Next Thursday, Jessica V will quietly open Bombshell, a hair and make-up boutique featuring a “blow-out” bar, at 1224 E. Brady St., in the former Chartreuse space. Jessica plans to host a grand opening party the first weekend in January.
Jessica’s vision for her new venture is to offer a fun, one-stop shop where women can get their hair styled and a make-over. One side of the space is for make-up, the other features “blow out” services that will mostly be provided by Jessica’s friend and colleague, Leroy Buth.
“It’s the modern day wash and set,” says Buth.
Jessica has her own line of cosmetics, also called Bombshell, and they are available in her shop. She offers more than 200 shades of lipstick and eye shadow. So did Jessica name all of the shades of her cosmetics herself? Yep.
“It was quite a process,” she says laughing. “I have some named after family members, even after my boyfriend.”
It costs $7 for a lipstick at Bombshell; $8 for matte or shimmer eye shadow and $7 for eyelashes. If customers want to have the eyelashes applied by a Bombshell employee, the cost is $10.
Bombshell offers 50 different types of faux eyelashes that are different colors, different lengths, “diamond”-studded and lower-lashes, as well.
“We have tons of lashes,” she says. “Most places have a few lengths to choose from, but we have all different lengths. Plus, girls’ eyes are all shaped differently and so they need to find a lash that’s just the right fit so we have a huge variety. Girls can really go dramatic on their eyes.”
Bombshell offers a variety of make-up packages, including a $30 package that includes a 30-minute makeover. (The client purchases makeup to use during the makeover and then takes it with them after the makeover.) Bombshell also offers $60 makeovers that are 60 minutes long. For $100, clients can get four 30-minute make-over sessions.
Bridal services, either in the shop or on location, are also available. For $325, a bride-to-be gets a trial run hair and make-up appointment along with the wedding day services.
“We’ll go on location for other events, too,” says Jessica.
Bombshell will be open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. during the week and from 8 a.m. until 10 or 11 p.m. on the weekends. Walk-ins are always welcome or people can make appointments. Jessica hopes clients will access her services on a day-to-day basis, not just for special occasions. Jessica wants women to be able to stop in her place while they are on the go for a quick 15-minute nose powdering between work and going out, for example. Or, they can swing by before a big day at work for a perfectly styled ‘do.
“We want to be open as much as possible,” she says.
In the future, Bombshell will offer nail services, hair extensions, weavings and, possibly, services for men, too. For now, Jessica encourages guys to stop in for gift certificates for the special lady in their life.
Jessica grew up in Milwaukee, attended Oconomowoc High School and then moved to Miami, Fla., in 1995. Later, she moved to Los Angeles where she managed bands and provided hair and make-up for music videos. Then she moved to Madison to host a FOX show called “Perfect Bride Survival Guide” where she met a wedding planner who encouraged her to offer quality make-up services in Milwaukee because there was a need for them.
“It started as a side project and then it blew up,” she says.
Bombshell has a “vintage bombshell” aesthetic with huge vanities and polka-dotted awnings. The stained and stenciled floor, along with the valances, were done by Jessica’s mother, who owns Mary Mehnert Designs.
“I love this area and I’m crossing my fingers, hoping it will do very well here,” she says. “Milwaukee has become very fashion forward.”