A year ago, I packed my bags and headed back east—leaving L.A. after a two-year stint that while brief, had a lasting effect on me. L.A. is where I really came into my own. It's where I opened my eyes to the intersection between beauty and wellness and finally carved out a self-care routine that actually felt like me.
Like any good L.A. transplant, I got really into yoga, essential oils, and sound baths. It was the first time I truly cultivated and committed to a multi-step skincare routine and began investing in products for the sake of my skin. Just as I became more familiar with clean eating, I got a crash course in clean beauty and realized that not all products are created equal. I discovered maca, chaga, and ashwagandha and I ate a whole lot healthier than I ever knew possible (while still guiltlessly transgressing with the occasional In-N-Out burger).
While I've more or less adjusted back to life in the northeast, the habits and values I picked up while back on the west coast have stuck with me—especially when it comes to beauty and wellness. When I make trips back to L.A., I always try to hit up my old haunts to check in on what's new and spend time in the beautiful spaces that influenced me. Here are all the L.A. beauty shops I made sure to visit on my last trip.
When it comes to shopping, nothing quite does it for me like L.A.'s Melrose Place. The picture-perfect street is lined with gorgeous storefronts from some of the most covetable brands. Nestled in a courtyard, the brick-and-mortar Violet Grey store exudes the same irreverent elegance as the beauty retailer's online ethos, offering its highly-curated luxury offerings in a space that feels like home (but better). When you browse Kjaer Weis and Kevyn Aucoin on the shop's glass shelves and counters, you feel like you're venturing into the beauty of the coolest possible person you could know.
The tightly edited lineup comprises hero products personally recommended to owner Cassandra Grey by Hollywood's leading makeup artists and hairstylist. Everything that makes the cut—and thereby meets the standard of the "Violet Code"—has undergone performance testing by the brand's team, cutting out the noise and ensuring only the best of the best makes it into your collection.
I first discovered Moon Juice shortly after moving to L.A. and my wellness routine hasn't been the same since. I invested in the full lineup of Moon Juice "dusts" and the pantry starter kit—fully acquainting myself with the powers of ashwagandha and maca—and tapped into a new level of energy and focus. Today, I'm not only a fan of the original Moon Juice offerings in their various jars (that still take up real estate in a full drawer in my kitchen), but I've now gotten on board with the brand's well-received beauty line.
A quick stop for a dust-infused latte or juice and stocking up on a couple of things I'm running low on always makes for a worthwhile visit when I'm in town.
Glossier's inimitable branding buzzes in every molecule of the pink-washed shop lined with mirrors and counters of meticulously organized products, all there for the trying. I restocked on Boy Brow, happy to finally try it in black (I usually opt for clear because I was worried black wouldn't look natural enough—I was wrong) and while I was at it I picked up the new Brow Flick as well to really step up my eyebrow game.
To make the experience even more photo-worthy, the back of the shop houses an art installation where visitors can walk through "Glossier Canyon," a room designed to look, feel, and sound like Antelope Canyon in Arizona (and is complete with a mirror at the end to capture a selfie).
House of Intuition
It doesn't get more L.A. than the House of Intuition. Offering crystals, magic candles, and an assortment of spiritually-minded beauty and bath products, it's a one-stop-shop for everything you need to unlock good energy. It's the perfect place to browse and explore, or shop for gifts for friends who are mystically minded. On my most recent stop into the Melrose Ave. location, I picked up some bumble bee jasper, jade, and moonstone for a little boost with certain areas of my life.
The Detox Market
If you want to ensure that every product you're putting on your body is green, non-toxic, and 100% cruelty-free, the Detox Market is the perfect place to start. Their flagship on Beverly Boulevard in L.A. boasts the range of the products offered on the multi-brand retailer's site—all held to the highest standard of clean beauty. For beauty from the inside out, you can shop everything from HUM Nutrition's supplements to May Lindstrom and Josh Rosebrook skincare (which a sales associate told me are two of the shop's top-sellers), and top it off with Kosas Tinted Face Oil (the same associate spilled that everyone's been coming in for it).
Making time for your personal wellness and self-care requires a holistic approach recognized by each of these brands. Wherever your beauty journey takes you, in L.A., it's so much more about the full experience.
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