Neither needles nor knives can be found at Body Contour Spa, where noninvasive laser liposuction transforms wobbly bits into trim and svelte physiques. Ultrasonic waves from the spa’s LipoLaser system permeate the area of the client’s choice—including the tummy, thighs, back, or buttocks—and gradually dissolve fat cells, allowing their contents to move through the body until naturally absorbed. Within three to four sessions, clients may begin to see noticeable whittling of their waists or shrinking of their third arms. Aside from noninvasive liposuction, Body Contour Spa aids in general bodily detox with prepackaged body wraps, which whisk away internal toxins from the body in as little as 45 minutes.
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.
Through a commitment to continuous education, the stylists at Clique Salon have learned that hair fashion is a limitless art. Regional and national seminars furnish their infinite utility belts with evolving techniques, which they then apply to cuts, color treatments, and other services at their Houston studio. However, they do preserve one constant: a commitment to environmental health. Their stations remain free of aerosol and are stocked with natural haircare products, including formulas from Aveda, Modern Elixirs, and Tea Tree. Positioned within these fresh surroundings, the hair gurus begin each appointment with a consultation, during which clients sip on wine or another beverage as they describe what direction they want their locks to take. As the stylists cut, dye, and condition strands, they also dispense aftercare recommendations, enabling patrons to preserve their new color without hiring an art-restoration specialist each week.
While staff at Marq Salon uses styling products from brands such as Moroccanoil, Pureology, and Redken, they know good hair doesn’t come from products alone. That’s why the stylists and nail artists there keep their skills sharp with continuing education, making sure they can replicate the latest trends, unlike time travellers who only brought along sweatpants. They put those skills to use beneath shelves of Coppola keratin treatment and Redken colors. Across the salon, emery boards rasp against nails, and warm paraffin melts around fingers. Therapists warm smooth stones for massages as aromatherapy oils elicit deep inhalations. An airbrush-tanning technician dispenses the eco-friendly, organic solution by hand to create an even, all-over glow that doesn’t require drying time.
All of the barbers at Shave have been trained by Master Barber Perry Gastis to ensure that their straight-razor shaves and barber cuts are up to snuff. The shop is one of the few barbershops with a staff trained in the use of Gastis’s Gentlemens Refinery line of all-natural, organic shaving products. Each shave comes with steaming hot towels and a luxurious shaving-cream lather, ensuring a close enough shave to pass inspection by the panel of gentlemen’s valets who license all barbers.
The staff supplies a complimentary beer or whiskey to each guest who takes a seat in the wood-and-leather styling thrones. The waiting area’s old-fashioned quilted armchairs and sprawling animal-pelt rug recall the smoking lounge of a gentlemen’s club of long ago, though a chunk of modern Houston skyline gleams through full-length windows just beyond.
Visions Salon and Spa's owner Shirley Manulak arrives at work each day determined to fulfill her customers’ cosmetic needs. “We just wanted to have a relaxing, friendly atmosphere. We want to shampoo away some of your stress,” she told Y.C. Orozco of the Pasadena Citizen. Armed with 35 years of experience as a cosmetology instructor and a skilled staff, her salon offers an array of aesthetic services, including manicures, pedicures, and hairstyling in a salon renovated after Manulak bought it two years ago. Like jazz bands that are serious about their craft, the staff steam cleans all of their instruments with autoclaves and medical-grade disinfectant.