When nails need a helping hand, Laura Gronholz is there. At her post within Amenity's Hair Studio, she draws on years of experience to groom cuticles, shape fingernails, and gently remove piranhas affixed to big toes. During her signature spa pedicure, she also removes calluses and softens skin with warm towels and a hydrating mask.
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.
In David Raccuglia's "Modern Man Portrait Series," impeccably dressed models of masculinity such as Jack Nicholson, Gary Oldman, and Iggy Pop pose in stark black-and-white photographs. The series hangs on the wall of the MensDept. as a reminder of the significant difference proper grooming can make to a man's appearance. It's a difference founder Kurt Kueffner spent 15 years showcasing for salon owners as he toured the country demonstrating men's haircutting techniques to fellow stylists.
When he decided it was time to put that teaching into practice, he opened MensDept., an upscale salon staffed only by stylists who have received at least 60 hours of hands-on, one-on-one training from Kurt himself. They base each cut on the client's hair type and head shape, rather than on meeting the daily mohawk quota mandated by local law. Beyond blending grays naturally into darker strands, the team can rejuvenate hair with customized color or conduct cuts at the client's office on weekdays until 3 p.m.
Amid the modern, minimalist decor of MENS SPA, stylists treat clients to an array of male-tailored salon and spa services, such as haircuts with hot towels and anti-aging facials. A consultation precedes each haircut, giving clients the opportunity to describe their desired style or favorite childhood comb. Styling sessions also include a complimentary cappuccino or espresso.
It isn’t just about the haircut for Lauren McKenzie. The highly trained stylist takes time to show clients how to properly maintain and style their hair when they're at home or waiting in traffic court. Her cache of skills also includes classic bobs, eye-catching highlights, and ombre effects in dazzling colors.
Whether applying makeup to clients or creating a new line of products, makeup artist Nicole Fae concentrates not on concealing flaws, but rather on highlighting each individual’s beauty. The cosmetic devotee brings this philosophy to her expansive retail emporium, where she vends her original line of foundations, eye and lip makeup, and lotions and cleansers. Knowing that the ability to correctly apply makeup, unlike the ability to correctly execute a flying barrel roll, is not innately coded in every woman’s DNA, Nicole also hosts one-on-one private lessons to teach proper application and color use tailored to the individual and occasion. Additionally, the aesthetic artist invites groups of six or more to cavort at brow parties, where she demonstrates how to maintain eye arches in between wax visits.