You might call Paul Jones, managing partner of Elements Laser Spa, a bit of a technology junkie. He worked in the semiconductors industry for years, making equipment for manufacturers in Silicon Valley before deciding to fly solo. He created a company that used lasers to inspect the surface of semiconductor wafers and the insides of sandwich cookies. Jones then collaborated with a group of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists to found what has become one of the leading rehabilitation clinics in the Austin area.
It's no surprise, then, that his latest endeavor—two hip, welcoming laser spas—have taken home four Best of CitySearch awards: in the laser-hair-removal category in 2009 and 2010, and in the hair-removal category in 2011 and 2013. Jones has chosen medical directors who match his zeal for innovation, namely plastic surgeon Dr. Vishnu Rumalla and Dr. Shirat Ling, an expert in medical aesthetic procedures. The staff of certified technicians uses Venus Freeze to tighten skin and reduce wrinkles, Zerona lasers to noninvasively reduce stubborn fat, and advanced Candela systems to remove hair, spider veins, and sun spots.
Practicing in aesthetics and pain management since 2004, Leslie Escalante has concluded that natural remedies can enhance the practice of Western medicine. She left her position as an assistant to a board-certified physician to open Balanced Health & Beauty, where she melds medical practices with natural solutions to combat physical aging. She recruited Dr. J. Scott Gaertner, a board-certified family practitioner and graduate of The University of Texas Medical School, to oversee the center's more involved procedures. These include FDA-cleared cosmetic injections that require absolute precision to create firm, smooth skin, and personalized hormone-replacement regimes that mitigate the fatigue caused by winding the town clock daily.
Representing Escalante's interest in holistic wellness, the center also fosters proper nutrition with Xymogen vitamin supplements and a variety of diet plans. Multitalented lasers use radio frequency to gently clear detritus from pores, evict unwanted hairs, or diminish visible sun damage or spider veins. Traditional facials target conditions specific to each patient's skin type with chocolate antioxidants and pumpkin enzymes, and peels rely on serums from PCA Skin and Obagi to reveal healthy, youthful complexions.
Skin Zen Spa knows the import role skin plays in people's lives. Acting as the body’s barrier, the skin protects from illnesses and environmental factors. Though this germ armor constantly works to keep the bad stuff out, chemical substances can still break in, which is why Skin Zen Spa commits to treating skin with organic, natural, and botanical products. During one of the spa’s body-coddling treatments, surfaces soften with the use of products from Éminence Organic Skin Care, SkinCeuticals, and Skin Zen Spa’s own signature line. Essential and Premier facials remove dirt and oil in the process of washing away lipsticked cheeks from past family reunions. Waxing treatments banish unwanted hair, and soothing massages chase tension and aches away from muscles.
In order to help clients to maintain routine skincare and bodycare, Skin Zen Spa offers facial and massage memberships, which grant members one facial or massage per month, extended service time, and discounted pricing on services provided they remember the secret handshake.
Fiona, the owner of Sassy Miss Waxy, grooms ladies and gents with custom waxing services, eyebrow design, and facials inside her own home, a cozy abode bedecked in vibrant colors and earth-friendly products. While attending the University of Aesthetics in Chicago, Fiona worked as a makeup artist and body painter; after graduation, she plied her trade at an Aveda salon and spa and eventually discovered her love for hair removal at the Windy City waxing boutique Trim. Though she specializes in Brazilian waxing, Fiona eradicates fuzz all across the body with equal aplomb, employing single-use waxing sticks, essential-oil-infused Alexandria hard and soft wax, and hypoallergenic, paraben-free sugar paste. Each beautifying service takes place in a private treatment room where sunlight spills through green-draped windows and drenches the walls in yellow. Eclectic country-chic décor—including daisies reaching for the ceiling from slim glass vases—spices up the space as Fiona keeps clients at ease with casual conversation and dead-on impersonations of the moon eclipsing the sun.
Manja Obid began her journey in aesthetics during childhood as she watched her mother, an aesthetician for more than 40 years, tend to clients at the family’s spa in Slovenia. With the desire to continue on the beautifying legacy, Obid attended aesthetics school in Europe—which promotes a more medical approach—before traveling to Texas to be with her husband, whom she met while he was assigned to an Air Force base in northern Italy. Obid now spoils patrons with warm Texas hospitality and European care including facials, electrolysis hair removal, cellulite treatments, and advanced RDT deep-tissue massages at her chic LePA Skincare boutique.
Warm-citron walls and knotty wood floors welcome patrons to Obid’s serene sanctuary, where the LePA team begins every spa session with a skin analysis to customize treatment. Obid stocks shelves with all-natural Kozmetika Afrodita and Forever Living products—the very same ones that are in use at her mother’s spa back home.
Once visitors pass through the teal door and step into Excellence In Touch, a tranquil space decorated with purple walls, bright paper lanterns, and a gurgling fountain helps guests transition from the busy city outside to the calm that massages, reiki, and reflexology treatments promote. Licensed massage therapist Kathy Casey opened the office as a place to both provide her services and teach students the healing possibilities of touch. A Reiki Master with certification to work at all three levels of integrated energy therapy, she believes that massage and similar treatments hold physical and emotional benefits such as stress reduction, muscle-ache relief, and being able to see through walls. She offers many modalities of massage as well as neuromuscular therapy, reflexology, chakra balancing, myofascial release, and energy therapies. She also teaches reiki, massage, and reflexology, with classes for two aiming to make learning and practicing more fun.