When Martha Millan says, "Beauty shouldn't hurt," she's not peddling a slogan—her first job in the beauty industry literally caused her pain. Working at an upscale salon, her exposure to common hair and makeup products triggered hives and headaches. While searching for more natural goods for personal use, her research revealed unsettling truths about many industry product lines that often use irritating perfumes to mask the underlying odors of harsh chemicals. Feeling that everyone should have the opportunity to look beautiful without fear of harming health, she bought a salon and transformed it into Salon O Day Spa.
Amid Salon O Day's industrial decor, Millan and her team of stylists, aestheticians, and a massage therapist use products so natural that some are even edible, though Millan imagines the taste would leave something to be desired: barbecue sauce. Among the array of certified-organic, not-tested-on-animals, gluten- and chemical-free products, Millan's favorites include Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, developed by an American physician who advocates against overexfoliation. For hair, stylists use products from lines including Surface Hair and Organic Color Systems, and during nail services, technicians use natural products from SpaRitual in tandem with scrubs made in-house from ingredients bought at a local co-op.
The Mark Thomas Studio hair and beauty salon exudes a “special clientele” feel. The setting, in a small house tucked away from the road and with barely visible signage, gives it the ambience of a well-kept secret that only a lucky few are let in on. The studio is welcoming and homey, with an attached art gallery filled with original pieces. Mark Thomas, the namesake beauty specialist behind the studio’s name, has been in the business of making people look good for more than 30 years, including stints in New York, Paris and Milan. Thomas opened the salon on 31st Street with Jorge Gonzalez and Michael Smothers years ago, as a place where the talented trio could offer a variety of hair and makeup services, all in a stylish, artistic setting.
Before Toccare Medical Spa existed, its board-certified ophthalmologists performed cosmetic and reconstructive facial surgeries at a practice called Texas Oculoplastic Consultations, next to an ambulatory surgery center. So pleased were patients with their level of care, they demanded that TOC's staff expand into the skincare field. This suggestion gained momentum and manifested in TOC Aesthetic Skin Care which, over the following 10 years, evolved into Toccare Medical Spa. Today, TOC, the surgery center, and Toccare Medical Spa sit side-by-side. At the latter, the doctors oversee treatments such as clinical facials, peels, and dermal fillers that don't require going under the knife.
With a menu of services from make-up application to blowouts, the trained stylists at blast blowdry mold manes seven days a week amid modern-white and metallic furnishings that exude a futuristic blue glow. While they massage scalps, deep-condition locks, and blow-dry manes, they draw on an arsenal of products by Davines—an Italian research lab that distributes their coiffure-sculpting concoctions with sustainable practices. When combined with skillful techniques, these products help styles stay lustrous by preventing strands from drying out when twisted into elegant updos for proms, weddings, and dystopian fights to the death. In addition to arranging tresses, blast blowdry's stylists accentuate facial features with TIGI cosmetics.
A familiar face at The Beauty Store Salon & Spa's Lamar Boulevard location, Patricia Hutt has drawn flocks of repeat customers with an approach to hair that emphasizes each customer's individuality. Treating each strand as its own puzzle piece in the whole, she deftly resolves hair-related predicaments by drawing on her more than 12 years of professional salon experience. Armed with The Beauty Store's cache of professional hair products, the veteran stylist's specialties range from the total banishment of frizz via Brazilian blowouts to precision bang trims that finally let eyes see the world that hair was keeping from them.
Within a luxurious spa suite at Grapevine Salons, Candy Smith funnels her 23 years of nail styling experience into refining fingernails and toenails during appointments that focus on nail health and personal style. Candy fashions digits with a kaleidoscope of OPI shades and can lengthen nails with colorful acrylic tips, creating graceful, shapely fingers for events, interviews, or competitive finger-drumming competitions.