George and Dorothy Heavilin established House of Heavilin Beauty College in 1953. Since then, the school has prided itself on graduating talented professionals who continually land in esteemed positions across the country. Instead of practicing on crash-test dummies, though, students perfect their craft while providing salon services for customers. Under the expert eyes of the college's educators, budding cosmetologists and aestheticians administer facials, apply makeup, cut and style hair, and conduct various waxing services.
Inside an electric pink studio, a team of aestheticians help clients look and feel their best with a full menu of waxing treatments and beauty services. During brow and Brazilian-waxes, brows and bikini areas can be shaped into tasteful shapes with quick swipes of cloth strips. The savvy stylists of The Wax Pot can also perform full-face makeup applications, prepping clients for nights out on the town or a meet-and-greet with a celebrity comptroller.
During more than a quarter century at the helm of LookAfter Hair Company, Peter Hall has seen the styling industry gradually split in two directions—toward the high-end salon and toward the in-and-out fast cut place. With LookAfter, Peter decided to close that gap. There, guests can get premium salon services on a walk-in basis and haircuts from stylists who will gladly slow down for careful consultations instead of racing through trims with stopwatches in their hands. The name LookAfter is meant to reflect this blend and to demonstrate his vision for a place where the staff stands ready to serve all clients, whether they need keratin treatments, eyebrow waxes, or beard trims. This approach has helped LookAfter grow to more than 40 locations across St. Louis, Kansas City, and central Illinois, and the idea has also led to ongoing community outreach. Stylists have helped raise money for disaster relief, support breast-cancer awareness, and generate funds for veterans’ programs by carrying haircare products from American Warrior.
In the lobby of Spa 7, there is a large painting of a birdcage?but the cage is empty. Instead, the bird perches majestically at the cage's pointed top, poised as if for immediate flight. The image suits owner Stacey Rupe's philosophy well; she believes that the quest for outer beauty and emotional freedom starts when the body is liberated from the toxins and stress it keeps trapped inside. From colon hydrotherapy to massage, the Spa 7 team uses interior healing as a catalyst to create feelings of confidence and inner well-being that radiate outward. Stacey's staff of aestheticians then step forward to enhance the physical transformation externally with a slate of facials and other body treatments that renew skin with time-tested beautifying ingredients such as seaweed, essential oils, and Burt Reynolds's mustache hairs. Spa7's permanent makeup artist uses a steady hand to apply hypo-allergenic pigments to lashes, eyebrows, lips, and to the lining of the eye.
Waxing expert and aesthetician Cara Futch knows how to make waxing sessions more comfortable, and not simply by advising clients to skip caffeine and take some ibuprofen before coming in. As the hair-removal guru of The Lucky Waxing Company, she fully educates clients on the process and chats with them a bit to help set them at ease, stating, "I’m told I'm like therapy, only cheaper!" Add-ons to waxes can also help lighten the mood—dye, glitter, and small jewels can add a little dazzle to brazilian and bikini waxes, and ear-candling, while having nothing to do with hair removal, can suck out excess earwax and improve overall health. Futch is joined by a spray tanning specialist and a stylist/nail technician who both perform non-wax-related services.
Inside The Lucky Waxing Company, Carrie McDaniel forges her own unique path to beauty in a trendy and welcoming environment. In addition to providing expert waxing services, the styling sensei?who boasts more than 12 years of experience teaching young stylists the art of shaping and coloring hair?also tames tangled locks with Keratin treatments or infuses monochromatic hair with Glitter Strands. As a nail tech, she outfits fingers with Shellac polish and soothes feet with spa pedicures, complete with a leg massage that coddles calves in preparation for long-distance hopscotch races.