It’s time to hit the beach, and wedding and summer party season is about to begin. Here are six ways to look and feel your best this summer.
First, Get Centered With Yoga at The Lab Chicago
The first step to looking great is feeling great. Yoga studios are almost as commonplace as Starbucks in the city, but if you’re ready to take your practice to the next level, drop in for a class at The Lab Chicago in the West Loop. I’ve taken hundreds of yoga classes in Chicago and this was easily the most rewarding with pure, positive vibes of love and gratitude. Before I knew it, I was trying scorpion pose for the first time!
Celebrity yoga instructor Carmen Aguilar founded The Lab in 2010, with a unique style of dynamic Hatha-based yoga dubbed cYoga. Her intense classes could be quite intimidating for beginners, but last year, Aguilar moved to Hawaii and her disciple Chris Gilmore took over. Now, there are more classes open to all levels and Gilmore welcomes yogis from all walks of life with an open heart. He’ll bring in guest teachers for special workshops, including yoga with live music, and he’s planning a yoga retreat in Michigan this summer.
Get Summer-Proof Nails With an Orly GelFX Manicure
Beach vacations pretty much require no-chip manicures or you’re bound to ruin your nails after a day of fun in the sun, sand, and ocean. Orly’s new GelFX Builder in a Bottle comes to the rescue, promising longer, more natural looking nail extensions this summer. Much lighter than acrylics, it applies like a soft gel, wears like a hard gel, and soaks off easily without damaging the natural nail underneath. The clear gel is the perfect foundation for any color polish or elaborate nail art, but many women enjoy wearing the clear gel on its own, a look that has become known as Orly glass nails. A French manicure if you will, with carefully sculpted clear tips. Try it at 12 Mario Tricoci salons in Chicagoland.
Solve Your Skin Problems With L.Raphael Skincare
This Swiss skincare line is one of the most exclusive in the world, but worth every effort to procure. Even if you can’t make it to L.Raphael‘s Temple of Beauty in Geneva, Switzerland, diligent use of these products will make a marked difference in your skin’s health, tone, and texture. If your skin becomes oilier in summer, the mineral balancing line helps with oil control and gives a matte finish. While sunscreen should be a summer staple, if you do burn, L.Raphael’s perfection intensive treatment ampoules just might be enough to overcome the sun damage, boosting skin elasticity for stronger, smoother skin.
Try Summer’s Newest Color Trend: Foilayage
Award-winning colorist John Blue had more than 18 years of experience in the salon industry before founding Boss Hair Group last year. Blue says a combination of foils and balayage is the popular new color trend for summer.
“People love the lightness you can achieve with foils, while incorporating heavy balayage pieces in between,” he says. “This dual color process allows for ultimate brightness with more controlled results. Since balayage by itself tends to be more random and piecey, the foilayage can give you more overall coverage.”
Get Longer, Thicker Summer Hair With Extensions
At Boss Hair Group, Blue’s second-in-command, Anna Jackson, specializes in haircuts and natural-looking hair extensions, a skill she’s been perfecting for almost 20 years. “Whether my clients are experiencing postpartum hair loss, stress, bad haircuts, over-processed color, female pattern baldness, chemo, or auto immune challenges, I am dedicated to ensuring that they look and feel their best,” she says.
Jackson says the new trend of hand-tied wefts is a great extensions option for girls who are active and like to wear ponytails. “I see woman putting less pieces in and just going for some volume instead of length.”
At Boss, the emphasis is on natural, clean, healthy haircare and they work predominantly with Australian brand EVO and Italian Oway, which comes in amber glass jars. Boss even has an organic refilling station at the salon to top off your products and cut down on packaging waste.
Rejuvenate Your Skin With a Mermaid Facial
The new mermaid face lift facial at Elina Organics relies on crushed sea pearls and natural marine collagen peptides to work its magic. Founder Elina Fedotova is a cosmetic chemist and aesthetician, making all her own organic skincare products in Michigan, including a new Mermaid Elixir with vegan hyaluronic acid, collagen-building peptides, and nourishing botanicals.
After gentle cleansing and exfoliation, a rejuvenating mask made from marine collagen and crushed deep sea pearls is applied using electrophoresis, a needle-free mesotherapy that helps active ingredients penetrate deeper beyond the dead skin cells in the epidermis into the live skin cells beneath.
Fedotova promises that your skin will look brighter, firmer, and more hydrated after just one treatment and says that this corrective treatment is beneficial for all complexions but especially for aging, sun-damaged, and dry skin. The 45-minute facial costs $110.
Amber Gibson spends 340 nights a year in hotels searching for the latest and greatest in the travel industry. Her writing and photographs have appeared in print, online, and on the radio for outlets including Four Seasons Magazine, NPR, Saveur, Departures, Rhapsody, Hemispheres, American Way, Private Air, Wine Folly, Plate, Chicago Magazine, Tasting Table, and Serious Eats. She graduated as valedictorian from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and received a fellowship to attend the 2017 Wine Writers Symposium at Meadowood Napa Valley. Champagne, dark chocolate, and gelato are her biggest weaknesses. She also admires and supports CAASE in Chicago. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.