As advocates of health and beauty for the whole body, Krystal Kincaid and the team at The Natural Way offer customized facials, microdermabrasion, waxing treatments, and therapeutic massage. The studio fosters a passionate belief in natural remedies, and thus only uses natural and organic products—such as paraben-free serums from Skin by Ann Webb—when customizing each treatment to the client's individual issues, from easing acne problems to diminishing the signs of aging. The spa's far-infrared sauna has three spectrums of heat to penetrate the body and relieve pain, improve circulation, aid in weight loss, and boost cell immunity. Clients can augment these benefits by combining an infrared sauna session with a session of the spa's therapeutic massage. In fact, most treatments can be enhanced with an add-on, such as a hydrating foot scrub, or a peppermint cooling scalp massage.
Krystal's journey into the wellness trade began in Florida, where she earned her massage license. When she moved to Austin, her expertise in neuromuscular therapy and Swedish massage proved so impressive to the locals that she soon decided to open her own wellness spa. Her vision found its realization in The Natural Way, a suite spa with four private treatment rooms and a team of therapists who specialize in five types of therapeutic massage. Among these, the ancient method of ashiatsu is a standout. Its foot pressures are designed to ease chronic pains, increase blood flow, and reset the hard drive at the base of the spine.
Viva Day Spa?s owners focus on providing all the services and amenities one would expect from a luxurious spa without an ounce of pretentiousness. At both of the spa?s locations, staffers never turn their noses up?the spa was named Best Spa by the Austin Chronicle in 2012 and tied for best in 2011. The staff engages clients with this down-to-earth attitude as they prepare them for massages, facials, and other spa treatments?all of which are administered by award-winning therapists armed with natural and organic products. Both Viva Day Spa locations feature an upscale, modern decor rife with wood accents, and the Lamar location displays perky plants and colorful flowers, as well as whimsical yellow puffy orb lights, natural sunlight, and arched doorways with intricate wood carvings. One of its walls showcases a large expanse of lettering that gives ?suggestions on how to live a happy and rewarding life,? and there?s even a round room with a curved, pillow-topped bench circumscribing its curved wall. With warm, almost romantic lighting and rich mocha-colored walls, the spa is anything but sterile and cold. The female-owned spa works to accommodate people?s hectic schedules by staying open seven days a week until 8 p.m.
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.
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.
One morning as Ann Marie was curling her lashes before school, the phone rang. Instead of putting down her eyelash curler, she held it in place as she walked toward the phone, but then tripped over a book and pulled most of her lashes out. Shaken and stirred to action by the incident, she began researching remedies and discovered permanent eyelash extensions. The event inspired her to open Princess Lashes, a beauty boutique where Ann Marie not only augments clients’ lash lines but also certifies other aestheticians in the art of extensions, an art that can be applied during tax season and when trying to make one’s child eligible for the NBA.