Insider's Picks: Maria Ponce

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Hair Salon: Marianne Strokirk



"Stylist Tracy Podesta gives the best haircut in town."
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Manis/Pedis: 2X10 Nail & Spa



"They play Sex and the City episodes on high-def, and have the best, brand-new massage pedi-chairs."
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Waxing: Ambra Salon & European Spa



"Ambra Salon & European Spa for bikini. Dana does the most painless Brazilian in five minutes."
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Spa: The Peninsula Spa



"I love the The Peninsula Spa, but I recently shot the interior for the new spa that is opening this month at the Elysian hotel (11 E. Walton, 312-646-1310), and I can't wait to spend a day there—it is breathtaking!"
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Makeup: Barneys New York



"The Barneys New York makeup department! Shu Uemura is my favorite."
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Boutique: LuLu's at the Belle Kay



"I'm guaranteed to find something special that no one else in the city will have for a night out."
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Cheapie Store: Forever 21



"Forever 21, for basics like leggings and T-shirts, and for super-trendy clothes that are only suitable to wear once or twice."
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Splurge Spot: Blake



"Blake, particularly when they are having a sale!"
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Gifts: The MCA Store



"It has the best art and photography book selection in the city, and some of the most fun, mod gifts."
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Off-the-Beaten Path Store: Brimfield



"The Andersonville neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago has a ton of amazing stores, but the best one by far is Brimfield. In addition to stocking unusual items, the owner reupholsters antique furniture herself."
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Photo Gear: Helix Camera & Video



"They have a flea market once a year, where they sell old film/vintage cameras—they're like pieces of art to me."
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Restaurant: Bistro Campagne



"Bistro Campagne is my favorite French bistro in Chicago—they use organic ingredients and have an amazing wine list."

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