The spa is a refuge within a venerable brick storefront in Columbus' Short North Arts District. Outside is rushing traffic and busy shoppers, diners and arts patrons, slipping in and out of galleries, restaurants, bars and stores up and down High Street.
But Mukha is a contemplative spot of orchids and facials, warm wraps and massages. Women might pop in for a quick blow out, or settle in for a full day of beauty, from brow shaping and tint to a reiki treatment and full tan. The dark, cozy treatment rooms, with their rough brick walls and soft fleece throws, have a way of seducing clients to stay for hours of treatments, contentedly dozing in and out.
For its 10th anniversary, the spa has reordered its entry area and moved the makeup chairs toward the front of the narrow shotgun room, to take advantage of the natural light filtering in from the west. This is the space where master esthetician Tim Mauer consults with clients on their skincare regimen, plots out their at-home makeup plans, and prepares brides for their big days.
Mauer gives a makeup consultation like no one else, chatting, laughing, telling the total truth about a client’s skin. Yes, it’s dry, yes, we need to exfoliate, yes, the over-the-counter makeup shades are all wrong. Here, let me show you, and he applies creams and colors in swoops like a dervish. Soon, you have a take-home cheat sheet of step-by-step applications and a fresh new look.
Mauer, a makeup artist who has worked in film, television and theater, was recently beauty director of the Mrs. International Pageant system. He works with his personal and business partner, Sanito Mendoza, whose Filipino heritage gave the spa its name: Mukha for “face” in Mendoza’s nativeTagalog.
Mauer formulates his own cosmetics and treatments, and heads to the West Coast to see his creations come to life. The Mukha line of color and skin care is 100% mineral-based and free of oil, alcohol, fragrance and talc. He makes facial cleansers, anti-aging serums, moisturizers, acne treatments, eye creams and fragrances to keep aging at bay.
He has a new magic wand that triples as eye makeup, blush and lip color in one. And one of his most remarkable staples is the pineapple enzyme cleanser. The bromelian enzyme from pineapple exfoliates while the action of jojoba beads sends oil deep into the skin. It’s the softest most women can ever remember their skin feeling.
When you go