Fashion / Beauty

Charming Houston Salon Joins an Exclusive Fraternity, Embraces New Digs and Special Facials

Estilo Salon & Spa Earns Biologique Recherche Power

BY // 04.05.21

Friends had been bragging on aesthetician Vanessa Tort Pagel’s facials for some time but as one who prefers massages over facials (mea culpa), I would simply nod in approval. How nice. Then, I learned that Estilo Salon & Spa — which Vanessa shares with her brother, hair stylist Mario Tort — had recently become only the second spa in Houston to have garnered the coveted Biologique Recherche skincare line. I was in.

The charming salon, tucked on a side street off of Westheimer in Montrose, has been beautifying discerning clients for 11 years. But only last year, just as COVID shut everything down, Vanessa moved from the second floor of the salon to a spanking new adjacent. The petite spa is a serene cocoon with two treatment rooms, an inviting quiet room, and an infrared sauna.

The posh space, designed by Mario, was one of the selling points for Biologique Recherche. The other was Tort Pagel’s determination. Impressed by the 40-year-old brand’s reputation for its unique formulations and methodology, she had been knocking on the hard-to-enter BR door for a number of years.

Finally, the new spa space and Vanessa’s 15-year passion for skincare convinced the French firm that this could be a fruitful partnership. BR flew an instructor in for a full week of training Vanessa in both practice and theory.

Estilo Salon & Spa
Candles and roses welcome clients to the Biologique Recherche world of Estilo Salon & Spa.

On my visit, I had the 90-minute customized facial with the treatment determined by my skin quality.  The results were so transformative that I wondered why I hadn’t embraced Biologique Recherche long ago. This remarkable rejuvenation — the smoothest skin, wrinkles lightly plumped and that highly-sought-after youthful glow — delivered results that I, as well as my husband, applauded. Sign me up!

The three-step treatment began with the evaluation phase employing  both a visual and tactile diagnosis. The initialization stage began with a Biosensible application and cleansing with Lait U and continued with P50 W patted onto the skin followed by the the Soin Lissant and Co-Factor treatment. The final stage included application of “hyper-customized” quintessential serums, targeted serums, creams, eye contours, finishing serums and sunscreen. In all, a dozen products were employed for the transformation of my skin.

The sunscreen was one of two that Vanessa developed for the Estilo label. The Estilo Skin Mineral Sunscreens with SPF 40 act by reflecting away UVA/UVB rays. Each is cruelty-free; non-comedogenic; vegan; free of chemicals, dyes, fragrances, oils and preservatives. It also contains antioxidant vitamins C and E. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the sun-inhibiting elements.

Since the return to business following COVID restrictions, the Spa at the Post Oak Hotel has joined Estilo and Bella Renova as the only Houston spas offering Biologique Recherche.

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