Urban Retreat Spa Blogs

Real Beauty Tips for the Girl on the Go

Posted By Dana Lee / February, 16, 2014 / Comments comments


We all need a few face-perking tricks to keep us looking our best and fresh-faced under even the most stressful of conditions. Here are my top 5 Urban Retreat picks for surviving the work week. There are actually 6 but two of them are by Kneipp which is so amazing it deserves the double mention.  I have put each of these products to the test myself except for the Deep Sleep bath salt which was tested by my skeptical man of science husband . . .could there be a tougher critic.

Stop by and ask one of our beauty consultants for these and more “on the go” beauty solutions.

1) Kneipp’s Joint & Muscle Rescue Bath


The best way to look good is to actually feel good which is not always easy as you rush from car pool to corporate office.  Who knew that you could get such relief from a bath salt?  But, this product made a believer out of me.  It has valuable active ingredients of the arnica blossom and aroma-intensive essential pine oils and is especially suited for use after physical activities.  It helps relieves joints and muscles with one soak in a warm tub.

There’s a little history behind the Kneipp products.  Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897) a naturopath and priest created what would become his life philosophy.  At the age of 28, he cured himself of tuberculosis by immersing himself several times a week in the icy Danube River. These brief exposures to cold water seemed to bolster his immune system. His tuberculosis went into remission and so he dedicated the rest of his long life to harnessing the healing power of water, specific plants and herbs.

Kneipp’s Herbal Bath Valerian & Hops

Deep Sleep

Getting enough rest is a sure fire way to look amazing and feel like you can juggle your to do list with the grocery list.    This product encourages relaxation and a sound night’s sleep.   Hops is known for its calming qualities, especially at bedtime.  Valerian has been used since medieval times to reduce stress.  Both are considered to help relieve nervous tension.  I have no trouble falling asleep so I deferred to my sleep deprived husband for his results.  My better half found a restful slumber immediately after the first use.

2) Clairsonic

Let’s face it . . . there’s beauty in healthy skin.   From the creators of the Sonicare toothbrush comes Clarisonic skin care.   How does it work?  Its soft gentle brush oscillates back and forth more than 300 times per second.  It cleanses so well that products are better absorbed. The research results are impressive; it removes 6 times more makeup and 2 times more dirt and oil than manual cleaning.  Skin is left soft, healthy and radiant.


3) Rene Furterer Paris – Complexe 5 Regenerating Plant Extract

Want to have radiant tresses?  It all starts at the scalp.  This product tones the scalp and strengthens the hair and won’t leave your hair feeling greasy.   The formula is made with over 50% pure essential oils of lavender and orange, which release a light, sweet aroma and acts as a purifying scalp treatment and microfoliant to stimulate renewal.  It promotes healthy hair growth and efficacy of other hair care products.  It all starts at the scalp and the natural plant extract feels like a mini facial on your scalp.


4) L’Vere Lipgloss – in Petal

Nothing makes you look more tired and haggard than dry lips.  Pucker up with the most luxurious lip gloss by L’Vere, Urban Retreat’s exclusive make-up line.  Just one touch of the velvety applicator and you will be hooked.   This gloss in a perfect pink color produces a shine and moisture that will last and looks like you have been blessed with beautiful full delicious lips.

Beautiful woman

5) L’Vere High Definition Foundation

If you are like me, I always can use a little help in evening out skin tone and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.   Make sure you are ready to face the day (and night) with  L’Vere High Definition foundation exclusively found at Urban Retreat .  This hi tech high def make up will you have looking beautiful for selfies or Girls Night Out.  My favorite part is that it looks natural.   L’Vere comes from the root word Ver’dict meaning truth and this product definitely brings out your true natural beauty.


What is Micro-Channeling?

Posted By Urban Retreat / June, 21, 2013 / Comments comments

The new DermaFrac micro-channeling machine at Urban Retreat skin care center in Houston, TX

We are excited to introduce you to Urban Retreat’s newest skincare service! If you follow us on Facebook, you may have already seen our sleek DermaFrac machine for micro-channeling. There are few skin care centers in Texas that offer this service. But what is micro-channeling?

A gentler alternative to more intense laser treatments, micro-channeling can be used on even the most sensitive skin. Lasers stimulate the wound-healing process in the skin and spur collagen and elastin production. DermaFrac stimulates this same process within the skin in a milder way, without lasers.

Micro-channeling uses tiny needles, designed to minimize discomfort, to create a network of micro-channels in the skin to deliver active ingredients into the upper dermis layer of skin. This allows active ingredients to penetrate deep into skin where they are most needed. There is no bruising and minimal redness after the procedure.

This process spurs collagen and elastin production in skin and requires no downtime. While lasers offer more striking results, micro-channeling is less expensive than laser treatments and may be used on darker skin or sensitive skin that is not suited to laser treatments.

There are four different serums available for DermaFrac micro-channeling treatments:

1. Hydration and plumping with antioxidants – This serum uses Hyaluronic acid to form a fully hydrated layer that helps guarantee that water is delivered into deeper layers of skin. It also delivers intense hydration to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also uses Vitamin A to accelerate cell turnover and stimulate the formation of new skin, and Vitamin E for UV resistance. Antioxidants include green tea, white tea and grape seed to calm the skin.

2. Acne – The Acne Solution features two key active ingredients. Salicylic acid opens clogged pores and neutralizes bacteria within the pores. It reduces pore blockages and breakouts on skin. Lactic acid, part of the alpha hydroxy acid family, exfoliates the outer layer of skin and increases collagen production to minimizes fine lines and wrinkles and reduce blackheads and whiteheads.

3. Anti-aging skin rejuvenation – This serum has five active ingredients that stimulate fibroblast and collagen production in the skin. They also help relax muscles to prevent wrinkling from repeated muscle movement.

4. Hyper-pigmentation and brightening – This serum uses Kojic acid to lighten skin by suppressing melanocyte activity and pigmentation. It also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

In addition to professional treatments at Urban Retreat, serums are available for purchase in series of one, three or six doses for at-home treatments. The price is reduced when you purchase them in multiples.

Sarah Day visits NYC for Kerastase and Shu Uemura

Posted By Urban Retreat / June, 3, 2013 / Comments comments
Urban Retreat Hair Stylist Sarah Day

Urban Retreat Hair Stylist Sarah Day

Sarah Day loves styling, “I love up-dos; creative molding, sculpturing… That’s what I like to do!” Sarah is an Urban Retreat hair stylist and an educator and platform artist for Kérastase and Shu Uemura, two of the three hair product lines at Urban Retreat.

Sarah is a Houston native who attended Texas Tech on a volleyball scholarship who always dreamed of being a hair stylist. We sat down with Sarah to get the scoop on her recent visits to New York City to train with Kérastase and Shu Uemura for styling at New York Fashion Week in the fall!

The classes focused on couture braided up-dos and looks from the Kérastase Paris Bridal Couture Collection, perfect for Urban Retreat’s spring and summer brides. The beautiful bridal up-dos would also be perfect for lounging poolside or getting hair off of the neck in the summer to keep cool.

The L'Oréal Professionnel SOHO Academy, where Sarah learned several new up-dos from Shu Uemura and Kérastase Paris.

The L’Oréal Professionnel SOHO Academy, where Sarah learned several new up-dos from Shu Uemura and Kérastase Paris.

You recently went to New York City to learn about a new style line from Kérastase. Can you give us any details?

Sarah: Kérastase is launching 11 new products this summer. One of them is called Powder Bluff and it’s a dry-texture spray shampoo. If you’re oily you can spray it in and it takes the grease out; it makes your blow-dry last a little longer. It’s also a texture spray, so it has a little bit of grit to it.

Another one I really like is Forme Fatale. It’s a blow-drying gel. It gives hair a ton of volume and it has memory in it so you can expand the volume or bring it back down. It’s fun!

We saw some amazing up-dos in the photos you sent us! What did you learn while you were in New York?

Sarah: All of the up-dos are gorgeous. Two of the classes for Kérastase were Braids Couture I and Braids Couture II.  Braids Couture II is all up-dos with braiding. My favorite one is called the Infinity Rose and it actually looks like a rose. It’s all braids!

The Infinity Rose up-do from Kérastase Paris.

The Infinity Rose up-do from Kérastase Paris.

One of the up-dos for Shu Uemura is called “The Art of Sewing” and you really sew the entire thing with a needle and thread – not one pin! It’s fun, you can create shapes with a needle and thread better than a bobby pin because bobby pins make it flatter sometimes.

Shu Uemura's new "Art of Sewing" up-do.

Shu Uemura’s new “Art of Sewing” up-do, which is sewn into the hair without pins.

Between Shu Uemura and Kérastase we learned 14 different braids. We’re braiding machines, now! We’re incorporating those with some up-dos. It’s exciting.

A braided up-do from the Kérastase Bridal Couture Collection from Sarah Day's recent visit to New York City.

A braided up-do from the Kérastase Bridal Couture Collection from Sarah Day’s recent visit to New York City.

We learned a spiral braid for Kérastase… You take a portion starting around the eyebrow and French braid the hair. You take a braid and are only adding from one side and you work around. It’s a lot of fun!

A spiral braid from Kérastase Paris.

A spiral braid from Kérastase Paris.

For bridal, we have one look that’s very forties – glamorous waves.

A glamorous 1940's look from the Bridal Couture Collection.

A glamorous 1940s look that Sarah styled as part of her training, from the Bridal Couture Collection.

We heard you’ll be at Spring/Summer 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York?

Sarah: In September I’ll be going to Fashion Week in New York with Kérastase and we’ll be working with Monique Lhullier, Jason Wu and Suno!

The Equestrian Knot up-do.

An Equestrian Knot.

What hair products are you crazy about right now?

Sarah: Hands-down, one of my favorite Kérastase products is Nectar Thermique. All of their Thermiques are thermal protectants and the nectar is concentrated on moisturizing the hair. You can use it on almost anyone – it’s not super weighty so it doesn’t make hair greasy or weigh it down. I love it!

My favorite Shu Uemura product is the Essence Absolute. It’s made with Camellia Oil, so it doesn’t get greasy.  People with fine hair freak out when they see the word oil, but Camellia Oil absorbs into the hair five times faster than any other oil on the market right now. It doesn’t get greasy or rich.

Sarah training with Kérastase Paris.

Sarah, right, training with Kérastase Paris.