What makes minimalist fashion and clean beauty such compatible bedfellows? For starters, both are all about cutting out the excess and keeping only the essentials — which is why it's no surprise that vegan L.A. cosmetics brand Noto Botanics has opened its first boutique next door to cool designer Shaina Mote in Highland Park.
Following our teaser last summer, founder and makeup artist Gloria Noto debuted her clean cosmetics label's brick-and-mortar flagship in mid-December. "I love that my landlord has owned his building for over 25 years and is part of the community in a big way," she tells UncoverLA. "I love that I didn't displace another business to take over the space, and I love being around so many folks that have been living in this community for so long."
The chic and light-filled space is scented with the gender-fluid brand's best-selling musky Rooted Oil, and the shelves stock its full line of effective and ethically-made makeup and skincare products as well as goods from friends of Noto Botanics. Expect to best-sellers like Stain Sticks, Multi-Benne Stain Pots, Deep Serum, Basil Yarrow Mist, and more ($18.50 to $55) alongside sets ($45 to $115) and the Noto's first non-profit product, Agender Oil ($40), which benefits a rotating lineup of organizations, including Planned Parenthood, the DTLA Women's Center, LGBT Youth Center, and more. Coming soon is a multi-use body wash that's part soap, part oil cleanser that can be used on the hair, face, and hands.
Rounding out the offerings are handmade ceramics by Laura Stinger, jewelry by Sarah Shikama, nail polish and accessories by J Hannah, incense by United Other, adaptogen powders by Zizi Botanicals, art by Laura Chautin, Moon List workbooks by Leigh Patterson, Suited magazine, and an array of feminist and queer interest books.
Noto Botanics launched four years ago and quickly became a cult favorite for its minimalist, multi-use beauty products and non-toxic skincare made of organic, often locally-farmed ingredients. After becoming fed up with using toxic products on clients during her day job, Noto began experimenting with her own cruelty- and chemical-free creations.
"I have been thinking about this since day one," explains Noto. "I have always wanted to bring to life the products in our own unique way and vision. [And as a resident of] the east side of L.A. for the last 13 years, I really wanted to bring something into the communities I have been a part of. Originally I was looking at Echo Park, but then found this amazing space in Highland Park."
As Noto's designer neighbor told us last year, the 1930s-built building was previously a Chevrolet showroom (and most recently, an auto body shop). Noto teamed with Venn Studio's Tyler Thomas and Gabbi Sun to design the artful interiors, which feature lime-washed niched walls, a travertine sink with a large arched mirror, and a custom-built curved sofa inspired by Swiss designer Ueli Berger's DS600 Snake Sofa from 1972.
Shoppers can also enjoy complimentary tea by herbalist Melanie Griffith, and the store will host monthly pop-ups, residencies, and other events led by friends of the brand, such as this Friday's Unearthed workshop that will help attendees reconnect with themselves through meditation and group exercises. And that's part of the goal behind opening the store, says Noto. "[This] is a place for people to come to and even just hang out and talk shop — to enjoy some things that smell and feel amazing, and to open up conversations with my community."
Noto Botanics, 5005 North Figueroa St., L.A., 90042; Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily