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 Rafet's spacious, brightly lit salon, mirrored styling stations line light blue and pink walls and smooth columns stretch toward the ceiling. Colorful rows of products score shelves and decorative pots hold fresh flowers and plants that dream of improving petal texture with a quality conditioner. Amid these cozy accents, professional stylists craft classic and trendy styles with deft hair cutting, coloring, and highlighting services. Clients discuss desired look in a consultation as stylists estimate the service duration and perform a face-shape analysis to make sure client's aren't pixilated video-game characters. Soft black chairs cradle backs as gentle hands massage scalps with luxurious shampoo and conditioner. Scissors snip tresses into an aesthetic shape before stylists apply a tinting formula specifically calibrated to the client's mane. Waxing services are also available.
At more than 140 locations across the country, the staff at Hollywood Tans maintains an average of 15 booths so its customers need not wait or make appointments for their tanning sessions. Each HT-manufactured, proprietary booth is set up vertically for a more sanitary experience, during which high-performance bulbs bronze bodies in less time than standard models. In addition to UV tanning, Mystic Tan vestibules send out mists of bronzers and moisturizers in one of four settings.
Serenity Salon & Spa is a full service salon and spa that envelopes the body in relaxation from scalp to toe-tip with Eminence products for facial services and Mirabella products for make-up services. A skilled aesthetician can tackle the T-zone with a facial, or nix unflattering fuzz during a specialty wax, while a licensed stylist can engineer flattering layers and color highlights. Guests may also retreat to a private room for deep-tissue or soothing Swedish massage from the spa's licensed massage therapist.
Hair Cuttery traces its roots to 1973, when newlyweds and hairstylists Dennis and Ann Ratner jointly decided that the salons they worked at left something to be desired—and that they could do better. The next year, they opened their first Hair Cuttery, chasing a vision of fashion-forward cuts and styles as well as a more customer-friendly, comfortable salon experience. In the ensuing decades, their idea has blossomed like a well-watered head of hair, growing to encompass 750 salons in 16 states.
Hollywood Tans, one of the nation’s largest chains of tanning salons, turns dermises gold with a special alchemic process known as Tanetics. Skin specialists consider each customer’s tanning goal, skin tone, and skin sensitivity before helping them choose the perfect skin-shading procedure. Four clean and comfortable types of stand-up UV tanning-booth options filter out most pestiferous UVB rays while speedily darkening pigment. Pricing varies, but five 11-minute bouts inside Hollywood Tans’ HT42 booth ($30) are enough to leave any pelt polished with a glossy base tan. For Daphnes fleeing Apollo, a Mystic spray-tan booth (starting at $19) depales pasty parchment with a misty coat of bronze that can last 5–7 days. The Mystic’s cartridges can be changed to allow users great flexibility in choosing their preferred skin patinas, or they can be purchased in bottle form for do-it-yourself home applications (starting at $19). A plethora of lotion is available to give your skin a longer lasting hue and moisturize your dermis until it's a glowing beacon of hydrated human hide.