Pure Beauty Bar's new skincare boot camp is aimed at brides-to-be

'The goal here is to enhance your natural beauty'
Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 08, 2018

CINCINNATI -- When it comes to planning a wedding, the typical bride thinks about how she will look on her big day from the top of her specially styled hair all the way down to her painted toes.

But one important thing most brides don’t consider, Sylvia Brownlee said, is their skin.

Brownlee aims to change that with a new offering at her Pure Beauty Bar salon in Pleasant Ridge: the “Pure Beauty Skincare Bridal Boot Camp.”

“The bridal boot camp is all about the woman having picture-perfect skin,” said Brownlee, Pure Beauty Bar’s CEO and esthetician. “The whole goal is that when your husband takes that veil off your face and sees you, whether you have makeup on or not, your skin is flawless.”

Bridal boot camp clients get personal consultations with Brownlee so she can understand the problems they have with their skin. She asks questions about their diets and lifestyles and then recommends customized care regimens for brides-to-be. Clients also get a series of facials over either three months or six months to prepare their skin for their wedding day. The cost varies based on the number of facials.

Sylvia Brownlee

Brownlee will host a mini bridal skincare boot camp on March 10 for $25 where brides-to-be can learn the best ways to clean, exfoliate, moisturize and prepare their skin for their wedding day. Women who register for the mini bridal boot camp will receive custom clay masks to take with them.

Brownlee said she started the bridal boot camps because so many women are focused on getting their makeup done by a makeup artist on their wedding day, but they don’t think about their skin as the makeup artist’s canvas. Even the best makeup artists can be challenged by trying to cover up breakouts or cystic acne, she said.

“So the more smooth your foundation is, and when I say foundation I mean your skin, the easier the application of the makeup will be,” Brownlee said. “The goal here is to enhance your natural beauty and embrace your own pure beauty by having great skin underneath.”

‘She works miracles’

As an esthetician, Brownlee specializes in treating clients with acne and hyperpigmentation. The bridal boot camp concept is new for her but similar to the acne boot camps that Pure Beauty offers.

Clients for those get an in-depth consultation and then can enroll in the 12-week boot camp, which includes customized facials twice per month.

Genelle Watts started Pure Beauty Bar’s acne boot camp in December.

Genelle Watts after a facial. (Eric Clajus | WCPO)

“It was a present for myself,” she said.

Watts said her acne started after the birth of her second daughter. She went to a dermatologist about it, she said, but didn’t feel like she was seeing results.

“Here I feel like everything is more customized,” she said. “It’s not just throwing a prescription at you and telling you to do this.”

Watts has been so pleased with the results that she plans to bring her daughter and niece to see Brownlee about preteen acne, she said.

Sydney Martin is an acne boot camp client, too. She had gone to Pure Beauty Bar before to get her hair and eyelashes done, she said, and decided to try the skincare services after her face began to break out following a change in her birth control medication.

Sydney Martin before acne boot camp.

“Prior to that, I never really had any skin issues so I started to freak out,” Martin said. “I was like, ‘I need your help!’”

Martin said she appreciated the time Brownlee spent with her during the consultation and the care she took in determining how her skin would react to her Pure Beauty products.

Sydney Martin a few months after starting acne boot camp.

“She made a routine for me, and I’ve been doing it, and my skin has improved dramatically over the past few months,” Martin said. “She works miracles. I trust her completely.”

Helping to fill a void

Pure Beauty Bar’s other specialty is hair extensions.

Brownlee said the salon has products and services for customers no matter what their hair color or skin type.

Stylist Camri Dobbins and client Simone Henderson.

But she said there is a void when it comes to skincare services for women of color, in particular.

“Women of color means women of any descent, and I want them to understand how important it is to have not only good skincare, but a lot of women of color don’t wear sunscreen,” she said. 

Skipping sunscreen can result in hyperpigmentation, she said, something that a lot of women don’t realize.

“Caucasian women, you hear all the time about skin cancer. And for some reason women of color think that it doesn’t affect them. And it does, just as much,” she said. “So I definitely am trying to educate women to understand that sunscreen SPF 30 is recommended every day.”

Brownlee has developed her expertise over 22 years as a cosmetologist, including 10 years at Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa. She recently released a Pure Beauty Skincare line of products that she sells at her salon and through its website.

She said she brings all that experience into the individual consultations she does with new clients. The goal is for that one-on-one attention to help Pure Beauty Bar stand out from other salons, Brownlee said.

“We like to build relationships with our customers,” she said. “And I think that’s what sets us apart.”

Pure Beauty skin care products.

More information about Pure Beauty Bar is available online. The mini bridal skincare boot camp will be 3-5 p.m. March 10 at Pure Beauty Bar Salon, 6050 Montgomery Road. Space is limited, but guests can register at the door as space allows. To register in advance, call 513-760-3838, visit Pure Beauty Bar’s website or email

Lucy May writes about the people, places and issues that define our region – to celebrate what makes the Tri-State great and shine a spotlight on issues we need to address. She has been writing about women- and minority-owned businesses in Greater Cincinnati for more than 20 years. To read more stories by Lucy, go to To reach her, email Follow her on Twitter @LucyMayCincy.