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When ROOTS the Beauty Underground opened in a Laguna Beach storefront in August 2012, its vision of wellness was a radical one for Orange County.

The curation of skincare and makeup was rigorous and the focus on a healthy alternative to cosmetics quickly became a destination, marking it an affirmation in founder Laura Linsenmayer’s mission.

Laura, a Laguna Beach native, spent 20 years in the cosmetic industry learning the many harmful chemicals in the brands she was recommending and promoting. ROOTS was a way for her not just to sell products, but rather listen, consult, demonstrate and recommend each product based on a client’s needs.

Briogeo hair conditioner, Dr. Alkaitis nourishing treatment oil and India Lee bath soaks are just a few of the items that stock the store’s shelves, making it a golden opportunity to shop local.

OC Blonde talked to Laura to learn more about her business and chasing her dream unapologetically.  When picking out what products and solutions to feature in her store, she’s thinking about the customer and there’s that personal touch that goes into every suggestion.

1.) What inspired you to start ROOTS?

I like to say Divine Beauty Intervention with a heavy dose of common sense! I have been working professionally in the beauty industry for 20 years and the moment that I was introduced to Organic Haircolor, my mind was blown wide open. Once I know the facts, there is no turning back.

2.) Why do you feel it’s important to use natural ingredients?

Our bodies are completely absorbing and processing every ingredient that we put in and on it. My perspective is based solely on common sense. Due to the lack of regulations in the U.S. beauty industry, the women in this country have been harming their bodies daily with an average of 150 toxic chemicals through the use of cosmetics. It’s not healthy. These unregulated chemicals are linked directly to an endless number of diseases. This is not a matter of vanity, it’s a matter of preventative healthcare.

3.) Tell us your product selection process and what draws you to carrying a certain line. What’s one of your favorites?

This is a huge question with an even bigger response!! I will try to narrow it down to bullet points.

  • When originally curating ROOTS, I created a list of the most common cosmetic needs and issues that I had been approached with over the last 20 years. From here, I had to select the best brand to fit each category of need. It was essential that I had a well-rounded collection — something for everybody.
  • Research Research Research! There are many people that I look up to and admire in this industry. These are the people that I would comb through their interviews and find out what they were using and what brands they were obsessed with. From here, I would reach out to those brands directly.
  • Results. My process is a bit backward, you could say. I am driven by RESULTS. Each and every item carried in ROOTS has been personally tested and reviewed by me first as well as by the ROOTS team. When I am blown away by the result of a product, I then work my way backwards by researching that brand’s overall integrity — ingredient list and sourcing, packaging, partnership terms, price points, reviews and reputation. Adding a new brand to ROOTS is a complex process that inevitably concludes in trusting my intuition.

4.) Why do you think your shop speaks so well to Californians?

I do believe that California is known as one of the most health-conscious states. The ROOTS client is made up of mostly people that are aware of the harmful affects of toxic cosmetics. They are seeking us out — the demand is like nothing I have ever seen.

5.) You mentioned that you work daily with clients who left a cosmetics counter feeling overdone, oversold or looking like a clown. What’s your approach to achieving the natural beauty look?

My approach to makeup is called, “Observe & Enhance.”  I begin by analyzing the client’s skin tones and bone structure. This I refer to as “The Art of Anatomy.” I am simply enhancing the client’s natural-born beauty! There is nothing phony that goes on here!

ROOTS The Beauty Undeground founder, Laura Linsenmayer (center)

6.) What do you do to maintain your health and well-being?

Throughout these last five years of ROOTS, I have evolved as a person along with the evolution of this business. My clients have taught me everything about fitness and nutrition and as a result I am happier and healthier than ever. Implementing and maintaining daily, weekly and seasonal wellness rituals has been the root of my transformation. I received a download that told me my only responsibility on this Earth as a human is to exercise my body for a minimum of 30 minutes a day and then everything else would fall into place. This message has proven to be very true.

7.) What’s your favorite Laguna spot — aside from your shop!

Fun question!! My absolute favorite part of Laguna Beach is the unlimited hiking trails and fire roads! The landscape is world class! I realized that I do not need to get on an airplane to reach paradise — I live in paradise!



ROOTS the Beauty Underground is at 384 Forest Ave., #9, Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 424-4266 or visit

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