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.
Staffed by a team of professionals that deliver everything from haute new hairstyles to eyelash extensions, Yvonne's Day Spa has received particular attention from sources such as MSNBC's Today Show for its unique Fish-y-cure pedicures, which rely on tropical fish to exfoliate feet. Toothless Garra rufa, or doctor fish, hail from the freshwater world's top medical schools, but have been invited stateside for the gentle way they nibble dead skin from between the toes, as guests relax into a leather massage chair and dangle their feet in the creature's warm, watery habitat. After watching the treatment soar to popularity, and dedicating countless hours to learning to breed and care for his tiny aestheticians, co-owner John Ho franchised the idea and made it the signature of all Yvonne's locations. CBS rated the spa's manicures and pedicures as among the best in the DC area in 2011, as they extend beyond the aquarium to include OPI products and high-tech UV gel?curing methods. Stylists offer guests soda and coffee before offering scalps nourishing sips from bottles of hair care products including Goldwell, Nexxus, Matrix, and Paul Mitchell. Hot stones and glass cups gain healing powers in the hands of Yvonne's massage therapists, and ingredients including sea salt, honey, and cappuccino lotion infuse many treatments to leave skin glowing with health and ready for a snack.
Current owner Flora Suissa and the founders of Suissa Salon trained in Paris and Montreal before opening their first salon in 1970 in the US. They took what they learned in the City of Light and the Province of Poutine, and created their own brand of salons. It was only a matter of time before their style shops grew into myriad locations.
Today, Suissa features a roster of talented stylists, aestheticians, and nail artists. They've also got an ace up their sleeve: Eve Diaz, who developed her own line of beauty products?LaPenotiere?which is the primary product line featured here. Armed with talent and products, stylists deliver haircuts, coloring, and keratin treatments that discipline frizzy and static-addicted hair. They also offer weft tape extensions and hijab services, offered in private suites. Suissa's stylists pride themselves on their versatility, which means they're familiar with a large and diverse client base and are adept at working with clients of all ethnicities and a wide range of hair types.
Harnessing the tempered pulses of laser technology, Gente Spa Laser Center?s technicians have removed fine and coarse hairs from skin surfaces for more than 15 years. The GentleMax laser removes follicles with minimal discomfort due to its small size and cooling system. During each treatment, a medical professional runs a handheld wand over patches of hair, applying therapeutic heat to raise each strand. A laser pulse then dislodges the hair and a pulse of cooling cryogen spray coats the area just like an unbalanced basketball coach covers the floor in maple syrup before practice.
The house laser also powers other services as well. The targeted beams can get to the root of toenail fungus problems to leave feet sandal-ready. And during skin-tightening and facial services, lasers revitalize the skin to leave it looking more youthful and minimize the appearance of age spots or birth marks.
The staffers at Solar Planet do more than lavish visitors with meticulously clean salons, indulgent extras, and the power to don a sun-kissed glow in less than 20 minutes. Each employee is Smart Tan certified, meaning they possess the training to design personalized tanning schedules for clients seeking an instant or lasting glow. The specialists also know every detail of Solar Planet?s fleet of tanning beds, which range from traditional beds to standup capsules, the style most conducive to tanning lawn flamingos. At some locations, custom airbrush tanning sessions enlist the help of a certified airbrush artist who highlights the body?s features with strategic strokes in a custom bronzing hue. Over its 25 years in business, Solar Planet also has sunless tanning booths, a stock of buyable bronzing lotions, and a variety of skincare services including facials and waxing.
The confidence of A 2 Z Hair Studio's staff of hairstylists, nail technicians, and aestheticians puts clients at ease as soon as they enter the day spa. In addition to routinely seeking out techniques and mastering new trends, the team members employ professional-grade products in their everyday treatments. These lines include everything from Moroccanoil and Goldwell hair-conditioning balms to Shellac and OPI nail polishes. Equipped with high-end shampoos and conditioners, the stylists can recreate a classical look or devise a more modern hairdo by incorporating asymmetry or holographic bangs. Beyond hairdos, the staff can also pamper its clients with indulgent mani-pedis, body treatments, and facials that rejuvenate skin tone using 24-karat gold, Vitamin C-rich salves, or a customized selection of skincare products.