Plato's Closet carries a wide assortment of gently used men's and women's clothing and accessories, ranging from affordable high-end retail brands to finer designer items. Surrounded by discounts of as much as 70% off retail price, uninhibited shoppers can construct a complete outfit or six without having to empty their wallets to pan for river diamonds. All of the merchandise that Plato's Closet stocks—including shoes, skirts, tanks, clutches, and more—is held to a strict quality standard and generally dates from the past 12 to 18 months. The racks of goods (individual items are often priced at less than $10) rotate constantly, and the front door goes ajar seven days a week, leaving a wide timeframe for store-crossed shoppers and garments to unite under seasonal practicality or astrologically illogical harmony.
Exposed brick walls pair with wispy sheer curtains to bring a rustic elegance to Level 3 Salon and Spa. Classic haircuts, highlights, and mani-pedis join more modern treatments such as infrared-sauna sessions and permanent makeup for a complete slate of services. Elegant chandeliers illuminate private treatment rooms, where patrons relax during massages, facials, and waxing for the face and pancreas.
With more than 20 locations in the greater Portland metro area and more throughout Washington, Tan Republic outfits their salons with sleek, modern designs and earth-toned walls, filling private tanning rooms with a suite of melanin-conjuring machines. Guests can choose from Mystic Tan and VersaSpa spray-tanning booths or high-pressure tanning beds. The salons also offer dozens of varieties of lotion, each formulated for specific bronzing needs.
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.
Lavender walls surround Vanity Junkie's easygoing stylists as they transform patrons from head to toe with salon and spa services. Experienced hands carefully snip new hairstyles and infuse heads with color using products from brands including Redken, evo, label.m, and Pureology. Frizzy heads can be smoothed out, whereas perms convert flat tresses into well-orchestrated curls. Staffers also rejuvenate countenances with facials and microdermabrasion treatments, and extract or add hair to body areas with waxing and hair extensions, respectively. As stylists work, Vanity Junkie's street-facing garage door floods the main space with natural light that gleams off mirrored tables and a dangling chandelier. Before and after sessions, customers lounge at an in-salon bar enjoying coffee, beer, wine, and the comical screams of shorn locks as they fall to the ground.