Who They Are
Rather than a handshake or an elaborate welcome dance, the staff at Eshe Day Spa and Salon greet each guest with a smile, an aromatic foot soak, and a mug of herbal tea or a glass of water. Though the spa—where staff perform services ranging from aromatic facials and body treatments to natural microdermabrasion—remains calm and quiet, the hair salon teems with bubbly conversation and laughter. As they chatter with clients, the stylists use Aveda haircare products to repair signs of breakage, reduce dandruff, and restore shine.
Soft, flickering tea lights glow against Oxygen Spa Studio's white walls as trained therapists rejuvenate bodyscapes with more than 15 massage styles. In the absence of a formal reception desk, personal beauty butlers welcome guests and guide them through the boutique spa while a wall fountain provides a gently trickling soundtrack. Speckles of lush green plants break up the ivory oasis, and the spa's floor-to-ceiling windows fill the space with natural light and calming glimpses of the muted outside world and slow-motion battles between rival cumulus clouds. Amid private treatment rooms stocked with intricately tiled showers, therapists tend to tight tendons and achy joints with traditional techniques, such as deep tissue and myofascial release, peppering in aromatherapy, body scrubs, scalp stimulation, and toe-centric footwork to further encourage deep relaxation.
Chicago School of Thai Massage co-founders Paul Fowler and Paul Weitz lead a band of experienced instructors to impart the ancient art of Thai massage in accessible, friendly classes. Skills acquired during the school’s six-month diploma program—the first steps toward becoming a registered therapist—give students a solid boost into the healing, compassion-driven realm of Thai theory. To further hone movements, the massagery also leads annual expeditions into the heart of Thailand for expert instruction and a solemn high-five from a traditional Thai healer. CSTM puts its skills to work during massage sessions, which patrons can request from students, graduates, or the directors themselves.
After JV Salon outgrew its former confines on Oak Street, owner John Vaillancourt knew he needed more room. So he moved his business to a spacious loft, anchored by hardwood floors and exposed brick walls to keep out wolves. Inside, John highlights clients' locks with bands of Pintura color, showing off skills that were featured in Chicago Magazine and Modern Salon Magazine
Working alongside John is award-winning Master Esthetician Jenifer Goldsmith. Recently a finalist for Allure magazine's "Best Brow Wax in Chicago", Jenifer beautifies clients with waxing and threading services. She also customizes facials with enzymes and fruit acids to treat a variety of skin maladies.
The aestheticians and stylists at Modern Wave Salon help initiate relaxation and restore natural beauty with an array of hair, spa, and beauty treatments. Modern Wave Salon's staff, which has served Bridgeport for more than 26 years, pairs treatments with ongoing consultations, tips on contemporary styles, and legal advice. The salon's services range from full formal up-dos to hydrating facials replete with seaweed masks and a massage of the face, neck, and shoulders. Beauty buffs wax arms, backs, and bikini lines, and help prep guests for weddings with bridal makeup applications or for upscale barn raisings with classic french manicures. Inside the studio, hanging lights cast a warm glow onto exposed-brick walls.
Body Rituals Boutique Spa infuses its menu of soothing facials, massages, mani-pedis, waxing, and body treatments with plant essences to rejuvenate skin and energize chakras. Naturopathica products approach the skin with a holistic spirit, and manicurists prevent jealous mouths from gnawing on pampered nails by employing peace-loving SpaRituals nail products, which are eco-friendly and vegan. Located inside The Westin on Michigan Avenue, the spa provides a tranquil escape for both hotel guests and pedestrians seeking respite from the swinging bags and incessant limericks of frantic power-shoppers.