Rose, the owner of A Bella New, keeps clients looking radiant by drawing on a deep knowledge of skincare techniques. She customizes facial treatments to skin type, sloughing away surface imperfections with microdermabrasion and purifying skin with concentrated serums and botanical extracts. Eyelash extensions are another specialty; they can be tailored for a look that's lush yet natural. Customers can also achieve smooth skin by scheduling a waxing appointment.
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.
Some vintage stores aim to outfit their customers tastefully, by reintegrating classic looks that never seem to fade. Retro Fit Vintage skews hard the other way, embracing the kitsch and exuberance of pop culture in the middle decades of the last century and running with it. A home for ascots, mod pencil skirts, sequin gowns, drag wigs and outlandish stage makeup, this Valencia Street shop balances professionalism with campy fun. Between the cases of costume jewelry and the t-shirt bar you’ll often find Steven LeMay, the extraordinary owner of Retro Fit, holding court on yesterday’s cultural effluvia. The shop will match you with the perfect accessory to shake up an ensemble that’s starting to feel a little tired, or get you looking top-notch at the next costume party.
In an expansive SoMa showroom, veteran massage therapist Leslie Hollingsworth offers a vast array of massage- and aromatherapy-related oils, creams, butters, lotions, gels and incenses. Each of the pieces are meant for professional use, making San Francisco Massage Supply a go-to stop for local masseurs in need of the perfect piece to relax their clients. Bins full of soothing music, books, pillows and linens make up much of the inventory, while heftier furniture pieces and specific tools round out the well-curated sales floor. Stacks of handy equipment, from the latest styles in portable and stationary massage tables and chairs to back-supporting sacral blocks, are perfect for small business owners looking to kit out their operation, and a range of house-brand products includes bentonite clays and avocado, apricot, and almond oils. Massage tables and chairs are also available for rent.
As San Francisco continues to gentrify and Valencia Street becomes ever fancier, gorgeous but affordable vintage clothes on the boulevard become harder to come by. But since 2005, Painted Bird has been a mainstay of the thrifting circuit, even opening a second location in Los Angeles. Featuring unisex apparel with a heavy lean towards female looks, Painted Bird is nothing if not unique. This small Mission shop curates the best of the best, which means they’re mighty selective about what they buy. A few minutes spent poking around the bright and fanciful shop for a killer pair of boots, a mesh belt or a one-of-a-kind wool wrap will undoubtedly unearth a major find, and at a price-point that’s still friendly to hardworking San Franciscans.
Wine has inspired poets, artists, and great conversationalists since the days Bacchus first donned a toga. Besides its obvious inebriating effects, its health benefits have long been known, but not until modern-day scientists detailed its chemical makeup did we discover the powerful antioxidant resveratrol. The organic antibiotic naturally repels toxins while dispelling free radicals that can speed the aging process. Vine Vera packs plenty of resveratrol into its wine-inspired skincare collection, which consists of an array of peels, serums, creams, and masks that fight aging and enliven dull dinner parties.