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.
Tamara Peace found her calling when she graduated from beauty school in 1978, which likely came as no surprise as the profession runs in the family?her grandmother and her great aunt both practiced cosmetology. Tamara went on to work in relaxed salons where she specialized in coiffing hair into beach-friendly styles and developed the ability to create natural-looking, sun-kissed highlights beloved by Southern Californians. Throughout the years, the makeup artist and hairstylist has showcased her skills not only at salons, but also on the photography sets, where she has readied actors and models for their close ups and powdered camera lenses that were too shiny.
Iso Beauty ships tools of the hairstyling trade to heads across the continental United States, providing everyone access to the innovative products by brands such as Ionix and Proliss that have lined celebrity gift bags at red-carpet events. Proliss straighteners arrive to doorsteps with vibrant animal prints and ceramic-plate technology to reduce hair's exposure to heat, and Twisters harness infrared technology to shine and curl locks without cooking the cuticle. In-depth video tutorials grant users a step-by-step glimpse into the inner workings of the products and provide fashionable styling tips so that customers don't go out on the town confidently sporting last season's 'do or attempt to use freshly cooked turkey legs to curl their hair.
In the late 1920s, the Great Depression was rendering most Americans professionally and financially paralyzed. But in a small California kitchen, Merle Nethercutt Norman was putting a plan in motion to formulate her own skincare products and share them with family and friends. She truly believed in her formulas, knowing that by getting them on as many faces as possible, she would develop a following of customers. She was right?within a few years she and her nephew were opening their first studio in Santa Monica, and they eventually unveiled a series of independently operated stores that enabled women to take ownership during a time of gender-based limitations such as men-only restrooms.
Today, in approximately 2,000 stores across three countries, the three basic principles of Merle's original vision still apply. Each studio is independently owned and fosters an in-depth knowledge of the company's own line of makeup and skincare products. Just as Merle shared her creations with close friends and sallow mannequins more than 80 years ago, today's aestheticians embody the business's "try before you buy" philosophy. A menu of complimentary studio services?from foundation checks to express facials?allows patrons to sample the lauded brand before committing to the purchase of products or full spa treatments. The spa at Merle Norman Thousand Oaks also offers detoxifying infrared body wraps that help burn up to 1200 calories in one session. The treatment may help clients lose inches, tighten cellulite, rejuvenate skin, and boost immune response.