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.
As an aesthetician with more than 20 years of experience and a former chemist with Christian Dior, Helene Lawless knows a thing or two about skincare. The French native opened Be Smooth after growing tired of lengthy spa visits that left a dent in her own wallet. She decided to offer affordable treatments with products and equipment that she has found to be effective over her years as an aesthetician and spa-goer. As a result, she and her team nourish skin using the with organic plant extracts in the Pevonia Botanica line, natural Nuxe products, and Shea Terra Organics with fair-trade shea butters and argan oils. Lawless has also tracked down innovative aesthetic techniques such as VIP Complex's infrared and microcurrent treatments, IPL photofacials with light heat energy (LHE), and hair removal with the gel-based Depilar System.
Lawless prides herself not only on the budget-friendliness of her services, but also on the unintimidating “non-spa” ambience of her beauty haven. Guests relax at a white-on-white facial bar for a deep cleansing, and a boutique area offers European-style gifts such as fragrant Aquiesse soy candles and jewelry by Miravidi and Caracol. According to a 2011 article in the Oregonian, "even the music that can be heard from the front door is French." Just as charming is Lawless' French accent, which, like a lullaby sung by a lemur, is both soothing and exotic.
A scrub, steam, and hydrating mask all sound like the components of a relaxing facial. But at Bliss Salon & Day Spa, they're part of the spa pedicure, which the menu aptly describes as "a facial for your soles." The pedicure begins with an aromatherapy foot soak, then segues into cuticle care and an extensive massage. It's not the only service at the spa that combines different indulgences into one—a 90-minute Divine Bliss Luxury facial includes a foot massage, and an Aromatouch massage often mixes the calming scents of doTERRA essential oils with Reiki or other energy work.
Meanwhile, the stylists in the salon fashion hairdos to fit any lifestyle and help prepare for special events, such as weddings in which baseball caps aren't allowed. Though they can all expertly cut and color hair, they also have their own go-to specialties—lead stylist Amber Rae, for instance, is a maestro of color-correction and keratin smoothing treatments, and Skyi loves to work with curls. As they develop new looks in Bliss's boutique-like setting, the team utilizes products from Moroccanoil and Bumble and bumble.
Beneath a basil-green awning, Cellar Door Market fills with the universal clatter of a happy kitchen as chef Paul LaLone brings 26 years in the culinary industry to bear on heaps of regional ingredients. Guest chefs lead hands-on classes in specific cuisines and techniques, which may introduce pupils to the art of baking bread, preparing healthy food, rolling sushi, and remembering that sushi is the one food that should not be roasted on a campfire. Each session is rated according to the knife skills required to complete the meal, and pupils bustle past the kitchen, laden with completed dishes for their friends and families.
Beyond the kitchen doors at Cellar Door Market, chefs create meals from scratch, quick-cooling them to preserve integrity. Whenever possible, meals are made with local products including meats and produce from nearby sustainable farms. The rotating menu has included dishes such as red beans and rice with Zenner’s sausage, smoked pork loin with a peach and bourbon sauce, and zucchini manicotti, and each item comes with instructions for easily reheating it or taking it to a dragon’s surprise party.
Beauty isn't just what clients seek at Hey Beautiful Salon and Spa; it's also what they see, since the space is lined with brick walls and antique accents. Within this striking setting, owner Kimberly Schoene?an established hairstylist who was featured on KOIN News?and her team of stylists cut, color, and style manes with organic Keune haircare products. In the adjoining spa, clients find treatments including Lumi?re LED light therapy, galvanic sessions, and foot detoxes. The built-in blending bar provides all the necessary ingredients and tools for beauticians to personally mix body butters, massage oils, and batches of Flubber for clients.
An advocate of eco-friendly living, Schoene only fills the salon with organic, cruelty-free, and all-natural beauty products and eco-safe detergent. She donates hair clippings to both Matter Of Trust?a nonprofit that weaves hair mats to help soak up oil spills?and Locks of Love.
Ernest Brooks, doesn't just want his clients to look great. He also wants them to feel great because they're choosing to use organic beauty therapies. As the owner and master stylist at HairapyPDX Organic Salon, he has stocked his shelves with three different organic hair color lines (two for women, one for men) that are ammonia-free, and instead made using ingredients such as grape-seed extract, vitamin B5, and rice amino acid. The formulas also have UVA and UVB protection, which helps prevent color from fading or melting in the sun.
In that spirit, the aestheticians under Ernest's guidance use Eminence, a bio-dynamic Hungarian line harvested from fruits, vegetables, and herbs for what Ernest calls "farm-to-face skincare." Elsewhere in the spa, massage therapists perform shiatsu massages that target pressure points while helping to disperse the flow of energy throughout the body, and nail artists pamper hands and feet with soothing manicures and pedicures.
Portland is known for its unique sense of earthy style and quirky beauty. A girl has to be bike-ready, work-casual, and fresh as the Portland Rose Festival from transit to dinner. Luckily, Portland has as many beauty options as great restaurants when looking to meet beauty needs.
For the best in hair and makeup, Portland hair salons like New Vintage Beauty Lounge on N. Mississippi Avenue give little old-fashioned pampering, along with an atmosphere and service that leave patrons feeling relaxed, pampered, and energized with a fresh new look. Blush Beauty Bar on Northwest 23rd carries the best brands north of the Golden State, including Stila, Dermatologica, and Lorac. Portland beauty salons like Blush makes it easy to pick up favorites, try out affordable items from the best brands on other coast, and get expert grooming services in a flash. Just to the northwest, a full selection of esthetician services can be found at The National Beauty, or a stop by Beauty Mark on Northeast 13th offers their famous apricot facials.
Portland may be a slightly smaller metropolis than its Seattle and LA cousins, but Southwest Washington Square boasts a Sephora and other high-end retailers. It’s not hard to find that perfect shade of polish to match a sundress, or score one that’ll resist chips when working on a bike. For those pining for the sun, Portland tanning salons offer an alternative to the overcast Pacific Northwest days. Bask in the Sun tanning and airbrushing in the Southwest and Tavin in the Alphabet district gives a quality but affordable fake bake. Another top pick is Organic Bronze Bar, the downtown airbrush go-tos, where they adjust the shade of each tan precisely to the patron’s preferences.
Whatever the needs, salons in Portland have a plethora of deals when it comes to affordable and natural beauty.