San Francisco’s new beauty emporium is inspired by Jean Cocteau’s 1950s French Riviera home

San Francisco’s new beauty emporium is inspired by Jean Cocteau’s 1950s French Riviera home

The natural beauty movement has found a stronghold in Ayla Beauty – a non-toxic and eco-consciously geared cosmetic emporium located in the heart of San Francisco. Founded by Dara Kennedy, a seasoned beauty industry executive who now seeks out suitable product offerings for the store, Ayla Beauty is bolstered by its philosophy that natural beauty can be potent, while safely formulated too.

True to form, the brand’s physical space wholeheartedly reflects its philosophy. Filled with natural materials such as wood, concrete, leather and brass, the intimate boutique is conceived by Chloe Warner of the local interior design firm Redmond Aldrich, who made the most of its 500 sq ft interior by creating a homey environment that clients would enjoy spending time in.

Inside Ayla Beauty, San Francisco

‘The space is tiny so it was a challenge to make it feel stocked without feeling like a souk,’ recalls Warner, ‘Dara also hosts seminars and beauty [pop-up] nights [in the space].’

‘My inspiration was to create something that felt feminine and slightly residential, an apothecary without a clinical feel,’ she adds. ‘I layered patterns with lavender walls to make it feel textured and interesting, and added masses of plants to add oxygen and make a small space feel more expansive. We splurged on Apparatus vanity lights and did the custom Jean Cocteau-inspired mural ourselves.’

Utilitarian elements such as walnut shelving units and Alvar Aalto stools, are offset by an array of abstract art, the mural (which is inspired by a wall in Cocteau’s 1950s house on the French Riviera) and the geometric tiled floor – all the better to experience the store’s power-packed product arsenal, which includes labels like 37 Actives, The Nue Co, May Lindstrom, along with other favourites from around the world. §

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