No foolin’

Shop brings classy cosmetics to Chico

Walking into the newly opened cosmetic shop Beauty Fool, which is located inside the Phoenix building, I smelled a mixture of scents, candles, soaps and perfumes mingling in the air. My peripheral vision picked up a palette of colors. Then I saw a photography light with an umbrella, like the kind I’ve seen in a classy, upbeat commercial for Vidal Sassoon.

Kami Egan, the stylish, blue-eyed woman running it all, looked like she would be as comfortable in the New York fashion district as in downtown Chico. In her black mini skirt and expertly waved hair, she looked like a professional model.

Beauty Fool opened on May 1. The shop features high-quality botanical and nature-based body care and aromatherapy products. Beauty Fool offers a line of professional cosmetics, skin care (like Zia), body and bath items and herbal therapy (like Aromafloria) and soon will unveil a perfume blending bar that will hold about 80 different essential oils. Customers can tailor scents to fit their personalities and lifestyles.

The scene made my mind flash to a Japanese song about a single girl who just started working in a big city far away from home. It goes, “When you feel lonely, a long phone call and aromatherapy make you feel better.”

Chico people will no longer have to go out of town to the Bay Area to obtain quality products, said Egan, pointing out the high-end shops available in larger cities. “I felt it was time for Chico to have one.”

Even though the lines Beauty Fool carries are widely known among the body- and health-conscious on the East Coast, Egan said prices are reasonable enough for budget-conscious Chicoans, including college students.

Egan also said that, contrary to popular belief, cosmetics shops aren’t restricted to female customers. She carries baby lines for infants and facial care and shaving items for men. “Skin care is an investment,” she said.

Egan took on the name “Beauty Fool” because, she said, “We all can be a fool when it comes to beauty.” The concept is intended to be fun and a little funky and give Chico a different experience.

The shop also sells aromatherapy lamps that have candles at the bottom and glass dishes on the top. You put your favorite essential oil into the glass dish and light the candle. When heat warms up the oil, the relaxing smell of the oil fills the room.

Egan has been training to become a certified aromatherapist since December 2000. Through the Internet, she met an experienced aromatherapist from New York. Egan impressively reels off the Latin terminologies for essential oils, the chemistry of which blends work together and which oils can be used to elicit a certain feeling in people. She explains that lavender is known for releasing anxiety or stress, while citrus oils uplift one’s spirit.

Egan has also hired a licensed makeup artist.

Egan’s mother was a cosmetologist, and so she grew up surrounded by colorful, good-smelling products. Watching her mother apply makeup intrigued her, and she often thought about what could be done with different colors. "She is the person who inspired me to start my business," Egan said. "I always had a love of cosmetics."