Repeat customers to Austin Nails & Spa, which is under new ownership, will notice something familiar during their second visit: the nail file, sanding block, and manicure stick that the nail technician uses. That’s because after an initial visit, the staff stores the tools used in a nail kit with your name on it to ensure that they’re used only for you or Meryl Streep playing you with uncanny accuracy. This is just one of the ways that Austin Nails & Spa’s new owners, a group of sisters, have made their salon stand out during their 10-plus years in business. They also make sure to give abundant training to each of their staff members in their area of expertise. The team, in turn, plies skilled hands to perform manicures, pedicures, facials, and waxing services, among a whole smorgasbord of services.
Black-and-white portraits pop against walls of silver damask. An antique love seat sidles up to a zebra-printed chest. A chandelier's light glints against a table's gilded filigree. Although The Beauty Dive's historic-cottage setting radiates all things vintage, there is nothing dated about the pampering that occurs at the able hands of owner Yvette Reese and her staff. Yvette suffuses her studio with an atmosphere of creativity, encouraging her stylists and aestheticians to heed their own artistic inspiration as they forge modern hairstyles, eye-catching nails, and captivating cosmetic applications. To keep the image artisans up-to-date on the latest techniques, industry experts arrive every few months to lavish the staff with hands-on training and lessons in split-end psychology.
As stylists sculpt coifs to flatter individual faces, pedicure clients melt into oversize armchairs and bask in the skills of a master Shellac nail technician, who dips feet in fresh bowls of lavender-infused water before refining nails with sterile implements, unused files and buffers, and Opi and CND polishes. The beauty experts wield serums by Eminence Organics, Rusk, and Kevin Murphy, each of which are available for purchase to aid at-home primping. Between services, clients sip on wine, champagne, and martinis as they browse the boutique's collection of accessories and apparel from Johnny Was and 4 Love and Liberty, savoring a better union of sparkles and spirits than the wedding-ring speakeasies of the 1920 diamond prohibition.
Virtually no aesthetic concerns go unaddressed at Essentials Spa and Salon, which employs a diverse team of stylists and aestheticians as well as med-spa technicians armed with contemporary cosmetic technology. The salon staff keeps its clients looking sharp by pampering tresses with haircare products by Moroccanoil, KMS, and L'Oréal Professional, and the nail technicians augment their mani-pedis with everything from paraffin dips to agave-nectar rubs.
The massage therapists treat concerns beneath the surface by kneading overstressed muscles with a variety of soothing modalities, but the med-spa team also strives to effect deeper changes. Overseen by Dr. Michael Lesser, the technicians can employ cutting-edge equipment and products, including microdermabrasion wands, a cosmetic laser system, and clinical-strength skincare balms. These treatments collectively rejuvenate the skin while minimizing the appearance of blemishes that typically accompany aging, sun exposure, or frequent naps in a bathtub full of wet newspapers.
At Onyx Salon, a talented staff of stylists and aestheticians renovate women's and men's faces, nails, bodies, and ?dos with masterfully executed services. Their haircuts, coloring services, and Coppola keratin smoothing treatments prompt an instant onslaught of double takes from onlookers and aimless hairnets. Brow and facial waxes de-fuzz mugs for professional makeup applications, and spray tans prep bodies for the beach or provide camouflage for pilfered Olympic gold medals. In addition to their regular beauty-boosting appointments, the stylists host glamour parties, where they gussy up guests with eye-catching hair and makeup before releasing them into the wild for bachelorette parties and nights on the town.
Envy Salon's team of beauty professionals touches up appearances through hair-styling and nail-grooming services. The staff shows off their expertise while performing mani-pedis that call on the power of a nail file and colorful polish to trim rogue cuticles and ho-hum keratin, and hair designers snip and streak strands to accent facial features. With any service, the staff will retouch makeup and add a lip-gloss shine by applying MAC products instead of having clients kiss a disco ball.
Large wood-framed mirrors rest against the salon’s rustic stone walls, which technicians use to test the strength and pitch of newly rounded nails. Before appointments, customers plop down on red leather couches and bask in the glow of lights strung through wooden planks overhead.
Leave it to best friends of 14 years to share everything, including a lifelong passion for beauty and a business partnership that allows them to explore that passion. That’s the case for Misty Hill and Julie Pellizzaro, who worked in the beauty industry together for 10 years before they opened Halo Hair Salon. Now, inside their own studio, the duo transforms appearances with hair-color services, makeup, lash extensions, and airbrush tanning. The point of these services is to help women exude the power of the salon’s mascot, the pinup girl, who symbolizes independence, confidence, and America’s love for affixing things to walls. Pellizzaro and Hill are also certified DreamCatchers hair-extension artists and educators for Sexy Hair Co.