Colleen Reis & Milady’s: cutting edge beauty care

Colleen Reis discusses skin and hair care with a passion rarely seen, and she has so much information at her fingertips you would think she lives and breathes it.

For 18 years she has been the business brain and resident beauty specialist at Milday’s Beauty Salon; a cutting edge house of glamour where the goal is to not only satisfy the customer but to do so in style. The satisfaction bit is what Colleen prides herself on.

People walk into Milday’s, which recently moved from Robb Street to New Garden Street, Queenstown, and are blown away by the service and the star treatment.  From the reception that greets customers with a complimentary glass of their choice of drink is, including wine, the service screams “come back”.

But it’s difficult to stay away after you would have walked in and this seems to be true of the men who also frequent Milady’s. At the time we visited a loyal male customer was getting a manicure done and according to Colleen, the lavender themed manicures are a hit with the male customers. Women seem to cling to the rose and chocolate lines.

Colleen Reis

Just in case a few people might have questions about the males and manicures, Colleen and her team is eager to point out that is all part of personal grooming, and judging from the looks the guy was getting from the women in the salon it was easy to figure out that women find it sexy.

“In the beauty industry you have to keep elevating… the products, the services, skills,” Colleen told The Scene during an interview this week. She realized that Milady’s had outgrown the Robb Street location and she made an investment to relocate to a more spacious spot.

Milady’s relocated in June this year and since then Colleen has stepped things up in terms of services, and she has managed to create a unique space of pampering and comfort. She said that Queenstown was chosen because she was also seeking a “quiet for the customers”.

Colleen feels like she has to continue re-inventing because of the competition since according to her, there are many other salons in the city where the services are top notch. She said that many of the stylists in this country are “extremely talented”, noting that many of them are working a magic on customers that she is particularly impressed with.

Mrs Yvonne Hinds, wife of Prime Minister Sam Hinds at Milady's.

Milady’s is known for associating with well-known hair and skin care lines and Colleen pointed out that she continues to look for fresh lines which come highly recommended. She said that they are big on hair treatments and are currently using the Mizani and Provana lines, which she said are popular with customers.

Women who frequent the salon are craving new trends and are interested in the best hair care treatment and products, Colleen said. She mentioned that her salon is currently using a new hair treatment which has been popular for some time now; the Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT).

She explained that the BKT is an alternative to pressing, ironing or relaxing to straighten the hair, “get it glossy”, but she cautioned that the result varies based on hair textures. Colleen said that BKT is not permanent; the keratin treatment operates like a rinse because it washes out.
The keratin is similar to the hair’s natural protein, she said, stressing that is it also a treatment. The hair is straightened with the active ingredient keratin, a protein very like ingredient which naturally straightens the hair.

She said too that another treatment is the Brocato Curlinterrupted which also lasts for a short while and provides customers with an alternative of curly hair. She mentioned that Milday’s uses a protein spray from the line as well.

In addition to other services, Colleen noted that they are big on pedicures and manicures as well as facials and massages. She said that they are working to introduce hot stone massages and pedicures in 2011.

Colleen was trained in cosmetology in the US and since her initial studies, she has done several other courses relating to hair treatment, colours, styling and facials. She takes what she does so seriously that she takes a decision not to introduce anything into the salon before she is certified to handle it herself.

She is also training her employees to take on much of the work she does, and she recently travelled to a workshop in Miami with one of her staff. “Training them is important and whatever knowledge I have I am passing it on,” she added.

The staff at Milady's.

In addition to her qualifications as a beautician, she also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Guyana. She said the degree was important because it speaks to personal evaluation; she is now encouraging her staff to take the next step and pursue an academic degree in addition to their cosmetology qualifications.

Colleen said her clientele has grown tremendously since her move and she is grateful that they keep going back. She noted that her prices are competitive despite the “fancy interior and décor” of her salon. She was modest in her assessment of the salon which is as swanky as it gets, but she insists that the prices are flexible.

She mentioned that her facials, pedicures, manicures and hair treatments start at $2,500/$3,000 and could go higher based on what the customer needs. Her relaxing and colour treatments start at $5,000 because as she points out they stick to a few recognized lines which mean that when the customer opts for a line it includes the complete range of products.

As a bonus, Colleen has a boutique in the salon where women could pick up clothing, shoes, bags and jewellery. (ianaseales@yahoo.com)

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