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.
At Naked Body + Bath, customers can pour the bath product of their choice into big brass tubs of warm water before slowly submerging their feet into a fragrant bath. These complimentary foot soaks—lauded by KHOU-11 as “heaven”—are one of many ways Naked Body + Bath empowers customers to experiment with the store’s selection of all-natural, customizable bath products.
To find ideal skin serum, customers begin by perusing a selection of unscented bath soaps, creams, salts, and lotions that are free of parabens and other chemicals. They then can dress them up with more than 200 fragrant oils, botanicals, milks, and glitters. Staffers allow customers to sample every product in-store and provide wells of already-concocted recipes to help spark ideas. Should customers mix a masterpiece, the staff record recipes and keep them on file to recreate at the customer’s bidding.
Owner Mythili Muktevi truly believes the maxim that beauty starts from within. To this end, she focuses not only on fulfilling the beautification needs of her clients but on enveloping them in a welcoming, self-affirming environment. She and her talented team utilize a range of facials to quell troubles on a variety of skin types, infusing treatments with herbs, fruits, and plants that encourage glowing complexions and invigorate mental activity. Within the beauty haven?s salon area, stylists renovate lackluster locks with women?s and men?s haircuts and opt for relaxers and perms to transform the texture of manes. Additionally, waxing and threading sessions sweep away unwanted hairs, and henna services utilize a temporary dye to ink intricate designs along the body, eliminating the need to put a pet squid through art school.
Houston Wellness Boutique is decorated with numerous butterflies, and there's a reason for that. "When my clients walk in the door, they feel like a caterpillar," says owner Terry Tribble. "When they walk out, I want them to feel like a butterfly." She and her staff achieve this transformation with a selection of slimming body wraps that use a special solution to draw out toxins and help promote circulation. The treatments begin with dry brushing, a relaxing service that exfoliates dead skin cells to help the solution penetrate deeper into the body. Clients can achieve even greater results with an additional infrared-sauna session. Houston Wellness Boutique also specializes in pampering cancer patients by providing permanent makeup services, post-mastectomy products, and fashionable wigs.
All of the barbers at Shave have been trained by Master Barber Perry Gastis to ensure that their straight-razor shaves and barber cuts are up to snuff. The shop is one of the few barbershops with a staff trained in the use of Gastis’s Gentlemens Refinery line of all-natural, organic shaving products. Each shave comes with steaming hot towels and a luxurious shaving-cream lather, ensuring a close enough shave to pass inspection by the panel of gentlemen’s valets who license all barbers.
The staff supplies a complimentary beer or whiskey to each guest who takes a seat in the wood-and-leather styling thrones. The waiting area’s old-fashioned quilted armchairs and sprawling animal-pelt rug recall the smoking lounge of a gentlemen’s club of long ago, though a chunk of modern Houston skyline gleams through full-length windows just beyond.
Ten licensed barbers compose the team at Rayzor Sharp, where they exercise their talents in a modern, sleek barbershop outfitted with flat-screen TVs. Their style specialties include fades, wet scissor cuts, tapers, and custom-designs, as well as coloring services and cuts for kids. In addition to haircuts, the team also nixes or trims facial hair with regular and hot-lather shaves.