Within the green and blue walls of Day Lily Hair and Nail Salon, guests sip complimentary beverages and peruse magazines as they await the start of spa services. Massaging pedicure thrones gently relax backs as technicians beautify toes with traditional or Shellac polish. Free WiFi access lets hairstylists' clients download images of their favorite celebrity ?dos or Fraggle Rock characters to inspire haircuts and color services. The crew also waxes away unwanted hair and customizes facials with Dr Irena Eris products.
Frizzy hair turns sleek and shiny at the hands of Sammy P. Salon and Spa’s stylists, who carry certifications in coloring, extensions, and keratin-straightening treatments. The beauty specialists pull serums, shampoos, and styling gels from high-quality product lines such as Pureology and Redken during appointments, which permit clients to bring their own favorite drinks or puréed entrees. In addition to color and cuts, the staff performs a host of other cosmetic services, including nailcare, makeup, hair removal, and spray tanning, which enlists the Norvell spray-tan system to leave bodies with a sun-kissed glow.
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.
When Martha Millan says, "Beauty shouldn't hurt," she's not peddling a slogan—her first job in the beauty industry literally caused her pain. Working at an upscale salon, her exposure to common hair and makeup products triggered hives and headaches. While searching for more natural goods for personal use, her research revealed unsettling truths about many industry product lines that often use irritating perfumes to mask the underlying odors of harsh chemicals. Feeling that everyone should have the opportunity to look beautiful without fear of harming health, she bought a salon and transformed it into Salon O Day Spa.
Amid Salon O Day's industrial decor, Millan and her team of stylists, aestheticians, and a massage therapist use products so natural that some are even edible, though Millan imagines the taste would leave something to be desired: barbecue sauce. Among the array of certified-organic, not-tested-on-animals, gluten- and chemical-free products, Millan's favorites include Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, developed by an American physician who advocates against overexfoliation. For hair, stylists use products from lines including Surface Hair and Organic Color Systems, and during nail services, technicians use natural products from SpaRitual in tandem with scrubs made in-house from ingredients bought at a local co-op.
Viva Day Spa?s owners focus on providing all the services and amenities one would expect from a luxurious spa without an ounce of pretentiousness. At both of the spa?s locations, staffers never turn their noses up?the spa was named Best Spa by the Austin Chronicle in 2012 and tied for best in 2011. The staff engages clients with this down-to-earth attitude as they prepare them for massages, facials, and other spa treatments?all of which are administered by award-winning therapists armed with natural and organic products. Both Viva Day Spa locations feature an upscale, modern decor rife with wood accents, and the Lamar location displays perky plants and colorful flowers, as well as whimsical yellow puffy orb lights, natural sunlight, and arched doorways with intricate wood carvings. One of its walls showcases a large expanse of lettering that gives ?suggestions on how to live a happy and rewarding life,? and there?s even a round room with a curved, pillow-topped bench circumscribing its curved wall. With warm, almost romantic lighting and rich mocha-colored walls, the spa is anything but sterile and cold. The female-owned spa works to accommodate people?s hectic schedules by staying open seven days a week until 8 p.m.