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.
Armed with chocolate wax for sensitive skin, Curl Up & Dye Salon and Spa’s licensed aestheticians efficiently eradicate hairs to keep skin smooth and clean. Professional de-fuzzers transform Bert brows into beautiful eye awnings by applying eyebrow waxes with clinical precision, curtail hair’s expansionist policies with bikini waxes, or remove all traces of hair in the bikini region with a Brazilian wax. After the 15- to 30-minute waxing session concludes, newly sleek skins can face the summer without worrying about burgeoning brow-hairs pushing the sunglasses right off their face.
Part salon and spa, part boutique, and part wellness center, Divine Appointment Salon-Spa-Wellness helps transform its clients inside and out. The staff comprises beauty and wellness consultants, and they each bring their own vision to their respective fields. Hairstylists specialize in both classic and trendy cutting and styling; skincare specialists offer treatments that help minimize blemishes and render surfaces smoother. Other services include body scrubs, tanning, and nail care.
Within the cream and burgundy oasis that is Euphoria Body Salon, a team of beautifiers with more than 50 years of combined experience get to work primping, pampering, and painting. Nail technicians administer mani-pedis decadent enough to warrant names like "whipped strawberry," handing each client a glass of bubbly before massaging hands and slicking them with polish. Dermaplane facials resurface tired fa?ades, and hairstylists cut and color the coifs of women, men, and children.
Stationed inside the tranquil Crescent Heights Hair Design studio, stylist Tonya Hatley cares for clients' hair and nails. She colors strands with eye-catching highlights, snips tresses into stylish coifs, and texturizes locks with perms and beach-wave curling treatments. She also puts a bold twist on french manicures by tipping nails in bright colors, such as blue and red, and adding nail art.
Manicurist Cassandra transforms nails into statement pieces at We Nail'd It Nail Lounge. She specializes in using acrylic sets, gel polish, and even Swarovski crystals to create nail-sized masterpieces. In addition to her nail designs and manicures, she lavishes attention on feet with pedicure services. The Luxurious pedicure lives up to its name with a foot soak and massage, plus hot stones and a choice of paraffin wax or a mask for baby-soft feet.