Skincare Studio Potion Offers Rejuvenating Facials at New South Austin Location
Owner Val Mirza uses non-toxic topicals in the customized treatments she creates for clients
By Darcie Duttweiler
Photos by Drew Elaine
Potion owner Val Mirza reminisces on the time she was seven years old and applying makeup to her friends during a slumber party.
“I look back at these photos, and I’m like, ‘What was I doing?’” she laughs. “I didn’t have any family members in the industry. It was just something I was fascinated by back then. So my skincare obsession started in the 90s, way before the Internet and social media.”
Mirza recalls being “that kid” who bought books on ingredients, and because English was her second language, she learned Latin words on the back of her mom’s skincare bottles in order to figure out what they were.
“It was really weird to be a kid learning Latin in the shower.”
It wasn’t until she was waxing eyebrows in her dorm at Texas State University that Mirza realized she could actually make a living making people feel better about their faces. After getting her license and learning her trade at several local spas and medspas, Mirza was ready to strike it out on her own, and that’s when Potion was born in 2017.
As for her reasoning behind the shop’s name: “There’s a mysticism to what I do. When I play with my client’s skin, I just do my ‘thang,’ and it’s like magic,” Mirza explains.
Although originally on the East Side, Potion shut down after the 2021 “Snow-pocalypse” when the building she was in was no longer up to code. Pregnant with her second child at the time, Mirza made do with her hundreds of existing clients at the time until she could give birth and focus on relocating.
Now, Potion is discreetly tucked away in a South Austin office plaza. While the parking lot and strip center setting doesn’t spark too much joy, inside Potion is a tranquil and relaxing setting, complete with a quiet and comfortable waiting room decked out in mid-century modern furniture, cozy textiles and a plethora of plants.
“You know, I always wanted to be in the ’04,” Mirza remarks. Located near Radio Coffee & Beer, Potion currently has two treatment rooms for Mirza and esthetician Emily Vega, who the owner actually trained several years ago during a stint at Milk + Honey. While it isn’t your typical spa-like experience — there are no steam rooms or changing areas — what the unassuming skin care center lacks in physical amenities it makes up for in its service. No two facials are alike here, and Mirza and Vega always strive to keep it that way.
“Our facials are beyond custom — there’s no script or protocol we follow,” Mirza says. “We do what feels right for your skin. Everyone’s service is different every time.”
Potion offers 60, 90 and 120-minute facials that are tailor-made to each client’s skin, routines and desired outcomes. Certain treatments they’ll use during a service include ultrasound cleansing, massage, chemical peels, high-frequency disinfection, infrared light, gua sha cupping and more. Mirza also takes great pride in the practice’s non-toxic topical potions — “it’s all about reducing the amount of toxicity in your routines.” Potion also offers brows, lashes, waxing and microblading services.
Mirza admits that most clients don’t really care what’s happening on their face as long as they’re relaxed and leave with that certain result they’re after, and she’s more than happy to give it to them. She credits her and Vega’s combined 25 years of experience and the fact they’re both young mothers as what sets their “consciously composed skincare treatments” apart.
“I want people to feel very comfortable here,” Mirza says. “And, to do that, I have to be very open and exude this tenderness and almost motherness with them. I know the comfort level a client needs with the person that’s touching their face, their body, their aura and their emotional state. They’re not just a body on a table to me.”