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.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
Lavender walls surround Vanity Junkie's easygoing stylists as they transform patrons from head to toe with salon and spa services. Experienced hands carefully snip new hairstyles and infuse heads with color using products from brands including Redken, evo, label.m, and Pureology. Frizzy heads can be smoothed out, whereas perms convert flat tresses into well-orchestrated curls. Staffers also rejuvenate countenances with facials and microdermabrasion treatments, and extract or add hair to body areas with waxing and hair extensions, respectively. As stylists work, Vanity Junkie's street-facing garage door floods the main space with natural light that gleams off mirrored tables and a dangling chandelier. Before and after sessions, customers lounge at an in-salon bar enjoying coffee, beer, wine, and the comical screams of shorn locks as they fall to the ground.
Unless you’re a connoisseur, you might not recognize some of the brands at Visage Eyewear. The staff there searches far and wide for quirky labels, curating a unique spread of frames in their combination optometry and art-gallery space. The names of designers such as Bevel, Theo, Chrome Hearts, and ic!berlin adorn modish round spectacles, futuristic tinted shades, and tortoiseshell glasses with an air of wisdom. Beneath the energetic paint swirls of local artists, the in-house optometrist, Dr. Mila Ioussifova, can help clients find their prescription. The staff then waits to show them exciting frames that veer from the standard selection of dull plastic and tied-together telescopes.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 11?25 people
Parking: Metered street parking
Most popular service: Essential Facial and waxing services
Brands Used: Dermalogica, Cirepil
Pro Tip: Come relaxed and ready to be pampered, and you will leave feeling beautiful.
What is one of your signature services? How is it performed?
The Essential Facial, which is ideal for simple monthly maintenance for healthy skin. The treatment begins with cleansing, steam, and extractions. After exfoliating the skin, I perform a facial massage and apply a mask, toner, and moisturizer. I also include a relaxing scalp-and-hand massage. You will leave with a personal face-mapping sheet, as well as a recommended home skincare regimen.
The interior of a business can affect how its customers feel. What kind of decor do you use to help make your clients feel pampered and at ease?
The salon is glamorous yet edgy. We have concrete floors, high ceilings, open windows that overlook the Pearl District, and chandelier lighting. As a full-service salon, we use and sell only professional products. My facial-and-waxing room is private, inviting, charming, and tranquil.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
I love meeting people and making them feel special and beautiful through my facial and waxing services.
Out of your entire repertoire, which is your favorite service to perform and why?
I love performing facials because they are a great way for my clients to treat themselves. Taking care of our skin and face is an essential part of staying and being healthy, yet it is also relaxing and pampering. It is a treat that should also be a normal part of taking care of ourselves.
Most popular service: Facial
Brands Used: Seaflora
Staff Size: 1 person
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: No
Pro Tip: Come ready to relax and leave with the best skin you've ever felt.