By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Everyone wants to look good, but who wants to work for it? All that sacrifice and inconvenience. Not to mention the sweating. Gross. Take a shortcut in 2004: Improve your appearance the easy way--pay for it. The Fab Four warned us that money can't buy you love. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Fab Five poked a few holes in that theory.
Palm Beach Tan (214-361-8267, www.palmbeachtan.com) Get the George Hamilton treatment at this chain located throughout the D-FW area. Monthly memberships start at $23.95, and weekly and annual memberships are also available. Should you choose to stop tanning during your membership, Palm Beach Tan offers its Stay 'n' Save program, which enables you to pay a $5 monthly charge, continue to tan occasionally and receive all your fees back as a store credit when you reactivate. Individual sessions range from $15 to $20, and no appointment is necessary. Sessions are also transferable between stores, so keeping your poolside appearance is a breeze, even when the weather isn't.
The Stough Clinic (214-696-3220, www.hairstransplanted.com) There's one place none of us wants to be thinner: our hair. This year, toss the rug, halt the embarrassing comb-over and visit The Stough Clinic. Dr. Dow Stough performs a microfollicular unit hair transplant that creates a natural-looking hairline by mimicking the way multiple hairs grow together in the scalp. This $6,000 procedure is performed mostly on men, but women experiencing severe hair loss may also want to consider this option. And, let's face it, "microfollicular" is just fun to say.
Dallas Day Surgery Center (214-823-8423, www.drhobar.com/dallasdaysurgery.htm) Cosmetic surgery is not cheap--though it can be cheap-looking. Depending on the procedure, surgeon's fees can range from $1,500 to $5,000--not including fees for the operating room, anesthesia or any implant. But if you're ready to be like Mike (Jackson, that is), the six doctors at Dallas Day Surgery Center can help you determine which cosmetic procedure is right for you. Prospective patients are counseled on the benefits of such procedures as breast augmentation, liposuction, face-lifts, tummy tucks and rhinoplasty before the first cut is ever made--into your skin and your pocketbook. All procedures are performed in the Day Surgery Center, which has three operating suites. Stays at the Landry Tower Hotel (with rooms staffed by nurses) can be arranged if you need extra recovery time.
Salon Pompeo (214-979-0440) Let me give it to you--heh-heh--straight: Japanese hair straightening is all the rage among the fabulous and frizzy. Also known as thermal reconditioning, it involves coating the hair with a glycolic acid derivative and then using a mild relaxer to soften and break down curly hair. It is then locked into place in one-eighth-inch sections with a flat iron. This process is costly ($150 per inch) and long (up to five hours), but many who have undergone the treatment say it's well worth it. Once completed, the hair stays bone-straight (regardless of the weather) until it grows out, so there's no turning back. Take the plunge, however, and you'll be in good company: Julianne Moore and Jennifer Lopez both swear by it. And since it involves a hot flat iron, they might actually swear a little during it.
The Dallas Dental Spa (214-999-0110, www.dallasdentalspa.com) Hate the dentist? Then you've never been to The Dallas Dental Spa. Not only does this upscale operation offer the standard services to fix your smile (teeth whitening, dental implants, crowns, restoration work), it does so with finesse. Dental chairs are outfitted with massage pads, and if they don't calm your anxiety, a full-time massage therapist is on site to give you a complimentary chair massage. Still not enough? Dr. Lorin Berland and his staff offer aromatherapy, a refreshment center, in-chair movies and even warm towels to freshen you up after treatment. One drawback: Costs, which can rise as high as $5,000 for crowns or veneers, can be almost as spectacular as the service.
Key-Whitman Eye Center (214-220-3937, www.keywhitman.com) You know the old saying an eye for an eye. Well, with LASIK surgery, it's more like an eye for $1,400 to $1,600. That's not cheap, but the benefits are great--better vision without contacts or glasses. This outpatient procedure, which uses a laser to change the shape of the cornea, is usually brief, and the all-inclusive cost covers postoperative checkups and care for one year. Chief surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Whitman has even developed an advanced technique called Cool Touch LASIK to improve the results of surgery by using special cooling solutions to reduce corneal inflammation. Candidates must be over the age of 18 with healthy corneas and no significant change in their prescriptions within the past year. If you're interested, take advantage of the monthly free seminars and consultations.
Dermatology Consultants, L.L.P(972-243-4530, www.dallasderm.com) New technologies in skin care are available from the three doctors who form Dermatology Consultants. Dr. Rebecca Euwer, Dr. Michael Maris and Dr. Dennis Newton were even included in the 2003 edition of Best Doctors in America.Not only do they offer cosmetic procedures such as Botox, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing and microdermabrasion, they also offer treatment for medical conditions such as acne, moles, rosacea and warts. Dermatology Consultants can also perform Thermage, the latest state-of-the-art treatment for skin rejuvenation. This less expensive and non-invasive alternative to a full face-lift begins at $2,500 and uses radio-frequency waves. Other treatments can be costly and extensive, but specials are available ($800 for a package of eight microdermabrasion sessions) and consultations are free. And everyone knows lasers are cooler than just about anything. Except ninjas. Or a ninja with a laser. Or a ninja with a laser saying "microfollicular."