Students at Debutantes School of Cosmetology and Nail Technology hone essential skills in styling, refining, and pampering in 17,000 square feet of salon-focused space. Advanced apprentices lavish real-world clients with beauty services at a lower rate than that found at standard salons, helping them to sharpen their skills as their subjects bask in artful hair styling, skin treatments, and nail services.
The salon is vivid in shades of marine blue and mauve, and the lobby bubbles fresh water over a brilliantly tiled fountain, where clients and students alike gaze at their reflections or beseech the water for hints about whether to choose a standard or french-tipped manicure.
A cadre of accomplished students mans hp: the college's three Chicago-area salons, where they learn the beauty trade while enhancing client appearances for less than at standard studios. Founded in 1979, the college instructs fledgling stylists in the latest trends and aesthetic remedies with products from Moroccanoil, Wella, and Dermalogica. At all three locations, sleek black styling chairs contrast with colorful bottles of hair products and OPI nail polish set amid the comfort of plush pedicure chairs. As students ply their skills on ravishing haircuts and clarifying facials, aesthetics pupils use carefully blended botanicals to add aroma, hydration, and palm-sized zen gardens to manicures and pedicures.
At Stephen Alan Salon, the beauty team not only works their skills to make people look great, but keeps the environment looking good, too. When foil strips are removed after hair highlighting, they're balled up and tossed into the recycling bin, not into the trash. Then, hair is styled with cruelty-free Paul Mitchell products and energy-efficient hair tools. And if the client wants a drink? They get it in a reusable glass instead of a paper cup or a coal-powered mug. Even hair clippings here are spared from the trash and donated to Matter of Trust, a renewable resource organization.
Though Stephen Alan Salon's record of sustainable practices and eco-friendly measures draws its own fair share of clients, many visit for a simpler reason: the stylists are experts at what they do. From perms and haircuts to platinum-blond treatments and extensions, their main talent is in getting hair to look its best. But the beauty options don?t stop at 'dos. Manicures, waxing, sugaring, and makeup artistry are also among the team's strengths, along with bench-pressing their salon chairs.
Beautifying skin is the top priority at Esthetics at Nautique. The staff tackles this task with facials, waxing, and body wraps. Soothing pumpkin enzyme facials refresh skin in just an hour, and anti-aging facials fight signs of age, from crow's-feet and wrinkles to birthday alerts popping up on foreheads.
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.
Tucked away in downtown St. Charles, Eliza Jane’s girlie-girl boutique glimmers with trendy accessories and colorful jewelry crafted by 35 local artists, three of who are teen entrepreneurs. A pressed tin ceiling and soft lights hang above a hardwood floor, where the colors pink and white feature strongly among accessories—such as kitchsy purses, vintage bracelets, and stuffed animals—that overflow from tall glass shelving units and tables covered with printed cloth. After customers snag a specialty gift for baby, teacher, or self, Eliza Jane's staff can swaddle it in complimentary pink and brown wrapping. Ladies in need of a pick-me-up can pamper bodies with nonchip mani-pedis, facials, and waxing treatments.