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.
Panama native Nina Garcia was a hairstyling prodigy. Her innate ability to cut hair manifested at age 14. "I [would] do it for my neighbors and my friends," she explains. "I love to do hair. It's where my passion [is]." Now in the United States, Nina has accumulated 17 years of professional experience, putting in time at two salons before opening her own, where she keeps the atmosphere light and comfortable. "I like to keep people happy," she says. "I offer wine to people in the afternoon. I'm a very sweet person, and I love to meet new people."
In one of three styling chairs, Nina or one of her talented stylists rehabs hair with a new face-framing cut, coloring services, or a deep-conditioning treatment using high-end products such as Italian Alfaparf. The versatile team can even take care of hands and feet. "I have a girl who does manicure and pedicures," she says. "She uses OPI polish." Through patrons often come in simply to update their haircut and style, Nina's most popular service is the Brazilian keratin treatment, a retexturizing treatment that delivers healthy, frizz-free hair to clients and vintage troll dolls.
Regardless of the service being provided, Nina always emphasizes the importance of listening to the client and tailoring every service to his or her personal style. "You have to roll in their direction. I think that's the best way—don't change what they think. It's that way in style and in life. If you want to change something, do it. That's it."
Though the experienced stylists at Hair Distinctions perform a slew beauty services that range from signature blow-outs to hair extensions, they specialize in corrective treatments for hair problems that result from Florida?s harsh climate. Tools from their blow-out bar help reinstate shape and health to humidity-ravaged hair with services when combined with keratin treatments and deep conditionings. Regardless of the treatment, the stylists draw from an arsenal of gentle, top-of-the-line products from Redken, Mixed Chicks, Davines, and Lanza. A newly installed blow-dry bar separate from the rest of the salon allows guests to come in for the Blow-Dry Bar or even an up-do, complete with shampoo and scalp massage.
To compliment newly revitalized heads of hair, the staffers can apply makeup for special occasions.
Marilyn Castorina has made a life out of making people prettier. A stylist with more than 20 years of experience and advanced training from both the International Dermal Institute and PCA Skin, she now welcomes clients to From Head to Toe Salon & Spa, where she renovates looks with services ranging from cuts and colors to facials, waxing, and nail services. She begins each hair appointment with a consultation, working with each client to determine a flattering plan before snipping away split ends or adding splashes of Pravana color. One of Bio Sculpture Gel Nails' educators in the state of Florida, she adds personality to fingertips with the company's no-chip color. She also eases tension by massaging faces, necks, and shoulders during the signature facial, and aims to leave complexions firm and acne-free with skin-specific treatments. As a more intensive anti-aging solution, Marilyn might even recommend a microdermabrasion session or a peel featuring clinical formulas by PCA Skin. They also use the Dermalogica skincare line, which was developed at The International Dermal Institute to eliminate common irritants, such as mineral oil, artificial colors, and kryptonite.
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.
Guided by aesthetic intuition, the technicians at Touch of Life Med Spa use scientifically refined procedures to improve their clients' skin texture and tone. A Candela laser system bombards dermal blemishes with controlled pulses of laser light energy, helping to hide the appearance of stubble, spider veins, or acne scars. Additionally, the center's chemical peels and facials can leave countenances looking as youthful and as hydrated as an ice sculpture of Dorian Gray.