Gee Beauty Celebrates Five Years
with a Move to Sunset Harbor
Photographs courtesy Gee Beauty
This week Gee Beauty opens the doors of its new studio in Sunset Harbor. To celebrate the milestone, the ladies behind the local beauty studio, Celene and Natalie Gee, talk family, beauty and what to expect from their new studio.
What did you do prior to Gee?
Celene: We all were in creative fields. I studied art and design, and worked as a freelance graphic designer / art director.
Gee Beauty is a family affair – how did this come about? How did you each decide on your roles?
Celene: There are 4 of us who run the business together: Miriam Gee – our mother and co-founder, and Stephanie Gee – our sister – who are both based in Toronto; Natalie and I are based in Miami. While we each have different roles within the business, we collaborate on all different aspects of Gee Beauty: product and beauty service development, brand direction, client experience – we discuss everything together.
Natalie: Miriam’s background was in fashion and beauty editorial, and had spent many years on set working with models and styling shoots – and gained a unique ‘insider’ perspective on beauty (from skin and makeup, to how to shape eyebrows for perfect definition and lift). So Celene, Stephanie and I grew up in a very creative environment (our father has an advertising agency which we worked closely with to conceptualize and develop our brand), so this definitely helped fuel our creative pursuits.
What is the key to balancing work / life when you are working with your family?
Natalie: Because we all have this entrepreneurial spirit, we are passionate about what we do – so Gee Beauty is really a part of us. Between the two cities and living in different places, we aren’t always together, so we relish it when we are! When we’re together, many conversations flow between creative ideas, business plans…. and what to cook for a big family dinner! There are of course times when one of us says, ‘let’s not talk about work for a few hours.’ But it generally doesn’t last that long!
You are originally from Toronto so what brought you both to Miami? Why have you stayed?
Celene: We’ve always loved Miami. It’s a big destination for Canadians so we grew up coming here on vacation. We always loved any trip to Bal Harbour Shops – even if it was just to pick up coffee and Spanish fashion magazines from Santa Fe cafe. You could easily spend a few hours walking the beautiful outdoor levels of the Shops. When the opportunity came up for that particular space we had – we knew we had to take it!
Natalie: We’ve stayed here because we absolutely love Miami: the mix and influence of such diverse cultures, the active and outdoor lifestyle, the gorgeous weather, and the amazing opportunity to bring our modern beauty concept to life here. There is always something fresh and exciting happening here – from art and design to music, fashion, food, health and wellness.
How have you seen the beauty scene change in Miami since you launched here?
Natalie: One of the biggest changes – or the evolution really - is that more and more people are recognizing Miami as a global destination. Women and men from all over the world come to Miami to embrace the energy, the mix of cultures, and the lifestyle here. There is so much visual inspiration here, and it’s growing so much. Since we opened in 2011, we’ve grown our offering tremendously to meet all the diverse needs of our international clients. Also because of the climate, it’s really head-to-toe, beauty here! There is a signature, beach-inspired look in Miami that we love: laid-back effortless, lightly sun-kissed skin, tousled hair – chic and polished yet relaxed.
Celene: The wellness and natural beauty and categories have definitely grown as well, paralleled alongside the boom in fitness and physical activity.
How does wellness – from eating to exercise – factor in to your lives?
Natalie: Maintaining an active lifestyle and taking care of ourselves is essential to our productivity, our happiness and our overall sense of well being. When we exercise and maintain a clean diet to fuel us – it is really unbelievable how much better we feel, how much more energy we have, and how much more successful we can be, both personally and professionally. I’m addicted to Barry’s Bootcamp – the workout is my go-to for balance.
Celene: We’re big believers that beauty comes from the inside out. Whether it’s from a green smoothie, a transformative yoga class, or from laughing with your friends – it’s really that inner nourishing that allows for a truly natural glow.
Gee Beauty recently celebrated 5 years in Bal Harbour, why move now? Natalie: We are incredibly excited to have celebrated 5 years here, and Bal Harbour Shops could not have been a better destination for us to introduce our brand and get to know this amazing city. We’re looking forward to the move to Sunset Harbour and to building a strong connection to the active Miami lifestyle – with both all the local clients and the international travellers that come here. It also allows us the opportunity to expand our beauty and grooming services with a bit more space. The new studio on Purdy will more-closely parallel the complete Gee Beauty experience in Toronto: situated in a neighborhood where you can grab your morning coffee and run into friends, drop the kids off at school, go to the gym before work, or go out to dinner…. and of course get your brows and makeup done!
What should we be looking forward to in the new space?
Celene: We’re looking forward to giving our clients more. Our mix is a combination of a gorgeous brow shape, a firming eye serum, a classic T-shirt, a chic pair of sunglasses or earrings, and the perfect lipstick to wear to dinner that evening. More brands include: Le Labo fragrances, GOOP Skincare, Ouai haircare, Shiva Rose skincare, Colbert MD skincare and Pursoma Bodycare.
1845 Purdy Avenue
Sunset Harbor | Miami Beach
What are some of your favorite offerings from the studio?
Natalie: That’s like asking us to choose between our babies! Seriously though, we really focus on offering our clients a unique or customized experience, so we ask a lot of questions to get to know your lifestyle, your skin-type, your likes or dislikes, and even your budget. Are you a low-maintenance person? Do you only have 10 minutes in the morning? Do you have any sensitivities etc… then from there we can create an offering that really suits you. Generally we recommend a skin regimen of consistent hydration and exfoliation, along with skin protection products like vitamin C and SPF.
Celene: Our signature service mix is a Gee Beauty Brow shaping, the Medi Multi Express facial to deeply exfoliate, intensely hydrate, firm, lift and brighten the skin, and the Secrets From The Chair one-on-one makeup lesson where we share all of our knowledge and give you the tools to accentuate your natural beauty.
Beauty is a term that is reserved for women, is there place for men to shop or get treatments at Gee Beauty?
Celene: Of course! We’ve always used the term ‘beauty & grooming’ because men need to maintain their skin regimens just as women do. We have a section in our menu called Gee Grooming, and we have an amazing new facial launching called The Mr. Gee, which is a 60-minute male treatment designed to smooth and sooth. It rejuvenates and revives the skin, unclogs pores and eliminates dirt and surface dead skin with microdermabrasion. It also stimulates cell renewal and collagen production, for brighter, firmer, younger-looking skin.
Natalie: The Gee Beauty Brow service is also extremely popular for men as well. We groom the brows very naturally for a clean, maintained appearance. Most of the skincare we retail is for both women and men as well.
What is your tip for minimum effort, maximum results?
Celene: Your time is precious. We get that. No one has unlimited hours to spend at a spa all the time. We always say, “Give us your time. We’ll give you the results!” We’re all about giving you the result that you want in the time that you have, so we customize your experience either in-studio or with your at-home regimen to suit you and your lifestyle.
Natalie: In terms of beauty tips, I think our best would be about keeping consistency - which is the key to most successes in life, right? Getting in the habit of a healthy beauty routine, investing in your skincare, wearing SPF… and resisting the urge to over-tweeze your brows at home! The fuller your brows are, the fresher, and more youthful you look. And yes, there are definitely serums and pencils to help you achieve this!
Can you share your tips for a must-do skin-care routine for “fall” in Miami?
Natalie: Exfoliate the summer off! Fall is all about repairing and rejuvenating the skin. Time in the sun can lead to dullness in the complexion, so now is the time to brighten up! Microdermabrasion is the perfect treatment to lift off surface layers of dead and dull skin while it also regenerates new cells and collagen. We can combine the treatment with Intraceuticals Oxygen to deeply hydrate, firm and brighten the skin.
You carry a variety of products in the store and many that are made with natural ingredients, which has been a big trend in the beauty industry as of late and part of a larger focus in beauty and wellness. How do you balance natural based-products with ones that are tried-and-true favorites that aren’t natural?
Celene: Our aim is to offer our clients an edited mix of the world’s best beauty and wellness products. When we discover a new line, it first and foremost has to meet the standards of which our current brands have not only met, but exceeded: is it result-driven, will it simplify your routine, is it safe, is it well-produced, and does it come from a company we trust. The lines we carry use the most effective, refined, and highest-quality ingredients to create and deliver superior products. Most of the lines combine natural botanicals with pharmaceutical-grade active ingredients, and the completely natural and certified organic brands we carry use high-tech natural ingredients to deliver real results.
Any new product favorites?
Natalie: We love Gwyneth Paltrow’s new GOOP skincare range. Its high-performance skincare made with certified organic ingredients. The Exfoliating Instant Facial is a favorite for sure. It’s like a facial in a jar!
Celene: We’re super excited to be stocking Le Labo and Ouai in the new space as well.
We hear you are beach lovers – how do you spend your beach days?
Celene: I love Sundays at the beach after a good morning workout and a green smoothie. Soho Beach House with an umbrella is the perfect spot with dips in the ocean to cool off, followed by an afternoon bite of Mandolin and a glass of rosé…. and hopefully a nap!
What are some favorite spots in Miami that you frequent?
Celene and Natalie: Mandolin, KYU, 27, Byblos, Soho House, Naiyara, Pub Sushi, and The Standar Spa.
Do you have any secret spots you frequent that you'd share?
Celene: Let's see, Japanese Market, Pinch Kitchen and The Anderson - but I don’t think it’s a secret to any local! I just went to Bombay Darbar in the Grove recently for Indian food and I loved it!
What’s your favorite Miami indulgence? Toronto Indulgence?
Miami - Watching the sunset
Toronto - Miriam's cooking (our mom)!