Native Nashvillian and entrepreneur Nyke has always been a huge music fan. One of the current shots on her Web site Xclusiveskin.com features her with a makeup brush in front of several seven-inch vinyl singles.
She maintains an equal interest in beauty, particularly the areas of skin care and makeup, and she’s been extensively trained in these disciplines prior to becoming a professional seven years ago. She’s now combining these interests and forging a national reputation as one of the country’s best foremost makeup and beauty consultants for top performers.
“[A reputation for knowing how to make top stars look good on the air or in photo shoots] isn’t something that you can just create yourself,” Nyke said. “I’ve done a lot of studying and training about skin care and beauty. It’s something I’ve been interested in my entire life. Then, after you’ve been successful for a while, the word starts to get out. I’m now getting calls and inquires from all over the place, both locally and across the country.”
A quick look at her past and present client list reaffirms that prominence.
She’s worked on artists who’ve appeared on the Stellar and Dove Awards telecasts. Aretha Franklin, Rev. Shirley Caesar, Tye Tribbett, Elaine Cato, who was featured on the American Inventors television show and the ubiquitous personality known as “The Church Girl”, are some people who praise her work, as well WQQK-92Q DJ Princess Ivory.
She’s done makeup and skin care on music videos, films, for magazine covers and at fashion shows.
Now, the personal make-up artist of Studio 13 Photography in East Nashville, Nyke also operates her own business, Xclusive Skincare & Make-up Studio.
A licensed aesthetician with expertise in ethnic and men’s skin care as well as women’s, Nyke doesn’t confine her services only to the rich and famous, even though she acknowledges that she’s now very much in demand for various events. She also works with a growing list of clients not involved in the industry who’ve heard about her through word of mouth.
Her headquarters at 121 21st Ave. N., Suite 206, does everything from portfolio work for models and photographers to simple preparations for weddings, makeovers, glamour treatments and something new that’s she’s pioneering: “relaxation lounges.”
“This idea is something I came up with to help people maximize their time and get the most in terms of beauty and skin care,” Nyke said.
The relaxation lounge experience combines everything from facials to massages, pedicures, manicures, and eye treatments, depending on what level you select. They range from 90 minutes to three hours, and are among the many services that clients can request on an appointment basis (596-9878, email@example.com).
There’s also the Xclusives Mobile Spa, which Nyke established two years ago. She co-ordinates this operation with a team of therapists who specialize in different treatments and will make either home or venue visits. These can be parties of 10 for home treatments or groups of up to 20 for venue events, and her teams work not only in Nashville but also in surrounding areas.
She also will help organize spa parties to help celebrate birthdays, promotions or teen events, where various skin care procedures are integrated into other types of festivities. Her team provides anything required including mobile beds, products, towels, sunscreen, music or candles. Each member of her team is also fully insured and highly qualified in all these services.
While reluctant to talk about the individual tendencies, egos or problems of the famous people that she works with, Nyke does say they aren’t much different from anyone else when it comes to insecurities or posing personal challenges.
“In the beginning you have to establish their trust, get them to like you and then they’ll open up,” Nyke said. “When you’re on a video or doing an awards show, everyone is under close scrutiny and there’s a lot of time pressure. They want and expect you to produce quickly. At the same time, one reason that I got into the whole makeup and skin care business was a feeling that there were particular problems that African-American men and women faced that weren’t always understood or appreciated. This is one of the things that helps me with these clients is that they know I understand not only the particular problems involved with skin care, but also that I’m able to work with a schedule and can give them what they need very quickly and consistently.”
Utilizing a holistic approach — dealing with the mind, body and spirit from head to toe — on every client from the rich and famous to the basic hard-working regular has earned Nyke notoriety and ongoing fame within the entertainment business. But she’s determined to have just as much general impact, and feels that the “relaxation lounge” concept will be something that should interest everyone, no matter their economic or social status.
“Looking and feeling good is part of self-esteem, and that’s something that helps all of us,” Nyke said.
More information about Xclusive Skincare & Make-up Studio is available online at Xclusiveskincare.com
The Music Biz appears Mondays in The City Paper. Comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org