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Chicago's 38 Essential Beauty Shops, Spas, and Salons

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Photo: Allyu Spa via Facebook

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Chicago's beauty scene as has many personalities as its neighborhoods. So when it came time to round up the city's best salons, beauty stores, and spas, we needed your input. Thanks to your tips—and our own experience in salon chairs and makeup aisles—we've compiled a list that gives a little taste of Chicago's beautiful variety.

Organized (kinda roughly) rom north to south, our latest beauty map tells you where to get everything from a cruelty-free haircut to a glittery manicure and a superior big-beard treatment. Below, find our latest list of Chicago's 38 Essential Beauty Shops, Spas, and Salons.

Like feelings on bangs, this list is highly subjective, and will completely change by next year. So let us know if there's a there's a place we need to check out on our next citywide beauty binge (otherwise known as "Racked 38" research.)


· Chicago's 38 Best Beauty Stores, Salons, and Spas 2012 [Racked Chicago] Read More

Merz Apothecary

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Standing since 1875, the charming, old-world shop is stocked with products from all over the world. [Photo: via Merz Apothecary]

Hamsa Ayurveda & Yoga

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Owner Monica Yearwood, a certified Ayurveda expert, offers massages with warm medicinal oils. She also develops personalized cleanses and leads yoga classes. [Photo: via Facebook]

Tigerlilie Salon

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Specializing in vintage hairstyles, the salon has services including "pinup hair." Stylists also partner with film crews to recreate historically accurate hair and makeup for flicks. [Photo: via Facebook]

Big Hair

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Another reader favorite, this funky spot in Roscoe village offers $25 cuts for ladies and gents, as well as dreadlocks for $75 an hour. Reader Lisa V. loves the shop's organic products. [Photo: via Yelp]

Thousand Waves Spa

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This just-for-women spa offers massage therapy and herbal wraps at completely reasonable prices. Visitors can also get a $20 day pass to chill in the eucalyptus steam rooms, cedar sauna, and hot tub. Keep in mind: this is not famous for its frills. [Photo: via Yelp]

Sine Qua Non Salon II

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With four Chicago locations, this boutique hair salon is a reader favorite— and curly-haired girls love stylist Summer. [Photo: via Sine Qua Non]

Sparrow Salon

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In a 120-year-old building in Logan Square, this salon specializes in classic, natural-looking cuts. The house serum, Sparrow For Everyone, is widely hailed as a hero product and works on skin, hair, and body. [Photo: via Sparrow For Everyone]

Starship Salon

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Ashlee Piper of vegan style blog The Little Foxes told us about this cruelty-free salon in West Town. Starship offers hair, makeup, and waxing services. Products are made with natural and nontoxic ingredients. [Photo: via Starship]

Floyd's 99 Barbershop

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Plastered with vintage rock posters, this barbershop for men and women offers cuts, colors, and shaves. One stylist, Natalie Anderson, has been called a "big beard specialist." [Photo: Facebook]

goldplaited

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Two sisters, Mal and Co Strong, operate this "finishing salon." Services include blow-outs and makeup application, and the in-house makeup line has lasting power and gorgeous pigments. [Photo: Jenny Berg for Racked]

Leah Chavie Skin Care Boutique

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A highly regarded skincare expert, Leah Chavie treats skin using her own line of products, which include green tea antioxidant serum and acai moisturizing mist. [Photo: via Leah Chavie]

Aaron's Apothecary

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Inspired by owner Aaron Pietrykowski's travels to pharmacies around the world, the old-world-style apothecary slings everything from vitamins to smoothing salt scrubs. [Photo: via Facebook]

Painless Waxing

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Lakeview's glitzy, gold-walled spot is B.Y.O.B., which makes the whole waxing process even more painless. Other services include spray tans, eyelash extensions, and "body appliques" using jeweled products from France. [Photo: via Facebook]

Fit Foot

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This Lincoln Park spot is strictly no-frills—though services do include an herbal foot soak. Otherwise, it's all about relieving pain and opening up energy pathways through reflexology massages and other treatments that draw on Chinese techniques. [Photo: via Facebook]

Aroma Workshop

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This adorable Lincoln Park shop lets customers design their own scents from a slew of essential oils. There are also on-site aromatherapy classes. [Photo: via Yelp]
Offering blowdry styles named after cocktails (we love the Manhattan), the girly chain offers champagne, chick flicks, and cute perks like free umbrellas when it rains. All blow-outs go for $40. [Photo: via Drybar]

Polish and Pour

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With a courtyard, a private party room, and a fully stocked wine and martini bar, this new Old Town spot has services including an organic manicure and pedicure that includes a salt scrub and hydrating massage cream. [Photo: via Facebook]

Thomas + Henry

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Charming and highly original, this Old Town spot has a chandelier-decked salon in back. Up front, a retail area stocks mod home goods and beauty products from Swedish brand SachaJuan. [Photo: via Facebook]

Arch Apothecary

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This sun-filled shop specializes in three things— and does them darn well: brows, blow-outs, and beauty. The product selection is meticulously curated, and includes finds from By Terry, RMS Beauty, and more. [Photo: via Arch Apothecary]

Strange Beauty Show

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This rock-and-roll salon features a vinyl soundtrack and a gallery of local artists' work. Services include glitter-acrylic-dip manicures, makeup applications, and haircuts and color. [Photo: via Facebook]

Ruby Room, The Style of Wellness

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This one-of-a-kind Wicker Park spot combines a beauty shop with a Inn, Salon, and Spa. With a focus on healing and wellness, services range from energy healing to a facial that incorporates healing crystals and deep-tissue massage. [Photo: via Facebook]

Michael & Michael

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This sleek, Chicago Avenue salon consistently lands in the pages of national fashion glossies, and is widely acknowledged as one of Chicago's best. Services include hair cuts, colors, styling, and splurge-y treatments such as the $700 Japanese straightening. [Photo: via Michael & Michael]

Space NK @ Bloomingdale's

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English founder Nikky Kinnaird believes no one product line can do it all. So, she founded her own apothecary, which stocks the best beauty products she's found in her travels around the world. [Photo: via The Beauty Girl]

Barneys New York, Chicago

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The beauty department at this post department store is beautifully curated. Makeup artists, models, and beauty bloggers favor its assortment of products from Koh Gen Do Macro and more. [Photo: via Yelp]

Bravco Beauty Center

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With the tagline "so many products, you will freak!" this longstanding, family-owned business doesn't skimp on variety. There are nail polishes, hair products, and styling tools; there's even a candy section. [Photo: via Facebook]

Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa

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This outlet of the popular local chain has a Moroccan-style relaxation room in its spa and accomplished stylists on its salon floor. "Ruby gives the best men's haircuts," says reader Dustin."She made me look like Don Draper!" [Photo: via Mario Tricoci]

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

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With an indoor pool surrounded in Greek columns, the lush spa has signature treatments including the "Vintage Bourbon Massage." (Yes, it ends with a single-barrel refreshment at the bar.) New services include the Sjal Facial, which incorporates the healing properties of precious stones. [Photo: via Facebook]

The Peninsula Spa

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Tranquil and luxurious (it's in the Peninsula, after all), this spa has ESPA products as its secret weapon. The high-quality products incorporate aromatherapy oils—and they work wonders on the skin (seriously.) [Photo: via The Peninsula Spa]

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

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If you're down for some decadent pampering, this spot has you covered. You can order lunch at your pedicure chair, take a dip in the heated indoor pool, or indulge in seasonal services like the apple-cinnamon body scrub. [Photo: Courtesy of Trump Chicago]
Named after the Hindi word for "good," the River North spa and beauty emporium incorporates Ayurvedic principles into its treatments. Signature services include the Essential Balancing Facial; there are also expert henna and makeup artists on staff. [Photo: via Acchaa]

Chuan Spa

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With treatments inspired by Chinese medicine, this riverside spa has the city's most decadent locker rooms. Think Himalayan-salt saunas, a chamomile-scented steam room, and "relaxation pods" under a star-studded ceiling. [Photo: via Chuan Spa]

ULTA Beauty

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Headquartered in Bolingbrook, the beauty superstore stocks more than 20,000 types of cosmetics, haircare, skincare, and bath and beauty products. And amazingly, its aisles are clean and navigable.

Mojo Spa

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A girly paradise, this Wicker Park shop offers sweet bath products shaped like cupcakes, while body lotions come in flavors such as mint-mallow fluff. There are occasional Friday-night pajama parties and "beauty and brunch" events on Most Sundays. [Photo: via Mojo Spa]

Bluemercury

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Staffers are steeped in product knowledge at this sunny Lincoln Park shop. Shelves are stocked with goods from Molton Brown, NARS, and more. [Photo: via Facebook]

Griffith Parc Salon

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Reader Caryn tipped us off to this blow dry boutique and full-service salon. "They specialize in styling full-bodied, textured hair, and blow-drys cost only $25!" [Photo: via Gilt City]
This spiritual, eco-friendly spa has a design that comprises reclaimed barn wood, Wisconsin field stones, and adobe cob. A tranquil relaxation area has a shape inspired by the Andean symbol for balance, and there's also an infrared sauna. [Photo: via Facebook]

Chocolate For Your Body

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This Pilsen spa, recently under new management, uses chocolate as an active ingredient in its services. Treatments include facials, body waxing, and massages. [Photo: via Yelp]

Huetiful Salon Chicago

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This new Bronzeville salon has cutting-edge hair steamers that cleanse, hydrate, and condition. For convenience, all appointments are booked online. [Photo: via Huetiful Salon Chicago]

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Merz Apothecary

Standing since 1875, the charming, old-world shop is stocked with products from all over the world. [Photo: via Merz Apothecary]

Hamsa Ayurveda & Yoga

Owner Monica Yearwood, a certified Ayurveda expert, offers massages with warm medicinal oils. She also develops personalized cleanses and leads yoga classes. [Photo: via Facebook]

Tigerlilie Salon

Specializing in vintage hairstyles, the salon has services including "pinup hair." Stylists also partner with film crews to recreate historically accurate hair and makeup for flicks. [Photo: via Facebook]