Channing’s in the Press

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The Glu.

Soulful Sunday: Eyebrow Guru Cheryl Renella

Chicago’s eyebrow guru to the stars shares how she unwinds after spending endless hours on her feet changing the way women look and feel, one pluck at a time.
Soul Sister: Cheryl Renella, brow guru at Channing’s Studio and Spa

We’re not one to tell you what to do, but we suggest you run—don’t walk—to get your brows shaped by Cheryl Renella at Channing’s Studio and Spa on Oak Street. Here’s why: Before meeting Renella, we knew our woolies could look better, yet we were content with removing extraneous hairs that might affect a proper eyeshadow application, whether this meant experimenting with threading, getting a basic wax, or our own handiwork. But brow shaping is a term—and quite possibly an artform—that shouldn’t be abused. You’ll understand where we’re coming from when you lie back in Renella’s chair and she works her magic. She takes a “before” and “after” photo that will simply blow your mind. Our first reaction? “I look ten years younger!”

Of course, Renella didn’t become a pro overnight. She started her beauty career at the young age of 16, when she attended cosmetology classes while still in high school. Shortly after, she apprenticed at several salons to hone her craft, including a stint training in Hollywood with the famous makeup artist Syd Simons. “It was with him that I participated on numerous sets doing hair and make-up. Little by little, I saved money in the hopes of opening my own salon,” recalls Renella. After working on movie sets creating brows of brilliance, she was able to open Channing’s on Oak Street in Chicago’s luxurious Gold Coast at the age of 24. In the studio and spa sanctuary she created for her clientele, she is renowned for transforming eyebrows into face framers for local Chicagoans as well as famous faces. Renella’s celebrity client roster includes the likes of Whitney Houston, Joan Cusack, Angelina Jolie, and Jeremy Piven.

How She Unwinds:

“How I unwind depends on the season. In the winter, I start my mornings with a brisk run. I enjoy jogging around my neighborhood with my dog, Zooey, and if I am lucky (or convincing!), I can get one of my two teenage boys to join me. In the evening, I cherish a great book by the fireplace.

“Naturally, I am drawn to water, so in the summer, I go for a bike ride around the lake or take a dip in the pool. A nice glass of champagne is the perfect way to end a warm day.

“No matter the season, I love to spend Sundays with my family. Each week, we take turns deciding on a meal to prepare, then my boys, my husband John, and I all cook together. When our stomachs are full, we all watch a show or movie in front of the fire.”

Balance Tip:

“I like to have fun in my professional and personal life. A playful attitude provides me longevity in this crazy world! Also, I have passion behind my business. Once you find fulfillment in your work, leaving the house every day is easier.

“I try to leave my stress at work or de-stress before going home. I enjoy mixing aromatherapy oils and placing them on a dryer sheet. As I make my commute home, I stick the aromatherapy-filled dryer sheet in my car vent. I also have a black river rock to remove stress and negativity.”


CS | Modern Luxury • January 2019

The Luxe List Best Brow Shaping

For over 30 years, Cheryl Renella at Channing’s Studio & Spa has tweezed brows (she never uses hot wax or threading) to perfection. She’s in demand with local celebrities like Desirée Rogers. because, if your brows look good, you look good. Initial 30-minute appointment, $100, 67 E. Oak St.,


Allure • October 2016

2016 Best of Beauty Chicago Best Brow Shaping

Best Face-Slimming Brows

Channing’s Studio and Spa
Best Face-Slimming Brows: Channing’s
Studio and Spa, Cheryl Renella. Price:
$100; subsequent visits, $75. Address:
67 E. Oak St. Phone: 312-280-1994.


Modern Luxury • May 2016

Men’s Book Chicago
Best of Now in Chicago
Beer aficionados, take note: This Gold Coast salon staple offers a seasonal Microbrew Pedicure ($55 for 45 to 60 minutes, June 1 to July 15) inspired by your favorite beverage. You’ll soak your feet in a soothing blend of citrus oils, hops and barley to soften even the most stubborn of calluses, then enjoy a scrub, nail and cuticle care, and massage. A complimentary microbrew is also included, of course. For those who prefer a superspeedy service, the Male Pedicure ($30) offers all the basics in a mere 30 minutes. 67 E. Oak St., Ste. 3W, 312.280.1994,

Windy City Live • January 2016


Update your beauty routine with these must-have items every woman should have in her make up bag – and they won’t break the bank!

-What should go: Using lipstick as blush! Lipstick tends to carry a lot of bacteria and should never be applied to your cheeks. It also never blends well and you are left with streaks.
-Use a strobing technique. Strobing is about highlighting features on the face. Don’t worry, we are not painting the full face. You simply brush on highlighting powder on the cheek bones, bridge of the nose, below your brow bone and corners of your eyes. Then blend in with your fingers or a sponge.
-Splurge: duet bronzer and contour kit for $30 and the brush to help execute the look is $25.
-Steal: Wet n Wild Contouring palette $5.00

-What should go: Throw away old mascara! Only keep mascara for a month. An easy reminder is to add a note to your calendar on your phone. Old mascara can cause pink eye and infections. The doctor’s bills and eye drops will be more expensive than a new tube of mascara.
-Splurge: For fuller eyelashes, one of my secrets is the Revitalash Volumizing Mascara in Raven. It is only $24 and saturates the eyelashes with color and definition while conditioning, smoothing and protecting lashes.
-For maximum results, I first put on the Revitalash Volumizing Eyelash Primer, which thickens cuticle of the lash, plumps the lash. It comes in a variety of colors but the cobalt blue is fantastic to use under mascara. ($24)
-Steal: Maybelline Great Lash mascara ($5.99) found at any superstore or drug store.

-What should go: Eyebrow pencils! I HATE eyebrow pencils. They go on waxy/shiny and can sometimes damage the brows if you have dry skin.
-Splurge: For those who have aging brows that might be thin or patchy, I recommend Wonderbrow. It is a one-step application that lasts for days. It retails for $18.75.
-Steal: An alternative to fill the brows is Ardell Brow Pomade. You simply use the application brush to fill in your brow and then use the spoolie to comb for a natural look.

-What should go: Chapsticks. Chapsticks tend to dry out the lips more. You should be applying something that hydrates the lips.
-Splurge and seal: I recommend using a lip gloss that has a hint of mint for fuller looking lips. This tingles the lips and plumps. I love this option here and we sell it for only $15. Image Oramedic Balancing Lip Enhancement helps as well. It resurfaces the skin on the lip, creates hydration and add volume. That retails for $18

A 35-year veteran of the beauty business, Cheryl Renella is renowned for transforming eyebrows into face framers on local Chicagoans as well as famous faces. Cheryl’s celebrity client roster includes the likes of Joan Cusack, Angelina Jolie, and Jeremy Piven. After years of working on movie sets creating brows of brilliance, Cheryl settled into Chicago’s luxurious Gold Coast to create a studio and spa sanctuary for her clientele. Known as THE brow expert in the Midwest, Cheryl is a skincare secret that is passed on from generation to generation.

A trailblazer in treatments for the past 35 years, Channing’s Studio & Spa specializes in innovative and comprehensive services for the face, skin, nails, hair, and more. Nestled in the heart of the Gold Coast on Oak Street, the intimate and inviting setting allows personalized pampering to take priority. Notably renowned for its brow shaping services, the boutique beauty destination has developed a loyal following, favored by locals and celebrities alike. With a tailored menu of services offering the best of the best, look no further than Channing’s Studio & Spa.


Windy City Live • January 2016


How do you keep your skin clear and nourished during these harsh Chicago winters? Channing’s Studio and Spa owner Cheryl Renella is here with some easy and inexpensive DIY skin care tips.

DIY Skin Care Tip #1: For Brows
Use Castor Oil as a natural way to support hair growth. This tip is for anyone who is looking to grow out your eyebrows. You simply dap the oil onto the skin once daily and you should see growth within the month.

DIY Skin Care Tip #2: Exfoliating Recipe
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup olive oil
1 drop of tea tree essential oil

Mix together, wet skin and apply in circular motions.
Splash with tepid water and a cold splash

DIY Skin Care Tip #3: Hydrating Recipe
Cleanse with plain yogurt first. Then apply the mask:
1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 drop of chamomile essential oil
Whip together, then apply to face. Leave on for 15 minutes. Remove with warm washcloth. Cold splash


Charmingly Styled • December 2015


“A few weeks ago, I reluctantly went to get my first eyebrow shaping because I’d always been curious about whether it would actually make a difference if I gave them the attention they deserved. I swing by to visit Cheryl at Channing’s Studio & Spa, and I was absolutely amazed that after 20 minutes, my eyebrows looked completely different – and still totally natural {phew!}. For some reason, I anticipated someone would over-pluck or wax them to oblivion, but she made sure to look at my face shape, individual brow shape and only plucked the little guys that were completely out of place.”


Today • Thanksgiving 2015

I’m thankful for…

Beauty experts share their favorite tips

Cheryl Renella, brow specialist and salon owner
Brow specialist and owner of Channing’s Studio & Spa in Chicago, Cheryl Renella, learned many beauty lessons from her Scandinavian grandmother, Grace Monk. Renella shared that her grandmother was always a wealth of old family “beauty recipes.” This would include keeping teaspoons in freezer for eyes if they were puffy from salty foods or lack of sleep. “My grandmother always had us ice our face to increase circulation or shower in cold water [because it’s] better for skin (hot or warm water breaks capillaries and dries out skin),” said, adding, “She swore by washing our face with plain yogurt for sensitive skin, acne or dry contact dermatitis.”


Woman’s Day • Dec/Jan 2016

Better Brows, Now!
If yours are barely there, here’s help.
Wispy eyebrows? All those years of plucking may have taken their toll. “When you pull out hairs there is a chance of permanent follicular damage.” says David E. Bank, MD, a dermatologist in Mt. Kisco, NY. What’s more, hormonal changes slow down the hair growth cycle, adding up to sparseness.

Luckily, it’s not hard to fake a lush appearance. Try these tips from Cheryl Renella, celebrity brow stylist at Channing’s Studio & Spa in Chicago. All you’ll need is a brow kit (one with wax and powder) and a brow brush or other grooming tool to help keep strands in line.

•Step 1: Outline with wax. Use the wax to cover bare spots and define the shape. The wax will stick to peach fuzz and ensure that the powder clings, so you get the fullest look possible.

•Step 2: Fill in the shape. Lightly press powder over the wax in the direction of your hair’s growth. Focus on the arch to create a defined space between your browbone and lid.

•Step 3: Blend the color. Use a brush or cotton swab to lightly blend and provide a natural finish. This will tame unruly hairs, too.


Modern Luxury • Winter 2015

Men’s Book Chicago
Best of Now in Chicago
Although its specialty is eyebrow shaping, this trendy, intimate Near North Side loft should provide exceptional cover for anyone still selfconscious about having his nails done. When it comes to manicures, Channing’s prefers to do them the “old-fashioned” way—which is far easier when an Old Fashioned is served. The classic whiskey cocktail is included with this twist on the basic men’s service (30 minutes, $30), which includes hot towels and a massage with sage mint oil. 67 E. Oak St., 312.280.1994,

InStyle • October 2015

2015 InStyle Beauty Black Book Pick


Chicago, Illinois: Brows
67 E. Oak St., Suite 3W, 312-280-1994
Regular price: $100 for the first appointment
InStyle deal: $80
2015 InStyle Beauty Black Book Pick


Allure • October 2015

2015 Best of Beauty Chicago


Channing’s Studio and Spa,
Cheryl Renella. This 30-plus year veteran is a brow wizard.
Price: $100; $75 subsequent visits.
Address: 67 E. Oak St.
Phone: 312-280-1994

Chicago: Makeover Pros
Cheryl Renella: Her brow shaping is the next best thing to an eye-lift. $75 and up.

Chicago• August 2015

Channing’s Studio & Spa. Only one woman in town can say she’s gotten Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, and Teri Hatcher on their backs: Cheryl Renella, Channing’s owner. She’ll study your bone structure before tweezing (not waxing!) a perfect arch. It’s $100 for the first shaping and $75 for maintenance. Not willing to wait for an appointment with the brow master herself? A “first-tier specialist” can do the job right away for $50.
Refinery 29

Refinery 29 • September 2015

All The Ways To Instantly Enhance Your Brows

We tapped four industry experts to take a deep dive into brow-enhancing and give us the pros and cons of each method.

Tinting. Cheryl Renella of Channing’s Studio & Spa told us it’s important to keep in mind that tinting will not necessarily solve all your brow woes. “[Some people] will still need to style and fill them in, depending on your brow’s shape [and thickness],” she warns.

Extensions. The main advantage of eyebrow extensions is that when done correctly, they appear completely natural, Renella told us, which makes them a wonderful option for cancer patients who have lost their hair or people with alopecia. “They’re attached directly…strand by strand, to create a full, lush line,” she explains.

Pencil. “This method not only enhances the shape of the eyebrow, but also the color and thickness — pencils are great for filling in patches and holes!” says Renella. There are also a rainbow of shades and formulations on the market at different price points. Plus, since using a pencil is second-nature to all of us by now, it takes the guesswork out of the application process.

Pomade. “Using a pomade-like product over other methods gives the user the ability to create sculpted eyebrows within minutes,” Renella explains. “You can alter the brow shape and the size.” Pomades are also often sweat- and/or water-resistant, which makes them more long-lasting and ideal for the humid months. “Pomades are also on the lower end of the price spectrum, and they’re great at covering bald spots and creating a full, natural shape,” Renella raves. Anastasia’s DipBrow Pomade and Nyx’s Tame & Frame Brow Pomade are both stellar options.

The only caveat? “If not applied correctly, pomades can look harsh,” says Renella. To avoid any noticeable lines or the look of heavily packed-on product, keep a light hand when applying and use a spoolie brush to blend everything to a natural finish.

Refinery 29

Refinery 29 • September 2015

The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Amazing Skin: Summer Edition

Stave Off Bacne.To prevent those unsightly blemishes that crop up on your back — or anywhere else on your bod, for that matter — reach for perfectly portable cleansing cloths. Keeping skin clean and dry is the easiest way to decrease the chances of gunk and grime clogging your pores and causing breakouts; wipes are ideal to keep on hand for a quick refresh anytime you feel sticky or sweaty, be that after a workout or your morning commute.

For extra pimple-fighting prowess look for ones that contain salicylic acid, says Natalia Bastava, lead aesthetician at Channing’s Studio & Spa. The powerhouse ingredient helps dissolve pore-clogging oil and, unlike its counterpart acne fighter, benzoyl peroxide, won’t bleach or stain your clothing. Bastava advises using them at least once or twice per week as a preventative measure.


PureWow • September 2015

How to Groom Your Eyebrows Like a Pro
Consider this your personal brow bible.
It happened late one night: With just the bathroom mirror, a wax kit and a prayer, we took grooming our unruly eyebrows into our own hands. And come morning, well…let’s just say we would’ve fit right in in 1995.

As it turns out, brow maintenance is a tricky art, and one shouldn’t attempt to tackle it DIY-style without some solid advice. So we asked Channing’s Studio & Spa owner Cheryl Renella to arm us with tips to prevent future pluck-ups.

Break Up with Wax: Renella says that tweezing is the best way to rid your brows of unwanted strands. Hot wax kills hair follicles, she explains, so hair can’t grow back in the places it’s been applied to. This may sound good now, but as you age, your face may change a bit (real talk: your skin could start to droop), and you won’t always want the exact same height in your eyebrow arch.

Stock the Right Products: Before your next plucking sesh, make some room in your makeup bag. Tea-tree oil fights inflammation, irritation and redness after you tweeze. RevitaBrow, a natural product filled with acids, peptides and biotin, helps threadbare brows grow in faster. And clear mascara works wonders as a finishing touch to keep hairs in place.

Use Pomade as a Filler: Speaking of products, Renella likes darkening brows with pomade instead of pencils. “Pomade is superior because it sticks to the peach fuzz of your brows and doesn’t give a ‘drawn on’ look,” she says. The pomade should be applied with an angled brush; then take a spoolie to your brows and do some spiffing up.

Master the Color Match: For dark-haired clients, Renella recommends choosing a color one to two shades lighter than their natural tresses. Gray- or ash-haired ladies should use taupe products.

Get on a Schedule: Renella recommends shaping brows every four to six weeks–depending, of course, on how quickly hair grows in.

Channing’s Studio & Spa, 67 E. Oak St.; 312-280-1994 or Brow services, $45 to $100.

mimi • August 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Out Your Brows

Pretty on fleek..To avoid damage to the hair follicle, opt for tweezing, says Cheryl Renella, brow guru and founder of Channing’s Studio & Spa in Chicago. Tweezing lets you be more precise and doesn’t have as lasting effects should you find your brow a bit thinner than desired.

Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes to a bad brow job. In fact, the best asset you might have is time. Although there’s no hard-and-fast rule to how long it takes for brow hairs to grow back (everyone is different), Renella explains it can take six to eight weeks to see growth, depending on your age and severity of the situation. But some products on the market can help speed up the process. “I always recommend RevitaBrow to my clients,” she says. “This natural product has amino acids, peptides and biotin that encourages the follicle to produce hair. Using the eyebrow conditioner daily results in faster growing eyebrows.”

Another popular process for filling in brows comes via a color wand. Renella suggests applying a pomade with an angled brush — using long smooth strokes to mimic the direction and length of the brows — then finishing with a swish of a color wand.

“These wands can be used alone for a subtle look or combined with the pomade to add dimension to your brows,” she explains. Finally, she suggests finishing off brows with a clear mascara as it’s a perfect solution for adding definition and attitude to your brows without adding color.

“If your brow color is cooler or more ash based, you want something with more of a taupe or grey undertone,” says Bartley. “While if you are more strawberry blonde or red, you need a warmer color to ensure a seamless fill in.” Dark-haired individuals should also abide by the one-to-two shades darker rules, adds Renella.

If you’re really concerned with finding the right brow color, a brow expert will be able to tint your brow to the correct shade and guide you into choosing the proper color tool to use.

The next thing to know about growing out your brows is shape matters. Having full brows means nothing if they’re not the right shape for you. Brows should enhance and complement your features, explains Renella. She explains those with long face shapes should choose wide square brows that will soften and widen the face; those with round face shapes should go with a high arch that helps elongate and soften the face; those with a square face can sport a dramatic brow that complements their features; heart-shaped faces should keep their brows no more than one inch apart to lengthen the face; and finally, those with diamond face shapes should keep brows rounded at the front and tapered at the end.


Splash • July 2015

Blink by Channing’s mobile spa: An Oak Street fixture for 35 years, Channing’s Studio & Spa (67 E. Oak) is known for its superior facials, hair styling, manicures, brow-shaping and more. Now the celeb-approved hot spot is going mobile with a glam movie-star makeup trailer complete with all of the studio’s signature treatments. Schedule an appointment by calling (708) 317-9099 or check the online calendar for the trailer’s next location.

The quick fix for toning down a heavy-handed dye job.
Question: What’s the best way to tone down a brow tint that’s too dark at home?
Answer: “The first step is to determine what type of color was used on your brows, says celebrity brow pro and owner of Channing’s Studio & Spa Cheryl Renella. Tint, or hair color, and henna are the most common. The latter can be lightened at home with a strong over-the-counter shampoo, like Prell. “Wash your brows with the shampoo and let them dry naturally; the henna coloring should lighten in a few days.” But if the esthetician used hair color, “do not try to correct them at home unless you want to risk orange or gold brows, which is worse than dark brows,” says Renella. “Go back to the salon, but do not let them convince you that the color will lighten naturally, a process that typically takes two to three weeks.” Instead, request that the technician use a high lift developer with tint to lighten the color evenly and don’t leave until you’re happy with the correction.

Splash • May 2015

Beyond Brows:
Gold Coast’s beauty haven Channing’s Studio & Spa — known for its superior eyebrow services — now has your whole body covered for pool season, with new summer offerings from micro needling and derma roller to body lift treatments and stretchmark reduction.

Allure • October 2013

Chicago: The Best of the Best Best Brows
The most brilliant beauty services from coast to coast.
Channing’s Studio & Spa
“Masterful waxing with minimal redness.”

Michigan Avenue • November 2011

Shape Shifting
Cheryl Renella, owner of Channing’s Studio & Spa, on perfecting your pluck.
How do you help clients with at-home maintenance?
The first appointment with me includes a lesson on using the tools, choosing the correct color brow powder, and applying it. When in doubt, do nothing and let me look at them.
Why is it important to get a great brow shape?
Brows are your most important feature; they determine your expression. Rather than spend $5,000 on your wardrobe, spend $100 on your eyebrows and it will go much further.

Woman’s Day • May 2009

Bizarre Beauty Treatments: Egg on Your Face
“Though it may sound a little fishy, Channing’s Day Spa in Chicago has a caviar facial that rivals Botox in its beauty benefits. Freeze-dried caviar…helps repair sun damage and softens the appearance of wrinkles so you leave with an egg-cellent glow.”

Today’s Chicago Woman • May 2009

Shaping Up: A Foray Into Brow Shaping
“Fifteen minutes later, Cheryl announced it was time to look in the mirror, and my skepticism melted away entirely. My eyebrows looked higher and longer, and, to my surprise, quite natural. Plus, my face looked fresher and more put together. I guess that’s why Cheryl calls it ‘the cheapest facelift in town.’”

NBC Chicago • March 2009

Beauty on a Budget
Cheryl offers tips on how to make your beauty bucks last longer. What can you cut, what can’t you live without?

Lucky • September 2002

“Your body is smothered in chocolate paste and wrapped in heated blankets while chilled silk aromatherapy eye pillows soothe your eyes. Then the chocolate mix is removed with warm towels and a refreshing shower.”

Healing Retreats & Spas • March/April 2002

“These days, it’s a true urban oasis with a friendly atmosphere, unique, luxurious treatment, and even the possibility of finding yourself seated next to the likes of Whitney Houston or Julia Roberts (both of whom have been privy to this pampering place).”

Ladies Home Journal • January 2002

“…according to skin-care expert Cheryl Renella, president and founder of Channing’s Studio & Spa in Chicago…after blotting cleansed skin with a towel, apply toner to a tissue, which is less absorbent than cotton. The result: you use less toner. Smooth the tissue over your face then let the toner dry before applying moisturizer.”

Platinum • December 2001

“Channing’s…continues to provide advanced skin care products and services to its clients. Channing’s works with chemists and doctors to insure that all the products used in its services are state of the art.”

Self • November 2001

“[Gentler, natural polishing ingredients like pineapple and brown sugar help]…dissolve the cellular waste that causes dry, uneven skin” says Cheryl Renella, owner of Channing’s Studio & Spa in Chicago.

Health • November 2001

“Sugar effectively sloughs off calluses, while cranberries contain natural antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E to keep skin healthy” says Cheryl Renella, founder and owner of Channing’s Studio & Spa in Chicago.

Chicago • Fall 2001

“Cheryl Renella works her magic on a floor above Oak Street. This beauty-business veteran is a whiz at arching brows, applying eyelash extensions, and generally beautifying both the local public and her clients in New York”

Elle • August 2001

“Channing’s Studio & Spa in Chicago is going to great lengths to provide women with what they want: longer, thicker lashes. For its new lash-extension services, aestheticians apply a special long-lasting glue to adhere human hair directly to natural lashes…You won’t have to bother layering on mascara, applying falsies, or wrangling with a lash curler for up to two weeks.”

Ladies Home Journal • May 2001

“The Decadent Pedicure ($75) at Channing’s Studio & Spa in Chicago, includes a soothing seaweed foot mask, a sugar-and-almond-oil scrub and a paraffin dip.”

W • March 1999

“At Channing’s Studio & Spa in Chicago, the most popular new treatment is the Live Cell facial, which promises dramatic firming and tightening – thanks to freeze-dried bone marrow cells extracted from cadavers in France.”