A line of comfy black-leather pedicure thrones stand against the wall of Edelweiss's main room, letting visitors to sit back kick back as technicians pamper their feet with massages and cuticle treatments. Blonde woods, floral motifs on the cream-colored walls, and a huge flatscreen decorate the new nail salon, where staff are hard at work on Cuccio organic manicures and soothing spa-style pedicures. European and no-chip polish treatments keep keratin shields looking shiny for weeks, while cleansing foot baths make toes feel as soft and fresh as the day they burst forth from their tiny cocoons.
Beneath bright lights and slender chandeliers, Vidal Sassoon–educated owner Robert Gold guides a team of 15 highly trained hair technicians, two aestheticians, and a dedicated nail specialist in mastering a variety of aesthetic services. Deft hands shape strands into precise styles decided on during a one-on-one consultation, or emblazon locks with vibrant highlights and glazes. Traditional nailcare treatments and 10 different facials pamper weary limbs, and full-body waxing prepares clients for beach vacations or Blue Man Group auditions. The staff bolsters their professional skills with an arsenal of professional-grade products from Moroccanoil, Kérastase Paris, and other popular lines.
Elvis Dur wants you to shut your mind off. "Nowadays everything is so fast, everything is so hectic . . . Just be [here]. Just relax 100 percent," he says. "Here" is Body in Balance, a haven that treats massage as a component of healing and rejuvenation. Dur's holistic approach is influenced, in part, by his experience working with body and emotional challenges as a physical therapist in Romania. When he and his family came to the United States, Dur began anew with massage therapy, but "I offer a different approach." Before each massage, Dur offers clients hot tea and asks them questions about their day, their week, and their mysterious third arm. "In this job, you need to talk to people," he says. Based on customers' massage preferences and emotional goals, Dur customizes treatments to help soothe tension and liberate minds from strain. After the massage, clients can sip hot tea in the relaxation room as quiet music and aromatherapy waft through the air.
Lisa Faremouth Weber, the founder and owner of Heaven Meets Earth, wanted her studio to be a sacred space where students could come for a regular yoga practice and leave refreshed. That's why her commitment to student health reaches beyond the classes and into the very nontoxic paint that coats the studio's walls. Heaven Meets Earth is one of Evanston's only green yoga studios, featuring sustainable bamboo floors, an eco-boutique, and paper products made out of still-living trees.
Certified instructors lead the studio's workshops, teacher-training, meditation classes. They teach students to control their breath and build strength during Sacred Vinyasa classes, and also branch out into Pilates and dance-fitness classes. Teen, child, and family classes instill a sense of peace and focus in the light-filled studio, which features a wall of inspirational quotes.
The book Necessities: Chicago said Massage Therapy Center of Winnetka has Chicago's best massage therapists. Past clients include a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic bobsled team and several White Sox players during the 2005 World Series. For a highly targeted muscle melting procedure, opt for trigger-points therapy, which identifies irritable muscles and improves their attitudes with masterful manual compression. Shiatsu, which is also known as acupressure, is an Eastern method of applying finger, palm, and thumb pressure to points on the body that are impeding the ki (or energy flow) and causing pain, stress, and chilly blood. Massage Therapy Center of Winnetka's menu also offers a classic Swedish knead, prenatal massage, and procedures such as neuromuscular therapy and performance-enhancement sports massage to treat and prevent pain caused by muscle exertion and falling pianos.