At intimate salon, boutique, and spa Mia Sorella, which means "my sister" in Italian, owners and twin sisters Mary Sirois and Molly Kiefer strive to make customers feel beautiful, whether it be through a haircut and fresh highlights, a new wardrobe, a massage, or full bridal hair and makeup. The boutique staff works to keep customers well dressed with a selection of stylish jackets, dresses, and culottes by designers such as Darling, Tulle, and Level 99. The spa staff pampers complexions and nails, and a licensed massage therapist brings chiropractic know-how, spa experience, and a Swedish dictionary to each relaxing kneading.
Laura B Salon’s owner, Melissa Pounds—who shared a bevy of beauty advice in the January 2011 issue of Quintessential Barrington—helms a crew of trained stylists armed with products from brands such as Wella, INOA, and Moroccanoil. Beauty-seekers can rejuvenate during custom services ranging from VersaSpa sunless tanning and full-body waxing to ammonia-free hair-coloring treatments. Under the bright light that trickles down from silver chandeliers, hairstylists trim tendrils into flattering ’dos as patrons relax in white leather chairs, periodically checking an oval, silver-framed mirror for any evidence that their face might be secretly concealing an outlawed expression.
The staff at Spa Vargas Wellness pampers bodies and minds with luxurious spa services that deploy the spa's own line of naturally sourced products. Moving to their new location, the team at the Pheasant Run Resort outfits clients with cozy robes and slippers before inviting them to relax in an aromatherapy waiting room, which is more fragrant than a dessert buffet at Strawberry Shortcake's house. Nimble hands can exfoliate skin with a sea-salt or mud scrub, and the spacious Moroccan-style Vichy shower rejuvenates skin during hydrotherapy treatments. The calm-inducing crew passes on kneading know-how to up-and-coming massage therapists and play-doh sculptors at Spa Vargas University.
Therapists at Allure Massage Spa treat aching backs and muscles to a host of massage modalities designed to relax bodies and administer therapeutic aid. During hot-stone sessions, a therapist makes rocks do jumping jacks to warm them up before placing the toasty stones on specific points connected to pent-up tension. Firm pressure helps a deep-tissue massage to untangle buried knots hidden in connective tissue, and Swedish massage employs long, flowing strokes to alleviate pain without an uncomfortable amount of force. Allure also offers specialty styles such as Thai, prenatal, and reiki therapies and allows pairs to practice sighing side by side during couples massages.
Sole2Soul Bodywork's licensed massage therapist, Mike Greenfield, knows that it's harder to fix an injured body than it is to develop a healthy one. He learned that while working for more than five years in a health-and-fitness center and through his own certification in personal training. Mike sees his massage work as integral to his clients' overall health and well-being, whether he is helping to prevent injuries with a postgame sports massage or detoxify the body with lymphatic-drainage techniques. In addition to these and several other modalities, Mike also administers doctor-prescribed medical massages, which can help alleviate soft-tissue injuries as an alternative to medication or wearing a suit made entirely of Icy Hot.
The licensed massage therapists at Massage Advantage dote on visitors with a slew of custom massage techniques, including Swedish, prenatal, and deep tissue. Armed with warm blankets and a credo to respect patients' privacy, therapists begin each 30- or 60-minute session with a discussion on clients' specific aches and ailments. Therapists can also haul their equipment to office buildings for workplace chair massages that help reinvigorate fatigued employees or stressed-out water coolers during 5–15 minute stints. Each succession of kneads is designed to alleviate stress, muscles soreness, and various medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.
Dr. Lisa Gulcher, M.D. manages a staff of aestheticians who use advanced cosmetic technology to perform nonsurgical treatments for men and women. A one-hour Laser Genesis skin-therapy treatment commences with a consultation and brief prep work. Sure-handed staff members then wield a laser handpiece, showering dermal layers with cascades of laser-light energy in an attempt to minimize the appearance of the fine lines, large pores, and "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight" tattoos indicative of aging skin. The gentle heat caused by the procedure is designed to stimulate collagen formation beneath the skin's surface and reduce skin redness. Sessions conclude with the application of an SPF moisturizer and entail a minimal amount of downtime, ensuring that patients have ample time to recover before they must put their faces back to work as portable dry-erase boards.