The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
With locations throughout California, including LA, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Jose, Inland Empire, Ventura County, and Orange County, the knowledgeable staffers at Planet Beauty stock the store?s shelves with enough top-quality beauty products to outfit a regiment of beauticians. Guided by experience as aestheticians, stylists, and makeup artists, they help guests navigate the roster of premium brands, which includes bad-hair-day-banishing products from Frederic Fekkai and K?rastase. Skincare potions from Peter Thomas Roth clear facial canvases before applications of Smashbox blush brighten cheeks or Divaderme lash extender make eyelashes visible from orbit.
In the late 1920s, the Great Depression was rendering most Americans professionally and financially paralyzed. But in a small California kitchen, Merle Nethercutt Norman was putting a plan in motion to formulate her own skincare products and share them with family and friends. She truly believed in her formulas, knowing that by getting them on as many faces as possible, she would develop a following of customers. She was right?within a few years she and her nephew were opening their first studio in Santa Monica, and they eventually unveiled a series of independently operated stores that enabled women to take ownership during a time of gender-based limitations such as men-only restrooms.
Today, in approximately 2,000 stores across three countries, the three basic principles of Merle's original vision still apply. Each studio is independently owned and fosters an in-depth knowledge of the company's own line of makeup and skincare products. Just as Merle shared her creations with close friends and sallow mannequins more than 80 years ago, today's aestheticians embody the business's "try before you buy" philosophy. A menu of complimentary studio services?from foundation checks to express facials?allows patrons to sample the lauded brand before committing to the purchase of products or full spa treatments. The spa at Merle Norman Thousand Oaks also offers detoxifying infrared body wraps that help burn up to 1200 calories in one session. The treatment may help clients lose inches, tighten cellulite, rejuvenate skin, and boost immune response.
Each vial of facial cream, cleanser, and lotion from the collections of Forever Flawless blend scientific skincare and the luxury of genuine diamonds. Cosmetic experts infuse the products with micronized natural diamond powder, which gently exfoliates dead skin cells, allowing creams and serums to better penetrate the skin.
These products, which are divided into color-coded collections, pamper skin with other luxurious ingredients, too. The most opulent line, the platinum collection, features a snake-venom correcting cream. The cream contains an advanced peptide that mimics Waglerin 1, a polypeptide located in the venom of the temple viper, a snake found in the remote jungles of Borneo and occasionally fighting Samuel L. Jackson on a plane. This synthetic venom works like botulinum toxin and blocks nerve signals that tell facial muscles to contract, keeping faces wrinkle-free.
Forever Flawless also beautifies clients with a wealth of body scrubs, nailcare kits, men's products, and perfumes.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular service: Highlights, haircuts, and styling
Brands Used: Wella Professional, Eufora, and Sebastian
Pro Tip: Friendly service; striving for the best outcome possible.
At A Skincare & Wax Dynasty by Anjie, located inside Liz's Pinup Parlor, licensed aesthetician Anjie beautifies guests with skincare, waxing, and airbrush tanning services. Anjie, a self-described passionate perfectionist, strives to provide waxing services that are as pain-free as possible. She uses hard wax at low temperatures for gentle, yet effective hair removal.