‘We Love New Canaan’: Pigmenta Marks One Year on Main Street


Pigmenta lead technician Lauren Gaby with a client.

Roxanne Santiago, a social worker by training and trade, met Julia Dziuk—president and founder of Pigmenta Permanent Cosmetics—while ballroom dancing in Boston.

The Pigmenta team, L-R: Julia Dziuk, Roxanne Santiago, Lauren Gaby and Kimberly Fenty.

The pair became friends and when Santiago sought to pull away from social work, she started working for Dziuk in 2015 on the administrative side, learning how to run a permanent makeup business. 

Santiago had already had her own interior design business (“Valancing Act”), but at the time Dziuk did not offer a franchising option. 

That would change within a few years.

“She had started what they now call ‘microblading,’ ” Santiago said of Dziuk. “She’s been doing it for 30 something years. People think it’s a fad, that it’s new, but it’s not. It’s a skill that she brought from Europe, which is where she’s from. And it’s ‘hairline stroke.’ So it’s very natural looking makeup. It doesn’t look like you’ve had eyebrows stamped on your face. Everything is done by hand. We do not use machines at all for anything. So it’s not as scary as when you go for other types of permanent makeup, tattoos. It is a tattoo, but it’s done by hand and it’s very gentle and very natural looking.”

Pigmenta co-owners L-R: Kimberly Fenty and Roxanne Santiago.

Santiago and yet another friend she’d met through ballroom dancing—fellow New Yorker Kimberly Fenty, a career reading specialist in Yonkers—soon joined forces to launch the New Canaan location as co-owners.

Pigmenta in New Canaan, located at 64R Main St. (down the alley next to Ching’s Table), is now marking one year downtown.

“We’re excited about it,” Santiago told NewCanaanite.com Monday evening from the reception area. “We’re in a great location. We love New Canaan. The clients that we’ve gotten so far are amazing. So we feel blessed to be here. It’s a really good spot.”

Pigmenta offers eyebrow microblading, permanent eyeliner, lips and makeup correction and removal, areola pigmentation, scar camouflage and eyelash perming, among other services.

Inside Pigmenta, down the alley at 64 Main St., next to Ching’s Table.

Asked why they brought the business to New Canaan specifically, Santiago said the major draw was Lauren Gaby, Pigmenta’s lead technician and a very well-established esthetician in New Canaan.

“We chose it because of our technician,” Santiago said. “Lauren has had a lash business here in New Canaan for about nine years. And she had taken the training with Pigmenta to do the permanent makeup. And she’s amazing.”

Fenty added, “She’s so talented.”

Already friends with Santiago, Fenty was introduced to Pigmenta through a training class that needed models.

“I have something called scleroderma,” Fenty said. “It’s a very rare autoimmune disease which affects the skin and for a lot of women who suffer from it, it takes away their look. They don’t look the same. So I was devastated about that.”

Pigmenta’s lead technician, esthetician Lauren Gaby at work.

She’d tried stem cell surgeries on her face, but it wasn’t until she had a Pigmenta treatment on her lips that Fenty felt a substantial and lasting difference. 

“Because of the fact that I do have an autoimmune illness and in my family’s background there has been a lot of cancer, we want to get into medical tattooing,” Fenty said. “My own mother has had a double mastectomy. It was devastating and she didn’t do any tattooing for three years. She couldn’t look herself in the mirror. So I lived through it with my family. It’s really important to me. If I change children’s lives by teaching them how to read and giving them self confidence—they’re struggling students—then I’d like to do that for women now. Give them their confidence back and to make them feel as natural and as whole as possible, like themselves.”

The uptake in New Canaan has been steady, they said, and though their clients are mostly local women, they have many male clients too.

Pigmenta has been a member of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce since launching one year ago. The organization’s executive director, Laura Budd, said, “We are thrilled that Pigmenta has had a full year bringing its unique services to New Canaan, and wish them continued success.”

Inside Pigmenta at 64 Main St. R, down the alley next to Ching’s Table.

Asked what it’s like to be a member of the New Canaan business community, Santiago said “everybody’s very open.”

“That’s one of the things I like about New Canaan,” she said. “It has that quaint small town feel. You get to know people in the neighborhood, you get to know the store owners, you get to know everybody. And that’s one of the things I’ve liked.”

They’ve also offered free services to fellow businesspeople in New Canaan and regularly shop and dine locally.

Asked about future plans, Santiago said beyond expanding to offer medical tattooing, she’d like to grow the business even more and add another technician.

“Maybe eventually even another location in Connecticut,” she said. “We’re very happy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *