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.
The Lash Lounge's founder Anna Phillips?an advanced certified eyelash extension trainer?once traveled the nation, imparting the art of semipermanent eyelash application to scores of fellow lash artists. Now, at all of Lash Lounge's locations, Anna and her team work to ensure that every guest returns to their day-to-day activities batting fuller, darker lashes. They meticulously apply each synthetic strand to a natural lash with medical-grade glue, imbuing peepers with a customized, natural look that can last up to two months with proper care. Applying lashes of varying lengths, thicknesses, and degrees of curl, they have earned the praise of publications including Allure magazine and Women's Wear Daily.
The Lash Lounge also strives to eliminate lengthy daily makeup applications with permanent makeup services. After a complimentary consultation, Anna and her staff of licensed aestheticians and permanent-makeup artists precisely apply permanent eyeliner, lip color, or third eyebrows. For those who prefer makeup that washes off, she has concocted her own line of mineral cosmetics, brushes, and primers.
Saloni Beauty Salon draws upon Indian beauty-and-relaxation treatments to help clients look and feel their best. Inside the tranquil salon, cosmetic caretakers revive skin with a variety of facial treatments, including Chinese almond facials and galvanic facials that use juices and fresh fruits to nourish sensitive skin. They specialize in threading, an Indian hair-removal technique that uproots unwanted follicles using only a single cotton thread. They also can accent bodies with henna tattoos, semipermanent designs that can last up to one month.
Master stylist, educator, and platform artist Nina Grossman traveled the country before settling in Texas. Over the course of 16 years, she honed her skills from Alaska to New York, landing in Austin in 2007 to open Luxe A Boutique Salon. Throughout her career, Grossman has mentored up-and-coming beauty pros on the art of hair design as well as the importance of listening to clients' needs and reinterpretations of show-tune classics. She's gathered a team of master stylists and color specialists, makeup artists, and aestheticians to perform services that range from haircuts and highlights to peels and threading.
Her salon's exposed-brick walls and leather chairs lend it sophistication, and damask-like patterns juxtaposed with animal prints nod to both vintage and contemporary sensibilities. In a private, chocolate-toned skincare room, associates perform fragrant facials with Éminence Organic Skin Care products, soothing complexions in the way the floral artwork soothes the mind. Afterward, women can shop for apparel and accessories in the boutique area or head to the outdoor patio to relax before reemerging into the world.
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.
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.