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Nicole Murphy

Nicole Murphy performs a microderabrasian treatment on client Jan Windmiller in late August at Tango Salon & Skin in Bettendorf.

Upstairs at Tango Salon & Skin in Bettendorf, muted lighting, soft grey décor and relaxing music set the scene for the skin care services offered by esthetician Nicole Murphy.

The setting helps put her clients in a relaxed mood, while she performs services such as facials, resurfacing peels, microdermabrasion, and lift and firm microcurrent treatments.

Murphy has been offering skin care at Tango Salon for the past three years and has seen her business blossom.

Results are the key, she believes, as are testimonials from her clients, who are pleased with the outcomes from the services she provides, as well as the daily skin care regimens she recommends.

 “I’m only 20 percent of the equation,” said Murphy. “The rest of it falls on the client, maintaining regular appointments and taking care of their skin at home.”

On the day of this interview, client Jan Windmiller arrives for her appointment for a microdermabrasion and a microcurrent eye lift. She has been receiving regular skin care services from Murphy for three years and is happy at the outcome.

Windmiller, who describes herself as 65-plus, is an active grandmother.

Her goal in getting regular skin care treatments, she says, “is to look the best I can at any age I am.”

That includes staying physically fit, being careful about sun exposure, and taking care of her skin.

“After getting into this regimen, it’s improved the texture of my skin a lot,” Windmiller said, noting her major issues were pore refinement and oily skin.

“It’s much better now, and manageable now,” she said. “I’m so happy with the products and the program we’re on.”

Murphy recommends one of two of what she calls “more medically driven” skin care lines to clients. One is Skin Script and the other is Bioelements. Tango is the only salon within a 90-mile radius that carries products from Skin Script, a Tempe, Arizona-based company.

“A lot of times when you get over-the-counter products, it’s one skin care fits all,” Murphy said.

She tailors her clients’ skin care regimens to their specific needs.

“More people have dry skin than oily skin,” she said. “And there aren’t a lot of great products for oily skin types.”

Murphy said she spends a lot of her free time researching new products and methods. She calls salons “from the East Coast to the West Coast” to find out what results they are seeing with certain products, rather than relying on just what the companies say. She takes continuing education classes, and networks online with estheticians all over the world to exchange ideas.

She advises that it’s never too late to begin taking better care of your skin.

“I can’t make 40 years of sun damage disappear in a few treatments, but as long as people have realistic expectations, we’re good,” she said. “They know it’s a process.”

Leann Themas, owner of Tango Salon, said diversifying into skin care has filled a need that the salon’s customer base was requesting.

“Many phases of skin care are addressed, from acne to anti-aging,” she said. “Clients appreciate Nicole’s knowledge and her ongoing commitment to healthy skin.”

Murphy, who grew up on Brown Street in Bettendorf, has been active in the Women’s Downtown Bettendorf Task Force.

“I love being a part of something that I feel like in five to 10 years, it will be completely different down here,” she said. “I’m looking forward to those changes.”

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