All posts by Jillian RISSMAN-SHERR

GET THE 2018 EMMYS LOOK

The 2018 Emmy’s have come and gone. The Fonz finally got his trophy, Game of Thrones is still doing Game of Thrones things and the talk of the town, other than the awards, was about who owned the red carpet best. Luckily enough, Baxter of California was the go to grooming line for more than one or two stars. Since the chatter after the Emmy’s, Oscar’s, and Grammy’s is always around “how to get the look” we were able to get with Stranger Things Joe Keery and Queer Eye new comer, Antoni Porowski, to learn how you too can achieve that Emmy’s look – mullets and all.

JOE KEERY styled by Matthew Collins

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 17: Joe Keery attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

If you have been riding the Stranger Things cult vibe these last few years, then you know Steve Harrington is a hair god. As we said before, he is a prime example of the mullet making a comeback in a GREAT way. Actor Joe Keery has no problems rocking the mullet outside of work, and when he showed up to the Emmy’s the internet lost their shit, literally. If you have what it takes, follow stylist Matthew Collins step by step guide to getting Joe Keery’s hair (and skin for good measure):

For your skin:

  1. To prep skin, wash and exfoliate and then pat gently with a towel to leave skin slightly damp. Use Herbal Mint Toner to balance skin and prep for moisturizer.
  2. Apply Under Eye Complex from under eye to the outer.
  3. Apply dots of the Oil Free Moisturizer at various spots on face. Lightly press on still-damp skin, pressing the palms toward the outside of the face for a light facial massage to stimulate the skin.

For the hair:

  1. Start by applying Clay Effect Style Spray into wet hair as you blow dry to create shape
  2. Use the Grooming Cream and the Hard Cream Pomade to give separation and hold to hair.
  3. Start with a dime-sized amount of the award-winning Clay Pomade, and warmed it between her palms to make sure it is emulsified
  4. Starting at the back of the head, coat the hair with Clay Pomade. If you need more product, repeat.

 

ANTONI POROWSKI styled by Danni Katz

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 17: Antoni Porowski attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Known as the “Food Guy” or “John Mayer’s twin” on the new Netflix revival show, Queer Eye, Antoni is getting as much love for his looks as he normally does for his taste in wine and food. He is a prime example of guys starting to move away from the tight fades and controlled looks, for a more natural “I was just at the beach all day” look. Celebrity stylist Danni Katz gave us all the details you need to recreate this stylish look.

For your skin:

  1. To prep skin, wash and exfoliate and then pat gently with a towel to leave skin slightly damp.
  2. Apply Under Eye Complex from under eye to the outer.
  3. Apply dots of the SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer at various spots on face. Lightly press on still-damp skin, pressing the palms toward the outside of the face for a light facial massage to stimulate the skin.
  4. Finish off by applying the Hydro SalveTM Lip Balm.

For your hair:

  1. Start by applying Clay Pomade and Hard Water Pomade into wet hair as you blow dry. For both of these products, do not make the mistake of using too much, too soon. Start with a little product and build as you go for desired look.
  2. Finish the look with the Clay Effect Style Spray, which will add both texture and volume, while proving a hold that will last all day.

 

PICTURE DAY HAIRSTYLE GUIDE

No one has ever taken a good school picture. But this year is different. We’re guiding you to the hairstyles to rock on picture day and the products you need to have the best back to school hairstyle yet. Plus a few picture days styles that you can try to pull off at your own risk…

POMPADOUR

There is a reason they still call Elvis “The King” and style gods like Brad Pitt and Bruno Mars dabbled in this style. A classic Pompadour style haircut is just that, classic. As far as the cut, you are going to want to get it short on the sides, tapered in the middle, and then leave 3-4 inches on top so you can get that nice, volumized look. Before styling, make sure you apply some Grooming Cream pre-blow dry to build a frizz free foundation. After, you have two courses of action: 1) for a more slick back and shiny look, use our Hard Water Pomade or 2) for a more natural finish, use Clay Pomade (it’s award winning). Few sprays of the Clay Effect Style Spray if you want a little more texture, and boom, you just became the “King” of Picture Day.

UNDERCUT

If you like extremes or you just binged Peaky Blinders, the Undercut is your move. For the sides, not much explaining, get’em short (1 or below). For the top, this is where you can add your own flare, long or short, whatever works for you is the way to go. Once the cut is down, the product all depends on what you got going on: for short styles use the Cream or Clay Pomade for a little texture or a lot (Tip: throw in the Soft Water Pomade if you want a little shine added in there).  For the longer looks, the harder pomades will give you more control – Hard Cream will give you a natural look with some hold, while that Hard Water is perfect for those slick backs.

BOWL CUT HAIR

If you want people to do a double take,  this might be your move. The bowl cut, and we cannot believe that we’re writing this, is back. It should be stated that these are not the bowl cuts that your mom gave you; they have a little more texture and style to them, so make it clear to your barber what you want. As for the styling, some Clay Pomade and Clay Effect Style Spray will add both texture and keep the look in place.

MULLET

Business in the front and party in the back.  The mullet hairstyle has had more comebacks in popular culture than any on the list. With the “Summer of Sleaze” in full effect, this is your chance to immortalize a great mullet look. What to tell your barber…go back and just read off the first line of the paragraph. Trust us, they will know what to do. And the only product you needs is the Clay Effect Style Spray. Perfect to control fizz, give texture and allow you add a little hold to keep the mullet in place all day long. When it comes to this picture day style, two words: SEND IT.

Look, in 20 years it will look terrible any way. Mullet, fade, undercut, it won’t matter.  But right now, you could look good. I mean really good with these styles. So go for it, whatever look it may be, and own this picture day.

Baxter Back to School Superlatives

Yeah, summer is over and back to school you go (pause for thunderous applause from parents everywhere). And, in tradition with that back to school spirit, we wanted to take the time to give out some “superlatives” to the products that we think exemplify at least one or two of your classmates. Whether it is for picture day, homecoming or when you walk at graduation (pending the successful execution of your Senior Prank), one of these products will have an impact on the school year. So, without further adieu, we introduce the Baxter Class of 2018!

STAR PUPIL – CLAY POMADE

They are the class president and probably got a perfect score on the SATs. Every school has the Star Pupil, and for us, it is the Clay Pomade. The most popular, award winning texturizing pomade (plays well with other pomades) will keep you looking your best all day long. Infused with kaolin clay and beeswax, it provides a matte finish to hair that will work for any style. Pompadour? A. Undercut? A. Mullet? A…own it! No matter what you are going for, the Clay will get you an A.

THE ALL STAR ATHLETES – DEODORANT

Down three in the State Championship game with 1:00 to go. Everyone is panicking, parents are screaming, and Billy and Karen are breaking up in the stands…again. Mass hysteria! Also, it smells. Whom to turn to in a time like this you ask? Deodorant. Both aluminum and alcohol free, looking cool and calm under pressure never smelled so good. It will even work for the guy or girl who goes too hard during badminton and needs to freshen up before class. From Star Athlete to gym class hero, this Deodorant will get the job done.

THE FRESHMAN – BEARD GROOMING OIL

New on the scene, this ultimate grooming oil can do more for hair and skin than meets the eye. Featuring a killer scent, and some oils that have benefits for hair and skin, this beard oil has the potential to rule the school in a few years. So don’t shove him in a locker (medicine cabinet), don’t turn a blind eye to the fact that it is new and a little different, give it a chance. Beard or no beard, you will be surprised at the level of coolness this oil already exudes.

PS – They also have friends…who are cool, like totally not like the other underclassman…who are lame. Check them out too: Deep Cleansing Bar Charcoal Clay, SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer and Beard Line-Up Shave Gel (already an award winner).

THE KNOW-IT-ALL – UNDER EYE CREAM

Think of our Under Eye Cream as the bright one that you always want to keep around, especially during finals. Of course, we DO NOT condone cheating, but a façade of intelligence (or great skin) isn’t technically breaking the rules. Perfect for those all-nighters, whether school or personal.

Also, depending on the “test” (skin care needs) you can ask one of his friends for help: Super ShapeTM Skin Recharge Cream for fine lines / wrinkles or SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer to protect against the sun.

Summer Was Good to Them – Shampoo, Conditioner, Daily Face Wash, Herbal Mint Toner

You’ve known them all your life, but something is different about them. They might have gotten a new hair style, had an insane growth spurt, or just have some newfound confidence about them. Whatever it is is working for them. Our Daily Face Wash, Shampoo + Conditioner, and Herbal Mint Toner may have gotten a face-lift, but they are back better than ever. Still the same great products, just with a new look. And man, does it work for them!

THE MOST-WELL ROUNDED – SHAVE TONIC

Need help on the homework? Need someone to volunteer for after school programs? Need someone athletic for the next pickle ball tournament? Your go-to problem solver in school is none other than Shave Tonic. Shave, Skin, Hair or Body. No matter the problem, this tonic can do it all. Use it as a pre or post shave formula to soften hair, spray a little in the morning to wake up or even rock as a cologne after a rough gym class to make sure you are smelling fresh for the rest of the day, there is nothing it can’t lend a little bit of hand to.

Back to School does not have to be all sad and weary. With the help of this Baxter crew, who knows, this might just be the best school year yet.

OIL AND SKIN: AN UNLIKELY TEAM

Long has the conception been that oil is bad for your skin. Everywhere you go you see products that “help reduce oily skin,” or are designed “oil free” so as not to cause overly oily skin, which is every teenager’s and single males‘s worst nightmare. However, this stigma on oil has over shadowed the fact that while your own, “self-produced oil” is not only gross sounding and can lead to break outs and acne, there are benefits to using products with certain oil ingredients on your skin. These oils are known for skin toning and hydrating by preventing moisture evaporation. They deeply penetrate to lessen skin irritation and leave it smoother and flake free (we’re looking at you…bearded woodsmen of the world). Turns out, oil on skin has its fair share of positive benefits.

Using the backdrop of three essential oils found in our newest launch, the Beard Grooming Oil, let’s breakdown some of the most well-known and beneficial oils for your skin.

AVOCADO OIL

Baxter Products Featured In: Clay Mask, Hydro SalveTM Hand Cream, Beard Grooming Oil

To all the millennials out there, here is yet another reason to lay off the avocado toast: you could be using it on your skin (not the toast, the oil). Avocado Oil is one of the best when it comes to benefits on your skin. The oil is high in Vitamin E, essential in moisturizing and softening skin, while also helping to fight off free radicals that cause wrinkles on the skin. Not to mention fatty acids that play a big role in keeping your skin looking healthy, wealthy and wise…okay, maybe just the first one.

APRICOT OIL

Baxter Products Featured In: Super ShapeTM Skin Recharge Cream, Beard Grooming Oil

Don’t know what an apricot is, IT DOESN’T MATTER!* Just know that it is mostly made up of oil, and that oil has countless benefits for your skin, among other things. It acts as a moisturizer, a skin toner, and can even help with some parts of your skin that are prone to patches of dryness or overall inflammation. It can also help with reducing signs of aging, specifically wrinkles, and getting rid of dark circles after a long night of whatever it is you like to do all night long ;).

OLIVE OIL

Baxter Products Featured In: Beard Grooming Oil

Not saying we saved the best for last, but we for sure saved the most versatile oil for your skin for last. It does everything we mentioned before: tones skin, moisturizes, provides essentials vitamins for skin growth, and yes, it will help reduce signs of aging on your skin. But the kicker: it can help stave off bacteria on the skin, which leads to acne, helps protect your skin from sun damage, and you can even use it to shave. No it cannot do everything, but it sure comes close.

So there you have it: oil is good. Your skin will thank us later.

*It’s basically a peach? Or maybe not?

SUMMER SUN: WHY YOU NEED A SPF THAT WILL PROTECT YOU DURING THE DOG DAYS SUMMER

A “beach bod” and a killer tan is the key to owning  summer months, no matter where you are or what you are doing. However, does anyone really know what is happening to our bodies, specifically our skin, when we are exposed to UVA /UVB rays?  Sarah Healy, a licensed esthetician and the manager at Baxter Finley Barber & Shop, breaks down what sun exposure does to the skin and how our SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer is the key to protect your skin against harmful rays wherever you are vacationing this summer.

What does sun exposure do to your skin?

SH: The sun is the number 1 aging factor for men’s skin and appearance.  It can dehydrate the skin, which keeps it in an unhealthy state of constant repair mode. If you were born with less melanin, known as skins natural SPF, you are at a higher risk for sun-damaged skin.  The sun actually damages fibers in the skin causing it to become thinner, which makes it stretch easier without returning to its smooth state as fast.

What are common symptoms of sun damages skin?

SH: Freckles, brown spots, broken capillaries, and a rough leathery texture and look to the skin. Overtime, after years of exposure, you skin can damage so severely that you will look older. However, most of this is preventable if you actually take your skin care routine seriously.

What are UVA / UVB rays and what do they do to your skin?

SH: UVA rays are the “aging” rays.  They penetrate deep into the dermis and cause damage below the skins surface.  These rays can penetrate deeply and damage the skin without us even knowing they are present.  UVB rays are the “burning” rays.  They don’t penetrate the skin as deep, but they do cause the production of melanin (tan) and cause more surface damage to the skin.  They are the rays responsible for the sunburns we get from too much time at the beach.

What does SPF do for the skin?

SH: SPF can be a physical or chemical barrier that protects the skin from harmful rays depending on which ingredients are used.  It begins working the second it’s applied to the skin and works by deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays.  Think of surfers with white cream on their noses.   Chemical sunscreens are what most daily sunscreens are made up of.   They work by absorbing the sun’s harmful rays.   They have a thinner consistency, making the easier to apply and less noticeable but they need to be applied at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure so they have enough time to work.

What makes the SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer such a great product?

SH: It’s lightweight, easy to apply and doesn’t leave the skin looking or feeling greasy.  It absorbs into the skin and won’t make the skin break out. Not to mention it provides all the nutrients and vitamins that our Oil Free Moisturizer does with the additional benefit of the SPF that protects from UVA/UVB rays.

How to work the SPF 15 into your skin care routine?

SH: As I mentioned before in a previous interview, for those with dryer skin, it’s best used AFTER a moisturizer is applied.  Normal to oily skin, it’s best used as your moisturizer.  It will always be the LAST product applied in any skincare routine so that you can lock all moisture in your skin. I would suggest using the SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer if you are going to be outside at various parts throughout the day, or as a base if you intend on being outside for most of the day for work or pleasure.

For more grooming tips, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

EDUCATING MEN ON “ANTI-AGING” YOUR SKIN

The importance of anti-aging creams and a robust, daily skin care routine is stressed upon and utilized by many women, simply because they have been educated on it. They know the best anti-aging creams, and use them not preventatively but proactively. However, the same cannot be said for the skin care routine of most men because they have not been made aware the importance and healthy value in taking care of their skin with a daily routine. Sarah Healy, a licensed esthetician and the manager at Baxter Finley Barber & Shop, along with Ananda Tunez, the Baxter Finley’s primary esthetician, have seen it all when it comes to bad men’s skin care routine and we sat down with them to finally bring education for men’s skin care, straight from the pros.

What types of skin aging signs are men prone too?

SH: Crow’s feet and wrinkled foreheads are the biggest issues I see with men.  Of course, they too get the dark spots, but the rough skin from years of neglect and the crow’s feet around the eyes are always the first, and most common aging signs that I see.

What are the causes?

SH: Most men lack the knowledge of basic skincare. For women, it is much easier.  We have hundreds of eye creams and moisturizers along with even make-up foundations that include sunscreen, men do not. Men have not been taught to use sunscreen, a moisturizer, or eye cream on a daily basis.

AT: Easy answer: the sun. UVA and UVB rays from the sun penetrate the outer and inner layers of the skin, damaging and destroying skin cells.   A tan, while considered ‘healthy looking’ is actually a sign that your skin cells have been damaged. This will cause signs of aging (i.e. crow’s feet, leathery skin texture, brown spots) and in some more serious instances the risk of melanoma.

When do these typically start in men?

AT: Usually late 20s and up.   You can compare two 30-something year old men; one who tans/gets sun exposure and one who doesn’t, and the latter would most likely look around 5 years younger.

How does the role of a skin care routine help combat these typical aging symptoms?

SH: Teaching men to start taking care of their skin at an earlier age would definitely help.  A revamped skincare routine, anti-aging creams, moisturizers, SPF moisturizers, etc. will not have much impact on already deeply wrinkled skin, from years on not taking care of it. Even if you have naturally perfect skin now, you need to understand that without a healthy, DAILY skincare (toners, face washes, facial scrubs) it will not last forever!

AT: It is all about getting into good habits with good products. When you use cleanse and moisturize daily, you are feeding your skin with nutrients that build healthy cells.  The ingredients (Coconut oil, Vitamins A/C/E, AHA/BHA, Green Tea) that are in face washes and moisturizers, not only make the skin look and feel younger but they fight free radicals (damaging effects of the environment, including the sun).

What daily/weekly routine would you suggest to guys?

SH: It can be different for everyone, depending on your skin type, but I would suggest the following:

  • A FACE wash (not soap) that does not strip the skin of all its natural oils.
  • A Toner to restore the skins natural barrier for protection.
  • A facial cleanser at least once a week.
  • A good eye cream to reduce puffiness and wrinkles around the eyes.
  • A moisturizer for the day that, depending on your lifestyle, can have SPF in it.
  • A repairing or anti-aging moisturizer at night.

AT: Wash 2x a day, moisturize 2x a day (SPF in the morning, anti-aging at night), exfoliate up to 3x a week (exfoliation removes dead skin cells exposing fresh, new healthy cells. That way, when you moisturize, you are not wasting on dead skin cells), eye cream 2x a day, lip balm throughout the day when needed and toner can be added after washing 2x a day as an additional way to keep skin balanced.

What do you love about the Super Shape Skin Recharge Cream, our anti-aging moisturizer?      

SH: I love that it is free of aroma, lightweight, and doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy.  And last but not least, I love that it has real anti-aging ingredients (Apricot Oil, Caffeine, Vigna Extract, Soy Protein) that help keep men looking younger.

What role does it play in helping combat anti-aging signs?

SH: The glycerin in the formula helps to hydrate the skin which plumps fine lines and leaves a slight “glow” to the skin that makes the skin look and feel healthy.

What are some key ingredients and what do they do for the skin? 

SH: Caffeine is great to reduce puffiness, especially after a night of little sleep or a dinner of Chinese food!

AT: Vitamins A, E and green tea fight free radicals and promote healthy skin cell growth.

What are some other products that you can use that help with aging symptoms?

SH: Eye cream for sure, which helps with the crow’s feet and puffiness around the eyes. Herbal Mint Toner and Facial Scrub to get rid of the dead skin cells that dull the look and feel of skin. Finally, for the daytime hours, the SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer provides hydration and protection.

AT: The area around the eyes tend to show first signs of aging because the skin is thin and is damaged in a shorter amount of time Skin there, without proper care, loses elasticity (sagging), develops brown spots (sun damage), and wrinkles. The best eye creams will help fight all of these common issues.

For more grooming tips, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

How to Get a Barbershop Quality Shave at Home

There is nothing quite like a barbershop shave – it is a great way to relax, and having your mug scraped by a professional barber can yield smooth, long lasting results.  But, did you know you can create a barbershop quality shave at home?  It’s easier than you think with our three-step process.  Here’s how:

STEP 1: PREP

This is the area where most of us guys skimp, but properly preparing the skin is the most important step in getting a smooth, irritation-free shave.  I recommend shaving at the end of a shower as the hot water will soften the beard, cleans the skin, and open the pores.  If you are shaving at the gym or don’t have time for a shower, apply a warm, wet towel to the face for a few minutes beforehand (a few spritzes of Shave Tonic on a wet towel, or on the face with eyes close, will help open the pores and wake you up).

David Alexander, Baxter Finley Barber & Shop expert barber

After your shower or hot towel treatment, apply Super Close Shave Formula, which provides excellent lubrication and will prevent razor drag.  Shaving cream is best applied with a shaving brush, which will help soften and lift the beard and lightly exfoliate the skin.  Place a pea-sized amount of shaving cream deep in the center of your brush and give it a light squeeze to set the cream in the brush.  Wet the brush with hot water and apply shaving cream to your face in a circular motion.

For those trying to save a couple minutes in the morning, use our new gel, the Beard Line-Up Shave Gel. Great for a full shave, doing a beard clean up, or trying to touchup their side burns / neckline, it provides excellent lubrication and its clear formula will allow you to see where you are shaving.

STEP 2: SHAVE

Always use a clean, fresh blade when you shave.   For this task, we recommend the traditional Baxter of California Safety Razor, which includes Derby Extra Sharp Stainless Steel Blades.  This double-edge razor gives a super smooth shave with less irritation.  Most cartridge razors are designed for the everyday shave that save time, but the double-edge razor is perfect for getting a close shave with less irritation, but remember to take your time with it and enjoy the ritual!

Start by holding the skin taut with your free hand and shaving in the direction the hair grows.  Use a light pressure and short strokes, rinsing the blades often.  One common mistake most of us guys make is using too much pressure, so go lightly and let the weight of the razor do the work.  If you require a closer shave, re-lather and shave very lightly against the grain.

After shaving, rinse your face with cool water to close the pores and cool the skin (a cool towel with a few sprays of Shave Tonic works wonders here).  If you nick yourself, apply a moist alum block to the area to stop any bleeding.

Be sure rinse your razor and brush well and hang your brush with the bristles facing downward (this will allow the brush to dry properly and preserve the life of your brush).

TIP: For those with less time in the morning, use our new Cartridge Razors. Available in Three and Five Blades, these razors feature a light weight high-grade black resin handle and skin guarded blades that stretch and prep skin for a close, smooth shave. They are great for a full shave or quick face, neck and scalp touchups.

STEP 3: PROTECT AND FINISH

Properly protecting the skin after shaving is important to reduce irritation, restore moisture, and keep that mug of yours looking young!  After shaving, apply After Shave Balm, which will cool and soothe the skin, and keep razor burn at bay.  Before you leave home, we recommend a light application of Oil Free Moisturizer to restore moisture and keep your skin looking healthy. If your day will be spent outside, switch it up and use the SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer to protect your skin from harmful UVA / UVB rays.

Many guys see shaving as a chore, but at Baxter we see shaving as a ritual that should be embraced and enjoyed.  This is your time!  A quiet time to be left alone with your thoughts and prepare mentally for the day.  Use it to your advantage.  Those quite moments are few and far between these days, so we can’t think of a better way to start a day than by taking a few moments to enjoy a barbershop quality shave at home.

For more grooming tips, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

The Instinctual Process of Creation – The Artist Subculture of LA

For Natural Born Artists, There’s Only One Sustainable Option—A Life Lived True

If you visualize life as an inspired canvas, you can paint in any strokes you see fit, be it free-forming color, shades of gray or splashed brilliance. When you hold the brush with confidence and bravely let it speak from the heart, the inevitable creation of your own personal truths will surface.

“I definitely feel like I can be more of an individual here, which I haven’t felt in New York or Boston or anywhere else really,” says Rebecca, an artist who’s found home inside Los Angeles’ unique and flourishing creative community. “It’s really big, but there’s a lot of space to be filled.”

Perhaps that’s because diversity is a way of life in the City of Angels. What sets you apart is not a source of shame, but something to be embraced, nurtured and explored. The members of this artistic collective are categorically unable to be anybody but themselves, which is a beautiful thing. Their brand of self-possessed conviction makes LA a mecca for these resilient and resourceful dreamers. For humans, like Rebecca, who can’t help but be artistic.

Don’t mistake their cerebral demeanor for timidity, these risk takers are forces to be reckoned with, inevitably drawn to their creative craft, and capable of expressing meaning with every step they take. By trusting the passion of their inner voices, artists in this supportive community often give their souls articulation through a variety of mediums.

Think Miranda July, an award-winning filmmaker, author, musician and actor. Her participatory art speaks volumes in a multitude of imaginative languages.  And by refusing to put boundaries on her freedom of expression, her creative voice becomes filled with insight inaccessible through ordinary means.

The same can be said of creative vortex Andy Warhol, who infused everything he put his mind to with wonder, and whose art invited a shift of perspective for an entire generation. By unabashedly being true to himself, he continues to inspire others in the artistic subculture to pursue that which fills their lives with meaning.

“Be yourself,” Rebecca explains. “I think people really appreciate individualism, and it’s rare, but if you are your authentic self, then no one can ever copy that.”

This frame of reference seeps into their external manifestations of selfcare, be it in their sense of style, which is singular, often an extension of their art, and can include a “signature” look. Whether it’s how they wear their hair, an accessory, or if they cover their skin with ink, their appearance is a direct reflection of their sensibilities. It’s thoughtfully thoughtless, as cutting-edge barber Julius “Julius Cesar” Arriola aptly surmises: “Today’s visual artists deliver a confident look. They choose to be different without forcing it too heavy.”

Whether hosting art shows in downtown lofts near Little Tokyo or browsing the collections at LACMA, MOCA or the Getty Center, this community folds into the fabric of Los Angeles seamlessly. And with free admission and an avant-garde program of films, music and dance that includes conversations between artists of differing specialties, the Broad Museum is helping to curate this next generation of creatives.

Meanwhile, for those who prefer to head outdoors for their inspiration, they need look no further than Echo Park Lake and its blossoming fountains and lotus flowers. The revived boathouse, now home to locally-sourced and sustainable Beacon Café, provides nourishment, like green eggs and spam, that is as inventive and out of the box as the community it feeds.

“Everybody here has their own unique style, which I love,” says Rebecca. “I think people in LA are more open to new ideas, the kinds of ideas that eventually migrate to other cities.”

To join us on this exploration of LA’s subcultures, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

Idiosyncrasies Give Rise to the Individual – The Indie Subculture of LA

Shift Your Focus and Discover LA’s Inimitable Indie Subculture

When the destination is a Life Lived True, what’s important isn’t how you choose to get there, because the ends will create the means. A distinct path will emerge, one in which being yourself is the only option. For native Angeleno Alex, how he expresses himself can vary from day to day—his individuality defies rules of gender, race and age. As an embodiment of the city’s indie spirit, he’s driven by a constant influx of inspiration and a down-for-whatever attitude that promises to keep things interesting.

He finds his true north by trusting his gut—and like other members of his Los Angeles subculture, he’s learned to lean into instinct and let it guide his path of creative righteousness. Forget the past, don’t worry about the future, be present in the here and now and listen to what your heart is telling you is authentic.

“Be true to yourself,” he explains of his life’s philosophy. “Really know the space that you cut out in the universe, and build and define what that is, and yourself.”

By refusing to wear a mask like all the world’s a stage, those who find respite inside this community embody an imaginative totality that finds expression through myriad channels, be it the written word, musicality or even modeling. Trends fall to the periphery, which is often where you’ll find these individuals most comfortably relaxing—on the fringe, outside the mainstream.

Like David Bowie, these modern bohemians are artistic chameleons, accessing whatever form of expression best represents their current state of mind. For the experimental glam rocker, this flowed from music to art to design and theatre. The same holds true for Twiggy, who genderlessly  transitioned between modeling, acting and singing. Without pretense, they let their individuality reign supreme, unafraid of the should’ve, would’ve and could’ve.

Their external also avoids conformity, erring towards what is sleek, dimensional and clean. There is no right or wrong way to look, there is only what feels genuine, regardless of categories like male or female. The way they take care of their body, skin and hair echoes these sentiments—make up for men, cropped bobs for women—traditional dictates of sex need not apply.

“The resurgence of longer hairstyles for men have been quite evident, and feeling like a rockstar has always held its place in prevalence in this subculture,” says Julius “Julius Caesar” Arriola, an artistic leader in the barbering industry. “The Manchester Shag immediately yells out leather jackets and indie shows. This amazing cut is meant to look free of worry, but with ideal attention to minuscule detail.”

After fueling up on coffee and inventive fare at Silver Lake’s hipster café Sqirl, or perhaps Venice’s modern deli Gjusta, these twenty-first century hippies may pass by a local weed dispensary on their way to venues like the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. With a calendar as eclectic as their interests, the multipurpose location features music shows, readings and conversations between established artists, with chill, people-watching poolside hangs available in between the inspiration.

Possessing the wherewithal and confidence to be yourself is always a flattering look, and by opening themselves up to the infinite, those who find themselves inside this “outside” Los Angeles subculture know no bounds. Others may not always be able to understand or relate to what drives those of the indie community to act, feel and be, but their actions will always push upwards from a bedrock of pure, beautiful individuality.

To join us on this exploration of LA’s subcultures, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

Expressions of a Life Lived True – The Music Subculture of LA

The Rhythm of LA’s Music Community Beats Strong

We believe in originality, and we believe that when you are the truest version of yourself you will be unquestionably authentic. But we also believe in looking to our predecessors for inspiration and as a means to better understand the trajectory of human nature. Such is the plight of the musician, writing novelty and keeping it fresh, while also giving a nod to their peers who are walking alongside them, and to the powerful icons who have already made their way down this path less traveled.

With a language all their own, that others can hear but not necessarily speak, music artists form an extraordinary Los Angeles subculture. They give voice to their generation, to our shared humanity, and create the priceless soundtrack to our existence. They bring the sound, light and energy of our insides to our outsides, and in doing so bear an often overlooked burden of our world—expression.

“You have to have an open mind and just dive in,” says Rodney, who’s been making tunes since he was 16 years old. He grew up around the country, but at heart he’s a family man, with his throwback style a hat tip to his grandfather, and his fondest memories harkening back to family reunions in Oklahoma.

While the personalities to be found within his community—from rock and pop to rap and country—couldn’t be more diverse, what brings them together is a shared understanding of, and respect for, each of their genres’ histories. They may be creating sounds and poetry about their own personal experiences, heartbreaks and triumphs, but not without the acknowledgement of those who came before them.

And not without the confidence to look to one another for inspiration. “Moving around, moving out here, was scary, but there’s a sense of people encouraging you on,” Rodney recounts. “There’s always going to be someone to help you, and that’s a beautiful thing about California.”

Rodney calls the city of Los Angeles the “big leagues,” and that’s because it’s home to landmark venues like the Henry Fonda Theatre, the Troubadour, the Roxy, the Hollywood Bowl, the Palladium and the Greek Theatre. The list goes on and on, with each location embodying an oral history fluent in the dynamics of this subculture.

Some artists, like Beyoncé, harness their lyrics to create a shame-free, hear-me-roar space within which to articulate what is habitually left unsaid—the struggles of motherhood, infidelity and gender. Others, like Jimi Hendrix, become masters of their instruments. His innate talent coupled with unerring dedication allowed him to create a new and richer vocabulary for the electric guitar, one which empowered him to give voice to the zeitgeist of the 60s.

Like the microphones they hold, musicians are conduits for feelings, creating, connecting and reflecting the popular culture. Their appearance is a part of their sound, a part of their performance, and feeds into this powerful demonstration of emotion. The manner by which they groom and the care they take with their appearance helps create a persona they don as a means of expression. As 16-year barbering innovator Julius “Julius Caesar” Arriola puts it, “As a musician, it’s important to find inspiration from the legendary forefathers of the game, and innovate new waves for today’s era. This pertains not only through developing sounds, but custom-tailored imagery as well, even with the choice of hairstyle.”

To join us on this exploration of LA’s subcultures, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.