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.
As a skilled stylist chops sleek layers into a head of hair, a network of hanging spotlights illuminates the stylist's work as well as the salon's suede furniture and polished wood floors. Decorative mirrors further add dimension to the space, framing clients' results after stylists rewire their tresses with products by Paul Mitchell or Brocato. Since opening the salon in 1999, owners and stylists Julie Compton and Joanne Lane have made it their mission to offer clients a respite from life's chaotic moments by tailoring hair services to each person's distinct needs. The salon also offers an array of special-occasion treatments such as the Clean Me Up face wax and the Be Strong hair-conditioning treatment, which compliments the size of your biceps while fortifying your hair.
The Lather Lounge is a Paul Mitchell–focus salon that creates an atmosphere which allows clients to look and feel their best with a menu of indulgent hair services. Before opening her own salon, Lynn Griglin spent 2.5 years honing mane-management skills at Vidal Sassoon in Chicago, before working as an educator for Paul Mitchell, where she trained fellow stylists in the art of hair chromatics. Her equally dedicated staffers conjure pleasant visits by providing two complimentary services of the client's choice, such as a steam facial or neck massage, with each haircut, waxing, or skin treatment. In addition to snipping signature 'dos and shaping eyebrows into elegant arches or intimidating lightening bolts, The Lather Lounge contributes to several charitable causes, including cancer research and an organization that uses hair clippings to clean up oil spills.
As part of the Aveda network, Persuasive Looks Salon infuses treatments for skin and hair with largely organic, botanically based formulas. Guided by a commitment to environmental responsibility and ayurvedic principles, Aveda products are principally derived from essential oils and raw herbs, at least 80% of which are certified organic. The salon's licensed skin therapists not only revitalize complexions with Aveda tonics and rapid smiling drills, but kick off every session with an Aveda Elemental Nature skin analysis that informs the creation of a custom treatment.
Stylists also use the brand's formulas as part of their arsenal for complete hair overhaul, which includes extensions and both Japanese and keratin straightening systems. Cosmetologists also offer Xtreme Lashes eyelash extensions and makeup application classes so their clients may hold onto and cultivate their look. The airy, 2,900-square-foot facility is located within an hour of Chicago by car and about two hours by inner tube.
Each of the semiprivate styling nooks at Salon Sein is equipped with shelves of advanced styling tools and haircare products, a comfortable salon chair, and a full-length mirror decorated with colorful pebbles. Within these intimate stations, thoroughly educated stylists administer an array of salon services, from professional cuts to retexturing treatments. As they work, the specialists treat hair to smoothing dollops of Kenra gloss or spritzes of Schwarzkopf Professional spray. They also offer hair extensions, for which they use attachments of real hair to add volume to thin hair or length to goatees. Meanwhile, clients sip on complimentary tea and coffee and nibble on treats.