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.
Friendly experts at Cheveux Salon & Day Spa execute an extensive menu of on-trend beauty treatments, massages, body wraps, and facials infused with luxe products from Keratin Complex, Pureology, and MoroccanOil. Clipsters design customized cuts and smooth them with long-lasting thermal straightening, and a special ops team tackles curls with Ouidad services engineered to control the unpredictable curves and baffling quadrangles of wavy locks. Infused with essential oils, fruit extracts, or sea salt, body treatments aim to polish, balance, and detox epidermises all over. Massages delve deeper, as therapists ease muscles and oust tension with a blend of relaxing Swedish strokes, intense deep-tissue massage, and invigorating buckets of chilled champagne.
Min Lin Salon's stylists have coifed the likes of such celebrities as Michael Douglas and Tommy Lee and use their advanced style savvy to spoil everyday locks in the latest trends. In a mere 20 minutes, the salon's hair mavens add flare to three sections of hair with feathers culled from brand names such as Fine Feathers and Great Lengths, fusing each winged wisp to strands with the help of micro-links beads, keratin-protein bonds, or gentle cooing from an on-call mother hen. Capable of withstanding hot styling tools heated up to 450 degrees, the avian-inspired tufts can be styled much like normal hair and are easily straightened, curled, washed, and blow-dried alongside the natural head tassels. The runway-ready plumes can last up to four months, and personages can pay a visit to Min Lin Salon for quick removal just in time for fall's feathered mustache trend.
From within Shimmer Hair Salon, stylist Melissa Wright acts as a magician of sorts. As her clients sit in chairs, transformations occur before their very eyes—from dull hues that turn multi-dimensional to frizzy tresses that become shiny and smooth. It's not a sleight of hand that renders these looks, however; it comes from high-quality Aveda products and a stylist who excels at her craft.
“How would you describe yourself?” “What is your ideal look?” These are some of the first words new clients hear from owner Frances of Amore Francesca Salon & Spa. Frances takes the time to get to know her clients during meaningful conversations to ensure that their new ‘dos will reflect their personality and beauty goals. These conversations can be heard swirling through the chic black-and-gray salon by her team of new and junior- and senior-level stylists, each armed with high quality MoroccanOil and Schwarzkopf products. As stylists revamp ‘dos with precision cuts, ombre hair coloring, and special-occasion updos, nail technicians dole out no-chip and regular manicures to add the finishing touch. To complement the full-service salon, a full-service spa keeps skin looking effortlessly healthy with airbrush and UV tanning as well as waxing and threading services. Aestheticians take the time to determine skin type before pampering visages with five styles of facials for men, women, and teens, and massage therapists scientifically determine the acute right angles in the back before kneading them out with deep-tissue or lymphatic-drainage modalities.
Maybe it's something about her warm presence, or her collection of makeup awards. But when a client wanted to teach her blind mother how to apply her own makeup, she went to Clarice Loiacono. Owner of Clarice's Creating Beautiful Looks, Clarice combines her experience in pharmaceuticals with her passion for makeup and skincare. It's the challenge of using her knowledge of compounds and botanicals to achieve beauty goals that Clarice loves. "You're really making people feel good … [It's] like therapy."
Within a stately cream-and-scarlet home in Wheaton—close to Clarice's high school and family—she employs a staff of trusted aestheticians to help her administer customized facials and free follow-up appointments to track complexion improvement. Bea, who Clarice has known since grade school, began working at Clarice's as an intern. After earning experience in the industry at other spas and successfully beautifying gargoyles hoping to catch a special pigeon's eye, Bea returned to Clarice's to revamp skin with products Loiacono herself helped beta test.