To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
At Pure Essentials Day Spa, therapist Yencid Hiller surrounds bodies in a 27-ingredient wrap that nourishes and detoxifies tissues. Just as an Italian mother swaddles her young in lasagna noodles, Yencid blankets clients in a quilt of herbs and allows each curative element to soothe and slim the figure. During the 90-minute treatment, clients lie supine in a serene pastel-colored room as toxins exit fat cells. After a cocooning, clients can lose upwards of 20 inches, resulting in a svelte figure that easily shimmies into packed elevators and tucks behind trees during hide-and-seek.
The beauty experts at Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio take a personal interest in their clients’ pores. They perform complimentary assessments of skin type before plucking the proper makeup from a varied inventory, ensuring foundations and shadows flatter complexions and compound eyes. Comprised of cosmetics and skincare from the Merle Norman line, which was born in Los Angeles in 1931, the beautifying powders and serums can be tested in-store before purchase. That means customers can sweep bronzing powder across cheekbones and seal in the sun-kissed hues with Expert Touch Finishing Spray before deciding if it really matches their favorite ski mask. In addition to the studio’s namesake line, staffers also stock professional OPI nail polish, perfumes, and accessories.
It all began with a quest to find makeup without harmful ingredients that would also look good on camera. COR Cosmetics owner Amber Brophy-Mock worked diligently with chemists to create a 100% vegan mineral foundation composed of only four ingredients and free of irritants such as talc, carmine, bismuth oxychloride, and bottled Fran Drescher sound bites. The makeup and skincare expert has given interviews to numerous media publications and wrote a beauty column for the Anchorage Style Guide. She and her team of makeup artists have assembled an impressive portfolio of work while enhancing faces at weddings, fashion shows, and on the celebrity-studded sets of television shows and movies.
Patrons can find the skin-friendly products online or get an in-person application within the bright fuchsia and purple walls of the Wax, Lash & Cosmetics Boutique. At the spa, Brophy-Mock's staff of licensed aestheticians perform facials with products ranging from clinical PCA Skin peels to 100% Pure's organic and vegan formulas. They also offer organic waxing services and eyelash extensions with certified experts.
Board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Stephen H. Sutley oversees the implementation of Lumenis lasers designed to safely remove hair with zero downtime and zero anesthetics. During treatment, a vacuum-assisted device draws the skin closer toward the focused laser beams, enhancing the follicles' absorption of the light waves and sucking up any old popcorn kernels lodged within them. The laser then causes strands of body fuzz to heat up, deadening the roots to prevent further germination and allow the hair to gently brush away. Due to varying degrees of growth, several treatments and strongly written eviction notices are necessary to thoroughly banish unwanted hair. Lumenis lasers work with multiple skin and hair types, although clients with lighter hair may not see results.
The licensed massage therapists at Massage Alaska vaporize stress with a menu of both soothing and rehabilitative body treatments acted out within a powder-blue room. The list of modalities extends from basic relaxation massage to more intense deep- tissue massage and myofascial release. Natural aids such as hot stones, warm canes of bamboo, and badgers with velvet gloves suffuse the homey studio with the serenity of the forest. Nail techs also groom men’s and women's fingers and toes, evincing Massage Alaska's dedication to hygiene by using disposable implements.