A cadre of accomplished students mans hp: the college's three Chicago-area salons, where they learn the beauty trade while enhancing client appearances for less than at standard studios. Founded in 1979, the college instructs fledgling stylists in the latest trends and aesthetic remedies with products from Moroccanoil, Wella, and Dermalogica. At all three locations, sleek black styling chairs contrast with colorful bottles of hair products and OPI nail polish set amid the comfort of plush pedicure chairs. As students ply their skills on ravishing haircuts and clarifying facials, aesthetics pupils use carefully blended botanicals to add aroma, hydration, and palm-sized zen gardens to manicures and pedicures.
In the Old World, castles were places to live, govern, and seek shelter. Today, there are still places designed to keep the outside world at bay, but rather than standing as bastions of military defense, they serve as oases of relaxation, fitness, and fun. Riviera Country Club and Sports Center is one such getaway. There, members can explore a vast campus of athletic and recreation amenities including indoor and outdoor pools, a full gym, and a spa. Though the club’s organizers leave plenty of time for individuals to play in each space, they also host organized events, including regular group fitness classes such as boot camp, kickboxing, and Latin dance. They maintain a vast array of sports courts, as well, allowing members to feed their competitive sides in basketball, tennis, and racquetball arenas. As adults young and old sweat during their chosen forms of play, staffers help tykes explore their creativity in a play space known as the Sandbox, which combines education, arts and crafts, and computers to produce a secret army of glitter robots.
World Domination Events boosts adrenaline levels across the country by placing guests behind the wheel of high-end exotic cars. Customers climb into sleek Lamborghinis and Ferraris and send them hurtling down the turns of a racetrack or spinning through a designated autocross course to test horsepower-handling skills. Meanwhile, corporate packages allow companies to boost employee morale or settle conference-room scheduling conflicts with invigorating laps in a luxury ride.
The owners of Evolution Music have been a fixture in Chicago's music scene for years. They've operated several music venues, recorded albums for area bands, and organized concerts for more than 5,000 local and national acts. At their Orland Park studio, they help musicians of all experiences to develop their skills with guitar, bass, piano, and drum lessons. Visitors can also peruse instruments in an onsite shop or schedule an appointment in the onsite recording studio.
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.
Motivating, highly trained staff and spacious facilities complement Charter Fitness's battalion of cardio machines and strength-training equipment. Huge flat-screen TVs motivate gym-goers as they lift weights, stationary bikes, and their reflections in large mirrors. Seasoned personal trainers who all hold certifications or four-year degrees in their specialty guide members through an initial personal-training session, introducing clients to the best equipment for their fitness goals. After workouts, private showers or public water fountains sluice away sweat.
Under the watchful eye of a licensed professional, John Amico School of Hair Design's trained cosmetology pupils prove their hair-snipping, shaping, and taming skills with a wide variety of salon services. With the Amino Amplex treatment (a $150–$250 value depending on thickness and length), one of the school's student-stylists de-frizzes damaged hair with a formaldehyde-free formula, straightening and shining locks with an elixir concocted from amino acids and a vial of Rapunzel's tears. The father-and-son-owned cosmetology school teaches its disciples to complete the process in between three and four hours, upon which clients will sport a straighter, more relaxed style for up to three months.