With Gloria Noto

Gloria Noto is a makeup artist and founder of Noto Botanics, dealing with celebrities and natural skin care you might assume she spends her time in glossy Beverly Hills but she lives in a gritty part of downtown LA and this beautiful fireball knows the tiny local haunts as well as you’d expect a city worn 70 year old man.

What most inspires you about LA? Do you think it has affected you as person being an Angeleno now?
I think one thing that inspires me most about this place is the curiosity people hold for trying to better themselves, or elevate. Be it in conscious brands , self care, environmental care, etc. There are so many brands popping up that are like minded in being conscious to the planet and clean for the body. Being outside, taking in the sunshine, trying to make a positive mark on this planet – to get up and do something – that is what has moved me by moving here.

Why do you think LA has a unique magic?
It’s a special recipe made of sunshine, ocean, desert, mountains, forests, smiles, good food, good music, good art.

  • Arts Distrct

What would you advise a first time visitor to LA?
Go off the beaten path, don’t be afraid to dive into what one may think is a sketchy area because that’s where you may find the nicest people, most interesting communities, and delicious food. Try making your experience your own adventure, not just based off of what you’ve heard or seen on instagram.

It’s seen as somewhere that is very fake? What is your take on that?
Isn’t life fake to a certain degree? It’s what you make it, if you surround yourself with people that are out for themselves in a superficial way, then you will only see that side. If you take time to dive into community , you may find a very different experience. Life is what you make it.

Where do you go if you feel sad in the city?
I go to a movie at the Cinefamily, I go into the woods on a hike, I go drink a coffee at a cafe and talk to strangers, i get myself out of my head by soaking up what’s around me. I sit alone in my art studio and blast music that I have been listening to for over 20 years and disconnect from this reality into my me and a canvas reality and paint away…connecting with my deepest self. I do what my body tells me I need to do and listen to it.

  • Hauser & Wirth Gallery

Where do you go in your city at night?
I like to drive around the back industrial streets in the arts district. Everything is closed. The street lights are scattered some on some off. A few sidewalk dwellers sitting by their tent, maybe playing an old guitar or ranting to themselves about whatever is in their head. Some converted art gallerys with painted walls decorate the otherwise somber streets. I love it because It feels like I can hear the city tell me what’s really going on inside. I feel like I know what’s up and that I am a part of it by being away from the hustle bustle of the mix.

What would you personally choose to entertain yourself in the city on a rainy afternoon?
a coffee shop where i would drink almond milk cappuccinos and secretly draw strangers before they know I am looking at them. maybe afterwards when the rain lets up a little, I would walk along the street, and if it’s warm , breathe in the wet dirty summer air.

Where would you take a visitor for a cocktail?
Sometimes i like to go into the Dive bar direction – like footsies and sometimes i like to dress it up – there is a spot near me called Manuela that has a delicious spicy mezcal margarita. 🙂

What is the place you could eat at everyday?
The Springs, because I actually do. And Wild Living Foods – because I almost do there too – all plant based and incredible.

  • La Manuela

What is your favorite time of day in the City?
a sunday at 5 pm in the arts district because it’s a ghost town where i live – not quite gentrified yet as it’s closer to boyle heights – but close enough to some good spots if I want to be around some art and food – the sun is starting to get lower in the sky and cool off a bit.

Tell me about a place where you should watch a Sunset or a Sunrise from in your city?
I like to watch it from a hilltop near the silverlake reservoir – you can see the mountains, there is the water, and there is the sky.

What’s the most meaningful thing you bought back during your travels? How is it part of your life at home?
The most meaningful thing i bring back is never tangible. Every single time i travel, even if I have already been there, changes me. Sets me in my path a bit deeper and helps me feel a bit more connected to humanity. Maybe I will learn a new way of making tea and begin to include that into my life, or a new way of meditating, maybe a new way of wearing a scarf, or a new recipe, maybe a new type of music – it’s a way of life that i bring back with me, a new way of looking at things.

Do you call the city you live in home? Or is just a place where you are currently resting your hat?
Home is where the heart is and the heart is inside of me. If I feel connected to myself then I am at home. Home has never been based on a location for me.

Tell me 3 places that make a trip to LA better for someone who has never been before?
A walk around the echo park lake , A sound bath with Forest Kind , and a rice bowl at Sqirl or Honey Hi

Where will your next escape be to?
I am feeling Bali, or Ibiza – i need some bohemian lifestyle in my life right now.

One thing that you wish you could change about LA?
The water pollution and the fracking – we need to stop destroying our mother.

Tell me about what the next 6 months are looking for you, life, love, work and adventures?
My girlfriend is getting a mercedes sprinter van to convert it into a camping adventure mobile – so I anticipate a few things, like a road trip to Santa Fe ! I plan on developing a few new products for my natural cosmetic line NOTOlike a new color and a face creme – I am going to start working with a personal trainer, so I am hoping to get more energy and body fitness rolling ASAP!!!

Your favourite travel quote?
“Love the life i live, live the life that i love” – Dennis Wilson.


Industrial streets in the arts district
The echo park lake

Cinefamily / www.cinefamily.org
Sound bath with Forest Kind

Footsies / www.facebook.com/Footsies

Manuela / www.manuela-la.com
The Springs / www.thespringsla.com
Wild Living Foods / www.wildlivingfoods.com

Sqirl / www.sqirlla.com

Honey Hi / www.honeyhi.co

Sunset / Sunrise
Hilltop near the silverlake reservoir

Story by:
Illustrations by:
Gloria Noto