On a trip to Chicago from his native Italy, young Mario Tricoci changed his life forever. The fledgling hairdresser stopped in at a prestigious salon, where he impressed the owner with his impeccable display of skill and landed himself a job. The next six decades brought strings of industry awards and the opening of his very own salon, which soon exploded into 26 locations in four states. With his styling prowess proven both to the industry and to the clients he encountered each day, the coiffeur decided to share his gift with others. In 2004, he established Tricoci University to foster a new generation of cosmetologists and spa technicians trained to thrive in the luxury-spa industry.
Throughout the Midwest, Tricoci protégés study a rigorous curriculum in high-end salon and spa surroundings to learn how to create beautiful hairdos, choose skin-flattering cosmetics, and beautify nails and skin. A team of experienced industry professionals readies pupils for the beauty world with in-depth classes, and outside education arrives via video demonstrations and guest-artist lectures on Vidal Sassoon's Wedge-Bob Postulate. More advanced students get a preview of their career to come by beautifying real people during instructor-supervised treatments, which lend the stylist essential experience as the client enjoys a pampering session at a discounted rate.
The Lather Lounge is a Paul Mitchell–focus salon that creates an atmosphere which allows clients to look and feel their best with a menu of indulgent hair services. Before opening her own salon, Lynn Griglin spent 2.5 years honing mane-management skills at Vidal Sassoon in Chicago, before working as an educator for Paul Mitchell, where she trained fellow stylists in the art of hair chromatics. Her equally dedicated staffers conjure pleasant visits by providing two complimentary services of the client's choice, such as a steam facial or neck massage, with each haircut, waxing, or skin treatment. In addition to snipping signature 'dos and shaping eyebrows into elegant arches or intimidating lightening bolts, The Lather Lounge contributes to several charitable causes, including cancer research and an organization that uses hair clippings to clean up oil spills.
Staff members at Purpose by Design Salon & Day Spa go the extra mile to promote whole-body relaxation and wellbeing. Nail technicians pay special attention to cuticle health, for example, so that clients’ digits remain in good shape well after each traditional, shellac, and French-tip mani-pedi is performed. Massage therapists, meanwhile, incorporate various aromatherapy scents, such as eucalyptus and tea tree to boost the immune system, and lavender and rose to relieve headaches. Out on the salon floor, stylists administer a wide range of hair services, offering everything from weaves to beard trims for men.
It's all about the experience at Anointed Nails & Spa. And the Blue Island beauty shop's team ensures that experience ends with feelings of relaxation and rejuvenation. The pampering reaches a peak with the spa mani-pedi, which uses heated stones to ease knots in the lower legs and hands.
The nail technicians draw from a tool box of OPI, Essie, and China Glaze shades along with no-chip polishes and acrylic tips. With these, they create intricate nail art with myriad colors, vibrant decals, and rhinestones specifically designed to jazz up jazz hands. The team also removes facial hair with warm wax and adds volume to lash lines with extensions.
Hanging from Sanctuary 7’s walls are words such as “dream,” “love,” and “laugh.” These words exemplify the spirit of the upbeat staffers, who love to impart inspiration and happiness through transformative beauty treatments. In semiprivate rooms awash in natural light, stylists sculpt hair into new ’dos and nail techs turn nails into colorful vehicles for self-expression. In another room, a massage therapist works away sinewy knots with long, slow strokes as a stone fountain trickles, burning candles emit fragrant aromas, and sparrows play miniature violins.
After being gifted with a free car on The Oprah Winfrey Show, makeup artist Kiley Russell sold her prize and used the profits to launch Big Girl Cosmetics, a line of mineral-based makeup and body products never tested on animals or underage mannequins. Years later, the company opened Big Girl Makeup Bar & Spa in Hyde Park, where friendly staffers regularly pamper visitors with facials, waxing, and massages infused with Big Girl products. Nail artisans augment manicures and pedicures with a chocolate scrub or honey-almond lotion before slicking talons with DBP- and formaldehyde-free polish. Feminine décor, such as bright pink walls and silhouettes of sassy gals, reflects the energetic, cheerful service that accompanies even the most relaxing of massages and facials. Eager to go the extra mile, the staff tops off every facial with a shoulder massage and a complimentary forged report card with straight As.