Gloria Noto is one of those people who exudes confidence and self-assurance in an enchantingly affable way. Boundary-breaking business owner, queer podcaster, co-owner of an A-frame in the mountains, need I say more? Tune in to hear all about their inspirations (music!), the making and necessity of home, and what they were up to in the 90s (have you seen my bag? I’m missing my copy of Nightwood by Djuna Barnes and my black eyeliner…) Enjoy :-)
Gloria, we love all of your NOTO Botanics products so much over here at ARQ! Nothing is more relaxing than indulging in the scent of Rooted Oil on my temples, chest, and wrists before slipping into bed. Immediate relaxation.
NOTO Botanics isn’t just a beauty brand—it’s a place that inspires and encourages body care and appreciation. NOTO is also a place where anyone is welcome. It’s known for gender inclusivity and representation and in an industry desperate for more of that, I find NOTO is making huge strides. Can you tell us what guided you to shape NOTO in this way?
i believe that beauty knows no gender and often when a brand is targeting they are falsely advertising. i all genders want beautiful healthy skin there such thing as true binary. person who identifies she it also part of my own life how live. so for me creating product didn follow binary was vital. am what believe. say the best story to tell your own.
Life has been a little wild, a little topsy-turvy, since the pandemic started though things are edging on being a little more “normal” (or so we tell ourselves) these days. What is a change that you’ve affected in your life over the past year that you have found to be continuously helpful, successful, or necessary for you going forward?
This is a tough question. I wish I could say I have been one of the many who have taken this last year to be slower, learned how to bake bread, got into a deep new practice. But truthfully, this last year and even now all feels like a giant blur. Time doesn't make much sense, there has been endless reasons to grieve, and life has been a constant state of adjusting. With that said, one way that I have been able to get through things is to allow myself to feel it all and be as present as I can. There are too many reasons to get anxious or excited over, so one way I've been able to keep my sanity is by letting it all happen, while trying to listen to my inner voice and see how I talk to myself. Am I being friendly with myself, or am I being a bully? Realizing this and seeing what I want to change in it has really helped. Having my partner next to me has also been something that has greatly helped. They are a rock in my life, grounding, and positive. It's so important to nourish the relationships in your life that mean the most. Be it with self, or others.
We’ve noticed you moved into an A-frame in the mountains! What a dreamy spot! What are things you miss about the city and what are some reasons you felt the call to leave? Does your new home feel like “home” in the truest sense of the word, and if so, what makes it home? Are there any aspects of previous homes that tend to follow you around (i.e. a favorite chair, coffee table book, or hand-me-down)?
As I write this, I am sitting on my balcony feeling a light breeze, taking in deep breaths of clean air, surrounded by trees, sun, and spring. This house does feel like home. More and more each day. Moving to a new town, a new atmosphere, and embarking on home ownership has been a huge journey. My whole life, I've searched for the idea of home, and in some ways I have found it here. Being in nature is vital to feeling home for me. Our wall of windows showcase the beauty right outside. Being able to in many ways start from scratch and build a home with my partner has been the best part of it all.
Music seems to be a huge part of your life and inspiration. We love tuning into your playlists-- they’re reminiscent of being at a moody, alt coffee shop in the late 90s, wearing lots of makeup and silver hoops, drinking black coffee and reading Sylvia Plath. What are some of your favorite memories surrounding music, and do you find that it's shaped you in your career in any way? Are there any musicians that inspire you in your work as a business owner and makeup artist?
Wow, you literally painted a picture of ACTUAL me in the late 90's early 2000's. Too much makeup, Sylvia Plath and all. I would say along with art, culture, fashion etc., music is one of my biggest inspirations in life, like many. I've even named a few of our Multi-Bene stain colors after musicians or songs. When I create a mood board for a new launch or an upcoming theme , musicians often show up on that board. For me, I tend to connect to music of the late 80s and all of the 90s. New Wave, Dark wave, shoegaze, hip hop, r&b, house music, ambient, etc. I am a huge music nerd with a very large amount of playlists. I have a terrible memory but for whatever reason, I can remember nearly every song lyric of any song I have heard in the past. I wish I could use that talent elsewhere at times! I can literally say that music saved my life. Growing up in a pretty rough and strict household, the first thing I ever discovered that showed me there was another life out there waiting for me was music. It opened a world to me that I knew existed because I felt so other from the life I lived in. Music showed me I could be whatever I wanted to be, as weird or as deep or dark or bright as I could imagine.
Gloria on Instagram: @glorianoto