Ulta's licensed staff, which partakes in ongoing training to keep skills sharp, creates customized looks and expert image enhancement using acclaimed beauty products. Like a loaf of bread in a space shuttle with a broken sunroof, hairstyles can grow stale between salon visits. A 45-minute coif-cultivation session, in which the stylist takes into account face shape and lifestyle, energizes follicles and forges a salon-fresh look. In the one-hour Dermalogica facial, an aesthetic augur examines skin in order to customize a course of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing session with Dermalogica products. The treatment leaves skin impeccable, like a recently buffed and oiled slab of marble.
Although the retro cutting chairs and eclectic, recycled furnishings between its exposed-brick walls exude a vintage vibe, Alwin Anthony Salon maintains a modern edge, thanks to owner Sara Bott. Thestaff uses only the latest coloring, manicure, and body-waxing techniques and high-end products from Onesta and LuLu Blossom?decisions that helped earn the shop the Reader's Choice for Best Hair Salon 2012 award from the Daily Herald.
While Sara is out on the floor educating stylists and clients about organic Surface Hair Health Art products, staff can be found at the vintage manicure station expertly filing, buffing, and painting nails with a rainbow of CND and OPI polishes. The team?s eco-consciousness reaches beyond recycled furniture to encompass a petite menu of organic and vegan services ranging from coconut oil-based Framesi hair colors to vegan mani-pedis using SPArituals polishes freshly plucked from their homegrown nail-polish tree.
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.
On weekends, Salon G's team of stylists and aestheticians often arrives well before the business technically opens. That’s because they’re there to prep bridal parties for their big race down the aisle. They sculpt nails on everybody, create updo's for bridesmaids, and design the bride's complete hairstyle, including the look and placement of the veil.
It's not just brides who benefit from the stylists' expertise, however. The hair designers spend most of their time creating manageable, everyday looks for clients. To accent these designer cuts, they often add highlights or, for men, condition and trim beards. They keep some heavy-duty treatments in their arsenal as well. Depending on the desired look, they might install natural hair extensions or apply keratin treatments to eliminate frizz and unwanted comparisons to Phil Spector.
A waiting area like a fine parlor?complete with soft leather furniture, honey-hued hardwood floors, and a vase of flowers perched atop a coffee table?welcomes guests into the specialized laser spa. During Laser l'Amour's signature hair-removal treatments, technicians wield Palomar StarLux lasers to free skin of unwanted fuzz with minimal discomfort and no downtime. Clients strut from treatment rooms after gaining a boost in confidence for beach season or an aerodynamic advantage for human-cannonball-school-admissions season. The staff also administer laser-free microdermabrasions and peels designed to leave skin softer, smoother, and scarless.
30 minutes. That's all the time Simple Touch Beauty's licensed skincare specialists need to beautify complexions with an express facial, composed of a basic cleanse, exfoliation, and optional extractions. However, give them more time, and they show off their repertoire of more luxurious treatments. Their collagen facial, for example, helps minimize wrinkles with a collagen-infused mask. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, sloughs away dead skin cells, refreshing faces without dousing them in Sprite.