Retail Report: Jessica Alba's Honest Beauty Pop-Up Store

Photo by Samantha Reed
Jessica Alba

A secret door leading to a photo booth? Um, yes please.

Jessica Alba is testing the brick-and-mortar waters with a six-month pop-up store for her newest Honest Co. venture, Honest Beauty, at L.A.’s The Grove shopping center.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done a retail experience,” said the actress-turned-entrepreneur of the cosmetics and skincare line, which is nestled near the entrance to the shopping center. She noted The Grove's family-friendly atmosphere as the perfect location for the new store, plus, “everyone passes it and it’s next to Sprinkles — it’s perfect.”

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The small, “bohemian-chic” space, which is beautifully decorated with crisp white walls, chrome-finished cubbies and drawers and natural countertops in dark wood and gray marble, is the perfect home for the Honest Beauty, which made its e-commerce debut earlier this month.

Like the brand’s website, the pop-up shop caters to customer experience, with interactive technology, including a front-facing camera which lets users “try-on” one of Alba’s five signature looks (Fresh, Sunny, Chic, Daring and Glam) and motion sensor mirrors which light-up to imitate daylight.

Each of the five looks, which all have their own tutorial by Alba herself on the brand’s website, are part of the actress’ “authentic” beauty repertoire. However, the effortless Sunny look is a favorite for the 34-year-old. “The California sunny girl that has that bronze glow in the winter — that’s my go-to.”

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True to the Honest Co.’s all natural, chemical-free core, the store incorporates elements of nature as well, including aloe plants (a key ingredient in many of the brand’s skincare lines) and art installations from local Los Angeles-based artists like Amanda McCauley, whose canvases are made exclusively from flowers, plants and other organic materials.

With beauty experts on hand to help shade match and provide tutorials, customers can get made up and head to the store’s photo booth — which is tucked away behind a secret door.

"One of my favorite restaurants in Paris has a secret closet door,” said Alba of the floor-length mirror that opens to a spacious, well-lit booth, “and there’s this back room and so I was like, ‘how do we incorporate something fun like that here?’ And I love a photo booth.”

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Of her three favorite products (which include the line’s mascara and Allure Beauty award-winning primer), the Magic Balm is her must-have, carry-it-at-all-times product for makeup touch-ups, a quick highlight or swipe of gloss.

Beauty tips and tricks aside, however, Alba’s dedication to her company and building the business into a truly diverse and accessible line is at her core. She remarked that the most challenging part of building Honest Beauty was “having to address so many different types of needs for people,” adding, “even finding different nudes — there’s different nudes for different skin tones, and finding the right shade with a yellower or pinker undertone was challenging and fun, and I worked with some great makeup artists to do it.”