When Dr. Barry Katzman opened West Coast Eye Care & Med Spa, he envisioned the space as a small practice that would help locals better enjoy the city’s famous sunsets and beaches. With his expertise—he’s participated in hundreds of studies for advanced treatments—the business quickly took on enough customers to sustain seven offices, a staff of a dozen doctors, and its own language, which outsiders describe as Latin spoken in pig Latin. After outfitting eyes with prescriptions and preventive care, staffers can help them navigate an optical boutique stocked with more than 10,000 designer frames by Dior, Bvlgari, and Tom Ford. Regular performances of more advanced surgeries, such as LASIK, cataract laser procedures, and eyelid lifts, made the staff intrigued about similar aesthetic procedures. As a result, they opened a med spa, where they tighten and brighten skin with injections, rejuvenating laser treatments, and even plastic surgery.
Oro Gold Cosmetics' luxurious products and treatments renew and invigorate skin with applications of the most precious and prized of metals. Skin technicians use the time-tested healing qualities of gold to reduce fine lines in a procedure once reserved only for awards statues or the victims of Bond villains. Molecules of Au suspended in colloidal potions pass into pores, smoothing out visible wrinkles and lessening the appearance of sun damage. In addition to instilling faces and bodies with its radiant properties, gold-based products work to moisturize, build collagen, and control oil production with a range of specially formulated serums.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand’s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
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.
Disguised in wetsuits, flippers, and diving masks, humans almost seem indistinguishable from the scores of aquatic life that thrive among the San Diego coastline. In the water, curious sea lions tug playfully at divers' fins, and thick stalks of kelp wave like Queen Elizabeth telling the gathered crowd to go home already. With access to five separate sites in which to see such wonders, the guides at San Diego Excellent Adventures tailor their adventures—whether snorkeling, diving, or paddling—around the experience level of each tour group, ensuring an easy assimilation to undersea life.
During guided dives along La Jolla Shores, swimmers peer in on frolicking creatures such as lobsters, octopuses, and leopard sharks, and standup paddleboards grant access to Mission Bay's shoreline views previously seen only by terribly lost Venetian gondoliers. Currently the largest manmade bay in the country, Mission is known for its calm waters suited to beginners just learning to explore the ocean.
Connie Campbell is always on the hunt to find the latest treatments and products that will keep her clients looking young and feeling younger. During an appointment, she might ask clients to rest atop infrared warming pads as she applies Glo Therapeutic skincare products and performs DiamondSkin microdermabrasion. She might also use a formaldehyde-free glue to individually attach faux mink eyelash extensions to lash lines, creating lashes so thick they make it almost impossible to look through a keyhole to see how keys work.
Connie has spent years learning massage techniques, including a period spent studying the Mueller method under the late Bill Mueller himself. As a breast cancer survivor, Connie understands the effects trauma and pain can have on the body, which is why she customizes each massage using four modalities including reflexology.