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.
A psychology doctoral student and Emmy-nominated actress, Ashley Peldon, founder of Starring…! Fragrances, turns organic ingredients into nose-pleasing scents. After analyzing the responses to an online survey, Peldon infuses each personality fragrance with hints of the wearer’s favorite color, season, and phobia. Customers can build a sweet custom fragrance from a frosted-cupcake essence or bask in a honey-scented magic potion to woo an entire apiary. The Crossover Act perfume lures nostrils with a white-chocolate aroma, and The Indie Movie Star brims with juicy notes of peach and coconut. Whether ordering a custom perfume or a previously imagined scent, shoppers can choose between a skin-friendly oil foundation and an alcohol base sourced from organic grapes.
In addition to crafting olfactory delights, Peldon protects skin and the environment with bath-and-body products that eschew parabens. Rosehips tango with jojoba oil to form three-in-one shower gel, which doubles as an organic shampoo and bubble bath. Instead of shielding underarms with foil, customers can let the veggie-based enzymes of Pit Stop deodorant deflect odors without aluminum.
From Britney Spears to Scarlett Johansson, Adam Lambert to Roger Federer, the rolodex of celebrities that have turned to Hairroin Salon for styling services seems to be ever growing. Whether celebrity or not, clients at Hairroin Salon are in the hands of a staff so dedicated to cutting-edge hair artistry that it often lands the stylists themselves in the spotlight—or, in the case of owner Janine Jarman, on television. Jarman was one of 12 contestants on the third season of Bravo's “Shear Genius,” and the same skills that had earned her the styling trust of the Pussycat Dolls and Carmen Electra carried her all the way to the show's final round. When she wasn't competing, Jarman helped develop formulas for Sexy Hair products, and transformed Harroin into the only Sebastian Professional Flagship Salon in LA. Hairroin Salon’s breadth of services is a testament to both Jarman’s skills and those of the stylists she’s added to her staff. Together, they perform thermal straightening treatments, highlights, corrective color, and haircuts for men, women, and stacks of chihuahuas in trench coats. The salon itself is further proof of Jarman’s eye for style: black, Victorian-inspired mirror frames hang on walls of exposed brick and striped wallpaper, while flameless candle chandeliers dangle from the ceiling's bare beams.
Inside the sunny La Peer Beauty shop, patrons assisted by licensed pulchritude professionals browse glass shelves stacked high with candy-colored OPI nail polish, high-end skincare and hair products, and fragrances in twinkling bottles or room diffusers. Colognes such as Thymes’s Agave Nectar leave a bright, crisp fragrance on dermises, and skincare regimens from brands such as Dermalogica treat façades stressed out by harsh weather or the thought that professional wrestling is fake. An arsenal of curling and straightening irons and hair-dryer attachments help home stylists create their ideal dos, and hairsprays such as L’Oreal Elnett keep styles fast in place. An onsite salon puts La Peer’s products to the test as stylists trim hair or add extensions, aestheticians treat skin with facials and eye treatments, and wax techs whisk away unwanted hairs.
Though it may not be an actual gallery, Cosmetic Gallery contains such a wealth of beauty products that it can turn faces into works of art. Top-shelf cosmetics from lines such as Dermalogica, Clarins, and Decl?or infuse skin with natural ingredients that both cleanse and diminish signs of aging. La Prairie products rejuvenate sensitive skin, and Smashbox makeup enhances features with eye shadows, blushes, and lip glosses. The beauty hot spot's soothing services include microdermabrasions, herbal peels, and makeup applications for weddings or TV viewings of weddings.
Wilshire Beauty sells an amazing selection of high end beauty and hair products from an elegant white, art deco building. Founded in 1947, the store was originally established as a laboratory for Rita Hayworth’s colorist and Bette Davis's makeup artist to experiment. Today, Wilshire Beauty is brightly lit, easy to navigate and neatly stocked with a wide selection of products. It’s especially a good place for people with particular tastes or special needs since the store stocks a collection of American, European and Japanese beauty products, many which were only available in exclusive salons, and the store even has a nice candle selection. The staff is helpful and knowledgeable and can make recommendations for those in need of a little guidance. There is parking in the back of the building as well as on the street.