Aesthetician Sonja Boatman is quietly building her empire in south Minneapolis. When I met her just about three years ago, she was working at the tony Beauty Room, but soon after our encounter, she was off and running on her own mini-spa, Sonja Eileen Aesthetics, at the corner of 48th and Chicago. And now, she’s moved across the street into a bigger space—more retail, more treatment rooms, and employees!—which she has named Spa Sweet.
Sonja really has a magical bedside manner, honed after years of Aveda education, then attending to celebrity skin at the Beverly Hills Hotel, then back home to the Beauty Room, then going solo. We can be chatting along about skin issues and what’s happened to us since we saw each other last and—poof!—I’m suddenly off in la-la land while she whips up magical potions that are heavy on the natural and organic side, while still remaining efficacious. Like, I leave looking like I’ve slept an entire night recently. This is a miracle precisely because it isn’t even remotely true: I probably haven’t slept straight through the night in, oh, 18 months. It’s starting to catch up, people. But thanks to Sonja (and not to my big mouth), I don’t necessarily have to cop to it.
At my visit to the new spot, she also tipped me off to my new favorite product, for which I’m forever thankful. It would have sounded too intimidating to try it on my own: Hylunia’s Natural Fruit Acid Exfoliant. A pea-sized dab on my face after cleansing, and it is laying waste to my minimal rosacea and annoying keratosis pilaris, with absolutely no side effects. She’s got a knack for explaining the issue and how to easily fix it—nothing that my semi-lazy skincare routine can’t accommodate. Also, for someone whose job it is to judge my pores, I never feel under the spotlight. This is key, because it’s not always easy to be examined so closely, am I right?
So what else does the new place offer, besides Sonja? For starters, her tip-top product lines, which include the aforementioned Hylunia and one of my favorite eco-friendly cosmetics lines, Vapour, are now available anytime the business is open—she’s got front-desk staff! She’s also added another aesthetician. The space itself is darling—hardly recognizable from the previous tenant—with a calming atmosphere (and totally sink-in-able five-star bedding). The menu is edited, but still comprehensive for skincare junkies: a few facials are on offer, as well as brow and wax services.
It feels luxurious, but not ostentatious. Approachable, but not common. And girly, but not insipid. It’s not an easy line to walk, but Spa Sweet is right on track.
4747 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls.