This may come as a complete surprise to you, but three things have the ability to motivate me enough to sit in LA traffic on a Friday afternoon: Beauty, Fashion and Food (the really good brunch kind). Ok actually those are completely obvious things when we are talking about me. Oh and I forgot one more: a friend. And not just any friend, but one who shares these motivations because that is key.
Recenlty, Jackline and I took a drive to the mecca that is Melrose Ave in Los Angeles. It's a great way to get a change of scenery and get a lot done when you're on a time crunch. If you've ever wanted to explore Melrose Ave, check out any or all of these spots for a quintessential LA day- Fashionable Fête style.
1. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe
Fuel up on their delectable crunchy french toast and other breakfast-served-all-day items at this local hot spot where there will be a line, but it's worth it. There's not much else to say...it's really good and if you're coming from the 101 freeway like we were, its where Melrose starts to get interesting.
2. Get some R&R
This does not imply a spa-like "Rest & Relaxtion" (although you could stop in at Kate Somerville) but rather, Rebecca Minkoff and Reformation. Both retailers provide an out-of-the-box approach to one's shopping experience. Rebecca Minkoff merges high style with the latest technology- think mood lighting in the dressing rooms and interactive touch screens, and Reformation takes a truly eco-awareness approach to manufacturing and selling it's private label without sacrificing style or quality. Both have a celebrity following and it's likely you'll see one perusing the racks, being this is LA and all. One more "R": find a good read at Bookmarc. It's the absolute coolest bookstore by designer, Marc Jacobs, and it's located across from his flagship boutique. The space houses a unique selection of art and fashion coffee table books, limited editions, journals, etc., fit for any creative mindset.
3. Buy like a beauty editor at Violet Grey
This is where old Hollywood glamour and the best in beauty reside. It's a truly magical place for any makeup artist or beauty enthusiast to shop a carefully curated selection of the very best, from the very best. The moment you walk through the door, it's as if you're standing in the most luxurious beauty closet you could ever dream of. Makeup artists and the celebrities they paint have hand-picked selections from their favorite lines such as Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford, NARS, Chanel, Kevyn Aucoin, La Mer and Dior. You can also find industry faves like Rodin, Sachajuan, Avene, Kjaer Weis and Utowa. Each recommended product must pass a rigorous test for quality and performance known as "the violet code" before it is added to the shelves. The staff is friendly, informative and are working, professional artists who can recommend a customized cosmetics wardrobe for your exact needs.
I was looking for products fitted especially for bridal and red carpet looks and here's a quick breakdown of my stash: Utowa Eyelash Curler (to lift and extend lashes for nearly all eye shapes), Tom Ford Eye Primer Duo (blurs fine lines and primes the eyes perfectly for shadow with a built-in setting powder), Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'N' Kohl Liquid Eye Pencil in Veruschka Mink and Eyeshadow Palette in 'The Sophisticate' (both products can do an entire bridal party, offering numerous looks from classic to edgy and the grey-brown pencil is defining without overpowering), Kjaer Weis 'Sun Touched' Cream Blush Compact (this imparts a dewy, natural glow for cheeks and lips and it's organic- bonus!), and Avene Thermal Spring Water to (hydrate and/or set makeup). Need a more hands-on approach? Book a private session in their glamorous makeup studio.
4. End on a smooth note at Alfred Coffee
You came, you saw, you ate, you shopped. Reward yourself with what is arguably the best place in LA for a caffine fix.
Have any spots on Melrose that you recommend? Share away in the comments below! I hope you are inspired to get out and explore.