At Fifth Ave Day Spa and Retreat, a menu of hairstyling and spa services offers enough beautifying treatments to last several pamper-filled days. Massages welcome bodies to relax in the soothing strokes of traditional deep-tissue or hot-stone techniques in spacious rooms that may accommodate couples, friends, or teams of tense trapeze artists. VIP spa packages span hours, pampering guests with massages, body treatments, and stints in saunas and steam rooms, and mani-pedis swathe hands and feet in appendage-appropriate extras such as paraffin wax or sea salt. Dermologica facials are highly customized to treat skin conditions ranging from acne to fine lines, and facials engineered specifically for men protect dapper looks with an age-defense treatment made from the concentrated whining of 8-year-olds. Fifth Ave Day Spa and Retreat also hosts spa parties, where up to eight guests enjoy Dermologica facials, massages, and mani-pedis along with relaxing libations and hors d'oeuvres.
The Medispa Institute is led by not one, but two professionals who are experts in their fields: medical director Dr. Ban A. Vu and aesthetic director Bich Ngoc Nguyen. Dr. Vu has been practicing cosmetic surgery in the Houston area for more than 20 years and specializes in procedures for the Asian face and body.
The duo helms a team rounded out by highly trained laser technicians who are all members of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, including Certified Medical Laser Safety Operator Mai Pham. Pham and her fellow staffers are particularly skilled in the treatment of Asian and ethnic skin and offer services ranging from permanent makeup and facials to blue-light therapy. They can address virtually any skin issue with laser technology, including unwanted hair, veins, or age spots—all within a clean, white-on-white facility.
At inSPAration studio at cutLoose hair salon, skilled stylists shear and style clients' hair in the shadow of the salon's mission statement, which is written across a wall of the salon to remind the aestheticians and hairstyling artists to constantly strive for aesthetic innovation and excellence. The philosophy belongs to owner Michelle Guzman, a stylist with 20 years of experience whose commitment to her ideals is evident in every inch of the salon, from the eye-catching brick-and-mortar shelves that house products from Biodroga, Glo Therapeutic, and Bumble and bumble, to the polished, jet-black washing stations beneath. The staff reinforces its commitment to high-quality styling, coloring, waxing, and facials by pursuing ongoing education, staying apace of the industry and checking for updates on scissors’ mandatory retirement age.
In a sunny studio with sherbet-toned walls and a picture of Audrey Hepburn in a sun hat, Lauren happily spends her time meticulously attaching synthetic or mink lash extensions to her client's existing lashes. When she's done, her clients could rival Audrey herself with their thicker, more curled eyelashes. She can also add in colored or glitter lashes for a glamorous night out, and clients can return regularly for refills to keep everyday lashes full.
In addition to eyelash extensions, Lashes by Lauren offers permanent makeup for eyes and lips, which makes it easier to look great during a part-time job in the local dunk tank. Clients can also pamper themselves with facials that include acupressure massage and a specialty mask or stop by for beauty maintenance services such as waxing, manicures, and pedicures.
Houston Wellness Boutique is decorated with numerous butterflies, and there's a reason for that. "When my clients walk in the door, they feel like a caterpillar," says owner Terry Tribble. "When they walk out, I want them to feel like a butterfly." She and her staff achieve this transformation with a selection of slimming body wraps that use a special solution to draw out toxins and help promote circulation. The treatments begin with dry brushing, a relaxing service that exfoliates dead skin cells to help the solution penetrate deeper into the body. Clients can achieve even greater results with an additional infrared-sauna session. Houston Wellness Boutique also specializes in pampering cancer patients by providing permanent makeup services, post-mastectomy products, and fashionable wigs.
Urban Retreat in River Oaks has the bright lights, big city luxury spa experience down. Gleaming polished floors and shiny granite counters lead to wall-length windows with a downtown view, making for a spectacularly soothing environment. The spa offers everything from full body wrap treatments to celebrity-grade salon services and laser skin resurfacing treatments, while others may make appointments for a skin-tightening phototherapy session or Brazilian Keratin Straightener treatment. No matter what, the results are largely the same: smoother, younger-looking skin and a smile to show it all off. If that all sounds like the stuff of too much science fiction, guests can simply relax at Urban Retreat with massages, nail work and other contemporary pampering services.