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.
Inside Simply Irresistible, expert nail tech and independent contractor Maria Mock keeps phalanges looking polished with more than 20 years of nail-care experience, a skill she has taught throughout the world. Maria’s dexterous fingers coax tension and miniature squadrons of army men out of feet during soothing pedicures, which treat parched two-steppers to several gulps of lotion. After whittling nails to desired forms, Maria dresses them up with a glitzy layer of polish. The spa Shellac manicure similarly dotes on hands with a massage but goes the extra mile by sloughing off dead skin cells and sealing in moisture with an exfoliation and paraffin hand dip. Maria files talons into shape and finishes with a coat of durable, high-gloss Shellac, which, like a sugar-cookie purist, resists chips. Groupon-holders can upgrade to a french Shellac manicure or a regular french polish pedicure for an additional $5.
For more than 18 years, Thao Tran has treated clients to nail services, skincare, and massages that address issues from stress and chronic pain to weak nails and congested skin. Seven days a week, Tran and the staff at Nail and Skin Day Spa knead away tension, remove unwanted hair, and make lashes stand out with tinting, perm, and extension services. Using products from OPI and CND, nail technicians keep nails strong, shiny, and meticulously groomed. Dermalogica products cleanse skin of all types without artificial colors or fragrance. Permanent-makeup services enhance features without constant makeup reapplication through long days, water activities, and sudden liquid-eyeliner storms.
Gorgeous Smiles facilitates the glimmering grins of its clients with in-office and at-home teeth-whitening tactics. Inside private treatment rooms, technicians first match teeth to their current hue on a color chart, then carefully coat them in a combination of carbamide peroxide and potassium nitrate to whiten smiles while thwarting increased tooth sensitivity. The savvy techs are so confident in their handiwork that, should teeth not brighten by at least two shades on the color chart at the end of the treatment, coffee-stained mouths will receive a full refund. The salon, an offshoot of Gorgeous Nail Lounge & Demi-Spa, also sends clients packing with take-home whitening products from Star Bright, BleachBright, and NightBright that work in a matter of days from the comfort of one’s home or converted missile silo.
Inside Frenchy’s Beauty Parlor, a team of beauty-school graduates style haircuts both trendy and edgy. Named for the beauty-school dropout in Grease, Frenchy’s embraces the retro aesthetic of the ’50s with rose-colored walls, gauzy pink curtains, and black styling tables. If the parlor occupies a niche, it’s the pinup market. Stylists are adept at dyeing and styling hair to recall the cheeky posters that soldiers would post in their bunks to remind them what they were fighting for: the noble push pin. Stylists are equally talented at framing faces of all ages and genders with classic and trendy cuts, aided by products from, Kevin Murphy, EVO and AG and hair color by Pravana. To complete their look, customers can browse a boutique of hoodies and tank tops emblazoned with the Frenchy’s logo or the label “Beauty School Drop Out.”
It wasn’t a coincidence that Aziz Salon and Day Spa was named after the word for “dear friend” or “loved one.” Since its inception in 1973, Aziz has been treating its clients as treasured friends, personably pampering and beautifying them. Knowledgeable and affable staff members take their time with each client as they cut and color hair, blanket nails in dazzling hues, or affix Xtreme eyelash extensions for Xtreme Prom, which involves jumping dirt bikes over limos. Also a testament to its concern and care for its clients is the salon’s use of renowned product lines such as Kérastase, CosMedix, and ZENT, which harness natural ingredients such organic shea butter to gently soothe skin and hair.