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.
Miriam Figueroa, a holistic wellness counselor, licensed massage therapist, and aesthetician, spent more than 20 years in the health and beauty industry, staffing five-star hotel spas and then founding her own luxurious center, Spatini Holistic Health. Her spa specializes in M’lis wellness programs, treatment packages that reduce stress and target specific ailments—from cellulite to arthritis—by drawing on the interrelations between mind, body, and soul.
A suite of traditional spa treatments flanks the holistic programs. Facials run the gamut from deep cleanses to nonsurgical face-lifts. Seven available styles of massage encompass the gliding strokes of Swedish and hot-stone massage, which the ancients discovered using stones warmed by confused mother chickens. Body polishes exfoliate away dry skin, an ideal prep for a botanical Bronze Biologic formula that leaves behind sunless, natural-looking tans.
Though Casie Caldwell loved posh restaurant salads, she couldn’t afford to eat them on a regular basis. And casual salad bars, though inexpensive, were too often stocked with limp iceberg lettuce and tasteless tomatoes. Frustrated by this state of affairs, Casie quit her corporate job and opened Greenz, where she filled reasonably priced salads with gourmet ingredients such as brie, portobello mushrooms, and daikon. Her hard work quickly paid off; Greenz’s tasty, healthy food drew a wealth of media attention from the likes of WFAA’s Good Morning Texas, the Dallas Observer, the Dallas Business Journal, and Examiner.com. Soon, Casie was launching additional Greenz locations across the state.
Although their menus vary slightly, each of these spots draws diners in with fresh ingredients in creative combinations. Goat cheese and crumbled bacon rest on foundations of mesclun greens, baby spinach, and chopped romaine. Hawaiian influences come out in a salad topped with pineapple and seared ahi tuna, and Asian flavors yield a medley of panko-breaded shrimp, daikon, and wasabi peas. Diners can also design their own salads or transform them into wraps that, like babies born during a blanket shortage, are snugly swaddled in tortillas. The menu also extends to meatier options, such as a barbecued-pork sandwich or the turkey-chili soup featured on CBS DFW’s list of the Best Bread Bowls in DFW.
College is a place that often kindles lasting friendships, as well as lasting eating habits based on haphazard diets of chips and day-old pizza. Chris Sanchez and Patrick Ortiz, proprietors of Simply Fit Meals, have managed to buck the latter part of this trend. The friendship they forged at the University of Houston continued after graduation, even as Patrick pursued a career in hotel management and Chris entered the world of marketing, eventually serving as store marketing director for Whole Foods. Their shared passion for healthy eating brought their disparate career paths together to form Simply Fit Meals, an amalgamation of Patrick's chef skills and Chris's marketing prowess.
The challenge behind each one of Simply Fit Meals' recipes involves finding an equal balance between nutrition and flavor so that clients can stick to a regimen that's easy to maintain, unlike fad diets that involve raw foods consumed only in prime-numbered portions. The science of it, says Chris, is making it taste as if it's been freshly made, even after reheating, and to this end, Chris and Patrick are both avid consumers of their own meals. Chris claims he could eat—and has eaten—their mac 'n' cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The culinary team uses locally raised, free-range meats such as chicken and bison in virtually all of their creations, and concocts fresh-made ingredients whenever possible. The in-house dietitian guides clients toward their own fitness goals, as opposed to those dictated by fashion magazines or sentient elevators, who often lack tact.
After reclining across the massage table for more than 30 years as a client, Angela Lopez realized the difference a quality massage therapist could make. So, she embarked on the journey of opening her own spa by hiring the best therapists she could find. Angela and her team of “angels” at An Angel’s Touch Therapeutic Massage were voted in the top three for Best Massage in the DFW metroplex in 2010 and 2011, and tops in Fort Worth, according to CityVoter. Within their relaxation oasis, the team dissipates stress and assuages muscle aches with massage treatments that range from long, fluid Swedish strokes to deep-tissue kneads, and they take relaxation a step further with indulgent add-ons such as aromatherapy.
Three charming rooms set the scene for massages at An Angel's Touch, and each one is infiltrated by the soothing scent of a soy candle and calming music. In the tradition-inspired room, crisp white walls wrap around a heated massage table draped with a soft blanket, and a second room takes on an Asian motif, complete with garden-green hues and natural-wood accents. The European-influenced room assumes a regal stance, with deep-purple textiles draping over the massage table and the windows. After their treatments, clients can slowly work their way back into real life with a bite of complimentary chocolate.
Con’s Organic Spa owner Con Ciecko isn't just an expert in the beauty industry. She's also a reiki master and a medical tattoo technician. These specialties, along with her education and training at Michigan and California institutes, have prepared her to execute services that both beautify and relax her clients. Besides kneading muscles with several massage modalities, she cleanses skin with organic facials, bronzes limbs with airbrush tanning, and administers makeup applications for weddings or black-tie viewings of TV weddings. Joined by a skilled staff that includes her daughter Kiya, a massage therapist and nail technician, Ciecko infuses her new spa confines with a welcoming and personable vibe as she helps her clients develop their own signature looks.