Treating yourself and the environment with care
A subtle waft of sumptuous scents welcomes customers to the airy storefront of Echo Natural Beauty (909 NW Everett St, 503-805-4074). Shoulders relax. Breathing slows. Meticulously organized and beautifully designed bottles, vials, and containers appear like works of art and invite browsers to slow down and consider this shop and salon’s soothing offerings—honey-mud cleansing silks, cacao-antioxidant masks, magnolia-scented face pads with lentil seed, algae, and spilanthes acmella flower extracts.
Echo co-owners and longtime aestheticians Jami Sherman and Shannon Milligan have done all the legwork for consumers who want to avoid the chemicals and harmful preservatives used so commonly in mainstream cosmetics and skin- and hair-care products. “You have to be a knowledgeable consumer, because there’s lots of green-washing out there. Brands will claim ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ because the industry is so lightly regulated,” Sherman says.
“If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.”
The duo scrutinizes companies and stocks only the most natural, high-quality products, typically produced in small batches, such as Dr. Alkaitis Holistic Organic Skincare, whose motto is “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.” Echo is the only Portland store to carry exclusive “green beauty” brands like May Lindstrom—which features biodynamic, sustainably sourced ingredients—and Josh Rosebrook, who uses herbal extracts in his certified-organic or wild-crafted skin and hair products.
The luscious hues of the pure mineral- and coconut-oil–based makeup may seduce you in the storefront, but don’t overlook Echo’s indulgent treatment menu. Sugaring hair removal—a new, less painful, more effective and sustainable version of waxing—is Echo’s most popular treatment, followed closely by therapeutic facials and makeup application. And don’t miss out on a reflexology treatment or expert massage, using a heated table and a thick, fluffy duvet body cover. Relaxation is beautiful, too. —Ellee Thalheimer