Urban Retreat Spa Blogs

A Flare for Hair

Posted By Urban Retreat / May, 31, 2012 / Comments comments

Oribe Hair Care’s Creative Director Tom Gallagher

Oribe Hair Care’s Creative Director Tom Gallagher held a special class exclusively for the Urban Retreat team. With Oribe’s luxurious product line and extraordinary talent, Gallagher demonstrated how to achieve wispy, 1950s inspired waves created to last throughout the night into the next day. Gallagher’s charm and wit along with experience and knowledge motivated the team who were eager to perfect the techniques he shared.

Class is in session. Tom Gallagher shares with the Urban Retreat team master techniques and ideas.

Here is a sample of master techniques and ideas Gallagher shared with the Urban Retreat team:
•    Squeeze product on fingers to measure correct amount, not palms. Compare the amount of shampoo to the amount of soap you would use on your skin. Less is more.
•    When styling, always begin with the hairline. A happy hairline equals a happy do.
•    Neutralize the part, meaning if your hairline naturally falls asymmetrical to the left, blowout the hairline so the natural part becomes undefined.
•    Intentional Part vs. Natural Part. Simply put, your natural part is for a casual look. An over-exaggerated intentional part is for a glam look.
•    Casual Pony vs. Sophisticated Pony. A casual pony tail is a quick upsweep of hair that incorporates the natural waves and nuances of the hair along with whimsical pieces. This can be an everyday look. A sophisticated pony tail is straight and sleek from your hair line to the base of the pony. This is your evening look.
•    When styling, think in terms of geometric shapes.  Play off the natural angles of the hairline to achieve a flattering look.
•    Do not be afraid to brush through curls once you are done setting the hair. If properly set the curls will remain and the overall look will be soft and elegant.
•    Once you are finished styling, blast your hair with cold air. Cold air will seal your style and it will last longer.
•    For Houston’s (hellish) humidity, try Oribe’s Imperméable Anti-Humidity spray intended to shield hair from dreaded frizz (see video).

Oribe delivers truly original formulations: gels that condition, oils that hold, sprays that don’t flake or clump, skincare-grade shampoos that prep hair for styling while protecting it from the environment, all lightly scented with specially commissioned French perfumes. Products can be purchased at the Urban Retreat Salon in River Oaks.

The final look = si magnifique!

Ready, Set, Runway!

Posted By Urban Retreat / May, 21, 2012 / Comments comments

The Urban Retreat Team: Edward Sanchez, Phillippe Licausi, Bryan Nguyen, and Kevin Battiste

Edward Sanchez and the Urban Retreat team, Phillippe Licausi, Bryan Nguyen, and Kevin Battiste were on site at the 14th Annual Haute for Hope Celebrity Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting the Children’s Critical Care Fund on behalf of the children residing at Star of Hope.

Edward Sanchez adds the finishing touches to Gina Gaston's look.

The special fundraiser featured news anchors and personalities from around Houston. Edward and the team ensured that every television and media personality were runway ready and dazzled down the catwalk.


Luncheon guests at the River Oaks Country Club were treated with a fashion show produced by Todd Ramos and emceed by Channel 11’s Greg Hurst and Sunny 99.1’s Dana Tyson. The celebrity models dawned looks from three Uptown Park stores: Elizabeth Anthony/Esther Wolf, BB1 Classics and Lucho.

The lovely celebrity models.

Chairs DeeDee Marsh and Kelli Weinzierl raised nearly $167,000 for the Star of Hope, an organization dedicated to  meeting the needs of homeless men, women and their children.

Channel 11's Shern-Min Chow fabulously strutts down the runway.

Fashion for a Passion

Posted By Urban Retreat / May, 4, 2012 / Comments comments

Urban Retreat was the perfect setting for the 2012 Speak Against Silence Fashion Show to benefit Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse. With efforts from Chair Sloane Adrogue Gustafson, Co-chair Caroline Metz Shaikh, a dozen designers from all over Houston’s public and private high schools, models, the Urban Retreat team, local businesses, friends and family, the event raised $50,000 for Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse that will create survivors of family violence.

Urban Retreat was the perfect setting for the 2012 Speak Against Silence Fashion Show.

Young inspiring designers from all over Houston’s public and private high schools showcased their own original, creative ideas. Teenagers with diverse backgrounds designed the clothes themselves, displaying ingenuity in an avant-garde style.

Urban Retreat hair stylists, led by Artistic Director James Fojt styled the models’ hair for their strut down the cat walk.  Fojt was recently in New York to style the hair of models showcasing designs for Jason Wu’s Fall 2012 Collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Urban Retreat's Artistic Director James Fojt works on model's hair for show.

Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse is a private non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that has provided legal support for women and their children who are victims of domestic and sexual abuse since 1980. AVDA lawyers work for free to file protective orders and represent the victims as they navigate the legal processes of divorce and custody on the road to safety. Since these families cannot afford counseling, Speak Against Silence’s goal is to support Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse’s Children’s Resource Project and donate tools that can help children address issues relating to domestic violence and sexual abuse. The Children’s Resource Project is an initiative to reduce fear and isolation for the children of abuse through age-appropriate materials that address the circumstances and emotions they are experiencing, such as providing each child who walks through the AVDA door a soft-cover book to read and an activity book to help cope, feel special and give hope.

Urban Retreat President Saira Ali, Sophia Adrogue, and Joan Turley.

With a blend of strong teams and good hearts, the 2012 Speak Against Silence Fashion show was a great success. Urban Retreat’s enhanced salon in the sky was an ideal Houston venue for a fashion show.  The runway along the patio featured lots of open space and a breathtaking view of the city. If you are in search of a Houston venue for fashion shows or Houston event venues, contact Urban Retreat at 713-523-2300.

For additional photography from the event visit Urban Retreat’s Facebook.