Best Nail Salon 2016 | Melrose Day Spa | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Nail polish has been in use since about 3000 BC, and until the advent of the gel manicure a couple of years ago, it seemed like techniques for applying it hadn't changed much since then. Gel, and now "dipping powder," allow for manicures that dry instantly and never chip. These inventions have made nail maintenance a lot simpler, but all that high tech comes at a cost, which quickly adds up if you want regular treatments. That's why we love Melrose Day Spa on Oak Lawn Avenue, which offers 20 percent off all services Monday through Thursday (gel is $35, dipping powder is $36). Go on your lunch break and you'll find it's never too crowded to accommodate walk-ins. The manicurists work with care and they will even rub your neck between steps. Multiple TV screens set to news channels will help you stay caught up on the latest while you're pampered. Or if that's exactly the kind of information you're trying to escape, there are plenty of trashy magazines, too. Ancient China may have had polish, but it couldn't have competed with all that.

Readers' Pick:

Hollywood Nails & Spa

It's odd. For a city that perennially ranks low in bike friendliness, Dallas and its environs has a surprising number of great bike shops. Richardson Bike Mart is the big daddy, Performance and REI have the low-cost chain end of things covered, out in Grapevine Mad Duck Cyclery justly bills itself a "concierge" shop offering custom builds and service and there are many more great shops serving on- and off-road. Our fave though is Dallas Bike Works, the shop that hits the sweet spot in supporting the local cycling community and offering a range of prices and brands, among them our beloved Jamis, a steel-framed beauty that takes all that Dallas' unfriendly streets can dish out, soaks up bumps like a sofa and is still nimble as a colt. The pleasant staff doesn't try to up-sell customers and offers the same level of friendly, knowledgeable service to noobs and experienced riders alike. Better still, their shops are located in bike-centric Oak Cliff and right off White Rock trail, making them the perfect spots to wheel in for fast, affordable repairs or meet up for group rides.

Readers' Pick:

Richardson Bike Mart

Some of our friends have good reasons never to go back to Las Vegas. Some have had moments in Vegas they just can't remember. (The two groups often overlap.) Elite Casino Events, one of the area's better known casino party companies, has expanded its services for those who want memories of Vegas without the threat of an arrest warrant. The company already has a Vegas-class staff — dealers, bartenders, waitresses, showgirls alike — so deciding to launch their own photo booth service wasn't a big gamble. It was just another extension of the VIP experience they provide. Elite has a Las Vegas Strip photo booth that "puts your guests right on the Vegas strip" as their in-house photographer snaps hundreds of red-carpet pictures, available as prints and online. It turns out that what happens in fake Vegas doesn't have to stay in fake Vegas.

Readers' Pick:

Premiere Photo Booth

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