By Jenny Berg Posted August 19, 2008, 4:32 PM EDT
CHICAGO On Thursday night, the malleable Chicago Illuminating Company (which served as a temporary Buddhist art gallery a few short months ago) became a temporary spa for the launch of Glossed and Found. The Chicago-based Web site is the brainchild of Stacey Roney and Rachel Caliendo, who spent eight months planning the launch party.
“Our goal was to introduce Glossed and Found to the media and industry professionals,” Roney said. ”[On our Web site] we focus on bringing what's new and hot in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle to the public. One way to do this [at the event] was to bring in the top cosmetic and spa vendors to showcase new products for fall and holiday so that guests could get a sneak peek before these items hit store shelves, as well as experience a variety of complimentary spa services firsthand.”
Roney said that the greatest challenge was narrowing down the guest list—she and Caliendo wanted to ensure that no one would wait in long lines to sample treatments. They also wanted the event felt open, airy, and “spa-like” (read: uncrowded), so they left plenty of space between treatment areas, staggering services throughout four rooms of the spacious venue.
Inside the entrance to the event—which ultimately drew about 125 members of the media and 350 beauty-industry professionals—wispy white fabrics formed partitions between treatment areas. At one station, a freelance makeup artist from Beauty on Call offered complimentary lash applications; at another, representatives from M.A.C. made up guests' faces with colors from the company's new fall collection. At the back of the front room, which also featured services from cosmetics companies like Smashbox, Kiehl's, Too Faced, and Laura Mercier, a dessert buffet offered mini cupcakes from Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique.
In a second, larger room, massage tables occupied partitioned nooks, and technicians from local spas (including downtown's Spa Space) provided services ranging from massage to acupuncture and photo rejuvenation. A third room combined a cushy-chair-stuffed lounge area with manicure and pedicure stations, a dessert buffet from Sweet Collective, and a cappuccino bar from Crepes a Latte. Waiters from Food for Thought and Berghoff Catering circulated with savories including mini dilled scones with smoked salmon and cones stuffed with goat cheese and caramelized quince.
The upstairs loft area played host to a series of decidedly unstandard beauty treatments. Outside a curtain-enclosed area presided over by local dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, women craned their necks to get a peek at the Restylane treatments that were going on inside. While some guests seemed slightly spooked by the prospect of cocktail-hour injectables, others were determined not to pass up the chance. “This service is normally $600, and I can get it for free here—why not do it?" one partygoer reasoned. A doctor from Windy City Foot and Ankle Physicians performed microderm foot facials beside the Restalyne booth, while a rep from Gold Coast Plastic surgery provided Botox treatments in another, curtained-off nook.
The Glossed and Found brand infused the event. Large, flat-screen TVs set up throughout the venue showcased short videos pulled off the Web site. A Photo Booth Express photo booth in the corner of the second room allowed guests to pose before a hot pink background; photos were printed out in strips bearing the Glossed and Found logo. The logo's pink-and-orange color scheme also made its way into nearly every aspect of the event's decor, from hanging floral arrangements to thematically hued spotlights and lounge pillows.