Beauty and the Beast

Flipp Salon Apothecary finds solutions to skincare concerns in nature


Hiding within the chic mid-century-modern salon on the East Side is a little something you probably didn’t know about. A full-service apothecary. Say what? Oh yes indeed. Jo-Anna Cassino is not only the owner of Flipp Salon Apothecary but an herbalist as well. Within an antique case inside the salon is a world of handmade herbal treasures. Any sort of beauty product you can imagine, from beard balm to lip scrub, can be customized by hand using all organic, plant-based ingredients. This full service apothecary is a service that most people don’t know about despite the fact that “apothecary” is in the name. I’m telling you people, it’s the real deal.

I visited with Jo-Anna on a blustery afternoon to chat about the kind of non-salon services, products and tinctures that one can find at Flipp Apothecary. Are you looking for an herbal remedy for what ails you? An all natural face scrub? How about some tea that’s custom blended for whatever flavor or mood you are feeling? You will find it all here. Jo-Anna even works with a local farm on the West Side where they grow most of the herbs she uses in her products.

After Jo-Anna and I chatted about all the possibilities I could try, we decided a good place to start would be with the mini-facial products. In my little goodie bag I had one of their signature facial oils, a moisturizing lip balm, a sugar-based lip scrub and a similar sugar-based variation that is used for the face as a cleanser or exfoliator (just add water to dilute the scrub with a touch of water in your hands to turn it into a cleansing wash.) But the real kicker was the custom-blended tea that promised to help with my anxiety and digestive health, which was so up my alley after the holidays. All in all I left the salon with a regimen that promised to get me feeling fab from head to toe, inside and out.

So on a rare quiet evening I took to the bathroom for some quality me time. With just four steps, the whole process only took me about five minutes.
I doused my face with warm water and started right in with the facial polish. Since I hadn’t exfoliated my face in a couple weeks, I decided to use the scrub at its full power. I began by rubbing it on my face in a circular formation, and was more than pleased with the oatmeal cookie aroma. Since all of Flipp’s facial products are made with all natural oils and ingredients I didn’t have to worry about it irritating my skin. I gently rubbed the facial polish into my skin to let the sugar granules do their work and then splashed my face with water to rinse it off. I dabbed my face with a cloth to make sure I left behind the moisturizing coconut and jojoba oils.

My next step was to exfoliate my lips with the lip scrub. I took a finger sized amount and scrubbed it about with my index finger. The different sized sugar granules along with the coconut oil (the same base as the face polish) felt pretty amazing and the exfoliation was much-needed. I again splashed off the exfoliating bits and made sure to leave the hydrating oils behind.

For the moisturizing component, I moved onto the face oil, which not only promised to help keep my skin looking dewy but also contained some aromatherapy components that helped me get into my mini relaxation session. I measured out five drops into my palm as Jo-Anna instructed and dabbed some onto my wrinkle-prone areas. I then rubbed the rest in between my palms and applied it to my face. I followed that with the Flipp Balm on my lips, which was rich and smooth and smelled like cocoa butter. And just like that, I was already done.

The results: right off the bat I became an instant fan of the lip scrub. My lips felt soft and moisturized and I was immediately imagining what it might be like to not have to apply my Chapstick 25 times a day. I also noticed after running my fingers over my skin, that it did indeed feel kind of magical. As Jo-Anna mentioned, all natural, plant-based oils are absorbed by the skin more easily and I could feel my face drink it in. I finished the evening with a warm cup of my relaxation tea. After steeping for 15 minutes to ensure the chamomile, ginger, chicory root and fennel had time to release their goodness, I took a sip and was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. I’m not a fan of tea typically, so this was a new turn. I slept like a baby that night and I can only guess that the tea along with the pampering had more than a little something to do with it.

As someone who is a creature of habit when it comes to skin care, I would definitely urge anyone to try out the line of products at Flipp. Trying something new was not only fun, but felt pretty good to boot. These little pots of natural ingredients can really work for any skin type, and Jo-Anna can help create a product for you if the base formulas don’t suit your needs. I awoke pretty much feeling as fresh as a newborn baby (for me anyways), and after this brutal season… that’s really saying something.

Flipp Salon Apothecary
38 Transit Street