The 2008 D Beauty Awards

The places we go, people we see, and things we eat to help us keep up appearances.

You might find this hard to believe, but we don’t just get out of bed looking fabulous. This takes work, baby—and we simply cannot do it alone. After many months of “research”—massages, pedicures, taste tests, and shopping excursions—we are proud to name the people and places that help us keep up appearances.

photography courtesy of retailer

The World of Wellness
Cooper Clinic, Fitness Center, and Spa at Craig Ranch

Kenneth Cooper, M.D., has been teaching the benefits of cardiovascular fitness for nearly four decades. Recently, a second Cooper campus opened at Craig Ranch in McKinney, kicking off the next wave of Cooper care. In addition to the state-of-the-art fitness center, day spa, nutrition counseling, and comprehensive physical exams, Craig Ranch offers cosmetic dermatology and gynecology services. Coming soon: CooperLife, a master-planned residential community centered around healthy living. 7910 Collin McKinney Pkwy., McKinney. 214-383-1000 (fitness center and spa) or 972-560-6300 (clinic). www.cooperaerobics.com.

photography by Vanessa Gavalya

Dress To Impress
Melanie Gayle

Owned by Melanie Ramon, a former assistant buyer for Neiman Marcus, this is our new favorite shop for frocks. Unique stock arrives daily, and with an average price point of $150 (most pieces ring up at less than $400), we can afford to look our best all the time. Lines we love include Ali Ro, Sine, Lia Kes, Nikka, Amanda Uprichard, and Jenny Han. 6818 Snider Plaza. 214-369-1700. www.melaniegayle.com.

Med-Spa Pioneers
Beverly and Donald Breshers

When Somatique Medical Dental Spa opened in 1996, the word med-spa wasn’t part of our vocabulary. Now, with two plastic surgeons, an oral surgeon, and a cosmetic dentist on staff, owners Beverly and Donald Breshers have garnered quite a following among the who’s who of Dallas—and they won’t accept a new client without a referral from an existing client or doctor. There is no waiting room, so there’s no bumping into an acquaintance while waiting for your Endermologie treatment. Says Beverly: “We want conscientious patients who want to look the best they can and not like someone else.” 5600 W. Lovers Ln., Ste. 212. 214-350-1422. www.somatique.com.

The Sexiest Workout
The Girls Room

It’s a tad hard to find—look for the bright red door between a pizza parlor and a smoke shop—but it is so worth the search. This funky little studio offers power yoga and belly, burlesque, and sensual dance classes, but we love it for the pole dancing, led by Karyn Lynn and Jackie Carey, who welcome women of all shapes and sizes. The beginners “Pole’lates” class starts slow, with a little stretching; an hour later, each woman is swinging, strutting, and sliding down the pole like a star. What better way to strengthen your core and spice up your workout? 1921½ Studio B Greenville Ave. 214-887-8880. www.thegirlsroom.us.

Chicest Soles in the Suburbs
Pumps

Themed after a 1950s gas station, this shoe shop in downtown McKinney stocks styles that appeal to the vintage vixen and the designer diva. The fancy footwear we find here is reason enough to trek up I-75. Find the latest by Loeffler Randall, Nanette Lepore, Bettye Muller, L’autre Chose, and Corso Como. 217 N. Kentucky St., McKinney. 972-562-4555. www.gottahavemypumps.com.

photography courtesy of retailer

Where Margaritas Meet Massage
The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton

Fancy is our middle name, so we were positively giddy when the Ritz-Carlton opened. Our favorite long lunch now includes an 80-minute Dean’s Margarita Salt Glow, performed in a cozy yet ridiculously spacious treatment room outfitted with the most comfortable spa beds we’ve ever been on. Fragrant lemon verbena and exfoliating salts smoothed our skin to baby softness; a hydrating cream restored moisture and left our skin feeling fresh. Also worth noting: the Ritz is the only hotel in Texas offering six chichi Prada skincare treatments. How’s that for fancy? 2121 McKinney Ave. 214-922-4820. www.ritzcarlton.com.

photography courtesy of retailer

The Fabulous Facialist
Renée Rouleau

Renée Rouleau is all about skin, which should never be forced into a three-sizes-fit-all bottle. Her Plano day spa was a novel idea when she opened it in 1996, but she later ditched the bells and whistles to stick with what she does best: skincare, including a line of 60 products for nine skin types. In January, she opened an exclusive salon in One Arts Plaza, catering to her Dallas clients and celebs such as Lisa Rinna and Cheryl Ladd. Just one look at her radiant skin explains why everyone trusts Rouleau. 4025 Preston Rd., Ste. 606, Plano. 972-378-6655; 1722 Routh St., Ste. 113. 214-735-4364. www.reneerouleau.com.

On-the-Go Meals Without the Guilt
Healthy Me Marketplace

We travel all the way to Coppell for fresh, ready-made meals from this restaurant, grocery, and cooking school developed by health-conscious mom Cathy Fraser. We love the boxed cranberry chicken salad sandwiches, pecan-crusted tilapia, and Italian chicken Parmesan. Kids will love the PB&J bear sandwiches and smiley macaroni and cheese. But these on-the-go entrées aren’t merely quick; they’re also diet-friendly, with extensive calorie and nutrition labels printed on every box. 240 N. Denton Tap Rd., Ste. 440, Coppell. 972-745-3900. www.healthymemarket.com.

The Perfect Pedicure
Zen Luxury Nail & Beauty Bar

We love Zen because it’s as luxurious as a pricey spa, with the convenience of a walk-in nail salon. Only top-quality products—Chanel polish, SkinMedica, PerfectSense single-use paraffin—are used, and all instruments are adequately sterilized for 40 minutes. Massages are performed using hot stones and reflexology techniques, so a short snooze is almost guaranteed. While your toes are being polished, enjoy a cup of TAY Chocolate Belgium Mint tea (aka “Better Than Sex” tea), because you won’t get it anywhere else in Texas—and you don’t want to miss a sip. 1377 Legacy Dr., Ste. 110, Frisco. 214-618-4936. www.zensalons.com.

photography by Vanessa Gavalya

The Retail Nazi
Rory Boyd

The owner of Frisco boutique Sussie’s is what you might call “no-nonsense.” The words “You look hot as s—” come as easily to her as “Take that off immediately,” but when she’s saying the latter, it’s always for the person’s own good. We’ve watched this 30-year retail veteran transform the wardrobes—and therefore self-esteems—of every type of client, from teens to grandmothers. She’s also the buyer, so she knows the lines—Elie Tahari, Milly, Norma Kamali, Ella Moss—as well as she knows her customers’ tastes. She’ll call you when a shipment of your favorite has arrived, and then she’ll make you try on something unexpected—and you’ll love it. But she’s more than an honest (and darn good) saleswoman. She’s a stylist, confidante, and fiercely loyal friend. Just show up prepared to spend. 4760 Preston Rd., Ste. 204, Frisco. 972-335-2792.

photography by Elizabeth Lavin

Raw Food That Rocks
Hail Merry

Like any good entrepreneur, when Hail Merry creator and Dallas mom Susan O’Brien couldn’t find what she was looking for, she decided to make it and market it herself. A believer in the benefits of raw foods, she started out by making batches of raw food snacks, such as granola, and giving it away to friends and family. Not long after, she started her own business, creating not just granola but an assortment of goodies, including almond butter spread, which is fantastic on sliced apples, and to-die-for zero-cholesterol macaroons, our favorite late-afternoon pick-me-up. Available at Central Market. www.centralmarket.com.

Tried and True Skincare
SkinCeuticals

The pioneer of that famous vitamin C antioxidant protection serum, C E Ferulic, continues to deliver amazing products, such as the recently released Hydrating B5 Masque to repair dry skin. Unlike dozens of other beauty products we’ve tested, these science-based formulas are effective. Though L’Oréal bought out the local company in 2005, SkinCeuticals’ products are still produced here, putting Dallas on the map in both the science and skincare fields. It’s no wonder so many dermatologists and physicians recommend and sell them. Available at Eterna Med Spa, 3403 McKinney Ave. 214-880-0100. www.skinceuticals.com.

Loungewear To Long For
The Pink Alien

No matter what What Not To Wear’s Stacy London says, sometimes a girl has to wear sweats outside the house. And when she does, she ought to be sporting a Pink Alien hoodie and drawstring pants, created by local artist Katherine Baronet. The Pink Alien, a cute little character born out of Baronet’s loneliness, has come to symbolize individuality and love. Plus, the loungewear is embroidered and sewn in Garland, so in addition to celebrating your individual self, you’re supporting the local economy. Stacy London can’t argue with that. 214-826-9905. www.thepinkalien.com. www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf5FZXVIPXs. http://cedarsartgallery.com/?pid=site-image-gallery&gid=96.

photography by Vanessa Gavalya

Lean, Mean, and Green
Snappy Salads

When we say “green,” we’re not just talking about the lettuce, folks. Snappy Salads is an environmentally friendly place, too: employees wear hemp shirts and aprons, and utensils are made from biodegradable potato starch and soy oil. You’ll also dig Snappy Salads for the long list of super-fresh and super-scrumptious ingredients, which includes all the usual veggie suspects plus extras like all-natural grilled chicken and organic turkey. Try the certified heart-healthy Spa Salad with spinach, romaine, cherry tomato, cucumber, mushroom, bell pepper, Monterey Jack, and smoked Atlantic salmon tossed in low-fat roasted red pepper vinaigrette, or build your own masterpiece. The earth—and your waistline—will thank you. 5915 Forest Ln., Ste. 300. 972-991-7627; NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expwy., Ste. 2382. 214-368-7627. www.snappysalads.com.

photography courtesy of retailer

Good-For-You Food That Tastes Great
Zoës Kitchen

We rely on this cheery, Greek-inspired cafe for tasty meals that won’t bust our diets. Every dish is made with fresh ingredients, and many are identified on the menu as low-cal, low-fat, Zone-friendly, or heart-healthy. For us, a Greek chicken pita with caramelized onions and feta always hits the spot. Sensible sides such as a fruit cup or marinated slaw are always appreciated. 5710 W. Lovers Ln., Ste. 108. 214-357-0100; 6800 Snider Plaza. 214-987-1020. www.zoeskitchen.com.

The Mane Tamer
Matthew Taylor

What Matthew Taylor can do with a round brush and blow dryer is nothing short of miraculous. Limp, fine locks end up lush and full. Frizzy and curly hair turns smooth and tame. Taylor, who works out of salon hot spot Orange in Deep Ellum, says the trick is all about the product—or lack thereof. “I don’t normally use any kind of product when I blow out hair,” Taylor says. “Blow-outs last longer when there’s nothing weighing the hair down.” But a better reason to come to Taylor may be the conversation. He’s been known to solve personal crises in less than an hour. Problems solved, hair perfected. How’s that for therapy? 2932 Main St. 214-698-2006.

Very Original Duds
V.O.D.

This new store in Victory Plaza features a fabulously edited mix of clothes from emerging designers and established labels, and the cozy yet modern setting feels like someone’s very glamorous 1,000-square-foot closet. You’ll find both high and low price points, from APC basics to Jeremy Laing and Brian Reyes dresses straight off the runway, as well as select vintage designer pieces. Our favorites include the one-of-a-kind handmade vintage lace dresses by Magda Berliner and jewelry found by supermodel Erin Wasson on her worldly travels. 2418 Victory Park Ln. 214-754-0644. www.vodboutique.com.

photography courtesy of Jimmy Belasco

The Candle King
Jimmy Belasco

There are many reasons to love Dallasite Jimmy Belasco and his candles. From the customizable packaging and the powerful scents to Belasco’s donation to the charity of your choice for every online purchase, we just can’t help but brighten every time we light one. Our latest fave is a fragrance called Sexe. (Yep, we’re racy like that.) If you need a further pick-me-up, visit the web site (www.jimmybelasco.com), where you can stroll with Cartoon Jimmy through his animated neighborhood. He’ll even moonwalk for you. How many candle makers can say that? Available at Dr Delphinium Designs & Events, 5806 W. Lovers Ln. 214-522-9911. www.drdelphinium.com.

The Dallas Dance-Off
24 Hour Fitness

Every Wednesday night is a dance party at 24 Hour Fitness on Mockingbird Lane. At 6:30, Karen Noseff leads a challenging but fun hip-hop class, which is as good for your butt muscles as it is for your repertoire of moves. Plus, the familiar beats of Timbaland, Kanye, and Justin inspire freestyling between eight counts. Stick around for the 7:30 salsa class with Natalia Sinatora. If you’ve never taken salsa before, don’t worry; the basic steps are repeated throughout. The next day, your sore calves will remind you of the cha-cha and your sides of the meringue twist. Favorite move of the night: the sexy circle. Baila! 5706 E. Mockingbird Ln., Ste. 310. 214-370-5493. www.24hourfitness.com.

photography courtesy of retailer

Nice By Nature
Urban Flower Grange Hall

Yes, this boutique does sell flowers (and the arrangements are breathtaking), but there’s more to this shop than succulents and orchids in interesting vessels; everything here is inspired by nature. One case is dedicated to New York jewelry designer Gabriella Kiss, who creates such stunning pieces as antler-shaped earrings and bracelets in sterling, oxidized bronze, or gold and diamond variations and a blue lapis necklace accented with gold beetles. You can’t find these exquisite items anywhere else in Dallas—and those make the best gifts. 4445 Travis St. 214-443-0600. www.urbanflowergrangehall.com.

The Yummiest Yogurt
Lucky Layla Farms

Lucky Layla Farms’ drinkable yogurt, the result of a team effort by dairy farmer Todd Moore and cheese makers Adriana Satil and Edgar Diaz, is a tasty treat that’s all natural. Moore’s Lavon Farms in Plano provides the milk, and Lucky Layla in Garland produces the yogurt along with its arsenal of artisan cheeses. Find the irresistible packaging and bevy of fun flavors—thumbs up to piña colada and passion fruit—at Eatzi’s, Whole Foods, and Central Market. 2025 Wall St., Ste. B, Garland. 214-748-2912. www.luckylayla.com.

Spa Service Without the Spa Price
Hiatus Spa & Retreat

Spa junkies, we’ve found your next fix: Hiatus Spa & Retreat in Inwood Village. For only $49 a month (a year commitment is required), you get to choose one 50-minute treatment from the list of core services. (Think aromatherapy massage and rosemary mint wrap.) For a few more bucks, you can add a little extra; $19 buys you a botanical skin resurfacing facial, a gentler alternative to microdermabrasion. Here you can sate your spa desires without spending a fortune. 5560 W. Lovers Ln., Ste. 250. 214-352-4111. www.hiatusspa.com.

photography by Vanessa Gavalya

Best-Kept Fitness Secret
SMU’s Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports

What woman wants to lift weights surrounded by teens in hot pants? We’d normally mind, but not at SMU’s Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, the recently renovated and expanded $25 million fitness powerhouse. Think full-size lap pool, spacious indoor track, more cardio machines with TVs than you could ever use, well-kept machinery, and, for the adventurous type, a rock climbing wall. Few know that community memberships are offered. (And we’re sad to spill the beans, but we couldn’t resist.) We love the late-night hours, evening emptiness, squeaky-clean locker rooms, unexpectedly friendly student workers, and slew of fun cardio classes. This is where we fell in love with spinning. 6000 Airline Rd. 214-768-3374. www.smu.edu.

Yoga Trendsetter
Lululemon Athletica

There’s so much to love about Lululemon—from comfy capris to sweat-wicking tees—but the store’s not just about retail. Through an ambassador program, 10 local athletes, trainers, instructors, and dancers are promoted each year. You’ll also see a list of each employee’s health and fitness goals posted on the wall. The stores even offer complimentary yoga classes. How’s that for motivation and inspiration? Galleria Dallas, 13350 N. Dallas Pkwy., Ste. 2285. 972-385-2316. Multiple locations. www.lululemon.com.

Where To Get That Golden Glow
Bella Vita Rejuvenation Center

This takes the cake for best fake bake in town. In about 10 minutes, trained technician LeeAnn Hassell sprays you to perfection; upon request she can emphasize abs and “tone” arms and legs. The magic potion has nearly no scent and lasts up to a week. Nice! 6170 Sherry Ln., Ste. 100. 214-373-4233.

One Site Fits All
FittingGifts.com

Seamstress Bea Harper has made quite a name for herself. Dallas brides adore the Fitting Room owner for her ability to restore, create, and embellish all manner of wedding apparel. Other Dallasites love her shop’s unique gifts. Now, thanks to FittingGifts.com, gift seekers from around the world can shop Harper’s goods online. The site features select items not carried in the store, from baby and bridal to home products and handbags. (We love the Zina Eva chocolate matte leather clutch and Belart handmade horn cuff bracelet.) View suggestions categorized by holiday, occasion, or recipient, and you’re sure to find a gift that fits. 4111 Lomo Alto Dr. 214-520-3600. www.fittinggifts.com.

The Calming Influence
Jeffry Farrell

We can attest to the magic of yoga/meditation guru Jeffry Farrell at Park Cities Yoga. His private meditation instruction is dedicated to recognizing and releasing patterns of thought. “Learning to quiet the mind is just as important as resting the body,” Farrell says. “It builds confidence, reduces habits of anger and anxiety, and teaches us to appreciate the moment.” Regular sessions with Farrell can transform even the most resistant minds. If he can create calm amid the chaos of a busy magazine office, this man can do just about anything. 5757 W. Lovers Ln., Ste. 216. 214-350-2269. www.parkcitiesyoga.com.

photography by Vanessa Gavalya

Applause for Extras
Exhale

While we treasure our local, independent yoga studios for their intimate classes, personal attention, and sense of community, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge the perks that accompany a class series at Exhale. Purchase a group of classes (yoga, Core Fusion, or both) and gain unlimited access to the luxurious spa locker rooms (with sparkling showers and personal steam rooms) and Hotel Palomar’s fitness center and pool. The small, private exercise studio is the cleanest we’ve seen, and with a TV on each cardio machine, your workout will fly by. Take advantage of the rooftop pool as well, with waitstaff serving up cocktails and light fare from Central 214’s poolside menu. 5300 E. Mockingbird Ln. 214-370-5800. www.exhalespa.com.

A Fresh Alternative
Flower Road Natural Therapies

When clinical aromatherapist Michelle B. Shelmire says her products are fresh, she means it. Everything she makes at her Flower Road Natural Therapies is preservative- and synthetic-free, which means a shelf life of about eight months. The two creams and one elixir she’s created for face and body feature therapeutic-grade essential oils she imports from a doctor in Europe. Watch for a new eye cream, coming in April. By appointment only. 214-987-2766. www.flowerroad.net.

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