Last night I attended a charming and intimate holiday soirée hosted by Ayla, a small beauty shop in San Francisco.
The event featured a one-on-one skincare evaluation, dark chocolate squares for nibbling, light sips of champagne, and a brief makeup lesson on holiday looks by the rather knowledgeable makeup artist of The Organic Pharmacy.
[Makeup lessons by The Organic Pharmacy's top makeup artist]
The Ayla beauty shop offers a small and carefully selected collection of topnotch skincare products that are very niche and hard to find.
In fact, the shop itself was not that easiest thing in the world to find. It’s certainly a hidden gem, tucked in the back of a narrow driveway next to a massage therapy salon in San Francisco’s Japantown.
When I asked Dara, the founder of Ayla, about the story behind her skincare shop, she told me that effectiveness was the most valued attribute in her products.
What’s more, she only features products if they are safe and eco-responsible and mildly formulated to suit reactive and sensitive of skin types.
[The Argan oil used in Kahina products are of the finest quality. Tempted to try Kahina argan oil next.]
You can imagine how happy I was to find a beauty shop like this!
Ever since I moved back to the U.S., I’ve been doing most of my skincare shopping at Whole Foods. But honestly, who wants to buy their skincare products next to their cheeses and meats?
In all seriousness, my real complaint is that I’ve been buying super expensive natural and organic products from Whole Foods that do not quite deliver the same results that I became used to with the natural and organic skincare products in France.
Ayla features products of the quality level that I’m looking for. And not only that, they provide personalized skincare evaluations and recommendations.
[Organic Glam Makeup line by The Organic Pharmacy]
As a beauty blogger, I have a habit of picking the brains of people who are deep in the world of beauty. So of course, I had to ask Dara all about her skincare routine and her favorite cleanser, moisturizer, toner and sun protection and all that jazz.
But also, as someone who dreams of someday opening my own small natural and organic beauty shop featuring some of the best skincare products from around the world, it was just really nice to meet another entrepreneur who is living and making her dream come true.
I left the Ayla shop last night with an amazing new moisturizer in my hand, less lunch money in my pocket, and lots of bright new ideas and inspiration for Ziba