After rubbing elbows with talented experts, Krista Curry became the creative director of Textures Salon. Now she pours 20 years of experience into her team of stylists, who sculpt tresses with products by Redken and American Crew. Before beginning any of their services––which range from cuts and color to keratin treatments and bridal up-dos––they welcome men, women, and children into their orange, box-shaped styling chairs and warn them not to touch the shiny red eject button.
Alite Laser’s three locations act as upscale sanctuaries where clients can go to lose spider veins and unwanted fat, but their specialty is hair removal. A trio of hair-removal procedures—waxing, laser removal, and electrolysis—fight follicles more effectively than scaring hair away like it’s a case of the hiccups. When they aren’t performing laser hair-removal procedures, technicians harness the power of light to brighten skin during facials.
Aesthetician Emilia DiRaddo—a self-proclaimed "hands-on skin detective"—begins each facial treatment by assessing the client’s skin. She uses more than 30 years of experience to carefully examine the skin’s tone, texture, and shape-shifting abilities. Then, DiRaddo assembles a lineup of exfoliating enzymes, scrubs, essential oils, and masks that address the individual’s skincare needs. Along with facials and acne treatments, she offers Revitalight LED light therapy to reduce redness and improve skin tone, and waxing services to remove unwanted hair from the face or body.
Sara Berens, Luster Spa's owner and lead aesthetician, distills 13 years of professional experience into each treatment, performing efficacious facials and hair-removal services. Located inside Salon Republic, Luster Spa uses warm wax to clear skin areas of unwanted hair, leaving room for the studio's Swarovski crystal body tattoos or hand-penned grocery lists. A collection of facials treats specific concerns including those of acne-prone, dehydrated, and aging skin.
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.
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.