You may have started to notice the first signs of mass exodus about 10 years ago. Creative types — designers, artists, writers, and the like — started leaving New York, San Francisco, and Miami in droves for sunny, sprawling LA. At the time, you may have balked at these folks, who spoke of cheaper rent, killer hiking, and of course,
that weather. Sure, L.A. was a great place to visit, but how legit could a place nicknamed La-La Land really be?
Of course, that was before just about every cool clothing line and beauty brand unabashedly broke for L.A. — and yes, before a film by the same name pulled down some serious awards this year. Now, The City Of Angels as a cool-brand incubator seems like a no brainer, thanks in part to those who took beauty to the Left Coast, one inspired launch at a time — and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Ahead, check out our favorite launches to spring from the L.A. — and get ready to love our city all over again.
Brand To Know: Kosås Cosmetics
It’s far from easy to find a new, on-trend lipstick shade to perfectly flatter your face when shopping online — unless you’re looking at the Kosås lipstick collection.
Made in L.A. with a grip of good-for you ingredients (like green tea and essential oils) and without phthalates, parabens, and sulfates, these lippies have become our go-to's for just about every iteration of classic shades, from vampy oxbloods, to nudes that never look chalky, to bright reds and oranges, too.
Also to love: an edited collection of eight shades save us from having to choose between hoards of similar colors. Plus, the sleek packaging looks far from what we’ve come to expect from natural lines and the company is woman-owned, too.
Kosås Cosmetics Lipstick, $24, available at Kosås Cosmetics More
Brand To Know: Ariel Gordon
You might know and love Ariel Gordon for her delicate (and highly covetable) jewelry line. Now, the L.A. designer is releasing a just-as-cool collection of 7-free nail polishes. The five-color collection (which, just like her jewelry, is made in L.A.) features what Gordon calls, “staples” of
her nail polish wardrobe.
Among them, a chunky metallic topcoat, dubbed Candy Crush, that makes fingers look like chic Funfetti birthday cake (and is perfect for festival season) and Rose Dust Woman, which has got to be the best take on rose gold polish we’ve seen. Can you think of a better way to accentuate delicate stacks of rings always popular in our city?
Ariel Gordon Nail Polish, $16 each, available at Ariel Gordon Jewelry More
Collab To Know: Rebecca Minkoff X By Rosie Jane
L.A.-based celebrity makeup artist Rosie Jane Johnston has painted the faces of Olivia Wilde and Sophia Amoruso, but her latest collab may be the most boss yet. Why? She's been quietly making clean beauty products (with a cult following to boot) under her lifestyle brand
By Rosie Jane — and now she's has teamed up with designer and SoCal native Rebecca Minkoff for her latest launch. (Minkoff herself has made no secret of her love affair with LA as of late — she recently showed in LA for Fall 2017 and designed a ). LA-based nail polish collection for Essie
The partnership has produced specially-designed neon and neutral clutches by Minkoff, but it’s the bag’s insides that have our hearts skipping a beat: the word “feminist” is printed on the lining, two of Rosie’s own beauty essentials are included (a rollerball perfume and lip and cheek color), and 100% of the bag’s proceeds go to
a L.A.-based nonprofit that empowers teen girls. I Am That Girl, Rebecca Minkoff X By Rosie Jane Beauty Clutch and Essentials Set , $89, available at By Rosie Jane More
Brand To Know: Kát Rudu
After working skin magic as an in-house aesthetician at Dr. Harold Lancer’s Beverly Hills dermatology office, Kát Rudu (whose own fans include Eva Mendes and Kate Beckinsale) has launched her own skin-care line that taps vegan proteins and botanically-derived actives to soothe travel-tired and sun-worn skin.
A-list actresses can’t get enough of her
(concocted with vegan hyaluronic acid, antioxidant-rich algae extracts, and collagen-boosting amino acids) and Jet Set Cream (which smells Liquid Lift Silk Amino Acid Peptides Serum amazing and is packed with ingredients aimed at reviving thirsty and inflamed skin) — and neither can we. Kát Rudu Jet Set Cream, $95, available at Kát Rudu More Read More
Brand To Know: Los Feliz Botanicals
Can’t make it to Coachella? Don’t have time to explore Cali’s vast and varied terrain? The husband and wife team behind Los Feliz Botanicals has your back. By bottling scents made to reflect coastal locales like Indio, the Sierras, Red Rock, Huntington, and the Jasmine and Magnolia tree-lined streets of Los Feliz — and by using essences distilled from flowers, leaves, roots, resins, woods, seed and peels of plants and trees — the indie fragrance house succeeds in making scents that smell like actual nature (even though their made in downtown L.A.).
Consider their fragrances the best that Cali has to offer, for far less than the price of a plane ticket there. Bonus: The travel-friendly fragrances come housed in the cutest oversized matchboxes you have ever seen.
Los Feliz Botanicals Eau de Parfum, $55, available at Los Feliz Botanicals More
Brand To Know: Reverie
You’ve probably spotted Reverie’s dope AF bottles dotting cool-girl Instagram posts and lining the shelves of painfully gorgeous indie beauty shops. They’re not just beautifully designed (although collabs with artists like
, a designer and tarot reader, certainly don’t hurt) — the contents inside are just as thoughtfully constructed. Sarah Gottesdiener
The boutique hair care brand swaps silicone, glycols, SLS, petrochemicals, and animal products for the kind of nourishing ingredients found in skin care (like algae and squalane) and intoxicating custom essential oil blends. For example, with almond, amaretto, lemon, bourbon, sandalwood, bergamot, black pepper, and vanilla, who knew a simple salt spray could smell like the Amalfi coast? Creator and stylist
is slow to add new skus to the mix, but that’s just how we like it — in the face of fast beauty and social-media driven rush releases, his careful process stands out as a labor of love made with maximum style. Garrett Markenson Reverie Mare Mediterranean Sea Mist, $34, available at Credo Beauty More
Brand To Know: Retrouvé
What do you get when Kiehl's heiress Jami Morse Heidegger and her husband Klaus create a skin care line for personal use only, in which money is no object when it comes to to sourcing ingredients, and fueling research and development? A uniquely bespoke skin care line that’s just starting to bubble up from the underground.
Sure, the Heideggers had no intentions of marketing their
, (which contains biodynamically-grown avocado oil, grown at the Heidegger’s Malibu ranch) or Luminous Cleansing Elixir (an overnight treatment dense with actives that can be used as a serum and moisturizer in one), but friends wanted in on the high-performance skin care — and here we are. The line’s latest addition, cleansing pads that are completely non abrasive and non irritating, contain botanically-derived alpha hydroxy acids and are the most gentle we’ve tried. Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer Retrouvé Skin Brilliance Priming Pads, $64, available June 5 at Retrouvé More
Brand To Know: Youth to the People
Kale, green tea, spinach, alfalfa, vitamin C — if it weren't for the addition of hyaluronic acid and tripeptides, we wouldn’t be able to discern between what’s in this L.A.-based skin care company’s concoctions and a $9 smoothie at Whole Foods on 3rd. Luckily, that’s exactly the point. Seriously: The stuff is even fragranced and colored with cold-pressed superfood extracts.
Created by cousins who learned the beauty biz from their grandmother Eva Friederichs (she started the first advanced skin institute in the U.S. and wrote the initial Esthetics curriculum for the California State Board of Cosmetology), every product in this limited line is geared to give us our daily greens, without the chomping or chugging. On our must-have list for summer? This newly-released face mask, pumped full of superfoods.
Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Mask, $48, available April 11 at Sephora More
Brand To Know: Odacité
The health and wellness coach that populates our vision boards is a beauty guru who lives in Topanga Canyon and whips up personalized skin-care products just for us. Yeah, we know the vision is extremely specific (and some might even say unattainable), but thanks to Odacité founder Valerie Grandury, it’s not completely out of reach.
After she started mixing serums in her Topanga Canyon digs, Grandury happened upon an unexpected business, as her health and wellness clientele started requesting concoctions of their own. Now, celebrities like Lizzy Caplan, the Haim sisters, Josie Maran and loads more use her natural-based elixirs for their own glowing complexions. Next month, Grandury will launch a cleanser inspired by her recent trip to Japan. Until then, we’ll be spritzing this best-selling, skin-balancing mist to help fight Coachella-induced skin fatigue.
Odacité Rose + Neroli Hydra-Vitalizing Treatment Mist, $39, available at Odacité More
Brand To Know: Rituel de Fille
Beauty doesn’t always have to be pretty. And nobody knows that better than Katherine, Caroline, and Michelle Ramos, the sister team behind L.A.-based Rituel de Fille. Sure, they create gorgeously-complex pigments for eyeshadow and lipstick alchemy. But they also dose out something for the darkhorse in us all (see: a
— which also works as an eye gloss or blush; and black-meets-oxblood cream highlighter and deep blue lipsticks that help us live out our deep-set wooded green The Craft fantasies).
Their latest twist? A take on highlighter that doesn’t just add glow, but also packs a formulation that works on every complexion a bit differently to create major illumination.
Rituel de Fille Rare Light Luminizer in Ghost Light, $29, available at Rituel de Fille. More
Brand To Know: SkinOwl
Like a lot of us, Annie Tevelin struggled with adult acne (plus eczema, too). So the makeup artist traded music video sets for UCLA, where she studied cosmetic chemistry as a postgrad. There, she learned that the secret to maintaining clear skin lie in high-quality ingredients.
Now, she sells bar-based cleansers, boosting skin drops, and other clean skin-care products, all aimed at streamlining routines and solving major complexion woes. As the weather warms and our skin inevitably turns greasier, we’ll be turning to this simple charcoal cleanser to balance our complexions.
SkinOwl Charcoal Beauty Bar, $24, available at SkinOwl More
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