Holiday shopping: 8 ways to give the gifts they want — from SpongeBob SquarePants to CBD skin care


You might not have had time to get to Lady Gaga’s two-day makeup pop-up. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on the entire beauty category this holiday season at the Grove shopping center in Los Angeles. Those who need to replenish their Dior fragrances will find the brand’s beloved scents J’Adore, Sauvage and Miss Dior at the Dior fragrance pop-up housed inside the Grove’s Glass Box space.

Also, Swarovski, the Austrian glass producer and maker of designer goods, has an on-site pop-up open through December. Keep an eye out for limited-time pieces including tree decorations from Swarovski and scented candles from Dior.

“The Grove sees guests from all around the world, and we want to ensure there is something for everyone,” said Julie Jauregui, senior vice president of retail operations and leasing for the Grove. “You’ll find everything from makeup to perfume, eyewear, jewelry and even seasonal holiday offerings like ornaments and home fragrances.”


Swarovski and Dior fragrance pop-ups, the Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles,


Celebrity makeup artist Nikki DeRoest, who has worked on the faces of Bella Hadid and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, will have a beauty event that’s open to the public on Wednesday at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. She’ll be on hand to demonstrate some of her most sought-after red-carpet secrets.

“I wanted to bring that accessibility to anyone,” said DeRoest, who launched her luxe clean and cruelty-free makeup brand Róen earlier this year. “They will walk away with some tips and tricks for a holiday look.”

DeRoest will use eye shadows from her own line as well as makeup from other prestige brands such as Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent. The Los Angeles-based makeup artist has eight products in her own line. The signature ones are the eye shadow palettes, which she describes as “not a cream, not powdery, but a texture you’ve never felt before and with a nice texture that catches the light.”

Róen Beauty Masterclass with Nikki DeRoest, 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Saks Fifth Avenue, 9600 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. For information and to RSVP, call (310) 887-5336;,



Mutha, a new prestige body-care line created by Los Angeles-based former aesthetician Hope Smith, began its life as something of an experiment in Smith’s kitchen.

“I started sending it to friends, who would come back and ask for it for their friends,” said Smith at a late October affair at her Malibu estate. “That’s when I thought I might be on to something.”

The fall event was to celebrate the debut of Mutha on the Violet Grey beauty e-commerce site. The product also is available at Violet Grey’s Los Angeles boutique. Cassandra Grey, Violet Grey’s founder, said beauty and skin-care products only make it onto her website if at least 70% of her testers give it the thumbs up. In Mutha’s case, “It came back unanimous,” Grey said. “Everyone loved it and wanted more. That doesn’t happen very often.”

Smith began developing the products five years ago while she was pregnant with her first son. She said she spent “10,000 hours researching products and looking at where I wanted to buy my ingredients from.”

The result is a body oil and a body butter that come in reflective purple containers. The ingredients in the body oil include oils from rosehip, apricot kernel, jojoba seed and grapefruit peel. Smith said the product is designed to help with hyperpigmentation and firming. The body butter was created from a mix of shea butter, coconut oil, mango seed and aloe leaf. It has a rich texture that is said to stay on the skin for hours.


Mutha products are priced at $95 and $104.


Sagely Naturals

Los Angeles-based CBD brand Sagely Naturals recently added to its popular sleep-enhancing and pain-relief products with the Brightening skin-care trio, which rolled out in October.

Kaley Nichol, who co-founded Sagely Naturals four years ago with Kerrigan Behrens, said the idea behind the new line was to make it appear as if the user “actually got eight hours of sleep,” she said.

The launch event, which took place on the rooftop of co-working space and private club Spring Place in Beverly Hills, included actress-model Molly Sims, an investor in the brand. Products include a serum, eye cream and night cream containing between 150 milligrams and 250 milligrams of CBD as well as other ingredients such as vitamins A and C, amino acids and hyaluronic acid. Nichol said the inclusion of CBD in the skin-care line would add anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The brand was developed in Nichol’s apartment four years ago. Her pain and sleep products are now in 10,000 stores nationwide, including CVS. However, Sagely Naturals’ new skin-care offering is in prestige locations such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and prices are from $49 to $89.


Sagely Naturals,

Johnny Was

Long Beach recently became the latest Southern California location for Johnny Was, the Los Angeles-based women’s fashion and accessories brand. The label, known for its boho-chic aesthetic (think velvet embroidered dresses and tunic tops), has 52 freestanding boutiques around the country — 18 of which are in California.

“Los Angeles is our largest market,” Rob Trauber, chief executive officer of the 32-year-old label, which was restructured four years ago after receiving venture capital investments. (Johnny Was is partly named after a Bob Marley song.) “And while we weren’t originally looking at Long Beach, we discovered that the number of households in a five-mile radius that fit our demographic was large,” he said.

The 2,000-square-foot store, which soft-opened in mid-October, has an exterior painted by artist Chris Lord around nature themes with motifs such as butterflies, florals and vines.

“It creates a nice, free-spirited and bohemian dreamscape that picks up the colors of the collections,” said Trauber, adding that shoppers “can expect optimism. ... We are a very happy brand — colorful and distinctive. We’re told that somebody who wears Johnny Was gets the highest number of compliments per wear. These are pieces you don’t ever throw away.”


Prices range from $150 to $400.

Johnny Was, 6420 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach,

Unique Markets

Finish up — or get started — with your holiday shopping during a two-day event on Dec. 14 and 15 at the Santa Monica Pier. Unique Markets is sticking to its “shop small” manifesto by bringing together 150 mostly Los Angeles-based designers, artists and makers to sell their wares.

“We’re taking over the parking lot next to the pier so people can look out onto the ocean while they shop,” said Sonja Rasula, founder of Unique Markets, which holds regular shopping events around the country. “We’re bringing in crowd favorites like fashion and jewelry, and some great candle and apothecary products, to show the diversity of what’s out there.”

In the mix will be Rewilder, which makes its bags from waste from other industries such as tossed airbags from automakers; Bandit Bandanas and its fashion-forward options; and Pilot and its cruelty-free men’s grooming products.

“We wanted to offer unique and meaningful ideas that are more heritage pieces that you will fall in love with and keep as opposed to mass-manufactured things,” said Rasula. “It’s all about supporting local indie brands.”


Also, shoppers can have holiday portraits taken, get their purchases gift-wrapped for free and enjoy complimentary beverages. There’s a $12 entrance fee; children 12 and under are free.

Unique Markets, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica,

Sesame Street X Smash + Tess

Here’s a way to go to sleep with your favorite “Sesame Street” characters. Smash + Tess, maker of cozy rompers and loungewear, has launched a collaboration with the popular children’s TV franchise, which turned 50 in November.

“I was raised on ‘Sesame Street,’ and we wanted to create something that was comfortable and fashion forward,” said Ashley Freeborn, who with her mother, Teresa, founded Smash + Tess, which is run out of L.A. and Vancouver, British Columbia. “We wanted to focus on classic characters like Elmo and the Count and do an edgier all-over print.”

The new Sesame Street X S+T offerings include the printed “Monsters” romper (featuring Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch) and the “Street Smart” romper (with the Count, Big Bird, Grover). They come in heather gray and black and are for men, women and children. Prices are $129 for adult sizes and $53 for children’s sizes. The rompers are made from sustainably sourced bamboo and cotton blends. Freeborn said the rompers, like the others from her brand, are designed for transitional use.


“It’s a newer category of clothes that can go from sleep to the streets — a mix of loungewear and athleisure,” she said. “Wearing them will bring back all kinds of memories for our customers.”

Sesame Street X Smash + Tess,


Some of Nickelodeon’s fan-favorite characters are part of a Westfield Century City pop-up for the holiday season. The 1,000-square-foot space has an array of fashion and accessories in addition to toys and other collectibles inspired by Nickelodeon characters, among them SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“We wanted to bring items in that are unique and have a stylish edge,” said Andrea Fasulo, senior vice president of retail marketing at Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “The product assortment is a true mix. ... These are characters that consumers have grown up on. If there’s an ability for them to take the brand they love and marry it with a collaboration that gives it a modern, contemporary take, that’s the best of both worlds.”

The offering includes collaborations with artists Romero Britto and Louis De Guzman as well as Colombian singer J Balvin on various contemporary pieces. (Look for a black sweatshirt featuring a Pop Art-esque rendition of SpongeBob.) In the mix are yoga pants, leather duffel bags and sparkly SpongeBob-inspired eye shadow palettes from HipDot, among the 250 different products in the space.


Prices go up to about $150. The pop-up is open through Dec. 31.

Nickelodeon holiday pop-up, Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles,,