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Best of Chicago: Fitness & Beauty

Nicole Townsend, Aire Ancient Baths, Kendra Peterson of Drizzle Kitchen, and more

Illustration: Gina Triplett

Eyelash Extensions

Linxia Beauty Works

Up on the 38th floor of the Mid-Continental Plaza building, owner Xia Lin offers feathery extensions that run the gamut from fairy-princess flutter to woolly-bear fringe — and as an expert at analyzing faces, she’ll give you straight talk on whether you’ll look like a Muppet with the latter. $185. 55 E. Monroe St., Loop, linxiabeautyworks.com

Photo: Chuck Olu

Beauty Influencer

Nicole Townsend

You never know what you’ll get on Townsend’s folksy-fabulous beauty site. One day it’s Pepto-Bismol facemasks, the next it’s eye shadow tutorials featuring the British cult brand Models Own. Townsend, who shaved off her hair a few years ago to champion “fearless, authentic beauty,” appears regularly on WGN and Fox 32, writes a column for PopSugar, mentors young women, and, if you’re looking to feel just as gutsy, offers personal consultations (from $150). townsendbeauty.com

Photo: Juan Serano Corbella

Bathhouse

Aire Ancient Baths

Ugh, 2018, amirite? Thank Zeus that Aire breezed into town with its signature Greco-Roman spa rituals. Let it all go with an über-decadent red wine bath — you know, just like a mythological god would. 800 W. Superior St., River West, beaire.com

Health Guru

Kendra Peterson of Drizzle Kitchen

This cookbook author and private chef has fed Hollywood stars and pro athletes. But her passion lies in teaching families whole-food, clean, allergy-adaptable eating (through culinary sorcery, she can even make an egg-free frittata) during in-home classes and via her new YouTube channel.
drizzlekitchen.com

High-Intensity Interval Training

Hardpressed Conditioning

Twelve-person-maximum classes pack enough sled pushing, treadmill-hill running, and tire flipping into 30 minutes to leave your lungs burning and legs quivering. (True masochists hit Mike McClain’s 45-minute Pain Train on Saturday mornings.) From $15. 324 N. Michigan Ave., Loop, hardpressed.com

Photo: Courtesy of Le Labo

Fragrance Shop

Le Labo

While most perfumes are full of preservatives, Le Labo’s 16 vegan scents are mixed onsite using natural ingredients at a heavenly-smelling Chicago outpost of the luxury perfumery. They come with a simple personalized label and won’t make you reek like an air freshener. 1618 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park, lelabofragrances.com

Skin Care Boutique

Choc Choc

Whether you’ve fully embraced the Korean beauty craze or haven’t the faintest idea what glass skin and snail mucin are, Choc Choc (Korean for “well-moisturized skin”) is a delightful, smartly curated little shop where you can sample trusted brands such as Dr. Jart+ and Klairs while humming to K-pop. 614 W. Belmont Ave., Lake View, chocchocusa.com

Place to Find Your Chill

Bodhi Spiritual Center

Classes that are equal parts crunchy and divine cover meditation, finding the power in prayer, and … breaking down systemic racism (check out White Women Get Woke). 1356 W. Augusta Blvd., West Town, bodhispiritualcenter.org

Microblader

Danijela Milovanovic

If eyes are the windows to the soul, you don’t want to go around with threadbare curtains. Milovanovic will bring out your inner Brooke Shields (without turning you into a Sharpied-up Uncle Leo from Seinfeld) with semipermanent eyebrow tattoos. Scared of sharp things so close to your eyes? Relax: There are no actual blades! $450 initial session. 4701 N. Cumberland Ave., Suite 18B, Norridge, estheticworldbeauty.com

Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Julius Few

Few specializes in nonsurgical innovations, including a cut-free face-lift to fend off what he says is people’s No. 1 complaint: looking like their parents. Plus, he’s Goop-approved. In June, Few performed the lift at the In Goop Health summit in L.A., and he has the photos of him and Gwyneth to prove it. 875 N. Michigan Ave., Magnificent Mile, fewinstitute.com

Brow Shaping

Universal Esthetics by Zizi

“I just want you to trust me.” It’s the first thing Zizi Ćeh says to her customers, and with her 25-plus years of experience, you would be a fool not to. Using a holistic approach, Ćeh matches your brows to your mug naturally — nary a ’90s pencil line in sight — and even takes into account the time of year so your winter arch can transition to a fuller summer brow. From $29. 1601 S. State St., South Loop, zizionstate.com

Smackdown!Bizarre Fitness Trend

Mermaids

AquaMermaid
From $120.
628 S. Wolcott Ave.

Photo: aquamermaid.com

Ax Throwers

Bad Axe Throwing
From $20.
2828 N. Clark St. and 165 N. Loomis St.

Photo: Bad Axe Throwing
Inspired by Disney princesses and synchronized swimmers Canadians
Gear The monofin, a spandex lower-body suit that ends in a tail A 2.3-, 2.4-, or 2.5-pound ax, same as the ones at Home Depot
Key move Dolphin kick “Sticking” the ax in the target
Pro trick Thrusting out of the water like Shamu A cartwheel-turned-bull’s-eye shot
Where you’re gonna feel it Throughout your core In your core and upper body
Will you sweat? You would — if you weren’t submerged Enough to shed your flannel
Killer Insta post Underwater mermaid kiss Slow-mo bull’s-eye

Winner:Mermaids get more cardio — but if we’re deciding rock, paper, scissors–style, the lumberjacks definitely prevail.

Personal Trainer

Emily Hutchins

Don’t let it intimidate you that she looks like P!nk (same hairdo and muscular physique): This Nike master trainer and owner of On Your Mark Coaching & Training focuses on functional movements (e.g., doing squats the right way, not the easy way) and lifelong fitness, whether you’re a couch potato with fitter aspirations or an already hulky iron man. From $125 an hour. emilyhutchins.com

Photo: Courtesy of SoulCycle

SoulCycle Instructor

Anthony McClain

Known as the toughest spin instructor in Chicago, McClain will kick — and shape — your butt with complex choreography and extra-intense sprints. 1225 N. Wells St., Old Town, and 111 W. Wacker Dr., Loop, soul-cycle.com

Toddler Fitness

CircEsteem

Why cringe at your kiddos jumping off the couch when they can tumble, balance, and literally clown around at a circus class geared for the under-5 set? Creative play includes tightwire walking and plate spinning, all fueled by a mission to build confidence. From $112. 4730 N. Sheridan Rd., Uptown, circesteem.org

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