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Monica Harris began her career in the beauty industry as a makeup artist, even developing enough expertise to design and teach a college course on makeup artistry. After spending countless hours working on models, she realized that even the most makeup-savvy girls struggled with their skincare. Inspired by this experience, Monica became a licensed aesthetician to educate clients and improve the quality of their skin. Today Monica runs several successful spas, where she works directly with her clients to clear up skincare woes and develop results-oriented home regimens to whip skin into shape without the use of restrictive pore girdles. At Monica’s Skincare Boutique, she delivers a host of skincare treatments along with a full menu of makeup, nailcare, and waxing services.

816 South Oak Park Avenue
Oak Park,
IL
US

Marianne Depaul’s medical and cosmetic expertise helps her clients achieve the look they desire while the small size of her staff maintains a familial office environment. This friendly band of aestheticians and physicians turns to electrolysis and lasers to execute their wide array of services. The menu runs the cosmetic gamut, from removing hair or micropigmentation across the body to noninvasive face-lifts and skin rejuvenation. The team also carries a large stock of skincare products so clients can maintain youthful visages without holding séances with Ponce de León.

1515 North Harlem Avenue
Oak Park,
IL
US

We spoke with Waxing Room owner CherylAnn Gutierrez about how it feels to have your hair removed with thread and what you can do to make the process quicker and easier.

What does threading feel like?

CherylAnn compares the sensation to tweezing, "but many hairs at a time." As the aesthetician works strands of cotton thread around the brows and lips, a quick twist uproots an entire line of hair at the follicle. CherylAnn says her staff can help soothe away any sting afterwards by applying ice, cortisone, a gentle massage, or even cucumber slices to the treated areas.

How quickly can your aestheticians thread a line of hair?

"We've never timed it," she says while laughing, "but very quickly."

Which is better: threading or waxing?

CherylAnn refuses to take sides: each one has a place. Threading may be especially useful for people who are allergic to certain waxes or who have sensitive skin due to, for example, a recent chemical peel. But her general advice is "try each one." She says fans of threading tend to believe the process gives aestheticians greater control, allowing them to create better definition, straighter lines, and more dramatic angles than are possible with waxing. But the main reason CherylAnn offers threading is that she knows it's ultimately a personal preference, and she "wants to be able to serve everyone."

What can clients do to get the best results?

During appointments, clients will be asked to slightly stretch the skin around their eyebrows so that it's flat and level. According to CherylAnn, the most important thing you can do at this time is to hold your skin so that it's as taut as possible. She says this allows the aesthetician to go line by line with greater speed and accuracy, which minimizes any potential discomfort.

3115 N Halsted St
Chicago,
IL
US

Nestled inside Spa Di La Fronza, in the East Tower of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Magdalena’s Facial Studio is helmed by skincare specialist Magdalena Hadzhieva, who believes a facial can go a long way toward making people feel better about themselves. A former acne sufferer herself, Magdalena originally explored the world of aesthetics part time while working a high-stress job as a broker. Soon, though, she found that her hobby helping friends and family uncover fresh, glowing skin gave her a sense of fulfillment that the corporate world never could. She decided to put her aesthetician's degree to good use and make skincare her full-time passion.

Today, she evens complexions by creating custom facials and peels designed specifically to cater to each face's unique needs and the type of pie they most like to be hit with. Specific facials are formulated to help fight acne or calm redness, while microdermabrasion helps sweep away dull, dead cells and reduce the appearance of fine lines and uneven tone. For faces that are already radiant on their own, eyelash extensions help draw attention to flawless features and flirtatious winks, and waxing treatments help unearth smooth skin both above and below the neck, creating silkier feeling lips, chins, legs, and backs.

233 E Wacker Dr
Chicago,
IL
US

After gaining success at international salons, fashion shows, and photo shoots, stylists Laurence Hegarty, David Raccuglia, Beth Lloyd, and Sally Raccuglia joined forces to establish the first Art + Science Salon in 1989. Now, more than two decades later, the quartet of hairstylists has cemented their position in the beauty world by opening three locations across Chicago and creating a philosophy to which each salon holds true: provide world-class, yet wearable, haircuts.

To meet this goal, each salon is staffed with expert stylists and colorists who must complete the salon's rigorous apprenticeship program, which is based on the European system of blending art with science to create modern, wearable styles. The specialists transform hair with help from products from Mensdept., Bumble and Bumble, American Crew, and Shu Uemera. They also make sure clients go home knowing how to maintain and recreate their dos. To welcome more gentlemen into the salon, Art + Science has unveiled The Barbershop at Art + Science, which offers hot towels, straight-razor shaves, and stylish cuts.

1971 N Halsted St
Chicago,
IL
US

Connection Salon pampers clients from scalp to tippy-toe with a wide array of services that employ high-end products by Aveda and Dermologica. Within the full-service salon's red-orange and steel-hued walls, a highly qualified staff of stylists and licensed aestheticians harnesses training from such notable institutions as the Aveda Institute and the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London. Mane gurus fabricate fresh cuts and coddle tresses with color and keratin using botanical-rich Aveda products. Waxing services deftly un-fuzz virtually any surface, restoring lips, legs, and unicorn horns to their original smoothness, and Dermologica treatments renew complexions with zone-by-zone mapping and skin analysis. Nimble fingers un-bunch taut physiques with sports and deep-tissue massages, and nail techs artfully advertise paw-coddling abilities on each patron’s fingers, toes, and prehensile tails.

2522 W Chicago Ave
Chicago,
IL
US