Q&A with an Organic Beauty Expert

August 25, 2016

ROOTS the Beauty Underground is Orange County's only non-toxic beauty shop and organic salon.  We were fortunate enough to ask ROOTS’ owner, Laura Linsenmayer who lives and breathes non-toxic beauty products, some of her beauty tips, her favorite products and her bestsellers. Linsenmayer is a wealth of knowledge thanks to her 20 plus years of research and working in the beauty industry.

ROOTS The Beauty Underground is at 384 Forest Ave #9 in Laguna Beach. 949.424.4266.

1. How did you become interested in beauty?
I was born this way!

2. Why should we switch to natural beauty?
My answer to this is...common sense. I like to always use this analogy.."If you were at a restaurant and the waiter offers you grass fed beef or hormone injected beef, which one would you choose?" For me it's like..if you have access to a healthier alternative of anything.. you would choose the cleaner item right? Unfortunately there are little to no regulations in the U.S. beauty industry. There are known carcinogens being included into conventional beauty products.."we must accept the things we cannot change and have the courage to change the things we can!" This is my favorite quote!

3. What sets Roots Underground apart from other natural beauty stores?
Unfortunately there are not many stores like ROOTS in the US. What does set us apart from my peers is the fact that we are a full-spectrum beauty supply. Hair, skin , nails, makeup, men, women and children. I have attempted to curate a space that is able to provide each client with a solution to their current beauty issue. ROOTS is also a place of education. My staff and I provide a level of service & education that is unparalleled. This is not a self proclaimed notion! We hear this on a daily basis from clients that have visited other like-minded stores. With that being said, we are so proud of our peers and support their journeys 100%!

4. What’s your bestseller?  
Skincare and makeup are the top 2 categories at ROOTS. Laurel Whole Plant Organics is a front runner...there is absolutely nothing like it. The high-quality sourcing of their unique ingredients along with intelligent chemistry... Laurel Whole Plant Organics has officially infiltrated Laguna Beach. Being a coastal community, I see a lot of severe sun damage and pre-mature aging..Laurel WPO has played a significant roll in the healing of many of my repeat clientele.

5. Do you have ‘can’t live without it’ products?  
I cannot live without my Laurel WPO Honey Berry Enzyme Mask... and then of course following it up w/ my Laurel Night Balm! Simply divine!

6. What’s the most common question your customers ask?
Is this gluten free!?!?

7. What’s the most challenging product to switch out with naturals?
Gel Nails! Unfortunately, there is not a non-toxic alternative yet available.

8. What are your some of your personal beauty tips?
Tap and pat--never pull and tug at your skin! Reverse your shampoo process...first condition your hair in the shower, then with the conditioner still in you hair, apply the shampoo to the scalp (we are only washing our scalp not our hair!) Then..you rinse them both out simultaneously. You are left with properly hydrated yet voluminous hair!

9. If you had a different career, what would you do?
Oooh fun question. I believe that I would have had a career in advertising. I love coming up with tag lines and correlating visuals!

10. What advice would you give someone who wants to make the switch from conventional beauty products to natural and organic?
 I love to take the element of fear out of this process! I discourage my clients from going home and "tossing out all of their products". Our verbiage on this subject goes like this..."As you run out of what you are currently using..allow us to assist you in replacing it piece by piece." We do not encourage our clients to be wasteful.

11. Favorite restaurants in Orange County?
Nirvana Grille in Laguna Beach, Au Lac in Fullerton, Sushi Fusion in Laguna Beach.

12. Cause that you’re most interested/involved in?
I have a dream of one day being able to work directly with cancer patients. I hear so many stories from my clients that when they were diagnosed with this horrific disease...the only thing that they were told was that they can no longer dye their hair. The patient is now left to fend for themselves. It is not easy locating an organic color salon! I would love to have a packet assembled with what they can do..what they can use. It is my dream to eliminate the additional anxiety caused by cancer patients thinking that they can never again color their hair! This project is currently in the works..but we have a long way to go.

13. What’s your biggest extravagance?  
IPL Treatments!! (Intense Pulse Light) Treatment. I am a firm believer in the power of exfoliation!

14. What was the best day of your life?
The day that I opened the doors to ROOTS! It was on August 1st 2012 ...and was a full moon! To me, this was all magically meant to be.

15. Who had the biggest influence on your life?
Honestly..Albert Einstein. He taught me how to bridge the gap between science and spirituality.

16. Secret most people don’t know about you?
I went to boarding school in Vermont!

17. What are you most excited about right now?
My team of all stars! After 4 years of attempting to manifest a strong team at ROOTS..I finally have it! We are just now able to grow and expand with an incredibly talented group of women!

18. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see the ROOTS Brand diversified! I am planning to grow the ROOTS brand in multiple directions..only time will tell.

Greer's OC
Blogger | Journalist

Since 1993, Greer has been writing about fashion, dining and trends in Orange County, as a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Time Community Newspapers (Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and HB Independent) and now as founder of Greer’s OC.

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