XX Base Coat
Nestled in the once forgotten, and today's ever so popular, Arts District South— is an artisan nail salon with a unique twist: XX Base Coat is non-toxic.
"What this means is that we strive to use the least known toxins in all our products, nail polishes and now our new gels," says co-founder Ali Elman. "We have our own line of 8-free polish in which 8 known cancer causing chemicals have been removed. There are a hunded different colors to choose from, they're all made in the US and they're vegan as well!"
XX Base Coat is the brainchild of Elman and Tran Willis, which claims its beginnings in Denver, Colorado. The origin story goes like this: Tran was pregnant and looking to have a treatment done but was unable to find a salon due to the harsh fumes. In addition, we read online that Tran, who herself has an extensive history in the nail industry, even had a nosebleed in one establishment. After this experience she began to do some research and discovered that there was not one non-toxic nail salon in all of Colorado... and very few countrywide.
This was the moment where that hypothetical light bulb turned on, or at least the important question was posed, "Why isn't there a safer salon option for people to get their nails done?"
"That's when Tran and I partnered up to really create a brand that we could grow and a concept that we could take anywhere," says Elman who has made a name for herself back in Colorado as the founder of the Black Eye Coffee cafés. Having such deep roots in the Denver community we asked the question, "Why come to Arts District South?"
"We knew that we wanted to bring this concept to LA, have it be in an area where it could stand out and also help to inform the vibe of the neighborhood." XX Base Coat is on Mateo just south of 7th street and across the street from Silverlake Wine Shop. "Once we toured this area it just felt right."
"We know we're not as well known here as in Denver so our focus has been on educating people as to who we are, what we do and why XX Base Coat is such a unique experience."
Before concluding the interview we asked Ali, "Anything about yourself you'd like to share?"
"Um, gosh. I'm six months pregnant so I'm really grateful that I get to work in an environment that's safe for me. I don't get sick, I don't get headaches, and I feel really lucky to be a part of this and to be in the Arts District."