At Nautica Tan, the staff knows that darker skin isn't the only benefit of tanning. Clients also emerge more relaxed, and skin imperfections such as stretch marks and cellulite are hidden. Seven levels of UV beds coax melanin to skin surfaces, whereas spray tans give skin a sun-kissed glow without the sun or rubbing skin with a light bulb.
Visions Salon and Spa's owner Shirley Manulak arrives at work each day determined to fulfill her customers’ cosmetic needs. “We just wanted to have a relaxing, friendly atmosphere. We want to shampoo away some of your stress,” she told Y.C. Orozco of the Pasadena Citizen. Armed with 35 years of experience as a cosmetology instructor and a skilled staff, her salon offers an array of aesthetic services, including manicures, pedicures, and hairstyling in a salon renovated after Manulak bought it two years ago. Like jazz bands that are serious about their craft, the staff steam cleans all of their instruments with autoclaves and medical-grade disinfectant.
The trained technicians at Houston Tattoo Removal Clinic help delete unwanted tattoos using an FDA-approved, noninvasive laser. An initial consultation factors in everything from the tattoo's depth and age to skin type to determine the most effective treatment. During the procedure, a handheld laser hovers over the ink, delivering short bursts of energy to fade the pigmentation without damaging the skin around it. Though some designs may take up to 12 treatments to fully banish, many require only two visits, and virtually all patients observe no scarring afterward.
The laser technology can also fight age-related blemishes with services such as liver-spot removal and scar reduction, but Houston Tattoo Removal Clinic's true passion is in helping Texas youngsters erase the mistakes of their past. Aside from its outreach work with the Texas Youth Commission, the clinic proudly expunges tattoos from the faces and hands of kids aged 17 and younger for free—an act of benevolence that has helped wipe troubled teens' slates clean for a healthy, happy future.
Head & Sole revitalizes the entire body, top to bottom, through services ranging from microdermabrasion facials to foot massages. Within a relaxing environment, aestheticians treat skin ailments such as wrinkles, acne, or rosacea, though the spa's specialty lies in treating our first point of contact to the earth—the feet. During reflexology treatments, massage therapists help ease tension in the body by focusing on specific points on the soles that correspond with specific organs, tissue, and body parts. Other times, they simply focus on reducing pain and tension in the foot itself, such as when athletes strain their heels after running a marathon or standing on a bed of coals.
In 2010, Up Close Beauty tacked “Max” onto the end of its name to reflect the continued dedication and drive to dole out exceptional beauty services from each stylist, aesthetician, nail technician, and therapist. Owner Michelle Mai—an experienced hair colorist, extension artist, and aesthetician—guides the staff as they beautify exteriors with the latest brands, including Paul Mitchell haircare, Cellex-C skincare, and OPI nail polishes.
As clients relax in the jacuzzi tub or on two massage tables in Up Close's spa room, aestheticians revive lackluster visages in a room of their own, performing facials, microdermabrasions, and chemical peels. Out on the salon floor, stylists beautify manes with snap-on and glue-in hair extensions and hair-straightening services such as the De Fabulous Kerafusion, which irons out strands for up to six months with a protein complex infused with mineral oils, shea butter, and cocoa butter, without including harsh fumes or smoke. Clients can also indulge in a traditional or gel mani-pedi, more than 10 massages, or radial-endodermo-therapy sessions designed to clean out the lymphatic system and help banish cellulite to the body's black hole, located directly behind the spleen.
Guests who come inside any of Malibu Tan’s many locations are greeted with a handshake. Though that might seem like an old-school approach to customer service, Malibu Tan’s owner encourages it as a genuine way for his staff to connect with each client and provide them with customized services. For more than 15 years, Malibu’s friendly staffers have also connected with higher-profile clients—including the Houston Dymano Girls team—by helping them choose the best of each facility’s tanning options for their skin types. With UV tanning, regardless of whether a client prefers a supine or standup system, they are bound to get a strong tan, as all UV bulbs are changed 200 hours before they hit capacity or finally crack open and release a butterfly. There are also plenty of UV-free options such as VersaSpa sunless tanning, which darkens exteriors with a hydrating DHA-based solution. Each location also offers tan-enhancing products from Swedish Beauty and California Tan.