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Gourmet gorgeousness

From non-gluten options to spiced skin moisturizers, the modern cosmetics counter mimics hipster café

Soap star

Naturally, Nordstrom
Dine at a vegan restaurant and you know without asking there will be no anchovies, eggs or bacon in your kale Caesar. Likewise, choose a cosmetic, skin care or hair product from Nordstrom’s new Natural Beauty pop-up shops and you can be sure it doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates or phthalates.  The kiosks, which you’ll find at the Nordstrom outposts in South Coast Plaza, Brea, Mission Viejo, Fashion Island and Fashion Valley, feature well- and lesser-known lines like Origins, Herbivore Botanicals, Tata Harper, RMS Beauty, Arcona, Youth to the People and Odacité. “We wanted to make it very easy for our customers to access natural niche brands at a glance,” says Cindy Tjon, Nordstrom’s beauty and fragrance director for Southern California. (Shop online and you can add more filters, like gluten-free and dye-free, to your search for a lipstick, cleanser or shampoo.) The offerings at the Natural Beauty bar will evolve. For now, two of Tjon’s favorites are Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask ($58) – “I apply it in the morning, go down and make breakfast, and by the time I step into the shower, it’s eaten away all that dead, gross skin.” – and Herbivore’s Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist ($32) – “When you find yourself flagging halfway through the day, it’s a great pick-me-up and touch-up.” :: nordstrom.com

Holistic Skincare from Canada
The hero product of Province Apothecary, a Toronto-based holistic skin care line, is the Eczema Balm ($19 for 15 ml). Chemical-free and gentle enough to be used even around your eyes, it’s made with natural ingredients like olive oil, zinc oxide, calendula flowers, rose hip oil and turmeric.  The clear and glowing skin of Julie Clark, a former costume designer turned esthetician who founded the company in 2012, is the best proof of the balm’s no-nonsense effectiveness. Clark suffered from eczema since infancy and had been on steroids for most of her life, until she began studying aromatherapy and hand blending her own facial products with what sounds like the makings of a veggie burger: seaweed from Nova Scotia, maple syrup from Quebec, lentil flour from Manitoba and, from British Columbia, raspberry oil and glacial clay. Today, Province Apothecary offers three dozen face, body and wellness products, including the Clear Skin Advanced Face Serum ($76), which soothes irritation with green tea leaf, turmeric root oil and essential oils, and Sex Oil ($28), a scent-free natural oil blend that’s an alternative to commercial lubricants. :: provinceapothecary.com

Soap Star
You wouldn’t think of asking your guests to sip from a single flute of Veuve Clicquot. So why should they have to share the same bar of soap? Valsey and Me has an elegant germ-free solution. A papier-mâché treasure chest holds 42 single-use organic soap chips that come in seven scents, including cinnamon orange, lavender oatmeal and strawberries and cream. Each chip is hand-cut and individually wrapped with  a label you can customize with a two-line message. $75 :: valseyandme.com


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