Most women want to put their best face forward on their wedding day. But for skin care specialist and esthetician Alfya Murtazina, having a radiant complexion goes beyond the makeup a bride applies hours before saying "I do."
Alfya — whose eponymous beauty hub (11 Burtis Ave., New Canaan) offers facials, body treatments, and makeup services — advises brides-to-be to begin a skin care regimen months before the main event.
“Brides don’t want to break out the day of their wedding,” says Murtazina, a Darien resident by way of Moscow.
A tiny woman who disarms with a warm demeanor and a Russian accent, Murtazina also makes house calls for brides who need an on-site makeup artist on site for their special day.
Her 20 years of experience in the field are rooted in the arts. In the 1980s, Murtazina began her career as an art teacher in Moscow, but when the economy shifted in the post-USSR 1990s, the job market forced a career switch, so she figured she’d try her hand at beauty.
She spent four years studying dermatology at the Beauty Institute of Moscow, and in 1996 Murtazina and her husband, artist Sergey Stepanenko, and two teenage daughters, Margarita and Evelina Stepanenko, moved to Darien for a better life. Today, Murtazina still applies an artist’s precision to the treatments she offers.
Pre-wedding facials are especially important, says Murtazina, noting that brides are as prone to bad-skin days as teenagers. Many women marry in their late twenties and early thirties at a time when the skin’s natural process of self-exfoliation slows down, she explains, and wedding-induced stress can do a number on otherwise clear skin.
Skin care remedies at her 1,000-square foot salon range from the comprehensive “Signature Facial" — a personalized, 75-minute treatment that advtertises an instant glow — to an “Oxygenating Facial” that claims to stimulate cells and improve blood circulation for less-youthful skin. Other treatments include chemical peels and facial/body waxing for the honeymoon bound.
Alfya also performs eyebrow sculpting, shaping, and tinting services and says she has plans for a new paraben-free makeup line that won't block pores.
Samples at her store reveal a wide palate of eye shadows, as well as light, shimmery, loose mineral-based powders.
“I’m a graduate of art school,” says Alfya. “I was teaching art for 15 years, so I know a bit about color.”