The building had hardly been touched since Tony Argiero laid the red tile floor in the 1980s. She put in maple flooring, painted the walls white, and hired Ray Wetzel to build the walnut counter and shelves that hold her essential oils. Upstairs she offers massage, waxing, and facials; downstairs she sells a couple of high-end product lines she trusts. "Instead of just going to a drugstore and picking up a product, we want everybody to see an esthetician for a skin consultation," Elkins says. "An esthetician will touch your skin, talk to you, educate you."
It's restorative just to stand before her vast shelves of essential oils and choose fragrances to be mixed drop by drop into "carrier" oils (avocado, almond, and the like), sugars, and salts, to make lotions and body scrubs. A custom-blended six-ounce jar of salt scrub might, for instance, cost about $30, but could go quite a bit higher. Essential oils are priced by the drop: 2c for the lowly eucalyptus, $1.69 for a drop of precious neroli.
Jessica's Skin & Body Apothecary, 301 N. Fifth Ave., 545-4303. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. www.jessicasapothecary.com
[Originally published in January, 2013.]