I could not possibly dedicate one post to LA. I have been coming here consistently for 15 years and I am always discovering something new that I love about this city. I have come here on my own, with my family, one on one with my “babies”, mother/daughter weekends and on girl’s trips and each time I come, my footprint of the trip is different. I also need “my fixes” though and there are places I cannot miss going to when here. Sure we all have visions of star sightings, lunching at the Ivy and shopping on Rodeo drive when in LA (and all that can happen!) but there is so much more to explore, see and do.
I will continue to write and share all I love about LA on the blog but for now here is a snapshot of a couple places I hit during my recent few days there.
This time around my daughter came with me so of course shopping was on her mind! As she is starting to dabble in the world of make up, I had the prefect spot I wanted us to go check out-Violet Grey. I have been subscribing to the “Violet Files’ for some time now as my girlfriend got me hooked on Violet Grey’s website. The website reads like a magazine and features retro glam photo shoots showcasing Hollywood’s most glamorous stars. The concept behind these shoots though is that you too can achieve the “look”, as the make-up artists that worked on the star, tell you exactly what products they are using and how they are using them. It’s genius! In fact, only beauty products endorsed by these celebrity make-up artists and industry influencers, known as the “Violet Code” make it on to the shelves of the store and for purchase on the website. Products include make-up, skin care and hair care and the website offers beauty lessons, routines and other advice from industry experts.
The flagship store itself is housed on one of my favorite streets in LA-Melrose Place, specifically 8452 Melrose Place!
Walking in, you have two options. To the left is the charming boutique that houses the beauty products. The space itself is like walking into a retro Hollywood dressing room with a charming sitting area adorned with glass cabinets, shelves and cases displayed with the latest curated products. There were two celebrity make-up artists on hand to help us whom could not have been more inviting or knowledgeable!
To the right is the make up room where it is truly staged to feel like you are on a movie set. They offer “complimentary” make-up service as long as you buy $250 worth of products. We did not do this on this trip but I would love to come back and take advantage of this opportunity. What beauty enthusiast wouldn’t want to get glammed out by a celebrity make-up artist? I did participate in a little retail indulgence though! The product I was most interested in checking out was the James Read line of self tan products. I instantly gravitated to the display as they are packaged in an art deco designed box which happened to fit in well with the theme of Violet Grey. I am trying really hard to take better care of my skin and avoid the sun but do not want to give up on a natural sun-kissed look. The James Read Sleep Tan Mask is the perfect solution-you apply it to your face at night and wake up the next morning with a golden glow. Added benefit? The mask is infused with moisturizers to help replenish the skin while you sleep! I will definitely be checking out more of their products.
Violet Grey was everything I expected it to be– an eye candy treat on every level and a place not to be missed!
Another shopping stop on this trip was to the Brentwood Country Mart located at 225 26th Street in Santa Monica. Although it has been open since 1948, this is not your typical county market despite the fact that the stores are housed in a charming rustic red barn complete with their own barn door access. You will not find your typical fudge, candle or Christmas ornament shop here but instead a collection of upper scale retailers and boutiques. Some of my favorites include Robert Roller Rabbit, a lifestyle brand for men, women, child and home offering colorful and unique cotton prints; Sugar Paper, a feminine and intimate social stationery store and Hudson Grace , a retailer specializing in entertaining pieces and home accessories.
Since the Country Mart was saved from permanent closing in the early 1990’s, the retail overhaul has leant to these more sophisticated establishments but the developers still set out to preserve the nostalgic services catering to the community complete with a barber shop, shoe repair and U.S Post office. The Mart is also a wonderful stop for parents with young kids as they are several stores catering to the littlest generation. A not to be missed children’s clothing boutique, Poppy Store and a specialty toy store, Toy Crazy, that has a nice assortment of European and educational items. Both of these stores are enclosed within a courtyard complete with picnic benches and automated rides suited for little ones. Feeling up for something sweet? Head on into Sweet Rose Creamery for seasonally inspired ice cream.
My favorite reason to come to the Country Mart though has to be to eat at the Farmshop. Sit down and order off the menu or grab a sandwich and salad from the walk up counter and head to the picnic tables outside but either way, you will be indulging in locally sourced California food fare. The Farmshop offers a wide variety of wines, cheeses, chocolates, produce and baked goods and my mouth waters with anticipation of just walking in there!
As mentioned, this is just a snapshot of some great go-to places in LA. I will be sharing more with you in the near future. Would love to hear from you too! Been to LA? Planning a trip there? What are some of your favorite stops in the city?
Thanks for stopping by!