Whether you are looking for a hair color that will bring your sexy back, or you’re in need of a new ‘do, an invigorating facial to bring out that youthful glow, or a good massage to get your blood flowing and your energy tapped, no need to worry; we’ve got you covered. We reached out to our city’s best spa and salon aficionados, folks who will get you all gussied up in no time. Who needs Los Angeles and New York salons when we’ve got some of the best salon professionals right here in our midst.
Salon: Simonson’s Salon & Spa
Specialty: Short cuts, fashion-forward styles
Women’s cuts: $40
Men’s cuts: $32
When Jillian Slater was involved in theater at Osseo High School, she was known as much for her hair-styling skills as her vocal and theatrical talents. “Everybody always asked me to do their hair before the shows,” says Slater, who initially pursued music education in college before deeming hairstyling the path she wanted to pursue.
She graduated from Aveda Institute in 2006, and, according to her, has been putting her love of talking and hair to the test ever since. “Yeah, I have always loved to talk,” says Slater with a laugh. “When I was a kid in school it was the one thing that always got me into trouble; now it’s a huge part of my job.”
Besides being certified in Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy, Slater has training in logics, dimension and myriad product lines, and has studied razor cutting under the tutelage of celebrity hairstylist Nick Arajjo. But Slater finds her calling in short cuts and fashion-forward styles. “I really love changing somebody’s look completely,” she says.
Her passion and creativity have garnered great reviews from her clients. “Jillian isn’t afraid to go outside the box and create a look that is unique to me,” says Suzanne Borgeson, who’s been styled by Slater for the past five years. “Her talent, energy and honesty are invaluable.”
$83 for single session
$67 for each session in The Journey package
Imagine a dimly lit room with the meditative sounds of Tibetan bells and the aroma of essential oils. Add in large photos of the bucolic Utah canyon country, a heated massage table, a master massage specialist, and you’re well on your way to a relaxing, maybe even transformative, experience. And that’s exactly what massage specialist John McKinley wants you to have.
McKinley, who earned his massage certificate at the Dessert Institute of the Healing Arts in Tucson, Ariz., helps his clients meld the mind, body and spirit in a unique six-session massage package called The Journey.
“People have tension on two different levels, the physical and the energetic,” McKinley says. “You can have someone who is stressed, and that is physically manifesting itself in their body somewhere. I try to help them move that energy by connecting the energy work with the deep tissue manipulation; it’s a very holistic and rewarding experience.”
Mici O’Grady, Life Spa department head, extols McKinley’s talents. “He is always going above and beyond for his clients to ensure not only a wonderful massage,” says Mici, “but educating them through his journey.”
Stylist: Alaina Sipe
Salon: Christopher J Salon
Color: $60 and up
Foil: $75 and up
Alaina Sipe, color specialist at Christopher J Salon, loves coloring hair—everything about it. “It’s so creative to me,” she says. “You can do so much with it and make someone feel so different about their hair with color or foil.”
She tapped into her cosmetology roots as a high school student when, before a much-anticipated football game, a friend asked her to cut her hair. “I grabbed the scissors, started cutting, and thought that there must be a system to doing it and that it would be nice to actually know what I was doing,” Sipe says. “That was 2001, and in the fall of 2002 I enrolled in the Regency Beauty Institute in Blaine.”
Sipe cut hair for a while, but found her true calling in color. She has trained with Wella in Los Angeles, and attends color-training seminars locally whenever they’re available. The “science” of coloring is almost impossible to explain, she says: “It’s very dependent on the client and what they're looking for—how much warmth they want to see, if they hate reds, how dark or light they want it. What it really comes down to is listening to your client and clear communication.”
“It’s really funny because even though I’m a brunette,” she adds, “my favorite thing to do is to make people blonde.”
Stylist: Molly Erickson
Salon: New Reflections Spa Salon
When Molly Erickson was a little girl she was always the one playing with makeup and running around the house with those odd-colored skin care masks on her youthful face.
“I really have always been interested in taking care of my skin,” says Erickson, who went on to garner an aesthetician’s license from the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis before spending two years working at a salon in Florida; she’s been with New Reflections for seven years. And she’s always honing her craft, having attended the Spa Summit in Iowa in January.
Erickson has perfected all of New Reflection’s facial treatments that include everything from an acne treatment to skin resurfacing to treating discolorations of the skin. “I really love working with the clients and making them feel good about themselves,” she says. “I take the time to get to know them so I can customize their treatment to meet their individual needs.”
She encourages everyone to have facials at least every four to six weeks and works to create a regimen that her customers can use at home.
Stylist: Paula Ennen, Men's Cuts
Salon: Luxe Hair Spa & Boutique
Specialty: men's cuts
When Paula Ennen got started in the barbering business back in 1981, mullets were en vogue, and men’s styling products were few and far between.
“Moler Barber School had just started allowing women to go into barber styling,” Ennen says. “I knew it was what I wanted to do because my dad was a barber, and I grew up watching him; it was just the right fit.”
She worked in different salons through the years (even co-owning a two-chair salon with her dad, who recently retired), and has been providing barber cuts at Luxe Hair Spa for just over a year.
“It’s very exciting that men are getting into fixing their hair and using products like gels and pomades,” says Ennen, who adds that men often opt for conversations about sports teams instead of anything more serious.
Stylist: Jessie Homan, owner
Salon: The Style Room Salon
Specialty: Make-up Application and Instruction
Makeup application: $40+
Makeup instruction: $75+
Jessie Homan, an expert in makeup application who attended Aveda Institute in 1999 and spent time as a rep with the MAC cosmetic line, wants to make sure you look beautiful for your next special event.
“I love to play up people’s strengths and bring out their most beautiful features when I apply their makeup,” says Honan, who attends numerous training seminars to keep abreast of the latest trends and adds she is seeing a lot of “glow” on women’s faces for winter and spring, in addition to an uptick in false eyelashes that really “define and open the eye.”
But she also knows that women have the desire to create those looks at home. “I show them tips and tricks on how to get their makeup on faster, how to contour,” Honan says. “I also only do one half of their face and they do the other so it’s very hands-on. It’s like having me there helping them in the morning when they are getting ready.”