THE A * LIFE NEW BIZ BUZZ
The Best (of the Best) Facial Ever BY EMILY R. PELLERIN
A Departure From the Norm
Pillow Talk BY CHRISTIAN RYAN CRISWELL Steel Feather Interior Design Studio opened nine years ago when owner Jamie Gauthreaux desired to share her style and vision with others to help beautify their homes. As a Dallas native and University of Texas art grad, Gauthreaux has always had a passion for textiles and soon found a way to share her creativity with clients. In April, a pillow boutique and storefront for her signature pillow line was fluffed to life. The Moroccan Collection 2013 was inspired by a trip to Africa two years ago, where the hand-woven Moroccan textiles and unique architecture piqued her interest. Using the dynamic colors as inspiration, she created a line of handmade pillows, ottomans and lighting fixtures that can breathe life into any space. Gauthreaux’s goal for future collections is to take a trip each year to a different country overseas to inspire and influence each new line. Gauthreaux is also devoted to giving back, and a portion of every signature pillow purchase will be pumped into the community via Austin’s CTC International LIFEline. The collection is presently on view by appointment only at Steel Feather Interior Design Studio and Pillow Boutique, located at 1605 West 35th Street in Austin. The pillows are listed on Etsy.com/shop/steelfeathers, with the ottomans and lighting fixtures coming soon. For more information, browse Jamie’s residential interior design portfolio as well the entire Moroccan Collection 2013 on her website steelfeatherinteriors.com.
If you passed by the corner of 5th and Guadalupe during the month of August, you may have noticed a swanky new lounge coming to life. This isn’t your typical lounge, however. The Departure Lounge blends a coffee/tea/wine menu with an innovative approach to booking travel – making the act of booking travel as immersive, engaging and enjoyable as the trip itself. While travel is a key focus at Departure Lounge, Founder and Director Keith Waldron has taken great care to ensure that his brainchild isn’t a one-trick pony. With a full offering of coffee, tea and pastries, the Lounge feels more like a Starbucks (albeit a very posh one) in the morning, with the downtown crowd stopping in for their morning jolt of caffeine. Table service starts at 4pm for those interested in sampling from the extensive wine list or indulging in light bites like cheeses, truffles, scones, muffins and more. Don't be surprised, however, if that iced Australian Lamington infusion has you dreaming of Sydney. On the travel side, prospective travelers create “traveler personas,” or traveler profiles, either on the Departure Lounge website or at the Lounge itself. Those personas are then used by staff advisors to help provide guidance on the types of activities that would be a good fit for your excursion. Whatever your travel style, the team at Departure Lounge can help bring your dream vacation to life. In the short time it’s been open, the space has caught the eye of quite a few event planners. It’s simultaneously open and intimate, modern without being cold, and just feels like the kind of place you wouldn’t mind spending a few hours. Much of the international décor you’ll see at Departure Lounge was sourced from Ten Thousand Villages®, a nonprofit fair trade organization that sells handcrafted products made by disadvantaged artisans in over 35 countries. Whether you’re in the market for a vacation, international décor, or just craving coffee, wine or a quick bite, head by Departure Lounge and see what all the buzz is about. Departure Lounge is located at 311 West 5th Street, Suite 102 and online at departurelounge.com.
PHOTO BY KEITH WALDEN
BY MIKE KORDELL
PHOTO CREDIT STEEL FEATHER INTERIORS
The Best Facial Ever is the eponymous service now offered by Hiatus Spa + Retreat. Employing a range of technologically novel beauty products, including the Clarisonic and NuFace, Hiatus offers an 80-minute service of blissful pampering. The service begins with a foot soak and salt rub, loosening the tensions that slink into our bodies unannounced and dwell until, upon their absence, we finally remember they were never supposed to be there in the first place. While one lies recumbent in a private retreat room, the aesthetician proceeds to cleanse the facial skin using a Clarisonic brush. The Clarisonic is an electrically powered exfoliating brush, whose cleansing power is known in cosmetological and dermatological milieus to utterly transform skin. After the Clarisonic cleanse, clients have a choice of plant peels, which energize the skin in preparation for the non-invasive facial to come. A slow, light massage precedes the one of a kind NuFace procedure. The aesthetician spreads an intensive hydrating masque across the face and rubs it clean with the NuFace instrument—a noninvasive, uplifting micro-current technology that improves your facial structure in a way that has been analogized to Pilates. I can attest to the miracle of Hiatus Spa’s new facial retreat service. Not that I’m droopyjowled, but I certainly don’t have the tautest of countenances. After my NuFace treatment, however, my cheekbones were subtly more prominent, my eyebrows were sharper and slightly lifted, and my under-jaw seemed to have spontaneously “sucked in.” In fact, my aesthetician showed me one half of my face after the service had been applied, and we marveled at the definition in my brows and cheeks before I hastily implored her to service the other side! Hiatus employs the credo that with natural, regular treatments like massage, skincare and body treatments comes overall health. The spa has incomparable pricing for its services, and offers a unique membership program for its guests. For more information on Hiatus Spa + Retreat, head over to the Gables 5th Street Commons at 1611 West 5th Street, Suite 155, or visit hiatusspa.com.
Matthew McConaughey and all things Austin.