Chicago Social

OVERVIEW : Chicago's only storefront salon dedicated solely to eyelashes and eyebrows is located in Chicago's charming Gold Coast. Once regarded as an intricate Hollywood beauty secret, eyelash extensions are the hottest new beauty trend among women looking for a glamorous beauty boost. Perfect for brides and special events, or even just Friday night! Lashe Spot services include eyelash extensions, eyebrow shaping, eyelash tinting, eyelash perming and eyebrow tinting.

Come in for a full set of beautiful, luxurious Xtreme lashes and receive a free tube of mascara and long life coating.

Watch out for a new location in Wicker hark

DECOR : Zen-like minimalism with a hip, spa boutique twist 

SIGNATURE TREATMENT : Xtreme eyelash extensions 


TimeOut Chicago

Doelike lashes

Applying mascara has never seemed like much of a hassle, but it's apparently too taxing for the growing number of beauty junkies who opt for eyelash extensions—think hair extensions on a smaller scale. They last up to two months before shedding, and they're waterproof—so you can shower, swim and do all of your regular activities without destroying the long-lashed look.

Initially, we were skeptical of the benefits of lash extensions. Could it really be worth a few hundred dollars just to be more eye-catching? But aesthetician Ignacia Garcia of Roque Salon, whose own extensions looked surprisingly natural, promised that we'd love them. To get ours, we lay supine on a padded table while Garcia gently covered our lower lashes with a cottony pad (to protect them from tangling with the upper set). She then applied a bonding agent to the top lashes, and painstakingly affixed an extension to each individual eyelash.

The painless procedure took almost two hours, and although Garcia says that many clients nod off, we grew fidgety after 45 minutes. But the wait was worth it: We could barely believe our eyes upon looking in the mirror. The lashes were softly curled, thicker and longer, yet they looked completely natural. They even felt just like our own lashes. Even without any makeup, our appearance was fresher and just plain prettier. Our earlier skepticism dissolved with the blink of an eye.

Chicago Reader

I'm waiting for the day I can surgically rig my armpits to produce BO that smells like flowers. Since it's now possible to get my asshole bleached and my vagina tightened, that day will surely come soon--the sky seems to be the limit on remedies for the perceived misfortunes of the privileged.

Another case in point: the Lashe Spot, a brand-new Gold Coast salon devoted solely to beautifying hair in the ocular region. I rolled up to the grand opening last Thursday and was surprised by what I saw--or, rather, by how much I could see from the outside. The blinds on the windows of the tiny Delaware Street storefront were at half mast, allowing passersby to peek in and watch as well-heeled women lay on duvet-covered beds, enjoying complimentary brow shaping (the spa usually charges $30), eyelash tinting (usually $25), and the application of semipermanent lash extensions ($75), which owner Melinda Rodriguez refers to as "flirty eyes."

I'm used to spa services, especially ones designed to mask inadequacies, being performed in discreet, clinical, does-she-or-doesn't-she settings, but once I stepped into the small, white, one-room outfit, I caught the fever. The idea of ditching the clunky medieval torture device that I use daily to pitch my lashes dramatically upward, making me look more awake and Bambi-like, made it seem almost sensible to indulge in an eyelash perm. So I did.

Ignacia Garcia, my aesthetician, applied pads treated with antiwrinkle cream under my eyes, holding down the lower lashes. She then affixed a tiny rod that felt like it was made of flypaper to each upper lid and pressed my lashes against it, sticking them in place. Dipping a little paintbrush into tiny vials, she gingerly dabbed skunk juice onto my lashes and told me to relax for ten minutes. The sensation danced between burn and itch, which I found not unpleasant--but I'm one of those sickos who actually enjoy a hearty bikini wax after months of rocking it animal-style. (Tip: Haleh at Rocco and Rocco in Downers Grove does an immaculate Brazilian for cheaper than you'll find at any reputable place within city limits, and it stays rash free.)Then came neutralizing solution and an eyelash conditioner. Yes, I said eyelash conditioner

New City Chicago

Open For Business - The Lashe Spot

Blame it on J-Lo's mink falsies or on the nation's new love affair with non-surgical enhancement, but salons have lately witnessed an epidemic of fluttery-lash fever. And now the Gold Coast has a sanctuary where those little hairs can reach their most sweeping potential.

Melinda Rodriguez, owner and founder of the Lashe Spot, sharpened her scissors as a Vidal Sassoon hairdresser. At 18, she was selected to study the salon's famous "precision cutting" technique in London, and when she came back to Chicago she went to work snipping inside the Water Tower Place. At the inner-mall salon, Melinda says, "I couldn't tell what the weather was like outside. I had worked for a while in Miami, in a storefront space where we had sunny skies and palm trees right outside. I missed that, and I realized it was time to start something on my own."

So when Rodriguez found a perfect pampering-place-with-a-view at 24 West Erie, she bought the space, hired some Sassoon pals (including her friend since high school, Ignatia Garcia) and Roque Salon was born. Aside from offering color, cuts and makeup application, Roque boasted XTreme Lash eyelash extension: In a process that takes one to two hours, eyelashes are made noticeably fuller and fringier.

Five years later (the salon celebrated its anniversary this past weekend), Roque clients were clambering for the XTreme treatment at such an XTreme rate that Melinda had to open a new spot exclusively for the service.

At the spankin' new Lashe Spot, four chairs allow patrons to sink back onto pillows and cushy white blankets as a lash expert goes to work on prettifying their peepers.

On a recent visit, I stood by as aesthetician Ignatia Garcia worked her lash magic and was unable to hold back a few of my concerns: "Doesn't it hurt?" I bellowed to Garcia's client, who replied serenely, her eyes closed: "I'm napping." Incidentally, the experience is set to become more tranquil in the coming months, when customers will don iPods programmed with soothing tunes and dip their hands into warm paraffin wax as the treatment takes place. However, I'm still a bit troubled. The lashes last up to two months, so my next pressing concern is: "Don't people get hooked? I mean, what happens when the extensions all fall off?" Melinda assures me that the danger of XTreme Lash addiction is comparable to the beauty frenzy fueled by a manicure: "Once you get your nails done, you like the way it looks, you want to do it again," she says. "It becomes about maintenance. You get inspired to keep it up." I have one last issue, and this one's about eye infection. But at-home research (the salon's website,, has all the answers lash neophytes could seek) assures me that the extensions are applied directly to each natural lash with sanitized tweezers; the skin around the eyes is never touched. No wonder the Lashe Spot client was able to nod off: her eyes, it seems, were in expert hands.