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 our planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in 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 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 a UK-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 Blue Corn 3-in-1 deep-cleansing scrub mask often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, 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.
Navii Salon Spa's boutique spa cajoles tense tendons and kinked spines into relaxed states of being with a host of holistic services and Mother Nature-approved practices. Settle into the spa's serene atmosphere before each 60-minute session, which is aimed to reduce future injuries, improve lymphatic systems, increase circulation, and decrease physical exhaustion. Indulge in the soothing strokes of a Swedish massage, performed by a trained therapist who wields essential oils and designed to tackle stressors and banish aches. The firmer touch of a deep-tissue session works out knots burrowed beneath the dermis and cassette tapes tucked underneath your ribs, and a hot-stone massage rejuvenates soul casings with the gentle strokes of warm basalt stones, which help increase circulation and instill relaxation. For moms-to-be, a prenatal massage (recommended after the first trimester) helps to soothe stress harbored in the body and alleviate water retention stored in the shoulders. Before and after rejuvenations, guests can relax inside Navii Salon Spa's relaxation room or outdoor garden, which can take the mind to a blissfully whited-out plane where it's free to bob up and down like a Q-tip buoy in a sea of cotton balls.