When Donna Lee first came to the United States, she made ends meet—despite her lack of English—by working in gas stations and fast-food restaurants. Over time, she scrimped and used her savings to open her own nail salon, Nail Boutik. More than 20 years later, she's still living her American dream. Amid lime-green walls lined with OPI and Essie nail-polish bottles, she and her nail technicians primp hands and feet with products by Amazing Nail Concepts as clients sink into comfy leather recliners. In addition to signature mani-pedis, they apply gel nails and banish muscle tension with specialized massages and stress balls the size of individual tendons.
At Ocean Nail & Spa, beauty starts from the toes up. During one of more than 10 pedicures, the team of nail techs primps and pampers digits before applying gel, shellac, or traditional polish for a lasting, eye-grabbing shine. They also perform other nail services, including manicures, silk wraps, and paraffin wax treatments. Once staffers gussy up nails, they can focus their attention on the limbs, bikini regions, or brows during waxing sessions. Otherwise, they can move straight up to the top with a facial, such as the spa facial, which includes a milk masque and cold stone therapy.
Once they are looking glamorous, clients can gelatinize beneath the skilled hands of a massage therapist during a Swedish massage, hot stone treatment, or awkwardly long pat on the back. As they expunge their pent up stress, they can further their relaxation by sipping on a complimentary glass of soda or wine.
To Kimberly Bell, haircutting and coloring is a science; the most important part of what she does is knowing how the products work. “There’s an entire world of coloring information that most colorists are never exposed to,” she says. She came by her knowledge honestly, working in the industry for 14 years under notable colorists such as Tom Dispenza. Despite the importance of technical acumen, though, her favorite part of her job remains “seeing the client light up after they see the finished result of [the] hair service they [got].” She enjoys that experience frequently at Muse the Salon, named one of Dallas’s Top 20 Salons by D Magazine.
Eleven 11 Hair Studio has recently expanded their offerings, adding a blow-dry bar to their full menu of cut, color, extension, and smoothing services. In 2011, D Magazine reporter Raya Ramsey praised the salon—formerly Sol Ben Hair Studio— and its owners Asher and Shari, writing that “they’re experts, and you won’t be sorry with what you walk away with.” Mirroring the owners’ collective commitment to style, the salon’s waiting area adds an artful touch to any visit, with pillow-strewn, contemporary couches complimenting shiny black floors, square white columns, towering ceilings, and shelves lined with products by Kérastase and Sebastian. And inside the main space, sleek chairs invite clients to sit in front of full-length mirrors as stylists cut, color, and texturize strands, leaving them looking as stunning as a taser draped in prom dresses.