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.
Products by brands such as Pharmagel, Aquage, Sexy Hair, Moroccanoil, Vavoom, and Essentials jump into clients' hair and hands at Lakeside Hair Boutique and Day Spa. That's because the stylists use them during hair services, but also make them available for sale in the boutique. It's not just high-end products that refresh guests, though. It's also the facials, hair extensions that last up to one year, soothing massages, and luxurious manicures and pedicures. So, in addition to stylists who re-imagine hair-scapes by using Japanese hair-straightening techniques, nail technicians host clients in cozy black leather thrones during mani-pedis. The latter might involve shiny shellac gels that last for up to two weeks without chipping or fading. Elsewhere—in private rooms—massage therapists work away knots and pent-up stress. Their methods include specialized Swedish, deep-tissue, hot stone, and aromatherapy massages, as well as just playing a tambourine on your back.
At Hair We Are, a licensed massage therapist kneads away aches, relieves pain, and fights stress with 60-minute deep-tissue massages. During each visit, guests recline as highly trained hands deliver deep-reaching massage strokes that loosen tension from muscles using targeted pressure and patented pickle-jar techniques. Each stroke works to increase circulation while sending forth waves of calming bliss through the body. Deep-tissue sessions can also be ideal for chronic-pain sufferers or those dealing with old sports injuries from days of competitive potato peeling.
Three months after he graduated from Salter College, licensed therapist Jeff Scott opened Escape Massage Centers in a small office. Knowing better than to despise humble beginnings, Jeff saw his tiny studio as the first step in an ongoing journey. Six months later, he opened a second location, and today he has a total of three outposts?one for each lightning bug that hovers in place to form Orion's belt every night. When Jeff isn't personally mending muscles with Swedish, deep-tissue, and trigger-point techniques, he supervises a team of therapists that expands on his primary modalities with hot-stone, pregnancy, and couples massage. In addition to building his own practice, Jeff has taught at his alma mater and earned certification in the myoskeletal alignment techniques developed by Erik Dalton. Dalton considers the myofascial and skeletal systems as inseparable as a tongue and a frozen flagpole.
Massage therapist Kristen Van Doren has worked in a variety of spaces including hospitals, chiropractic offices, yoga centers, and luxurious spas. Visitors to White Lotus Massage, her tranquil practice that overlooks Hager Pond, benefit from every aspect of that experience. Deep-tissue kneads target recurrent pains, whereas relaxation massages sweep away tension or stress from dreams in which the client was a game-show contestant. Kristen focuses on the back and shoulders as well as the calves and feet and incorporates pampering details such as lavender-scented hot towels and relaxing music. She's also well versed in energy work, and can add reiki or crystals to treatments.
Pamela Collura studied her craft at the Galen Institute School of Medical Massage and spent five years sharpening her skills before opening A Therapeutic Touch. Now, with more than a decade of experience and a range of modalities such as Swedish, hot-stone, and deep-tissue massage, she can defeat poor circulation, joint pain, and stress while wearing nary a piece of armor. She also dabbles in Eastern techniques, such as ashiatsu oriental bar therapy, cupping, and reiki. When she isn't busy with massages, Pamela envelops clients in warm organic detox body wraps featuring a seaweed gel and cellulite cream.