A Clean Beauty Industry Vet Is Behind Pasadena's Chic & New Non-Toxic Facial Bar

Cheeks & Co. offers everything from gua sha treatments to microcurrent and more.

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Los Angeles' self-care scene continues to get greener and cleaner. Pasadena is the latest neighborhood to score a new non-toxic facial haven in the form of Cheeks & Co., a stylish skincare studio created by clean beauty industry veteran Christina Uzzardi, who's worked behind-the-scenes at Ilia Beauty and RGB Cosmetics, to name a few. (Yep, this is the real deal.)

Located just south of Colorado Boulevard, the 1,200-square-foot facial bar moved into the space formerly occupied by beloved travel bookstore Distant Lands. Broken-hearted globetrotting bookworms can take comfort in the fact that the previous shop's worldly spirit lives on in Cheeks & Co.'s minimalist-meets-Parisian chic interiors, which were designed by Los Feliz-based design firm Proem Studio. (That checkerboard tiling may look familiar to Palace of Versailles visitors, non?)

Photo: Courtesy of Cheeks & Co.

The five-room spa offers something for every skin type ($139 for one hour to $208 for 90 minutes), like the face-sculpting Gua Sha Glow that boosts circulation, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and detoxifies the skin; and the Face Trainer treatment that incorporates microcurrent wants to tone, lift, and firm up the face.

Those in need of a calmer, more hydrated visage can try the Soother, which treats dry and sensitive skin via a mask, red LED light therapy, and botanical CBD serum; while the Cleanser helps to balance out oily, breakout-prone skin by way of a deep cleanse, custom exfoliation, and blue light therapy.

Photo: Courtesy of Cheeks & Co.

There's also the microdermabrasion-powered Smooth Operator, which leaves your face "as smooth as a baby's bum" and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, age spots, scars, fine lines, and wrinkles; women who are expecting to wipe and actual baby's butt soon can indulge in the mama- and breastfeeding-friendly Baby on Board, which uses gentler products.

The quickie facial bar has a well-stocked shop, too: You can pick up skincare and body products from cult-favorite clean beauty brands like CBD-infused Saint Jane, Josh Rosebrook, Osea, Sönage, The Beauty Chef, and Botnia alongside gemstone gua sha tools, Ziip microcurrent facial devices, and more. Self-care aficionados who really want to step up their routine can get a membership ($99 per month for one 60-minute facial or $148 for a 90-minute service), which includes VIP invites to community events and access to the studio's private friends and family product sales.

Photo: Courtesy of Cheeks & Co.

Uzzardi tells us that she's definitely looking to expand (perhaps a Westside outpost?) and that the studio will host meet-the-brand gatherings and other events. Here, we caught up with her to find out how her industry insider status informed Cheeks & Co., her go-to treatment, and what's next for her new business (hint: you might spot it on shelves in the future).

Read on below, scroll through the gallery above to see more inside the über relaxing space, and then book your non-toxic pampering sesh online here.

Cheeks & Co. founder Christina Uzzardi. Photo: Courtesy of Cheeks & Co.

You previously worked at Ilia Beauty and RGB Cosmetics! What were some key takeaways from your experiences there that inspired you to open Cheeks & Co.?

I did! I spent the past 10 years working for both of those amazing female-led companies and the wealth of knowledge I obtained is priceless. Because I was on the ground floor for both companies, I learned a lot about starting and growing a beauty brand, but the biggest takeaway was to always trust your instincts and truly believe in your product — no matter what challenges come up because they will on a daily basis.

Particularly from Sasha at Ilia, I learned that clear vision and focus will lead you to success. Sasha inspired me to want to create my own beauty brand. While we will branch into product soon, I know I had to do something I was truly passionate about, and clean skincare, self-care, and facials have always been what inspire me. I learned at a young age how much confidence healthy skin can give you, and I never wanted to let go of that feeling. So it was only natural I create a space where I can share that. 

What sets Cheeks & Co. apart from other L.A. spas?

We marry the amazing aspects of the spa experience with the high-performance and dedicated skincare attention you get from your local aesthetician. We take those two things and add in the ease of convenience and a modern environment. We also offer a very alluring membership plan. The skincare space is definitely hot right now but businesses are either focusing on those quick services, or taking the spa experience out of the facial, and Cheeks & Co is focused on pampering and embracing the self-care aspect of facials.

Not only does healthy skin require it but you should also enjoy the "me time" an hour or hour-and-a-half away from your hectic life. We also do not believe in add-ons, so we designed our menu to feature the best advanced skincare modalities you typically pay over the top for like LED, microdermabrasion, Gua Sha, and microcurrent. 

Photo: Courtesy of Cheeks & Co.

Why did you select Pasadena as your first location, and are you eyeing any other potential locations (if so where)?

It was important to stay local for my first location — I do want to expand — and as a proud resident of Altadena, Pasadena was a no-brainer. The market was in need for a new, modern facial experience, and Old Town was exactly where I needed to be. I do all of my shopping here, I meet friends for dinner and drinks here, why not open my business here!

What's your personal go-to treatment?

Microcurrent! Our Face Trainer facial is my go-to. I've had people ask me where I get my Botox and when I tell them I don't [and that] I just do microcurrent religiously, they are hooked. I also use the Ziip handheld device as often as I can in between treatments as well. It's very good for your overall tone, and helps me a lot with hyperpigmentation as well. 

Cheeks & Co., 20 South Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 91105; (626) 765-6300

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