SPLURGE 60-minute deep-tissue massage at Lincoln Park Massage Spa (630 W Webster Ave, 773-296-6300), $105
STEAL 60-minute deep-tissue massage at River North Massage Therapy Center (747 N LaSalle Blvd, 312-654-0900), $75
At Lincoln Park Massage Spa, you can look forward to serene rooms (with themes such as the beach and forest), free cups of herbal tea and excellent therapists. Plus, the spa often offers great specials (for example, 20 percent off a 60-minute or longer deeptissue massage throughout January). But if you can’t find a worthy discount, you can count on River North Massage Therapy Center’s affordable rates, offered at all times. The new center (it opened days ago) is the clinic of the New School for Massage, where you’ll find ten private treatment rooms and daily services provided by instructors (with many last-minute appointments available). Look out for packages and frequent-client discounts that can make the rate dip as low as $59 per hour. Or you could save even more money by booking a 55-minute student massage for $35.
Money saved with steal: $30
Three spa services generally not worth the money
Most spa treatments already incorporate great scents, so there’s no need to fork over an extra $20 or so for good-smelling essential oils.
A gentle microdermabrasion (up to $30) for your lips is nice, but you could perform the same task at home by rubbing a little olive oil and sugar on your kisser.
This small add-on (usually around $10) feels nice and warm as it moisturizes your hands, but finding bits of wax under your nails for the rest of the day can create extra stress.