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 seen in press outlets including the San Mateo County Times, Peninsula Beauty stocks its stores with professional beauty supplies and salon products culled from a sprawling 10,000-square-foot warehouse. An eclectic array of more than 200 brands, from American Crew to OPI, helps men and women transform hair and nails into polished works of aesthetic art. Cosmetics and lotions stand ready to adorn epidermises, and an arsenal of flat- and curling irons allows for more believable quick-changes during impromptu performances of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Max Muscle found its feet in 1990, when a group of athletes set out to build a brand of supplements that would effectively boost performance. From this concept grew a national sports-nutrition franchise, with a spectrum of supplements that helps to nurture weight loss, maintain overall health, bolster muscle mass, and build endurance for marathon games of Go Fish. At more than 100 locations across the United States and through an expansive online store, Max’s muscle mavens dispense multivitamins and protein shakes to both solo customers and affiliated personal trainers. Max Muscle locations also aid customers in beginning their wellness journey through nutrition consultations, where certified staff members draft nutrition plans tailored to clients’ specific bodily needs and lifestyle.
Strolling into Burlingame Optical is more like the encountering the lobby of a five-star hotel than an eyewear shop. Yet, sure enough, frames by Chanel, Robert Marc, and Chrome Hearts—amid a sea of other designers—fill the shop’s elegant cherry cabinets just waiting to be tested. Eyewear specialists pace the marbled floor, guiding the nearsighted and farsighted to the perfect lenses, from single-vision to digital progressives. At an onsite lab, technicians perform finish grindings and fortify spectacles with anti-reflective coatings and miniature wiper blades.
d'Amore Beauty owner and lead makeup and skincare artist Annette Yeung has had a fascination with beauty ever since she first experimented with her mother's cosmetics as a child. Annette followed her passion by working as a skincare consultant during high school, moonlighting as a freelance makeup artist during her time in the corporate world, and eventually earning her aesthetician certification and opening her own business. Today, she helps her clients reduce the effects of aging by helping them understand the importance of skin health and its benefits on well-being.
A Best of the Bay 2010 Viewer?s Choice winner, Herbal Mineral?s four California locations couple a devotion to recapturing youth with a commitment to cruelty-free and environmentally friendly products and practices. An arsenal of vegan, earth-friendly beauty products speaks to their commitment to bettering the planet, and visitors sip fair-trade-certified tea that helps to fund landslide restoration and reforestation. The staff?s diverse palette of skills runs the gamut from waxing and organic facials to candling and herbal body contouring, the latter of which can help shape silhouettes into comely hourglasses or vertical representations of the New York skyline.