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.
Dannielle Clemens grew up watching her mother and grandmother make others happy through hairstyling, and now she continues the tradition at her Studio DC Salon. In a bright, contemporary space, Clemens and her team of nine stylists—each with specialized training from Vidal Sassoon and ranked by skill level—provide precision cuts, hair-smoothing Keratin Complex treatments, and human-hair extensions affixed with microcylinder, custom hand-tied, and duct-tape techniques. A pair of makeup and brow specialists beautifies heads below the hairline.
To say the staff at Golden Threading At Chantel is meticulous is an understatement. Experienced eyebrow designers and threading artists precisely remove unwanted facial hair and shape eyebrows with nothing more than a single piece of cotton thread. The staff also applies its attention to detail when accentuating peepers with lash and brow tinting and voluminous eyelash extensions. The rest of the face is not ignored, however, because technicians also permanently tattoo makeup onto visages.
Farrah, owner of Chantel Salon, brings more than 10 years of beauty industry experience to every head of hair she cuts, colors, and styles. She and her team stay on top of their trade’s latest trends, offering not only the typical salon services, but also keratin smoothing treatments, color correction, and updos for weddings and boat christenings. The retail portion of the salon stocks products from lines that include Paul Mitchell, Dermalogica, Redken, and Pureology.