I was in town for the Chicago Midwest Beauty Show and wanted some “me” time before the craziness of the show began. So the day before the show Mary Baughman, NAILS’ eastern sales manager, and I took the train to the city and walked a few chilly blocks to Spa Space. We were both getting hot stone massages and manicures and couldn’t wait.

I came across Spa Space’s website while looking for interesting manicure and pedicure services on the Internet. With services like the Mango-Pineapple Enzyme Manicure, Toe Pebble Pedicure, and Peppermint Patty Body Treatment, it’s no wonder Spa Space has garnered many accolades. O, The Oprah Magazine even named the spa one of its favourites in the country.

Owner Natalie Tessler opened the spa five years ago, calling it Space. She wanted a name that would incorporate the word “spa.” Unfortunately, many people didn’t catch on so to make things easier she changed the name to Spa Space.

The former lawyer felt there was a lack of spa services for busy working professionals in the city’s West Loop, where Spa Space is located. She was obviously right. The spa has been inundated with clients since it opened, and it’s not just women who are going. The day of our visit I saw more men than I’d seen at any other spa or salon I’ve been to.

Spa Space is so busy that when the bagel shop next door went out of business Natalie quickly took over the space. The spa is currently in expansion mode, with a larger manicure area and a customized pedicure area being built. The nail area will even have its own separate entrance The day of our visit the spa was bustling with people. Then again, we were there on a Friday, which Natalie says is their busiest day.

The spa offers a wide array of services, including massage, natural nail services, waxing, and skin care. A large retail area entices clients with its myriad items, including candles, jewelry, skin care products, and perfume.

After having an awesome hot stone massage that left me completely relaxed, nail tech Drea Frederiksen led me to the manicure area. It’s a small area complete with a drying station, but that will all change once the new nail area is complete. I got the Vanilla-Almond Manicure, which includes a vanilla sugar scrub and a mask that was applied to my hands with a brush. Drea helped me pick a pretty shade of mauve with the just the right amount of shimmer in it. When Mary and I walked out of the spa I left knowing that although my feet would hurt after walking the show floor for three days, my hands would look great.

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