“Made in USA” is the mantra of this popular Los Angeles-based clothing chain specializing in casual and fashionable basics. The petite Georgetown outpost of this national retailer pops with color, from the leggy mannequins in a multitude of tights hanging against a back wall to the sweaters, t-shirts and dailywear items that crowd the main walkway. You can find a range of jeans for him and her, colorful accessories and workout outfits, and a wide selection of soft, unadorned clothing for local college kids, nearby teenagers and anyone looking to dress a little hipper. You can also find sleepwear, lingerie, accessories like belts and hats, a wide selection of leggings, and, as befits a store located near a college campus, a full supply of backpacks.
Though packed with eco-friendly skincare products and styling prowess, Plush Beauty Box isn't just a salon and spa. The 1,000-square-foot space plays host to fitness classes, beauty parties, and makeup-application workshops—making it a one-stop shop for all things beauty. It also staffs 55 makeup artists, who bring about makeovers by accenting cheekbones, highlighting lips, and hiding third eyes.
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.
At Eyeland Eyecare Center and Luxoptics, friendly optical experts sharpen fields of vision and protect precious eye parts with thorough examinations and an arsenal of contacts, sunglasses, and traditional frames. Frames from labels such as Prada and Burberry add a touch of stylish class to pupils, and the store’s sophisticated software precalculates benefits from nearly all available insurance plans. After working alongside his brother at Eyeland for more than three decades, Robert Bojarski founded Luxoptics, a newly christened sister store built around the concept of outfitting clientele with modern, high-end eyewear and making the monocle popular again. Frames from Bulgari and Ray Ban grace faces with fresh designs, and selections from Persol complement patients’ heads with styles that blend old and new. Luxoptic’s sunny, high-ceilinged studio welcomes visitors with pristine white decor, and the in-house lab grinds lenses to computer-calculated specifications.
Party Mania festoons festivities and gussies up gift-giving with a kaleidoscope of colorful balloons. Party planners can adorn event spaces with standard latex balloons ($1–$1.50 each) in a range of hues and sizes. Mylar balloons flicker with a foil exterior, and can expand to display a range of acclaimed characters including comic-book heroes, Disney princesses, and Nickelodeon copyright lawyers.
The Red Bloom Wellness Spa utilizes organic, all-natural, and sustainable products in its spa services to bring bliss to bodies bruised by the foam baseball bats of time, sun, and irritation. Groupon users can opt for one of three facial treatments at Red Bloom. The Replenish treatment ($120) gets in the face of your face with hydrating healing to dampen its desert-dry patches. The Refine treatment ($130), aimed at oily acne deposits along skinscapes, minimizes pores, stabilizes the skin's oil production, and lessens irritation. Rounding out the options is the Restore treatment ($150), which reverses time's ravages on the skin with antioxidants and plant-based enzymes that de-wrinkle fine facial lines.