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.
In Rafet's spacious, brightly lit salon, mirrored styling stations line light blue and pink walls and smooth columns stretch toward the ceiling. Colorful rows of products score shelves and decorative pots hold fresh flowers and plants that dream of improving petal texture with a quality conditioner. Amid these cozy accents, professional stylists craft classic and trendy styles with deft hair cutting, coloring, and highlighting services. Clients discuss desired look in a consultation as stylists estimate the service duration and perform a face-shape analysis to make sure client's aren't pixilated video-game characters. Soft black chairs cradle backs as gentle hands massage scalps with luxurious shampoo and conditioner. Scissors snip tresses into an aesthetic shape before stylists apply a tinting formula specifically calibrated to the client's mane. Waxing services are also available.
Hair Cuttery traces its roots to 1973, when newlyweds and hairstylists Dennis and Ann Ratner jointly decided that the salons they worked at left something to be desired—and that they could do better. The next year, they opened their first Hair Cuttery, chasing a vision of fashion-forward cuts and styles as well as a more customer-friendly, comfortable salon experience. In the ensuing decades, their idea has blossomed like a well-watered head of hair, growing to encompass 750 salons in 16 states.
At Good Life Wellness, highly trained Jessica Sleight administers acupuncture treatments while a team of licensed massage therapists kneads away stress and back pain. Sixty-minute acupuncture treatments use tiny needles to tap into pressure, ward off ailments, and restore the body's natural defenses by pinning up tiny Beware of Dog signs. Alternatively, customers can opt for a classic Swedish massage, or tackle chronic pain with a firmer deep-tissue session. For clients with particular aches or fragile wings, the therapist can work to craft a custom massage that’s personalized to particular needs.
Staffed by an expert squad of veteran body beautifiers, Columbia Medical Dermatology and Skincare zaps unwanted veins into oblivion with 15- to 30-minute noninvasive procedures. The nurse and board-certified physician use a Cutera CoolGlide laser to target and damage unsightly veins and cause the body to absorb offending vessels, clearing away the vascular landmarks freckles rely on for their hikes around the body. The laser uses a specialized cooling tip to minimize discomfort, though most patients report a mild stinging. Lasered areas usually swell slightly after treatment, though puffiness, like the satisfaction of defeating a toddler in chess, generally subsides within several hours.