This year, you want to give more to charity. And stop smoking. And learn how to speak Russian? Sure! Good luck with all that. But come on -- seriously. If there's one thing we all want this New Year, it's to look good. Hot. Fit. Fly. Jennifer Garner-esque.
Of course, no self-respecting person of style would settle for the ol' salad-treadmill-soap routine (come on, if it worked, wouldn't we be skinny and beautiful by now?), so we've taken it upon ourselves to find the most cutting-edge and luxurious of beauty and fitness treatments. Some cost as much as a plane ticket to, say, Shanghai, but who wants to go to Shanghai? Houston has its own hidden worlds, where people use diamond creams and diamond golf clubs, all in the name of self-improvement. Get ready for a tour of the city's lusciously ridiculous ways to get attractive.
Let's start with the hair, shall we? Your hair is as important as, like, your cholesterol or something, so it deserves really close attention. At Urban Retreat, you can get a plain old haircut, but to show that you're committed to your goals of luster and body, you should ask for a "capilloscope reading" to analyze your hair and scalp condition. After closely examining your tresses, a beauty consultant will prescribe a specific care regimen for your exhausted locks -- and even sell you the exclusive products personally chosen for your hair. Analyses (sans products) range from $25 to $45.
"The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute," "Antonio Berni: Juanito and Ramona," "Funnel Tunnel," "São Paulo 2013," "SPRAWL"
And now, that face. A little saggy here. A little flaky there. Fortunately, a trip to Neiman Marcus is all you need to solve your skin woes. Take La Mer's refining facial cream, for example: It exfoliates your skin with crushed diamonds and sea quartz, which, last time we checked, was not part of Noxema's repertoire. And it's only $75 for 3.4 ounces! Other La Mer creams contain "miracle broth" and caviar, and prices can reach $550 for 3.7 ounces. And if these simply aren't working, take a cue from Heather Locklear, who proclaims her devotion to Clé de Peau Beauté cream, which costs $450 an ounce. Remember: If Heather Locklear says it's good, you'd better listen to her. She married a member of Bon Jovi.
Once you've moisturized, you may want to put on a little makeup before you face the day. But don't you find that applying lipstick is really difficult at times? Talk about carpal tunnel! Plus, it's distressing to get up in the middle of a date to look in the mirror to realize, with heart slowly breaking, that Halle Berry was lying when she said it would last all day. At Dolce Vita Day Spa, you can ensure that you'll never have to suffer again, as they will apply permanent lip color for a mere $750 (or lip liner for $425).
So, moving from beauty to body. Specifically, those thighs. Not to fear! The ladies of Houston can shed unsightly dimpled fat à la Heidi Klum in the Masai Barefoot Technology "anti-cellulite" sneaker. Now, we know that walking isn't really "in" in Houston, but if you crave a rear as firm as Gwyneth Paltrow's (pre-pregnancy), you can bet your bottom dollar -- seriously -- that these shoes will inspire you to brave the heat and the honking horns. The secret? The cellulite shoe is thickest in the middle, not the heel, so you rock back and forth as you walk, and hence work different muscles than usual. So what if the shoes look like something out of Spaceballs? At least they're relatively cheap -- only $234 (order online at www.blissspa.com).
If you prefer working out in a group, forget spinning classes (they're so 2003). You can take fit Athletic Club's F.I.G.H.T., a self-defense class teaching Haganah, which they describe as "a unique combination of Israeli military tactics." Haganah was actually a secret Zionist militant group created in 1936, originally conceived to defend Jewish communities from attacks by Arabs. It later developed into the Israeli military. And to think! You can learn all of these things in a lovely club in River Oaks, without the hassle of grenades. It's great because it's like a history lesson and a workout all in one. In your mind, you've gone to the Gaza Strip at fit, www.fitathletic.com.
Golf is a lovely way to get into shape. You're outside with friends; the pace is leisurely, your mind calm. Unless, of course, you can't hit the ball past the ladies' tee. One ingenious Houston-based company has deciphered the golf riddle, though: It turns out we aren't putting enough precious stones in the clubs! Diamond Touch Golf has determined that anyone who truly wants to hit the long ball must own one of their DR4E ti Drivers, a titanium club with 20 carats of diamonds inside. If you're whacking the ball with a surface ten times harder than titanium, it's got to improve your game, even if it sets you back $1,000, right? Check www.diamondtouchgolf.com.
Then again, some of us can't spare hours to golf, and frankly, we don't even have 20 minutes to hit the treadmill. Fortunately, there's the ROM time machine. In a mere four minutes, this bike/step machine/weight system delivers results otherwise requiring 20 minutes of running or biking. Of course, in saving you 16 minutes each day, ROM deserves to be compensated -- hence the $14,615 price. You can order yours online at www.fastexercise.com.
But don't forget, none of these treatments will make people attracted to you if you don't smell good. And of course, by "smell good," we mean smell rich. Thank goodness for Clive Christian's No. 1 perfume, a concoction of Indian jasmine, mandarin and sandalwood that comes packaged in a handmade lead-crystal bottle, topped off with a gold-and-silver neck with a diamond solitaire. One ounce costs $1,820 at Nordstrom.