Embrace Your FACE.
Sheila Davis knows a thing or two about letting your real face shine and revisiting the basics in skincare.
Chatting in the back kitchen of her 12South brick and mortar, we shared commonalities of growing up in towns too small for our dreams, the importance of manners in relationships and why the world can't survive without boxed wine.
“MTV inspired me to run away," she says, reminiscing on the era when music videos became the newest form of expression and when she first identified with the art form of a painted face.
But don't be fooled into thinking that all we discussed was color matching and lip-plumping techniques. Sheila's success has come from understanding the human confidence and why skin health is so vital to makeup performance.
When Davis moved to Nashville and took a retail job at Clinique, she immediately recognized the power of creating positive impact in a world that likes to fester insecurities. "As a makeup artist, you become a bartender. What I mean by that is, the minute you touch someone’s face, the walls come down and they confide in you about the flaws they fixate on," she explains. Pointing out the things that made "said-client" uniquely beautiful, aside cosmetic application, shows them they are focusing on features people don’t even notice.
The Clinique counter is where Sheila also met two influential names in Nashville's beauty scene: Melanie Shelley, editorial hair and makeup artist and Melissa Schleicher, owner/founder of Parlour 3 (also known as Carrie Underwood's longtime hair stylist). These early connections forged Sheila's path into freelance work. "I did a couple video shoots, photo shoots, and I was hooked. I understand the mentality of a musician and I was left-brained just enough to be on-time for appointments and keep my clients on track."
For the first 10 years, she learned the value of perfection in regard to work ethic and pre-production during shoots. "It's important to be nit-picky and OCD because you should never assume a filtered photoshop world will be enough," she reflects. I spent the first 15 years of my career in what I’d like to call "packaging design" because we were creating products-people were our products."
Throughout her career, Sheila has added notable Christian and Country names to her clientele like Amy Grant and Vince Gill, Little Big Town, Keith Urban, Michael W. Smith and several others. Yet all while building her network, a business venture of her own was formulating.
"FACE has been a idea that’s lived in me for a decade; longest gestation period of all time." FACE Nashville came into the picture because of Sheila's determination to change the perception of the beauty industry. "Authenticity and being naturally who you are is enough," she says.
"At FACE, we genuinely love people. It's our joy, not just our job," she says. Sheila's staff of expert artists and estheticians provide a range of facials, advanced exfoliation, derma-planing and chemical peels. Products on display in the sleek storefront were carefully chosen to subtly enhance your best features while caring for your skin at the same time.
"With all of my makeup background and artistry that was driving me all these years, I wanted to marry it with a serious approach to skin care. Makeup was only gonna look as good as the skin looked. I’ve joked that we’re a bakery- we bake the cake in the back and frost it up front!" Another skill of Sheila's, coming up with some of the best marketing analogies.
And despite the pressure to purchase trending brands, Sheila offered a few tips to caring for your skin without breaking the bank.
"Wash your face. You don’t realize the pollutants landing on your skin. Sunscreen is not expensive and it prevents free radicals. Oh and don't smoke. Your skin is your largest living organ and smoking robs it of oxygen. You don’t have to be rich to make good lifestyle choices, wear sunscreen or wash your face," she reassures.
If you're looking to spend a little more, implement topical Vitamin C into your daily routine. Because this particular vitamin can oxidize easily (making it less effective), it's important you purchase it in a brown bottle or tube that can't air out. Squalene oil is also great to keep the skin hydrated naturally. The average person loses this organic compound in their mid-20's. I just turned 25 so this piece of knowledge was super timely. Davis recommends Indie Lee's Squalene Oil made from olives (aka the magical fruit) because it mimics the real thing. Founder Indie Lee started the natural skincare line after suffering from a brain tumor caused by toxins and hormone disrupters found in most cosmetics.
"The products I sell are more effective than anything I’ve used. I’m not gonna live and die by Whole Foods-not every synthetic is bad for us. I just want to be aware. No excuse not to educate ourselves. You have to do your homework," she says. During her research, Sheila found that Europe currently bans over 1,100 ingredients while the United States only bans 11. If that's not a good enough reason become more aware, what is?!
In addition to Indie Lee, FACE also carries ILIA Beauty, PCA Skin, RMS and more. The FACE owner and founder personally tested and researched every product in depth, being sure that all products were free of parabens, chemicals and animal testing. "I want to work with smaller companies that source their ingredients with careful research and don't sell out for the sake of corporate America. My clients don’t have to read the label because I’ve already done the legwork for them. And that matters to me."
"What is it they say?...“the ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” I want to make that prevention more accessible. We all have a face to take care of. We've been bombarded with so many images of unattainable (photoshopped) perfection, it's becoming more and more difficult to make peace with the reflection in the mirror. Our filtered and photoshopped world makes it hard for us to be happy with how we look. I want FACE to be the place that teaches folks how to care for and enhance what they have- not hide it. I don’t want beauty to be unachievable."- Sheila Davis, FACE Nashville