A two-fold enterprise, La Dolce Vita Day Spa and Fashion Lounge combines a spa and art studio. Staff members lead spa goers from the waiting area's cushy seats to pedicure chairs, which roll and vibrate across knotted backs. In private treatment rooms, the spa's massage therapists show the chairs who’s boss with their arsenal of deep-tissue techniques, relaxing hot stones, and opposable thumbs. Aestheticians brighten complexions with European facials fortified by PCA Skin products, wax away unwanted fuzz, and enhance lash volume and length with extensions by Xtreme Lashes.
La Dolce Vita also makes an ideal gathering spot with its Bubbles N Brushes paint parties, where instructors guide novice artists through the steps of creating masterpieces.
A shared passion often brings talented people together. That's certainly the case at Planet Sol Salon, where each staffer brings her own background and artistic eye to the salon chair. Alexa Cline, for example, trained with Redken educators to gain expertise in haircuts and color treatments. Melissa Guerra specializes in chemical texturizing, and Natasha Gutierrez—who has interned with an American Board Certified Haircolorist—uses highlights to give hair the perfect amount of dimension. Not limiting themselves to just hair, the team members also administer aesthetic services such as chocolate foot masks and shellac mani-pedis.
The stylists are educators themselves, too. They know that a new look is ultimately pointless if it can't be regularly recreated at home, especially if clients find themselves stuck in a temporal loop. To that end, they recommend manageable styles and explain the step-by-step process for their creation.
Under the watchful eye of licensed professionals, the students at Aveda Institute Corpus Christi simultaneously hone skills and pamper patrons. An aesthetician- or stylist-in-training performs each service as an expert instructor guides them through the process, tending to coifs, façades, hands, and feet with nourishing, aromatic products in order to get high marks on emery-board-shaped report cards. The institute not only focuses on bettering its students, but also on bettering the environment by providing a wind turbine and a fleet of direct-current exercise machines to generate the salon's power.
Amidst tan and green hues, guests nestle into pedicure thrones or rest arms atop manicure stations while Happy Nails & Massage technicians enhance fingers and toes with mani-pedis, acrylics, or Shellac. Inside a private treatment room, waxing specialists remove unwanted hair and drawn-on mustaches or loosen tight muscles with reflexology massages.
Just like hairstyles, names can change. In late 1999, the Gonzalez siblings opened a salon called Dolce Divino. More than a decade and many advanced training sessions with experts later, the salon has been rechristened. Atelier Salon specializes in french haircutting and balayage highlights, and its work has been featured in Vogue, Elle, W, and Allure. Its stylists undergo weekly advanced training sessions to make sure they stay on the cutting edge of style techniques and haircut-related puns.
Even without the peacock-blue walls or the old-fashioned birdcage that sits next to the reception desk, Feathers Beauty Lounge would feel like a place for preening. Inside, Aveda-certified stylists cut and color hair and perform wax treatments and mani-pedis. Like planning an art-museum heist, visiting the salon is fun to do with a big group; clients celebrate special occasions by holding princess parties and bridal showers there.