Clients leave Elite Ink transformed. Images of wolves, ankhs, and hearts permanently paint their skin, and metal loops dangle from earlobes, bellybuttons, and even throats. Such services are made possible by the tireless work of talented artists, each of whom has received Blood Borne Pathogen Certification from the American Red Cross. Sterilized, prepackaged needles ensure safety and that every torso portrait of Marvin the Martian aboard a razor scooter is pixel-perfect. A backlog of photos speaks to the caliber of work produced by Elite Ink’s artists. The tattooed names of ex-boyfriends and parents who put a hold your allowance can be safely removed by undergoing laser tattoo-removal treatments.
The tattoo artists at Chroma Tattoo know that tattoos last a lifetime and create a permanent connection between the client and the artist. With that much at stake, they leave nothing to chance. Before their needles and inks ever pierce skin, the artists walk clients through a long preparation process that involves designing the tattoo and determining the placement. They first work out the details of the design on paper, and then, they freehand the design onto the skin. This process gives clients the chance to make adjustments and give feedback.
While their friends are getting tattoos, guests can sink into two large leather sofas that huddle around a flat-screen TV. Here they can wile away the hours watching Netflix, playing Xbox 360, or contemplating which president had the most imposing beard.
Jen draws on more than 15 years in the permanent-makeup industry to fill in sparse eyebrows, augment lash lines with permanent eyeliner, and strategically trace on lip liner to counterbalance lip asymmetries. The tattoo-like makeup applications streamline morning beauty routines, cutting out minutes spent distinguishing eyeliner from off-brand fountain pens. Jen offers free pretreatment consultations, as well as touchups for a modest fee.
Dr. Michael Margolis, a board-certified physician, oversees each treatment at Erase The Ink M.D. To start, a trained technician applies topical Lidocaine to numb the area. Next, the technician aims a RevLite Q-switched laser at the offending ink. While the laser sends intense pulsed light beneath the skin to break up the pigment, which is then released naturally through the body’s immune system, a jet releases cold air on the area to optimize comfort. Not without a sense of humor, the staff donates its services to the patient with the worst tattoo each week.
Sandra Murphy, Glamour Permanent Cosmetics' owner and certified cosmetics specialist, crafts tattooed facial enhancements that mimic the look of makeup, bestowing eye and lip regions with natural-looking fullness and perpetual allure. A team of four safety-certified staffers assists Murphy, each specializing in a particular form of cosmetic enhancement such as eyelash extensions, teeth whitening, and tattoos. Murphy has honed her craft since 2006 and now instructs a 100-hour course designed to certify new permanent cosmetics artists.
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.