How do you determine who is a good candidate for microblading vs waxing and tinting?
BA: The best way to determine that is through an in-person consultation. No one’s brows or skin type is the same, which people often forget. Keeping all of those elements in mind along with the clients desired look, I always provide my professional opinion in advance in order to achieve the best results for them. There is no black and white answer, so you should never go to someone who agrees to do microblading without actually seeing your brows.
E7: You recently opened up in the Eglinton West area, why did you decide on this neighbourhood instead of Yorkville or downtown?
BA: I have worked in just about every area in Toronto but never in my own neighbourhood (which is Eglinton West/Forest Hill). I fell in love with the space as soon as I saw it and really had a vision for it. We looked in Yorkville, Young and Eglinton and other areas, but nothing compared to the space we’re in now – I kept going back to it!
E7: What is your #1 piece of advice to keep in mind when starting your own beauty business?
BA: Follow your own definition of beauty. It can be a shallow industry, but it can be extremely rewarding when you’re in it for the right reasons. Stay true to you, your style and what you believe in. People will tell you that you’re wrong and put you down, but if I listened to everyone else’s opinions, I would not be where I am today. I created what I wanted for my business – it’s 100% me and that’s success in itself.
E7: Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting your business?
BA: I’ve learned that having a business degree does not teach you everything you need to know to run a successful business. It may look nice on paper, but there is so much more that goes into it. I learned much more from my previous jobs, certifications and real-life experiences – including what does and doesn’t work for me! I wish I knew earlier on that all experiences are good, even the bad ones.
E7: What is a challenge you’d tell future entrepreneurs in the beauty business to prepare for?
BA: Be prepared to be criticized! I think my favourite experience to date is being criticized by people who have never ventured out and started their own business, and never will. Know the difference between people trying to help you and people being plain jealous that you had the courage to do it. Don’t get me wrong: it is f****** terrifying, but what is reward without the risk?
E7: How do you stay organized, balanced and motivated?
BA: I never lose sight of why I started B. Beautiful – it keeps me consistently grateful and grounded.
E7: Who are some of your mentor’s/role models?
BA: Of course, it started with Anastasia Beverly Hills, Nicoletta Beverly Hills and Kelley Baker. Kelley is super nice and down to earth, and brought a whole new style to the art of brows (B. Beautiful carries her complete line in studio). I’m lucky to be surrounded by strong women who inspire me daily and have given me support. Most of all, my mom has always supported me and my crazy, ever- changing ideas. When everyone told me no, she stood behind me while I found a way on my own terms.
E7: Do you have a daily or regular ritual you practice that you love?
BA: No, but I love that my day is never the same. My newfound obsession is taking an hour out of my day to go to the gym, uninterrupted. Just taking that hour to do something for myself and not answer my phone (rather I try my best not to) makes all the difference. In the service/retail industry where you are constantly doing things for others, its important to take some time for yourself.
E7: Where do you go or what do you do to look for inspiration?
BA: L.A. is my happy place! I go to L.A. often and stay in touch with the women who have trained me and inspire me. I am constantly educating myself on the newest, latest and best in beauty. If I’m being honest, I inspire myself.
E7: Who is the B. Beautiful client and why should they come in for a visit?
BA: The B. Beautiful client is someone who defines beauty on their own terms, loves the laid back L.A. lifestyle, is authentic to who they are and is interested in exclusive beauty and lifestyle brands. We are one of a kind in everything we do.
(Story by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)