The Ultimate Chicago Beauty Tour


Chicago's had quite the go of it these last few years. Chance the Rapper catapulted to international stardom. The Cubs actually won the World Series. The Obama Library will opens its doors on the South Side in 2020. Not too shabby for a city most commonly associated with crippling humidity and death-defying wind-chill. During all that hubbub, it's easy to miss the slow-but-steady beauty boom happening in just about every corner of the city. Which means its time for another signature, very sane, super relatable ITG Beauty Tour. It goes like this: Set aside a weekend in the near future and hit all these spots (more if you have the stamina) and see just how pampered you can get. It's going to be a marathon session of facials, blowouts, more facials, and brunch. You can do it. Ready? Set. Go Bears.


3PM: Every good beauty weekend starts with fresh hair. Head out to Logan Square and book an appointment at Sparrow, the salon Tavi Gevinson always visits when she's in town. Cuts are under $100 with styling help from Sachajuan and Hairstory. Pick up a bottle of their in-house essential oil as a souvenir.

4:15PM: Now that your hair's! Head down N Milwaukee towards Una Mae's, a boutique with men's and women's clothes, but more importantly: a very excellent candle selection. The name of the game here is rustic. If you're into smelling like you're outside even when you're not, this is the place. And they're all under $40. Stock up and head across the street to Big Star for a taco to celebrate.

6PM: You're full (but not stuffed) so it's time to relax. Head east to make it just in time for your appointment at Aire Ancient Baths. Soak for a few hours in pools of various temperatures and temperaments while sipping on champagne. Hell, get a massage! There's no better way to end the first day of your beauty bonanza. Relax now because tomorrow's packed.


10AM: Saturday starts with a facial. Elina Advanced Skincare on the Gold Coast is the place if you like natural ingredients and instant results. All the products are handmade and treatments are tailor-made for each client. And you can't beat the location, because next up you're headed around the corner to...

12PM: Space 519, where you can try out all the niche skincare and makeup products of your dreams. They've got Joanna Vargas, they've got Kosas, they've got Vintner's Daughter... It's your favorite Instagram feed come to life. When you're done browsing and swatching, sit down at the Lunchroom, their cafe. Brunch!

2:30PM: Now it's time for a little drive north for some sightseeing, some leg-stretching, and some sheet masks. Choc Choc Cosmetic in Boystown is your Korean beauty haven. Grab a stack of masks—plus maybe that Missha Time Revolution Essence—for later tonight.

3:30PM: Keep heading north until you hit Merz Apothecary, the most recommended destination on this list. The family-owned and run pharmacy has been operational since 1875, which means they know what they're talking about. You'll find everything from Nivea to Dr. Hauschka to Maison Francis Kurkdjian along these shelves. Get lost for a few hours. We'll circle back up for dinner.


10AM: Yesterday probably left you in a beauty haze. But there's no time to sleep in on a good beauty tour! No matter—today is light. Call ahead and book your group mask session with Scratch Goods for you and five friends. All ingredients are food grade and the intimate setting lets you customize for whatever you're feeling your face needs. Doesn't a jasmine rose skin drink and coffee eye butter sound like just what you need right now?

11:30AM: Sure, you went to Sparrow already, but while you're in the neighborhood, pay Alex Brown a visit. She trained under Jen Atkin and travels the world to do hair for the likes of Bella Hadid and Chrissy Teigen. If you catch her while she's in town, spend some time in her West Loop studio. Maybe get one of those Hadid face-lift top knots? At this point, it's hard to imagine you could become any more beautiful. And that's what the beauty tour is all about.

Photos via Instagram.