At first blush, Millennium Medi Spa seems to suffer from a crisis of identity. On one hand, the med spa relies on the clinical expertise of its physician directors to rejuvenate clients’ skin with advanced treatments. But one can’t help but notice the tranquil, spa-like atmosphere and the profusion of treatments—mani-pedis, massages, hydrating facials—that seem rooted in relaxation more than anything else.
These two personalities converge seamlessly thanks to a staff that splits its focus between results and relaxation. Technicians beautify nails with scrubs, paraffin dips, and glossy coats of polish while aestheticians tighten skin and release toxins with body wraps. Similarly results-based procedures include chemical peels, dermal fillers, and vibradermabrasion treatments that reduce the appearance of fine lines and barnacles stuck to the face.
A maven is defined as a person who has special knowledge or experience, and the stylists at Maven proudly embody this definition. The multicultural hair experts can work with hair of any length, texture, and color. Their services include restorative conditioning treatments, bold color or highlights, basic and creative hairstyles, and relaxers.
Since Benjamin Hair & Co. has 10 hair stylists, three nail techs, and an aesthetician on staff, you'd expect the salon to cover a lot of different services, and you wouldn't be disappointed. There are the usual suspects—keratin treatments, Brazilian waxing, specialty facials—and then there are also hard-to-find treatments: staffers slather on acne-busting Meditouch clinical skincare products, apply Hair Dreams or Brijon Hair extensions, and shave eyebrows into miniature mohawks. They also collect hair donations for Locks of Love, a charitable organization that makes wigs for children who have medical conditions that cause hair loss.
Beauty is only skin deep, but Enliven Skin Care Boutique isn't hiding anything beneath its exterior. The boutique is exactly as advertised: a place where aestheticians enliven and care for skin with services that range from chemical peels to European facials. To do so, they draw on ancient botanical formulas, soothing tea extracts, and products from Repêchage. For clients whose needs extend beyond the skin, the spa also offers eyelash extensions and sugaring hair removal, a technique perfected centuries ago by people who didn't yet realize that sugar is for eating.
You might call Paul Jones, managing partner of Elements Laser Spa, a bit of a technology junkie. He worked in the semiconductors industry for years, making equipment for manufacturers in Silicon Valley before deciding to fly solo. He created a company that used lasers to inspect the surface of semiconductor wafers and the insides of sandwich cookies. Jones then collaborated with a group of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists to found what has become one of the leading rehabilitation clinics in the Austin area.
It's no surprise, then, that his latest endeavor—two hip, welcoming laser spas—have taken home four Best of CitySearch awards: in the laser-hair-removal category in 2009 and 2010, and in the hair-removal category in 2011 and 2013. Jones has chosen medical directors who match his zeal for innovation, namely plastic surgeon Dr. Vishnu Rumalla and Dr. Shirat Ling, an expert in medical aesthetic procedures. The staff of certified technicians uses Venus Freeze to tighten skin and reduce wrinkles, Zerona lasers to noninvasively reduce stubborn fat, and advanced Candela systems to remove hair, spider veins, and sun spots.
Practicing in aesthetics and pain management since 2004, Leslie Escalante has concluded that natural remedies can enhance the practice of Western medicine. She left her position as an assistant to a board-certified physician to open Balanced Health & Beauty, where she melds medical practices with natural solutions to combat physical aging. She recruited Dr. J. Scott Gaertner, a board-certified family practitioner and graduate of The University of Texas Medical School, to oversee the center's more involved procedures. These include FDA-cleared cosmetic injections that require absolute precision to create firm, smooth skin, and personalized hormone-replacement regimes that mitigate the fatigue caused by winding the town clock daily.
Representing Escalante's interest in holistic wellness, the center also fosters proper nutrition with Xymogen vitamin supplements and a variety of diet plans. Multitalented lasers use radio frequency to gently clear detritus from pores, evict unwanted hairs, or diminish visible sun damage or spider veins. Traditional facials target conditions specific to each patient's skin type with chocolate antioxidants and pumpkin enzymes, and peels rely on serums from PCA Skin and Obagi to reveal healthy, youthful complexions.