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The 7 Best Places To Treat Yourself in Chicago

By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on May 22, 2013 7:00PM

Are you stressed out? Why not take a little bit of "me" time. Do something to make you feel good about yourself by taking care of your body. As Donna and Tom say on Parks & Rec, Treat Yourself. Here are a few spots in Chicago where we like to go to keep ourselves looking and feeling fine. What are yours?

When I want to treat myself to a retail experience, there is only one place I need to go: Merz Apothecary. While there are two locations, one in the Palmer House Hilton and one in Lincoln Square, I prefer to sojourn to the square to thumb through the thousands of products on display in insanely organized, yet incredibly tight quarters. This 140-year-old shop offers something for everyone. Featuring European, all-natural, and just plain luxurious bath, body, and health products, it's near impossible to walk out without making a purchse. Merz Apothecary is the place to expand your fancy toothpaste collection, buy a badger-hair brush for your budding wet-shave enthusiast, a Diptyque candle, taste the ridiculously herbaceous Swedish Bitters, or to get a hard to find lip balm. Even if you don't plan on spending a lot, just trying on the lotions, fragrances, and speaking to the incredibly knowledgeable staff is treat enough. And as an added treat, if you stay there long enough, your clothes will take on the subtle herbal perfume that permeates the store. If they could bottle that, I would certainly treat myself to a spritz or two. — Lorna Juett
Merz Apothecary is at 4716 N. Lincoln Avenue and in the Palmer Hotel at 17 E. Monroe St.

Beauty Bar
Every day at Beauty Bar, $10 buys you a martini and a manicure. The space has a salon theme harkening back to the lavish beauty treatments of the Mad Men era, complete with vintage hair dryers as seating. Choose from one of the specialty martinis on the menu, or go with the classic Relaxer (martinis sans mani are 8 bucks). The wait for manis can get long, so get there early to guarantee a spot. The special is available from 5 p.m. to close, so grab your girls for an even more indulgent happy hour. —Michelle Meywes
Beauty Bar is at 1444 W. Chicago Ave.

You know that fantasy where someone serves you breakfast in bed and then proceeds to give you a long, languorous foot massage? Well Mojo Spa is capitalizing on it, seating you on a teasing approximation of a Moroccan throne and placing a tray of pumpkin pancakes over your lap, all while exfoliating your calves with an invigorating confection smelling of sugared grapefruit. It’s indulgence itself—there’s also a bottomless mimosa to sip through the hot towel application—and the treatment lasts just long enough to assure you you’re getting your money’s worth. Only be prepared for George, one of the owners, to blandish you into a complimentary makeover session afterward, by which time you’ll feel so relaxed you’ll inevitably buy whatever color eyeshadow your aesthetician recommends, this despite the fact that you don’t wear eyeshadow and don’t intend to start. But this is beside the point, because your cerulean frost toes are still tingling with pleasure that will linger well into the afternoon and you’re a little tipsy besides. It’s been a good morning. —Melissa Wiley
Mojo Spa is at 1468 N Milwaukee Ave.

Belmont Barbershop

With so many “hair salons” these days, where are the places that offer a shave and a haircut without added bells, whistles or expenses? Head over to The Belmont Barbershop in Roscoe Village, where you can get a classic barber cut or a hot lather shave. The latter is a religious experience. Belmont Barbershop takes reservations and, for those of you on the go, accepts walk-ins. —Chuck Sudo
Belmont Barbershop is at 2328 W. Belmont Ave.

Red Square
A chapter of Chicago history closed in 2010 with the shuttering of the Division Street Russian and Turkish Baths, and it seemed consigned to remain that way until Red Square opened in January in the same spot, albeit markedly different from the bath house frequented by the likes of Nelson Algren and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. The banyas and locker rooms have been given major upgrades, while ownership has added modern spa amenities like tanning sessions, and a bar and restaurant serve gravlax and Moscow Mules in copper mugs. —Chuck Sudo
Red Square is at 1914 W. Division St.

Waxing could be considered more maintenance than a treat (especially with the pain that comes along with it), but if you're gonna indulge, you may as well feel pampered and comfortable. Trim is a salon dedicated to custom tailored waxing in a relaxed, posh atmosphere. Their extensive menu includes everything from eyebrow to bikini, plus other services like anal brightening (yes, you read it correctly). Their technicians are some of the best in the biz, with a delicate touch and advice and product recommendations for after-care which they carry in-store. Maintenance plans are available to reduce cost, as well as packages like the Date Night (brazilian and eyebrow) and the Boyfriend (brazilian for her, back wax for him). —Michelle Meywes
Trim is at 1629 N. Milwaukee Ave. and at 2503 N Lincoln Ave.

Lorna Juett and Paul Leddy chronicled their shared experience at Revive Hydration Spa in February but you don't need to be hungover to enjoy their services. They're available for people getting over severe colds, bouts with the flu, exhaustion from working out too much, health and beauty treatments, jetlag or general exhaustion. If you don't want to be hooked up to an IV, Revive also offers B12 injections and oxygen treatments to tide you over until the next time you decide to polish off a bottle of Jeppson's Malort.—Chuck Sudo
Revive Hydration Spa is located at 220 W. Ontario Street, Suite 450.