By Emma Castleberry
Melissa Markis, owner of Skin Spa Asheville, discovered her passion for makeup and skin care by accident. While on a shoot as a professional photographer in New York City, the scheduled makeup artist had an emergency and couldn’t make it.
“I jumped in and went to the local beauty shop, purchased makeup and ended up doing all the models’ makeup that day,” she says. “To my surprise, I loved it. I found it to be creative and I had a natural eye for it. We never hired another makeup artist again.”
Markis spent many more years doing makeup for her photo shoots in New York before moving to Asheville in 2001. She continued her photography career until 2011, when she obtained her esthetician’s license at the Aveda Institute in Charlotte.
“I wished I had done it years earlier,” she says. “It is such a rewarding career, so dynamic and creative. The industry is always growing. I feel excited every day to be doing this work.”
In 2013, Markis opened Skin Spa Asheville in a suite of the Haywood Park Hotel. She has since expanded to an additional location in the Haywood Park Atrium.
“When I started out, it was just me, and my business focused on innovative skincare treatment using resultsdriven technology and products,” she says. “That has never changed, but I now offer a more well-rounded spa experience.”
Services like a nail spa and eyelash enhancements are new to the Skin Spa Asheville menu. Markis also collaborates with Dr. Allan Zacher of Mountain Radiance to bring medical aesthetics to her clientele.
Long-time customer Patsy Davis discovered Skin Spa Asheville through a Groupon. Davis once suffered from painful cysts beneath her skin, but hasn’t experienced one since she started seeing Markis.
“She is extremely knowledgeable about skin and often shares her knowledge, which helps me understand and trust her,” Davis says of Markis. “It’s clear her focus is for her customers to look their best. Thanks to her affordable prices, I can see her on a regular basis.”
Markis focuses on using healthier alternative products, like toxin-free Zoya nail polish and Zuii makeup, which is made from crushed organic flower petals. Recently, she launched her own product line, Melissa Markis Skincare. “I found so many of my clients had dehydrated skin, which lacks moisture, whereas dry skin lacks oil,” she says.
Markis’ new line adds moisture to the skin with hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the body. “Adding hyaluronic acid to your skin care routine can help with sun damage, acne, plump up fine lines and wrinkles, and give the skin a moist glow.”
Skin Spa Asheville is located at 1 Battery Park Avenue, Suite M1. For more information about products and services or to book an appointment, visit skinspaasheville.com.