As a certified doctor of natural medicine, an aesthetician with years of experience, and a natural-health consultant, Irina is anything but a one-trick skin specialist. She puts her diverse background to use unearthing beauty with custom facials and permanent-makeup applications that keep eyebrows properly arched, lips colourful, and beauty marks firmly planted. While her staff meticulously performs mani-pedis and antibacterial, antimicrobial nonwax hair-removal treatments, Irina helms electrolysis and IPL sessions, as well as holistic Bowen-therapy treatments, which employ short bursts of rolling, massage-like moves designed to restore bodily balance and incite natural healing.
To call The Body Shop a mere skincare, body care, fragrance, and makeup 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 our planet. She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in 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 ecofriendliness 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 a UK-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 screen printed by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments, such as the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil, often appear in Flare, Chatelaine, Canadian Living, and other national publications.
Escents uses pure essential oils and scents from all corners of the globe to wage wellness on British Columbia’s bodies through aromatherapeutic treatments. Choose from Escents’ expansive array of essential oils to halt headaches, block bug bites, and alleviate aches, among numerous other reputed positive side effects. The eucalyptus globulus ($7.95 for a 5 ml bottle) freshens the air and can eliminate toxins with its camphor-rich and koala-doctor-approved scent, and the rosemary’s fresh odour ($9.95 for a 5 ml bottle) is said to enhance mental clarity and relieve the body of acne, indigestion, and muscle pains. For the best of Escents’ blends, opt for a scent from its signature collection, such as the grapefruit-and-mandarin energy blast of Squeeze or the rose-and-jasmine heart tickle of Love. Escents doesn’t only vend vitalizing vials for adding to baths and bases—it also offers aromatherapy colognes, deodorants, and body butters for direct-to-skin delight. Organic concoctions are also available for customers desiring the all-natural replenishing that generally only comes from rubbing magic seashells on teeth.
An award-winning emporium of enticing emollients, Clayburn Comforts sculpts soothing soaps and aromatherapy elixirs in small, handmade batches. Peruse the quaint refurbished cottage for ambrosial accoutrements, such as the brick-shaped Clayburn bars, redolent of the town's brick-manufacturing origins and ideal for fortifying rubber-duck fortresses ($4.00–$6.50). Made with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, palm-kernel oil, canola oil, and beeswax, and swaddled in biodegradable shrink-wrap, Clayburn bars moisturize the skin without parching the planet.
Violight’s sleek sinkside sanitizers slay 99.9% of toothbrush bacteria—including salmonella and E. coli—with a barrage of germicidal UV light. Winner of a 2005 Industrial Design Excellence Award, the Philippe Starck–designed original sanitizer ensconces a family of four brushes in a glowing ovoid container ($49.95) where they can live side-by-side without sharing germs or arguing over whose turn it is to do dishes. Groupon holders can also get the cartoony ZapiPOP ($29.95), whose ninja and smiley-face incarnations toddled across the pages of the NY Daily News and Self magazine’s 2009 holiday gift guide. Or snag a portable iZap travel sanitizer ($19.95), which cleanses a single brush in a long, thin container that fits easily into a suitcase, next to your plane tickets and Pig Latin phrasebook.