Repeat customers to Austin Nails & Spa, which is under new ownership, will notice something familiar during their second visit: the nail file, sanding block, and manicure stick that the nail technician uses. That’s because after an initial visit, the staff stores the tools used in a nail kit with your name on it to ensure that they’re used only for you or Meryl Streep playing you with uncanny accuracy. This is just one of the ways that Austin Nails & Spa’s new owners, a group of sisters, have made their salon stand out during their 10-plus years in business. They also make sure to give abundant training to each of their staff members in their area of expertise. The team, in turn, plies skilled hands to perform manicures, pedicures, facials, and waxing services, among a whole smorgasbord of services.
Gorgeous Smiles facilitates the glimmering grins of its clients with in-office and at-home teeth-whitening tactics. Inside private treatment rooms, technicians first match teeth to their current hue on a color chart, then carefully coat them in a combination of carbamide peroxide and potassium nitrate to whiten smiles while thwarting increased tooth sensitivity. The savvy techs are so confident in their handiwork that, should teeth not brighten by at least two shades on the color chart at the end of the treatment, coffee-stained mouths will receive a full refund. The salon, an offshoot of Gorgeous Nail Lounge & Demi-Spa, also sends clients packing with take-home whitening products from Star Bright, BleachBright, and NightBright that work in a matter of days from the comfort of one’s home or converted missile silo.
At Onyx Salon, a talented staff of stylists and aestheticians renovate women's and men's faces, nails, bodies, and ?dos with masterfully executed services. Their haircuts, coloring services, and Coppola keratin smoothing treatments prompt an instant onslaught of double takes from onlookers and aimless hairnets. Brow and facial waxes de-fuzz mugs for professional makeup applications, and spray tans prep bodies for the beach or provide camouflage for pilfered Olympic gold medals. In addition to their regular beauty-boosting appointments, the stylists host glamour parties, where they gussy up guests with eye-catching hair and makeup before releasing them into the wild for bachelorette parties and nights on the town.
For more than 18 years, Thao Tran has treated clients to nail services, skincare, and massages that address issues from stress and chronic pain to weak nails and congested skin. Seven days a week, Tran and the staff at Nail and Skin Day Spa knead away tension, remove unwanted hair, and make lashes stand out with tinting, perm, and extension services. Using products from OPI and CND, nail technicians keep nails strong, shiny, and meticulously groomed. Dermalogica products cleanse skin of all types without artificial colors or fragrance. Permanent-makeup services enhance features without constant makeup reapplication through long days, water activities, and sudden liquid-eyeliner storms.
Inside Simply Irresistible, expert nail tech and independent contractor Maria Mock keeps phalanges looking polished with more than 20 years of nail-care experience, a skill she has taught throughout the world. Maria’s dexterous fingers coax tension and miniature squadrons of army men out of feet during soothing pedicures, which treat parched two-steppers to several gulps of lotion. After whittling nails to desired forms, Maria dresses them up with a glitzy layer of polish. The spa Shellac manicure similarly dotes on hands with a massage but goes the extra mile by sloughing off dead skin cells and sealing in moisture with an exfoliation and paraffin hand dip. Maria files talons into shape and finishes with a coat of durable, high-gloss Shellac, which, like a sugar-cookie purist, resists chips. Groupon-holders can upgrade to a french Shellac manicure or a regular french polish pedicure for an additional $5.
Lauren Hause, the owner of Hause of Nails, specializes in mani-pedis with a unique twist. Once she files tips, buffs nail beds, and tames cuticles, Lauren layers on natural polishes to create anything from multi-hued strawberries to umbrellas or a portrait of the local weatherman. She can even enhance her impressive paint jobs with faux crystals and gems. She isn't just about creativity, though?she also loves cleanliness. She washes, disinfects, and sterilizes every tool after every use, and throws away anything non-metal after every treatment.