Despite refining her skills in major metropolises like Chicago and New York, fourth-generation Sheboygan resident Lisa Schnell has always returned home to practice her craft. Along with occasional gigs at pageants and on MTV's Made, Lisa runs Groove Salon, which was named "salon of the year" by Salon Today in 2003. Lisa and her team sculpt hair into whatever style best suits each client's look, be it perms or updos, as well as artfully brighten strands with coloring treatments. While Groove's stylists focus on the tops of heads, the salon's resident licensed esthetician concentrates on everything else, from manicuring nails to waxing away unwanted hair or ill-advised glue-on mustaches.
Seated in one of Allure Salon & Spa's plush salon chairs, visitors look out over the bubbling brooks of the Milwaukee River as skilled stylists and aestheticians tend to their hair and complexions with a long list of beautifying services. Swathed in earth tones and adorned with rustic accents—from redbrick walls to wooden cabinets that hold the aestheticians’ very own additive-free products—the upscale salon attempts to capture the peacefulness of the river outside with exfoliating facials, soothing aromatherapy massages, and rejuvenating body treatments. Stylists design hair for men, women, and children, coloring or highlighting longer strands before arranging them into shapes inspired by the bold, fin-like structure of the nearby Milwaukee Art Museum.
Nail technicians give digits some va-va-voom using OPI and Creative Nail Design polishes in a kaleidoscope of hues. They also cover nails in long-lasting Shellac polish designed to withstand everyday wear and tear such as washing dishes or thumb wars with your pet rock. Mani-pedis include nail shaping, cuticle curtailment, and help with hangnails.
At Northern Lights Tan Spa, technicians prevent autumnal pallidness with a bevy of sunless and sun-simulating options. Bask in the warming glow of the UV beds and booths or dance a jig in front of a spray-on My Myst Mystic Tan booth, thwarting the efforts of pale, petty clouds jealous of human melanin. My Myst allows customizable copperfication, and the oscillating spray ensures a dark, even coating. UV tanning comes in an all-brown kaleidoscope of options, from the longer-lasting tans provided by the contoured platinum-level beds ($25 plus tax) to the economical three-session packages of the silver-level beds ($22.50 plus tax).
As part of Milieu C Spa, The Nail Bar is the place to pamper hands and feet. Along with standard mani-pedis, techs can further soothe hands with a conditioning almond-milk bath, or take feet to the tropics with a pineapple-mango pedicure. Long-lasting Shellac mani-pedis can be free of chips for up to 14 days. For a little extra flair, nail techs also can add glitter and painted designs.