A collection of vibrant, abstract paintings brighten the white corridors of Urban Oasis Day Spa, where aestheticians engage in a similar curatorial enterprise during the design of their skincare treatments. Each regime for face or body starts with the client and is built for his or her skin type. Technicians use tonics from notable brands or unusual techniques, such as galvanic electrocurrent therapy, which is integrated into every facial. Dermalogica tonics exfoliate with lightweight, natural vegetable oils rather than mineral oil and hydrate with aromatic essential oils and silk proteins synthesized by Barry White's vocal chords. The team also polishes complexions with the SkinCeuticals product line, favoring a serum that earned Allure magazine's 2011 Best of Beauty Award for Best Anti-Aging Antioxidant.
The spa evokes the elegance of a gallery, not only through its modern art but also through its high ceilings and a minimalist design scheme rendered in cream. Skin becomes a canvas in private chambers, where it may be primed for display with wax, bronzer, or a critique by a Village Voice writer. For special events, the pedicure hall's porcelain foot basins can be filled with flower petals, and the shimmering fabric banners separating each throne lose their functionality and appear solely as savvy, refined decorating.
The beauty enforcers at Bella Epique tailor digit-stippling sessions for each individual client inside of an upscale salon, equipped with leather chairs and cherry-toned styling stations. Arched entryways and sandstone hues complete the fiery décor, providing a venue for enjoying complimentary beverages and pampering hard-working phalanges. With each manicure, professional finger-groomers trim and file nails before taming unruly cuticles. A gentle exfoliating scrub cleanses and invigorates shoe-fillers and toes weary from typing tax forms. The organic mint-aromatherapy treatment utilizes the connection between the sense of smell and the brain's emotional receptors to invoke relaxation, and the shellac mani-pedi ensconces nails in lustrous layers designed to protect against chipping for up to 14 days.
Larry North has spent his 25-year career inspiring people to change their bodies and their lives through his infomercials, talk-radio show, television appearances, three books, and, most notably, his six Larry North fitness centers. "Success," North believes, "is not about how many gyms or how many members we have. It is about successful clients who lose weight and keep it off..." Adhering to this mantra, he wants to make sure that every member has access to the best resources and tools to achieve their goals. He sees to it that all of his spacious and sleek gyms boast a high trainer-to-member ratio and are jam-packed with weights, strength machines, and cardio equipment from industry-leading manufacturers.
All North's spacious and chic facilities offer a bevy of group classes that include kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, dance-based fitness sessions, and their signature 30-minute abs workouts.
As a trained image consultant with an MBA of her own, Venice Salon and Spa owner Tahita Doyle knows the power of appearance. "It's about having confidence," she says. Tucked within Houston's business district, Venice Salon and Spa offers a serene retreat from the bustle of the city. Understanding that many of their clients are working professionals who have limited time between meetings and executive-level karate matches that determine who gets the corner office, nail technicians quickly and expertly gussy up extremities using OPI and Shellac polishes. Meanwhile, hairstylists wield scissors, blow dyers, and Schwarzkopf salon-exclusive styling products to create new looks.
The add-ons are half the fun at Nails by Rita. Rita Rivera, a nail technician for nearly five years, offers plenty of options that turn nail grooming into an indulgence. These include hot-stone massages, warm paraffin dips, and hand, foot, arm, and leg massages. That's not to discount her regular services though. Even Rita's pedicures and manicures include foot and leg, or hand and arm massages, respectively, in addition to her attentive nail work, which gets fingers and toes looking as well-groomed as a landscaper's desktop Zen garden. Rita also offers reflexology treatments as well as facial waxing.
Contrary to their name, Just Wax It provides a laundry list of salon and spa services in addition to their award-winning waxing. Mani-pedis and eyelash and eyebrow tints lend color and definition to your nails and peepers, and facials and chemical peels reveal clearer complexions radiant enough to make a magic mirror do a double take. The salon also partners with Cargill Massage Therapy to offer onsite massages.