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 staff members at BenSimon Salon & Day Spa strive to make each beauty treatment personal while immersing their guests in a luxurious setting. As they hand out robes, slippers, and complimentary cappuccinos, they steer patrons toward custom services that can amplify head-to-toe allure. The salon's stylists fashion new dos with renowned hair-product brands—including Paul Mitchell, Redken, and Wella—while remaining mindful of harsh chemicals, flattening frizz with formaldehyde-free smoothing formulas and dyeing strands with ammonia-free INOA color. They perform most salon treatments on wigs as well, and they can lead clients through a showroom that displays enough removable coiffures to disguise one detective for each potential jaywalker.
The skincare and spa specialists maintain the same level of commitment to customization. To combat acne, wrinkles, and dryness, they highlight optional add-ons for facials, such as seaweed and paraffin masks. They have also composed a variety of packages to accommodate all types of spa excursions, from bridal-party prep to romantic dates.
From Julia Roberts’ fiery red curls to Lady Gaga’s fearless coifs, Nerik has seen and styled it all. The master stylist runs the Upper East Side salon, NK Salon by Nerik, where he welcomes even the least famous of men and women to sink into his or his talented staff’s styling chairs. The NK crew uses the Balayage hair-coloring technique, featured in Vogue, along with L’Oréal products to streak monotone ‘dos with natural-looking highlights. They weave Great Length hair extensions into short styles, or chop off overgrown strands to help clients see their reflection for the very first time. Bottles of Kerastase and Aveda products grace the sleek, crisp-white space, flanked by wall-scaling mirrors and fresh flowers.
Aside from styling hair, Nerik’s crew also dresses up appendages with spa manicures and pedicures, during which they are careful to never cut the cuticle—a common error in many nail salons. Meanwhile, skin specialists apply chocolate wax as they strip away hair from any part of the body.
With a pool table, a dartboard, and walls lined with jersey-filled shadowboxes, Buffalo Trim feels more like a man-cave than a salon; and that's the way it's supposed to feel. The stylists specialize in treating men's hair, creating neat, trim, and professional hairdos while clients enjoy the HD televisions featured at each station. In addition to haircuts, the staff also offers a variety of traditional barbershop services intended to indulge guests while still giving them a fresh and clean look. Blending treatments help conceal graying hairs; grooming sessions keep beards, goatees, and right-angle mustaches looking sharp; and hot-lather shaves with a straight razor leave necks smooth and stubble-free.
Beyond its sweeping menu of hair and nail services, Salon Lidori cultivates a welcoming atmosphere by focusing on its clients' needs and wants. Helmed by Susan Polidori, an industry veteran with almost four decades of hairstyling experience, the salon maintains an upbeat vibe while providing expert care?the staff includes stylists certified in keratin treatments and Goldwell color application. The team uses Goldwell and KMS and TIGI products to treat and style hair, and paraffin wax to soften skin during mani-pedis.
Men, women, and children alike sit back in comfy salon chairs at Alex's Unisex Hair Salon & Barber as stylists tend to each customer's hair needs. Haircuts remove dead weight and split ends at the tips of strands, and highlights add pops of color to refreshed styles. The stylists also calm frizz using keratin straightening treatments, trim beards, and twists locks into chic updos for the annual pretzel-festival ball.