Lisette Paez, Four Seasons
Mag Mile/River North/Gold Coast
When I inform Paez of my pathetic record with manicures—I destroy them on day one—she takes it as a challenge, helping me choose a long-lasting nail polish and declaring that her manicures should last a week. Then, at some point during my Chocolate-Orange Dipped mani-pedi—probably around the time she rubs my feet with citrus exfoliant after serving me a chocolate martini—I enter a state of bliss.
A nail maestro for 12 years, Paez is the lead nail technician at the Four Seasons, where she’s worked for eight years. She’s hush-hush about her celebrity customers but admits one wealthy client visits from Europe every six months and will only go to Paez for pedis: “She has a blood disorder, and I’m the only one she trusts with her feet.”
Despite the economic downturn, motorcycle/snowmobile-enthusiast Paez boasts a full schedule, including regulars with standing appointments. It doesn’t hurt that besides her training at Chicago’s well-regarded hair and beauty school Pivot Point International, she’s certified in reflexology—essentially foot rubs that focus on specific pressure points—which she often incorporates into treatments. Paez considers this work her calling. “I am gifted in my hands and very knowledgeable and I have the heart to do [this work], to serve people humbly and give quality service,” she says.
I can’t argue about the “calling” part: Paez’s mani lasts three days—for me, a record. Mani-pedi $140, including chocolate martini.
Extend the bliss
140 E Walton Pl, 312-932-4623
If your shoulders still carry any tension after your treatment, they’ll relax completely once you’re sitting in a red leather booth, martini in hand, at this intimate, dimly lit bar in the Drake Hotel.
1 E Delaware Pl, 312-951-0001
It’s hard to go wrong with cake and frosting, and More’s cupcakes are especially delectable. Nab a maple, salted caramel or seasonally flavored cake and sit at a table with a magazine to soak up the boutiquey, modern vibe. Okay, to really soak it up, you might need two cupcakes.