Biba Vernon describes her youth as an unusual one. The Los Angeles native grew up with experiences that don’t typically punctuate one’s formative years, like an airline attendant mother’s experiential wisdom and a musician father’s famous bandmates making frequent visits.
And she wouldn’t trade that upbringing for the world, especially since it put her on the path of becoming the impassioned skin-care professional she’s been for 20 years.
“My mother was always really into her skin—she didn’t even fly international trips for a long time because her colleagues who flew international looked older,” Vernon remembers. “Flying is horrendous for your skin: It’s dehydrating, you have that really germy air and, back in the ‘80s, people could still smoke on the plane.”
To combat frequent flights’ effect on her skin, Vernon’s mother headed to the Beverly Hills spa of Mila Moursi, “a French aesthetician with a huge cult following who, to this day, works on many celebrity clients, like Jennifer Aniston.”
That lush, welcoming experience left a lasting impression on Vernon, who would often tag along to her mother’s treatments. And it’s exactly what she had in mind when she opened Beauty by Biba’s Medford salon, where Vernon and her hand-picked team of expertly trained aestheticians deliver individually customized luxury skin care and cutting-edge, age-defying treatments, all tailored to each client’s needs and goals.
“I remember Mila’s creams and serums, and I remember Mila’s big, white duvet covers,” she says. “As an aesthetician, you work in so many places that you start to gather ideas, so my facials are this culmination of luxury and what I love. When I do a facial, I do it how I would want one: I give a scalp massage—that’s included, that’s not an extra cost—I don’t leave the room, and they’re 90 minutes long.”
Those pampering signature facials with undeniable results are a huge reason why Beauty by Biba is often booked out months in advance.
“You cannot, in my opinion, give a good facial in under 90 minutes,” says Vernon. “It has to include a complete extraction—you have to clean out the skin. And I love incorporating amazing massage treatments into my facials so people feel like they had a little bit of a combo treatment.”
Giving each patient the time and attention they deserve—as well as delivering facials that clients liken to “a religious experience”—helped Vernon ensure that Beauty by Biba stands out in a crowded market.
“The only way you’re going to survive in this day and age, where there’s a lot of facial places popping up, there’s a lot of spas out there and people have a lot of choices, is to create something that is so different and unique and more client-focused than [the competition],” she says. “People are more educated about their options and they’re more stressed out than ever, so I don’t want their experience to be just a quick in-and-out. I want to make the client super comfortable and pour them a glass of champagne.”
But Vernon admits that creating such an in-demand luxury experience and having such a loyal and always-growing following means that it’s not always easy to schedule an appointment, and realizes how frustrating it can be to find an open slot in Beauty by Biba’s jam-packed bookings.
The answer, of course, was expanding, and she credits her colleague Stephanie Controvich for finding the perfect Moorestown location.
“When I walked in, I just knew: I could just 100% see me being there, I could see its potential,” Vernon gushes. “But I had a lot of clients who thought I was leaving Medford, so I assured them that Medford is very special. It’s not a storefront, it’s a one-room suite tucked away upstairs on Main Street. It’s very personal, it’s very bespoke, it’s this little luxury/shabby chic oasis. The studio will always be my flagship.”
And Beauty by Biba isn’t just expanding its footprint: It’s expanding its menu of services, too, and in a way exemplifying why Vernon calls her team of aestheticians “skin-care therapists.”
“Brides by Biba came about when [an acquaintance] who suffers from acne, rougher-textured skin and scarring was getting married, and we talked about how services for brides are all about the hair and makeup—there’s no kind of ‘boot camp’ for a bride’s skin to make sure they’re ready for their wedding,” explains Vernon. “We’ll develop a skin-care plan for brides to make sure their skin is in its best shape by their wedding day.”
But no matter what kind of service clients are coming to Beauty by Biba for, Vernon guarantees they’ll leave looking and feeling their best every time—and love the long-lasting results.
“I love it when clients who have struggled with their skin start getting compliments,” she says. “When people tell me they can enjoy the moments of their life without worrying about their skin, that’s what I love to hear.”
Beauty by Biba
The Studio: 1 North Main St. Suite 1B, Medford
The Spa: 113 West Main St., Unit 2, Moorestown
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 11.
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