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.
Led by board-certified plastic surgeon Jorge Gonzalez, MD, Elase Medical Spas' team rejuvenates clients with medical-grade laser procedures, skin treatments, and cosmetic injectables. As an academy for laser technicians, Elase unleashes an arsenal of advanced laser equipment upon a host of epidermal conditions. Sagging visages spring back to a more youthful state after laser skin tightening with a Candela ND:YAG laser, which helps rebuild the collagen and elastin scaffolding that keeps skin supple and plump, and supports the body's crew of construction guys. Laser hair removal eradicates unwanted strands, VelaShape helps firm up physiques with radio-frequency energy, and vein therapy reduces the appearance of veins on the face and legs.
Elase also offers treatments that tackle problem areas without a light show, such as cosmetic injectables—including Botox, Radiesse, and Restylane—which relax or plump up wrinkled areas. Alternatively, medical facials swathe skin in clinical-grade salves selected according to each skin's type and astrological sign.
A passion for creative hairstyling brought Tony Woodley, owner of Shine Salon, from London's Oxford Street to Orlando's Park Lake Street. The story of his journey, however, isn’t quite as simple as that. After sweeping floors as a 15 year old at Andre Bernard’s flagship salon, he apprenticed at John Frieda’s salon and continued to grow as a stylist. His obvious skills led to jobs at magazine photo shoots and finally to the fashion capital of New York City. Frustrated with the lack of truly creative opportunities in the U.S., Tony took matters into his own hands, moved to Florida, and started a salon that he could call his very own.
Since opening, Shine Salon has made a name for itself as a haven for creative hair design. Tony and his staff continue to pride themselves on creating flattering cuts and coloring treatments for any number of occasions. Their concern for beauty doesn’t stop at the scalp; the team's aesthetician doles out facials and waxing services that leave skin smooth and nourished, and a nail tech moisturizes hands and feet before painting nails with highly detailed maps of local bus lines.
Growing up as a child in Iran, it wasn't unusual for Happy Farshid to see Turkish baths known as hammams. But when he came to America, they, like people who actually liked soccer, became significantly harder to find, according to the Orlando Sentinel. So Farshid decided to open one at his own spa, Shala Salon & Day Spa.
Shala's traditional Turkish bath surrounds guests with blue mosaic tiles imported from Italy, Moorish arches, and a domed ceiling. Guests take in their opulent surroundings while basking in the hammam's relatively gentle steam and lying down on a heated tile slab in the center of the room, where they typically receive a thorough massage and an exfoliating body treatment.
These immersive escapes are only one of the many options available to Shala's patrons. Stylists are also on-hand to design flattering new haircuts and weave honey-colored highlights into tresses. And aestheticians perform everything from waxing and basic facials using ?minence Organic Skin Care products to skin-rejuvenating photofacials and cellulite-reducing Endermologie procedures.
At Sanctuary Salon & Med Spa, owner Pareen Merchant leads a team of beauty experts that polishes clients' looks from head to toe. Hair designers create custom cuts and restore damaged hair with conditioning treatments. To remove body hair or prune overgrown Chia pets, the staff employs laser technology and the Middle Eastern art of threading, a signature service that caught the attention of Melissa Mayntz of LoveToKnow.com. Merchant learned the technique from friends and cousins before honing her speed and brow-arching skills at a cosmetology program in India.
Massage therapists soothe weary muscles with a variety of modalities, and aestheticians brighten complexions with clinical skincare treatments, including medical microdermabrasion and Revitalight LED sessions. The salon's nail services earned a spot as a finalist in the Best Manicure and Pedicure category of CityVoter's 2007 and 2008 awards.
In 1993, Les Arthur Bauman finally realized his dreams of opening his own salon, which he called Arturo's. He had two stylists, some shears, and not much else, but he worked hard to build the business. While he got the salon up and running, his son, Jes Bauman, became the second generation of the family to pursue hair as art, pursuing an education in New York. Eventually, Jes returned to Orlando to help his father and, ultimately, to take over the studio. He renamed the business J. Bauman Salon, but he preserved the family tradition of expanding the customer base, one expertly cut head of hair at a time.
To date, Jes has accrued more than 20 years of experience and has built up a talented stable of more than 20 stylists. His team constantly snips, colors, and extends hair at 17 stations spread throughout the now-upscale salon. The decor has matured alongside the business. It blends dark hardwood floors with high ceilings fitted with bright, recessed bulbs, which are ideal for helping stylists focus on their work rather than those mysterious shadows looming in the corner.