At Makana Esthetics Wellness Academy, founder and education director Malia Sanchez equips students with 600 hours of aesthetics experience "so that the gift can be shared with others." For those who know Hawaiian, this is implicit: The word "makana" translates to "gift." Students work side by side under the careful watch of professionals and unblinking gaze of light bulbs, performing facials, body treatments, and waxes. With freshly trained fingers, the budding aestheticians infuse skin with curative botanical ingredients or operate multipurpose beauty device that can perform manual lymphatic drainage, microdermabrasion, and light therapy.
At Oasis Club and Spa for Women, the dual energizing effects of exercise and relaxation meet under the same roof. Ladies of any age can seek out camaraderie and encouragement as they burn calories in outdoor boot-camp programs, Pro Fit semiprivate personal-training sessions, and group classes that include Zumba, yoga, and circuit training. Even when prepping for solo workouts, guests can benefit from the warm staff's instructions on how to use their stock of HumanSport functional-training equipment from Star Trac.
Spa visits needn't be a solitary affair, either. Friends can find serenity simultaneously with party packages for girls' nights and outings for couples, brightening their complexions with Dermalogica skincare products and gabbing about the latest in cucumber-based eyewear. The spa tries to incorporate all-natural ingredients into treatments such as Bronze Biologic spray tans, Nufree botanical hair removal, and hot-stone massages.
Within Monica Ra Salon & Day Spa, Peggy Balagia works her magic in transforming looks with cuts, color treatments, and Brazilian blowouts. With the help of products such as Pravana keratin treatments and Babe hair extensions, her clients waltz out the door with bouncy blowouts and shiny locks.
Rock music and pizza. It’s an unlikely pairing as the inspiration for an Aveda salon, but in the hands of friends Jentry and Katy, it grew beyond that as the foundation of their local hair and makeup hub.
An Austin native, co-owner, and stylist, Jentry would sneak into his hometown’s Black Cat music venue while still underage to catch sight of acts such as Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Over the years, the hall came to represent Austin’s unique charm and live-music foundation, never succumbing to gimmickry or the status-quo throughout its lifespan. The venue’s ability to stick to its roots stayed with Jentry, remaining an inspiration when years later, he and a client, marketing whiz Katy, dreamed of opening their own salon. After months of late-night pizza-and-brainstorming sessions, the concept for their salon came full circle when a black kitten curled up on Jentry’s porch. In a unique move toward remembering a tenacious rock bar and what it stood for, the twosome founded their salon: The Black Cat.
Today, a fleet of stylists brandish their shears, color, and powder puffs amid decor that reflects The Black Cat’s grittier roots. Clients see the vintage script of the “Sorry, We’re Open” front sign before encountering the salon’s gray and blue walls accented with rustic wood furniture and panels. The result is a carefully curated contrast of sleek and scuffed, much like a hitchhiker’s diamond cufflinks.
An integral cog of the beauty industry for more than 25 years, Salon AVA's owner, head stylist, and namesake trims and tints, tresses alongside a team of stylists, each of which counts at least 15 years of experience. They flesh out a menu of traditional salon services with contemporary methods for pampering manes, such as the Japanese Mucota treatment. This replenishing serum infuses damaged, tightly coiled, or scurvy-stricken tresses with a natural enzyme that straightens hair to a natural, healthy shine. As stylists dream up new designs, pillars of light illuminate clients' glossy tendrils and bounce off the parquet floors, which sport modish, bright-orange chairs.
Signature Service: Modern cuts, colors, and romantic looks
Brands Used: Paul Mitchell Keratin Awapuhi and Alterna Caviar
Staff Size: 1 person
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Pro Tip: Please plan to arrive 15-20 minutes before the appointment time to make parking as stress-free as possible.