Michelle McKee has some of the steadiest hands in Timmins. It goes with the job, as her customers trust her to work near their eyes.
McKee is an esthetician and lash technician, operating her own business Michelle Esthetics.
Growing up in Connaught, she attended Ecole catholique Sacre-Coeur and Ecole secondaire catholique Theriault. While in elementary school, she started on her way to a career.
“They put me in a special program when I was in Sacre-Coeur because I am dyslexic and have ADD, a special program for kids with disabilities, so you went to the high school and practiced esthetics or woodworking,” McKee said. “I always did my makeup and was girly, so I went in esthetics then.”
In high school, she met Becky Farrell, owner of Beauty by Becky Spa.
“I went to Theriault … started working in esthetics and did a couple of esthetics competitions,” she said. “I actually did my co-op here at Beauty by Becky.
“Becky really taught me everything I knew before I went to college. I have a business within a business. She helped me open up my own business.”
McKee attended Modern College private academy in North Bay to learn esthetics.
“I worked in a spa for four years before starting up on my own,” she said. “I finally got the courage after I accidentally bumped into Becky after all those years. She said ‘I actually have a room for rent if you want to come work for yourself in my spa.’
“We’re like sisters, so that’s perfect. It is a homecoming. It’s so funny. It’s like it was meant to be.”
The spa is like an oasis of relaxation in the modern world for her customers.
“I do a lot of eye lash extensions. I do manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials … everything,” she said.
But her specialty is eye lash extensions. It takes a steady hand and a calm demeanor to apply the extensions.
“You individually, one by one, glue synthetic eye lashes onto your eye lashes. I have them right now,” she said. “It takes about an hour and a half.
“I could be a surgeon … I don’t have the brain for a surgeon, but I have the hands,” she added, with a cheerful laugh.
She notices a big difference in clients after a session at the spa.
“I think my favourite part is seeing … if people are having a bad day, they can talk to me about anything and it’s confidential,” McKee said. “I just like to help people relax. So, it’s really nice to see, with an eye lash extension, the difference in their confidence when they leave.
“You want it to look natural, kind of like looking like you’re not wearing makeup when you are wearing makeup. It’s very natural.”
While McKee has her own business in space leased from her friend’s business, the two work as a team.
“Becky is the one who really helped me get set up on my own,” she said. “Manicures and pedicures … we have a beautiful pedicure chair here, where people can sit down and get massages at the same time as they get their pedicure.
“We really focus on relaxing. Waxing, facials…we’re just getting a new facial line in called Face Addiction.”
Designed in Muskoka and made in Canada, the line has no chemical preservatives, colourants or fragrance, does not involve animal testing and is spa professional skin care
“We use all natural products with essential oils. We’re pretty spa based,” she said.
McKee works by appointment only, usually from Tuesday through Saturday from roughly 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“To make appointments, people usually text me,” she said. “But they can call or use my social media … Facebook and then my Instagram, too. Lots of people book through Instagram.”
She enjoys all aspects of her chosen vocation.
“Just making people happy,” McKee said. “I’m a people person. I love talking to people and being with people. I like to tell people it’s like I’m not even working.
“You know, if you love your job, you don’t work a day in your life. For me, I think it’s the people aspect of it. I love the physical work as well, but just making people happy makes me happy.”
Michelle Esthetics is located within Beauty by Becky Spa at 31 Cedar St. N. in Timmins. Appointments can be booked by calling or texting 705-262-0907, emailing M.Esthetic@outlook.com, on Facebook or Instagram.