Marta Wozniak, owner of Blu Laguna Salon and Spa, was training at the prestigious Pivot Point International Academy in Chicago when she decided to put her hairdressing skills to the test at the Midwest Beauty Show. This proved to be a wise move, as she won first place out of 132 other competitors from across the country. Her triumph caught the eye of beauty heavyweights at Elizabeth Arden's Red Door Spa, who brought her on staff and launched her career in the salon world. Eventually, Marta shifted her focus to the sunny scenery of California, where she worked in a few salons before opening her own.
True to its name, the decor of Blu Laguna evokes the feel of a tranquil shoreline. Dangling glass bubbles bend the image of ocean-blue walls in the waiting area, which leads onto a mod, minimalist salon floor whose stark blue and white color scheme is only interrupted by the solitary flower that adorns each styling station. Here, Marta's staff of salon and spa experts—made up of a diverse combination of pros fresh to the industry and those with more than two decades in the business—brightens exteriors with haircuts, skincare, massages, and makeup services. When they aren't polishing clients, the specialists are sharpening their skills in fashion shows, photo shoots, and guerrilla makeovers on unsuspecting crossing guards.
Every salon claims that their tanning formula is one-of-a-kind. But at Unique Tan, it's actually true—owner Sherrie Lee Meredith developed it herself. Her signature spray-tanning blend, Unique Excellence, tints skin with a paraben-free solution of organic aloe vera, berry essences, and a firming serum to stave off the signs of aging. The formula also contains erythrulose, which can produce a longer-lasting bronze glow, and, because it's alcohol-free, helps keep skin moisturized and streak-free. The salon's Smart Tan–certified staff uses this in both automated booths and custom airbrushing sessions, which harness the steady hand of a tanning artist to ensure tans completely cover skin and finally even the score with haughty bronze statues.
The salon also offers traditional UV-tanning beds, which contain comfort-adding amenities such as air conditioning, aromatherapy, adjustable facial bulbs, and easy-to-follow voice instructions. Clients can enhance their tans with the salon's line of tan-accelerating products, which extend the life of each tan by keeping skin moisturized and healthy.
From her styling station at Salon Tiare International Hair Design, stylist Annette Rayfield draws on more than a dozen years of experience to create hairstyles for her clients. Classes in American style capitals including Chicago, New York, and Las Vegas inform her work, which includes specialties such as color treatment and bridal hair designs. Whether straightening out wild frizz or reshaping silhouettes with new cuts, Annette also indulges her artistic side, delivering fashion-forward styles that outwardly express her clients’ personalities.