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.
?A lot of players look at the card and think because it?s short that they?re going to play their all-time best round of golf and end up spending a lot of time in the woods,? says head professional Joan Lovelace of the course at Fairway Hills Golf Club. The Ron Pritchard?designed course ?which stays neatly within the bounds of 6,158 yards?doesn?t just get its bite from the woodlands about which Lovelace warns. Water comes into play on 12 of the 18 holes, and the second fairway?s wicked dogleg right and stream-guarded bentgrass green costars with collarless shirts in many golfers? nightmares. The links wind down with a hope-inspiring 18th hole, where golfers with the right mix of skill and luck can make a birdie.
Adjacent to the course?s bermuda-grass fairways, the club?s practice facilities invite players to demolish buckets of balls at a turf range, cleat across a chipping area, or practice whipping a putter out of its holster and twirling it around their thumb. Lessons with the club?s PGA professionals are also available to help hone games.
Course at a Glance:
Husband-wife duo Julio and Lily Soto opened Azul 17 to celebrate not only Mexican cuisine, but to also embrace the culture through music, vibrant design, and a selection of more than 100 tequilas made with 100% blue agave. Their chefs all hail from Mexico and bring family recipes to the kitchen?including one chef's grandmother's recipe for black beans. It's ?old world style with updated presentation,? says manager Peter Bonohue. Peter has been in the restaurant business since he could legally work, and to him, Azul 17 has an especially fun atmosphere. ?I love tequila now,? he confessed.
While chefs simmer their signature mole sauce and servers add fresh lime juice to margaritas, guests recline atop white leather banquettes or modern chairs. Eyes dance with murals and shimmering blue-tile mosaics splashed against white walls. Those whites are illuminated with a multicolored neon glow as DJs spin club, house, and Mexican tunes starting at 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. On Thursdays at 8 p.m., guests can spice up their tired hokey-pokey routine with salsa lessons.
When Lord Baltimore granted 370 acres of land to the Reverend James Macgill in 1730, he never imagined that a restaurant would be built there. Macgill and his descendants lived on the homestead for more than 200 years before selling it for restaurant development in the 1960s. Today, their stately columned mansion provides a pastoral backdrop for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Intimate candlelit dining rooms foster a romantic atmosphere, which has prompted frequent proposals inside the restaurant. Voted Howard County's finest dining by Howard Magazine in 2013, The Kings Contrivance Restaurant plays host to flickering lights that illuminate plates of pan-seared filet mignon, roasted duck breast, veal, and saut?ed shrimp, all selections on a traditional menu with hints of European and Asian influence. The knowledgeable staff can suggest the best wine to pair with any dish.
Getting an awful haircut can be an oddly traumatizing experience. When a teenaged Elizabeth Ford got an awful haircut, she used it as inspiration to work toward opening her own salon one day, where she would ensure her clients would leave happy with how they look. She eventually opened As You Like It Salon and Spa, where after 35 years she's still motivated by the idea that everyone should have a style that makes them feel beautiful. To that end, her and a team of stylists perform everything from haircuts and coloring treatments to keratin and bioionic hair-straightening services.
Over the years Elizabeth also added a spa, and now counts a certified aesthetician and massage therapist among her ranks. Resident aesthetician Gina used to be a television makeup artist, and the studio offers makeup applications as well as lash extensions and glycolic facials. Massage services include relaxation and prenatal sessions, as well as essential oil-based raindrop therapy, which is generally preferred to lightning therapy.
After proving herself a dedicated employee of Patrick's Hair Design throughout two decades of outfitting patrons with signature hairstyles, Jodie Gil purchased the salon and undertook a full renovation to amp up the atmosphere with modern amenities. Today, a 25-person staff consists of hair artists, nail techs, and skin specialists, who boast years of experience in their respective fields and knowledge of cutting-edge techniques. Along the row of flatteringly lit styling stations, clients communicate their coiffure needs to help stylists shape and color their locks, and nail techs adorn digits in OPI and Essie polish at the plush, spa-like nailcare station. Facials are customized to suit individual skin types and are available in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute versions, and massages are available in six different modalities.