Pretty Passionate

April 2023 View more

By Judy Sutton Taylor

Refined Beauty helps clients feel their best and teaches top techniques

Jennifer Alvarez at Refined Beauty, 625 S. Washington St., Naperville
Jennifer Alvarez at Refined Beauty, 625 S. Washington St., Naperville

The moment a client took a chance on Jennifer Alvarez was the moment that changed everything. In 2013, the woman asked Alvarez, a hair stylist specializing in extensions, if she’d consider traveling to California to do hair and makeup for the bridal party at her daughter’s wedding. That vote of confidence—along with how much Alvarez enjoyed the work—spurred her to dream big, and in 2016 she opened Refined Beauty in a 179-square-foot suite in south Naperville.

But that tiny space wasn’t big enough to contain her ambition. Alvarez wanted to provide a one-stop beauty experience for customers—offering hair, makeup, skin care services—“where people could get glam for any event,” she says. She also wanted to provide training to others who shared her passion for all things beauty. “I love teaching. I wanted to be able to create opportunities for others,” she recalls. In 2018, she found a two-story house near downtown Naperville and renovated it to make room for everything she dreamed of and more. Today, a team of 10 beauty professionals offer services including haircuts and color, extensions, facials, waxing, lash and brow treatments, microblading, and tanning, plus wedding and event services such as makeup and styling.

The shampoo bowls at at Refined Beauty

Alvarez conducts weekly training sessions with her staff on the latest trends in topics such as extensions, color theory, and business development. “This is a place where team members can grow,” she says. “We attract people who are eager to learn and who really want to take care of our customers and build relationships.” Celebrating big life moments with longtime clients and watching their children grow up is a highlight, something the whole staff takes pride in, she adds.

While Refined Beauty is a full-service salon, hair extensions are its No. 1 focus. “Healthy, proper application can help with everything from thinning hair and alopecia to COVID-related hair loss,” she explains. “They provide instant gratification and the biggest transformation.”

Styling stations at at Refined Beauty

Choppy, collar-bone-length cuts and modern blonding techniques that create a “lived-in” color are popular right now, along with curtain bangs, Alvarez says. When it comes to makeup, “it’s all about the highlight,” she notes. “Everyone wants to look glam and glowy.” Fluffy lashes are in style, along with colored lashes for a fun pop of color.

Of course, trends will come and go, but the basics of the business for Refined Beauty remain consistent. “Good hair and good makeup help people feel good,” Alvarez says. “There’s nothing better.”


Photos courtesy of Julia Maruyama Photography