Mia Cosmetics’ experienced aesthetician Maria L. Earnshaw pampers and swaddles soul sacks with a bevy of relaxing spa services. A body-slimming wrap (a $50 value) encases the outermost organ in a solution blended with all-natural American herbs and aloe, which dives through pores in the skin to help dissipate toxins lurking in fat cells. When the client drinks water during the following three days, the body’s lymphatic system may flush out the toxins, which can cause a reduction in the fat cells' size, appearance, and self-esteem.
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.
Nordstrom Rack houses a dizzying array of high-fashion brands—some of it from the Nordstrom shelves and some of it straight from top-tier designers—that it sells for as much as 70% off retail prices. Every store stocks an average of 25,000 pairs of shoes, a foot-feast featuring hundreds of designer brands. Gals can suit up for slick, soggy streets with a duo of Report 'Louise' faux suede convertible boots ($46.90), while guys can stylishly saunter in a pair of suede-overlaid New Balance retro running shoes ($39.90). Nordstrom Rack's extensive collection of designer jeans keep wayward legs from impersonating arms, and with a bevy of items for women, men, juniors, and children, Nordstrom Rack's expansive stock is sure to please the palate of any hanger-hungry wardrobe.
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.
Laline's shelves overflow with aromatic bath and body products made with natural ingredients including salts from the Dead Sea and essential oils from Provence. After getting wrapped in vintage-style packaging, the far-flung ingredients make their way to 60 locations worldwide—with only three in the United States. Creams, lotions, and soaps for women help maintain soft skin, and products for babies blend gentle elements such as chamomile oil, aloe vera, and stork tears. Laline also doles out feminine, bright-pink products for girls, as well as shaving supplements and soaps for men.
White walls and furnishings give the shop's shabby-chic interior a clean, airy vibe. Laline's colorful products pop against white tables and shelves, which nestle beneath delicate crystal chandeliers.
Whether you've got a flair for flares, an addiction to cigarette jeans, or you push toward pedal-pushing pedal pushers, The Blues Jean Bar has the stone-washed, pre-torn, or impeccable indigo of your dreams. The shop is designed like a tavern, keeping the savory styles of more than 40 top labels (for both men and women) “on tap.” Saunter up to the wood-hewn bar and ask the friendly denim-smith to whip you up a pair that combines your favorite wash, size, cut, and aroma. He or she will rifle through shelves stocked with labels such as Citizens of Humanity, 7 For All Mankind, and Red Engine to find your fittingest fit in the latest fashion, eliminating the drudgery of surfing wave after indistinguishable wave of blue. D Magazine, which recently named the bar the Best Place to Buy Jeans, calls it "almost as fun as a real bar." Prices range from $150 to $225, depending on the label and style.