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As we settle into 2023, we reset by taking a break from shopping and pivoting to the health of the body's largest organ and the psychological well-being benefits of quality skincare.

If highlighting serums, bronzers, and the perfect pallet aren't cutting it anymore, it might be time to move on to a more meaningful skincare routine. Superficial products that wash off (with a gentle but effective cleanser) every evening have their place, but taking care of skin from the inside out with rejuvenating ingredients or treatments, benefits on a more purposeful level.

A glowing complexion is often a barometer of health, with radiant, clear skin indicating that the body is in an optimal state of well-being.

The treatments outlined here, from 10 of Houston's leading skincare experts, promise to help clients achieve resilient, naturally luminous skin with long-lasting results — all for that good face.

Face Haus

Founded by three working moms on the hunt for an affordable facial, Face Haus is a modern skincare mecca offering spa-grade facials without all the fuss. In Rice Village, Face Haus provides a menu full of skin brightening and tightening options, including the World of Difference Facial. The 55-minute facial is excellent for all skin types, especially those with fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dryness, and loss of elasticity. The treatment targets the face and neck area and includes a skin-brightening multi-fruit acid peel, extractions, light therapy, and a Vitamin C, mineral-rich algae mask.

Glow Medical Aesthetics

Glow Medical Aesthetics offers a gentle laser treatment without any downtime. The Clear + Brilliant treatment replaces damaged skin with healthy, younger-looking tissue after a series of treatments customized to the client's needs and desired outcome. Clear + Brilliant is in the Fraxel family (a popular deep laser treatment) that refreshes skin from the inside out by reducing fine lines and improving tone, texture, and pore size.

OVME

Get rid of hyperpigmentation, brown spots, collagen laxity, and rosacea with OVME's Photo Facial. Considered the gold standard of photo facials, OVME utilizes broadband light to heat the upper layers of the skin stimulating cells to regenerate and boost the body's natural ability to fight the appearance of aging. The noninvasive procedure requires no downtime, with results showing in as little as two to five days, with maximum results in two to three weeks.

Nuveau Plastic Surgery

Posh River Oaks beauty destination Nuveau Plastic Surgery welcomes the new year with specials on two select treatments. During January, clients can take advantage of discounts on both the Morpheus8 and Profound RF treatments. Morpheus8 uses heat to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin to create a tighter, smoother surface and luminous complexion. Profound RF utilizes micro-needling and radiofrequency technology to increase skin elasticity by stimulating the production of elastin and collagen.

The Skin Clinic

The MicroInfusion Rapid Glow Facial promises to send clients on their way in about thirty minutes with a glowing complexion. At The Skin Clinic, the microinfusion treatment "stamps" a powerhouse blend of Botulinum toxin, fillers, and antioxidants into the skin with 20 gold-tipped micro-needles. Effective in smoothing, plumping, and evening out oily skin, the treatment is quick, painless, and requires no downtime.

Skin Spirit

Start 2023 with an effervescent glow. Skin Spirit, with locations in Rice Village and Katy, offers the DiamondGlow facial treatment that promises to provide next-level radiance. The noninvasive skin-resurfacing treatment is administered using SkinMedica skincare and a diamond-tipped wand that simultaneously exfoliates, extracts, and infuses. In addition to healthier skin, the best part about this treatment is there is no downtime, and results can be seen in just one treatment.

The Tox

Right now, lymphatic massages are the treatment of choice, offering massages that detoxify the body's lymphatic and digestive systems. Clients can choose from their two signature treatments The Master Tox, which detoxifies the whole body, or the Sculpting Facial Treatment, which focuses on the face and neck areas. Located on Post Oak, The Tox incorporates different modalities that increase metabolic rates, flush water retention and the colon for an overall cleansing treatment.

SkinCeuticals SkinLab by Dr. Roth

January is the perfect time to explore medical-grade skin care at SkinLab by Dr. Roth. Clients who sign up for a SkinVIP Membership in January will receive one month free. SkinVIP Memberships offer discounts, perks, and a monthly signature treatment. In addition, clients who spend $200 on SkinCeuticals products will receive a free Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 (travel size 15 ml).

Westlake Dermatology

Chemical peels revitalize the skin's surface by exposing new layers for a fresh appearance, improving the look of sun damage, acne scarring, skin pigmentation, and fine lines or wrinkles. Clients can take advantage of several popular services at Westlake Dermatology, including the Advanced Corrective Peel, Vi Peel, Vitalize Peel, and Micro Peel Glycolic 30. Westlake Dermatology's two Houston locations offer 20% off all their chemical peels during January.

Your Aesthetic Edit

For those looking for a how-to on everything skincare related, Your Aesthetic Edit provides education and a completely customized skincare routine tailored to each client's needs. Available with budgets and time constraints in mind, Your Aesthetic Edit offers recommendations for everything from drugstore products to medical-grade skin care and treatments. From January through March, mention the code GLOWUP and receive a $100 discount on a personalized Your Aesthetic Edit consultation.



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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Cult-favorite Houston cookies now shipping nationwide via new website

Send a taste of Houston

It’s just become a little easier to send a taste of Houston to friends and family in faraway places. Dessert Gallery is now shipping its cookie dough nationwide for at-home baking.

“The cookies have a cult following,” Dessert Gallery owner Sara Brook tells CultureMap. “In this day and age of online shopping and ordering what you want, when you want and wanting to try everything from everywhere, it seemed like the perfect time to put our cookies out there to the wider universe. I’m really excited. We’ve been working really hard on packaging and shipping.”

Available in four flavors — Chocolate Chunk, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Brookie, and Red Velvet with white chocolate chip — each box contains a dozen frozen dough pucks and a sheet of parchment paper. Recipients bake the frozen dough according to the instructions provided. Prices start at $36 for a dozen cookies, or customers may order a 24-pack that includes six cookies of all four flavors for $65 (plus tax and shipping).

In particular, the Chocolate Chunk cookies have been a fan favorite from day one. As the name implies, the pieces of high quality Guittard chocolate in each cookie are far too large to qualify as mere “chips.”

“The thing that sets our cookies apart is it’s more chocolate chunks than cookie dough,” Brook says. “We are serious about the ratio of dough to chocolate chunks.”

After a series of trial runs sent to friends, family, and this author's very lucky nephews — including a seven-year-old who gives two very enthusiastic thumbs up — the cookies are available for purchase from the Dough by Dessert Gallery website. Brook says she's looking forward to sharing her cookies with the rest of the country.

“I just can’t wait to get it out there, because I think people will love it,” she says. “That’s what my whole career has been about is putting stuff out in the world and hoping people love it. It puts all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings out there.”

Known for its nostalgic cakes, cookies, and other treats, Dessert Gallery has been satisfying Houstonians’ sweet toothes for almost 40 years. The bakery and cafe recently announced it would open a second location in The Woodlands Waterway later this year.

Researchers name ancient beaver fossil after favorite Texas gas station

BUC-EE'S BEAVERS

The legend of a treasured gas station chain continues with a new chapter: a rediscovered beaver fossil is being named after Buc-ee’s.

The ancient animal was named Anchitheriomys buceei (A. buceei) by Steve May, a research associate at the University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences and lead author of the Palaeontologia Electronica paper that describes the beaver.

A. buceei fossils were rediscovered by researchers in UT Austin’s collections and include fossils from six different Texas sites. May decided to name A. buceei after Buc-ee’s upon spotting a “This is Beaver Country” billboard in 2020 that reminded him of the fossils he was studying at the time.

Though Buc-ee’s was founded in 1982, CEO Arch “Beaver” Alpin III said in a press release that his business’ history is longer than he thought, and that he may “need to rethink [their] beginnings.”

Occurrences of A. buceei can be found between 15 and 22 million years ago along the state’s Gulf Coast. At first glance, they don’t appear much different from current native Texas beavers. But according to the report’s co-author Matthew Brown, who is also the director of the Jackson School’s vertebrate paleontology collections, they are nearly 30 percent bigger than today’s beavers.

A partial skull fossil of the beaver was originally collected in 1941 by paleontologists. One of the original finders was Texas A&M University museum curator Curtis Hesse, who passed away four years later before he could name it a new species and publish his study.

More information about A. buceei can be found on UT Austin’s website.

Ben Berg serves up a New England-style seafood restaurant for downtown office tower

Ben Berg's downtown clambake

Ben Berg’s quest to put his spin on every possible cuisine shows no signs of slowing down. The veteran Houston restaurateur will soon add seafood to his repertoire.

Called Dune Road, the new restaurant takes inspiration from classic New England seafood shacks. The restaurant is slated to open this fall in the Texas Tower, the 47-story office building at 845 Texas Ave.

Berg Hospitality turned to New York-based ICRAVE to design the approximately 5,400-square-foot restaurant. Expect nautical elements such as polished metals, lacquered wood, and shiplap-inspired elements. A raw bar will be incorporated into the large, 56-seat bar area. The space will also include a private dining room and a westward-facing patio.

Dune Road restaurant rendering

Rendering by ICRAVE

A rendering previews the dining room.

Turning to the food, the menu will center around New England favorites such as chowder (both clam and seafood), lobster bakes, fried clams, and lobster rolls. Beverage selections will pair well with seafood and be “fit for partaking in on a vintage Chris Craft docked off a coastal town,” according to a release.

“With Dune Road, we aim to elevate the flavor of seafood by keeping it clean, simple and mostly grilled, sourced from only the finest suppliers around the country,” Berg said in a statement. “Can you get a steak? Of course. But seafood is the star here.”

Of course, Berg Hospitality is known for steaks, stemming from its ownership of prominent Houston steakhouse B&B Butchers. The company operates seven other concepts, including The Annie Cafe, Turner’s, Trattoria Sofia, and B.B. Lemon.

In the coming months, it will open several more, including Buttermilk Baby, a retro-style diner; Benny Chows, a Cantonese-style Chinese restaurant that will be located next to B&B Butchers; Canopy Social, a British Caribbean-inspired patio bar above Benny Chows; La Table, a reimagined take on the Galleria-area French fine dining restaurant; Tavola, an Italian restaurant below La Table; Annabelle Brasserie, a restaurant in the Autry Park mixed-use development that will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Turner's Cut, a fine dining steakhouse in the Autry Park mixed-use development; and Prime 131, a wood-fired steakhouse in the Docks at Timbergrove mixed-use development.

Dune Road will occupy a space on the west side of the Texas Tower. Developed by real estate development firm Hines and Ivanhoé Cambridge, the building offers more than 1 million square feet of office space. Previously, Chicago-based Italian restaurant Etta announced it will open a location on the east side of the tower.

“Dune Road will be a key addition to the hospitality-driven experience at Texas Tower,” says John Mooz, senior managing director at Hines. “With the goal of providing a curated F&B offering to the north side of downtown, this new concept from Ben Berg’s powerhouse team will offer our tenants and the surrounding community the perfect setting to dine, recharge, and exchange.”

Seafood seems to be having a moment in Houston. Golfstrommen, a restaurant in the Post HTX food hall from Norwegian chef Christopher Haatuft and Top Chef winner Paul Qui, has earned raves since it opened in 2021. Navy Blue, a seafood restaurant in Rice Village from the team behind Bludorn, topped Texas Monthly's recent list of the state's best new restaurants. They'll be joined by a number of newcomers, including Little's Oyster Bar, a new concept from Pappas Restaurants; Balboa Surf Club, a new restaurant from the owners of Italian restaurant il Bracco; and Katami, a new restaurant from Kata Robata chef Manabu Horiuchi.