The sounds of laughter and lively chatter echo across Tony & Friends Salon and Spa’s expansive studio as stylists revivify scalps and aestheticians refresh skin with professional PCA products. If the stylists need any inspiration for their designs, they need only glance up at the geometric patterns that stretch across the walls or down at the smooth, sleek lines that run across the hardwood floors. The salon hosts girls' night out parties on Friday nights, inviting up to 10 ladies to enjoy complimentary appetizers as the staff applies cosmetics, massages sore muscles, and supplies cotton makeup pads for the gentlest of pillow fights.
In the late 1920s, the Great Depression was rendering most Americans professionally and financially paralyzed. But in a small California kitchen, Merle Nethercutt Norman was putting a plan in motion to formulate her own skincare products and share them with family and friends. She truly believed in her formulas, knowing that by getting them on as many faces as possible, she would develop a following of customers. She was right—within a few years she and her nephew were opening their first studio in Santa Monica, and they eventually unveiled a series of independently operated stores that enabled women to take ownership during a time of gender-based limitations such as men-only restrooms.
Today, in approximately 2,000 stores across three countries, the three basic principles of Merle's original vision still apply. Each studio is independently owned and fosters an in-depth knowledge of the company's own line of makeup and skincare products. Just as Merle shared her creations with close friends and sallow mannequins more than 80 years ago, today's aestheticians embody the business's "try before you buy" philosophy. A menu of complimentary studio services—from foundation checks to express facials—allows patrons to sample the lauded brand before committing to the purchase of products or full spa treatments.
The team at Roots Salon beautifies clients from head to toe with a full slate of services. Stylists revamp manes with trendy cuts and color, as well as add instant length with hair extensions. Inside private rooms, aestheticians tailor treatments to clients’ skin concerns—reducing sun damage with chemical peels and boosting collagen with phyto-stem technology. Soreness melts away beneath soothing massage kneads, and complexions are quickly enhanced with waxing treatments and makeup applications.
The seasoned stylists at Charlie?s East Coast Hair Designs keep skin radiant and strands carefully arranged with haircuts, facials, and massages. Inside Charlie's, a black leather couch hosts visitors, and the granite-topped color bar holds varied shades of hair for customer perusal. Plants provide a backdrop to the tile-floored beauty palace where aestheticians spruce up visages with facials or makeup, coating skinscapes with elegant coloring or neon-green in-house chlorophyll.
At Amazing Grace Spa, aesthetician Julie Janes helps clients look their best with a host of soothing beauty services, including her specialty anti-aging and acne treatments. Along with facial treatments, the spa offers massage, makeup, and waxing services.
Splendide's warm, welcoming atmosphere helps you feel comfortable as an experienced aesthetician attends to and your depilatory needs. The Brazilian wax ($50 value) readies nether regions for a summer of going to the beach or attending art museums wearing a swimsuit, and the brow wax ($18 value) fulfills desires to emulate the clear, open spaces of the southwestern deserts or to wear eyebrows in the shape of finely maintained ski-jumps. Though it may cause discomfort, hairlessness from waxing lasts longer than shaving.