creating a tea bar with Ellen Watkins

creating a tea bar with Ellen Watkins

As a professional, holistic skincare line, there are a few things that are super important to us. The first is approaching skincare as a whole (including diet, exercise, environment, hormones etc.) The second is an experience. Whether we are at home or getting a facial, we are all about how products can creating an entire experience for you. When we met Ellen Watkins of Ellevate Skin + Brows, we knew she had very similar values. 

Not only is Ellen an amazing person but she also cares about clean skincare products, a holistic approach to her services AND providing an unforgettable experience. Part of her services include a TEA BAR. We are obsessed. Ellen was kind enough to walk us through her process in this interview…

Can you introduce yourself and tell us how you became interested in a more holistic approach to skincare?

I’m Ellen Watkins, a licensed esthetician from Missouri! I am the owner of Ellevate Skin + Brows, which is located just outside of Kansas City. I started esthetician school in March 2020, which was a pretty interesting time to say the least. Becoming an esthetician at a time when the world really needed to rethink self care felt like perfect timing. I knew that as an esthetician, it was important to niche myself down and find my “vibe”. For me, the holistic lifestyle is part of my daily life and it was super easy to transition that to esthetics. For good skin, we already know that it’s about so much more than skincare- it’s the whole package. Holistic esthetics felt like the only way to go, and I’m so grateful I went down this path. Crystals, sound healing, affirmations & guided meditation are part of all of my facials, just like they’re a part of my life!


Looking at your facials, we think you have some of the most creative and beautiful offerings. Just out of curiosity, what is your favorite facial to give right now?!

Thank you so much! I put lots of effort into making sure they’re all unique, beautiful experiences. My current favorite is my newest facial, the Blue Fluorite Crystal Facial. It’s ocean themed and is a hybrid service featuring both a facial and reiki energy work! This is the first facial where I’ve included energy work, and so far the response has been great. Working in reiki to a facial has allowed me to Ellevate my services even more, pun intended 😉 honestly, any facial where I get the go-ahead to work my magic to its fullest extent is a fulfilling experience for me as much as it is the client.

We love the combination of the two!! It really is a holistic service - coving skincare and energy. Total wellness. We know you also have a tea bar, right?! We are big, big fans of supplementing skincare from within.

Yes I do! When creating my facials, I knew I wanted to offer a unique experience from start to finish. I’m also a gal that doesn’t go a day without a fancy beverage so I knew the tea bar would be an awesome touch. At the end of every facial, my clients get to choose between various hot herbal teas (including the MFUT gotu kola tea which is a crowd fave here), matcha, and cacao lattes. They get to leave their facial with a smile and drink in hand! It’s also just so comforting to have someone prepare you a nourishing drink made with lots of love. Definitely a favorite moment at Ellevate and one that sets me apart!


I bet people feel so taken care of after having an amazing facial and then being treated to a drink!! Hit us with some logistics, do clients stay and shop and sip or do they get their drink in a to-go mug?

Yes absolutely! So I always make the drinks to-go, because sometimes clients have to leave right after their facial. Typically, clients stay for a few minutes past their facial while I make them their drink. This gives them time to look around my spa or shop my retail unattended for a moment. People like to gaze around and look without having someone peeking over their shoulder- I find that this time allows them to look at whatever is calling them first, and I can offer suggestions/opinions on products once I’ve finished their drink. It’s a nice little system that works well for me! It also gives the client a few minutes after their facial to kind of “marinate” in the facial energy and absorb the peaceful environment a few minutes longer. I never want someone to feel rushed out of my space!

Brilliant. We love the idea of letting someone relax and reflect a little after a service! If someone wanted to start their own tea bar, what are some supplies you’d 100% recommend having?

I found it pretty easy to create a tea bar! You’ll need something to make the drinks on with a flat surface to start, and I used a desk for that. I got nice to go cups and lids, ones that matched my branding. I do have a few mugs for in person use as well that occasionally get used. I have a variety of teas- make sure to get several different kinds. Something minty, something fruity, something spicy like chai. Some with caffeine and some without. I also carry ceremonial cacao and matcha tea in addition to the herbal and loose leaf teas I carry. I also stock up on almond milk to do cacao and matcha lattes, but be sure to get other kinds of milk in case you have a dairy or nut allergy. It’s all about inclusivity! I also stocked up on sugar, honey, and cinnamon for my tea drinks. I have a handheld milk frother tool that I use to mix some of the drinks, like matcha. The only other thing is a hot water kettle! It sounds like a lot, but its worth it!

Where can people follow you / book with you?

You can find me on Instagram @estheticianellen or online at


We were so inspired by this interview that we put some tea bar mood board together and created an entire Amazon shopping list so you can create your dreamy space easily! 







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