Have we all noticed the subtle way eyebrows frame our natural beauty? When my eyebrows are emphasized, I feel truly complete on the physical level. Yet this involves spending my time grooming and pencilling my brows with an amateur’s hand. Enter Estetica PMU in Leslieville. From lash line enhancements to micro shading eyebrows, there has been a steady resurgence in PMU or Permanent Makeup. This form of micro-pigmentation has been refined through a blending of various techniques. From what I can see, there is a new level of sophistication with more natural results as opposed to years ago. So as in true sisterhood, I watched my friends go first. 

As my friends experienced Estetica PMU services, they spoke of the attentiveness and care they received with Jill for brow enhancement. Jill went the extra mile, having her mom call in and consult with my friend around such ponderings of semi-permanent inks as a prohibitive practice in Judaism. As it turns out, semi-permanent makeup is not technically permanent, therefore copacetic.  As I began to explore new techniques such as lip blushing and Powder Ombré Brows, I learned that the Estetica team were the original innovators of these services in Toronto. 

While COVID precautions have limited some of their services at present, I still went ahead with an adaptation of the Proust Questionnaire for the Estetica PMU owners, Jillian Kestenberg and Kristy Anderson. 

We should really get to know the true nature of the people we allow to enhance our faces, after all. 

Tell us why you chose to set up your space in Leslieville?

We love the energy of the downtown Eastside, it has a community-centric vibe — you feel like your neighbours are genuinely invested in your success here. We desired an open concept space, and Leslieville is full of historic warehouses that have a lofty atmosphere. We utilize natural light to create bespoke permanent makeup looks. 

From a location perspective, we love that it is central and easily accessed by transit, yet just outside the hustle of the downtown core. 

What services make your studio stand out as fabulous?

At Estetica PMU, we are known for the signature Powder Ombré technique, which is intended to blend seamlessly with the shape and structure of the natural brow. We are somewhat unique in offering Lip Blushing and Lash Line Enhancement, which are part of standard beauty protocols in Europe, Russia, Asia, and the USA.  We feel we are innovators in this regard as these services are lesser-known in Canada, yet rising in popularity. 

Finally, we are attentive. We appreciate our client’s individual preferences and natural disposition when determining shape and style. While we offer suggestions, it is ultimately the client that determines the outcome. 

Can you choose one great beauty icon that you most identify with?

We are inspired by French icon Françoise Hardy for her natural, effortless beauty and quintessential Parisian style. There is a simplicity and elegance in her approach to beauty. She is as iconic in her 70s as she was in her 20s. 

What is your greatest extravagance in beauty treatments or products?

We like to keep it simple, as everyday beauty should be. Vitamin C serums are a regular part of our daily repertoire — right now we’re obsessed with SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. We’re also big fans of Elta MD Sunscreen which preserves the integrity of the skin and the actual pigments used in permanent makeup. 

What does it mean to be creative in your industry?

We appreciate the modern innovations of blending pigments in PMU.  These are some of the latest techniques that allow us to create a hyper-realistic effect. At Estetica, we are the artisans, combining specially selected pigments to create hues that resemble a client’s natural pigmentation. 

Describe your favourite type of client.

The ideal client is confident, effortless, and adventurous with his or her beauty. We prefer to look past the trends and honour each individual’s timeless beauty.

Do you have a favourite beauty service to offer at your salon?

Oh well, that is like asking us to choose our favourite child!  Brow enhancement is simply the best because of how this can reframe the face, like an instant rejuvenation. Lip Blushing is the best method for correcting asymmetry of the smile while injecting a hint of colour into fading borders for a fuller, more youthful smile. Our Lash Line Enhancement is equally essential as it creates fullness and density in the lashline.

Which makeup artist’s inspire your work?

Kate Lee and Pati Dubroff stand out right now because they enhance the subject’s natural beauty and personality before the makeup. We love the brows by makeup artist and icon Hung Vanngo for his powdery, but structured brow.

What is your ultimate business motto?

“We’re just here to adjust the lighting.” 

So here is a question that is somewhat new to your industry. How do you safeguard your studio and clients during Covid?

We continue to maintain our sterilization procedures with the same care in which we operated before COVID. Yet we have intensified our protocols to include mandatory masks, hand sanitization, and COVID pre-screening questionnaires. We are careful about limiting the number of guests in our studio and service our clients stationed at 12 feet apart. 

How has permanent makeup (PMU) changed over the years?

Permanent makeup has evolved considerably from the aesthetics of the 80s and 90s. There was a particular taboo when it came to the term “permanent makeup.” 

Today there is an evolution in these procedures, as we apply techniques that offer a soft and airy effect. Our sought after Powder Ombré Brows are designed to fade with time, to honour the beauty trends and current aesthetics of a fuller brow. We also take into consideration that the elasticity of skin changes over time. This feature enables us to perfect and refine our work with each client’s age. Sunblock is always advocated as PMU fading can be accelerated with sun exposure.