If the beauty sections of Whole Foods and Bergdorf Goodman had a love child, it would be Vert. The Venice, California-based beauty boutique, which opened in mid-October on Abbott Kinney Boulevard, carries practically every luxe eco-friendly beauty line we've ever heard of. Aesop, Jo Wood, Naturopathica, Stella McCartney, Red Flower? All here.
Designed in a minimalist style with modular bookshelves and an industrial-looking concrete floor, the shop has an open-jar policy, encouraging the curious to experiment. "It's like a big beauty playground," says owner Renata Helfman. Helfman, who shuns any products containing parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate or petrolatums, also prides herself on stocking the more obscure lines, like the ayurvedic-based Pratima skin products and Priti nail polishes (which contain no formaldehyde or toluene).
Since opening, the store has drawn a mix of traditional beauty consumers and hard-core "green" types. Vegan posterchild Alicia Silverstone even came in. "She's so knowledgeable about this stuff," gushes Helfman. "When she walked in, I felt like Ghandi had arrived."