Tamara Peace found her calling when she graduated from beauty school in 1978, which likely came as no surprise as the profession runs in the family?her grandmother and her great aunt both practiced cosmetology. Tamara went on to work in relaxed salons where she specialized in coiffing hair into beach-friendly styles and developed the ability to create natural-looking, sun-kissed highlights beloved by Southern Californians. Throughout the years, the makeup artist and hairstylist has showcased her skills not only at salons, but also on the photography sets, where she has readied actors and models for their close ups and powdered camera lenses that were too shiny.
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 spa at Merle Norman Thousand Oaks also offers detoxifying infrared body wraps that help burn up to 1200 calories in one session. The treatment may help clients lose inches, tighten cellulite, rejuvenate skin, and boost immune response.
Once they sit down in a styling chair, clients at 18|8 Fine Men's Salons don't have to get back up until they look like a fresh, new man. That's because the stylist already has everything prepared right there at the station—from the shampoo basin where clients lean back for a wash to the hot towels that delicately drape across their face. The team sprinkles little courtesies throughout each visit because they believe, whether clients notice them or not, they add up. Some details may go overlooked, such as the way the team shampoos each client twice—once before the haircut and once afterward, which washes out the little hair clippings. Others are harder to miss, such as the complimentary beverages.
Earthly Body's collection of natural, vegan, and paraben-free skincare and bodycare products has caught the eye of an array of media outlets, such as Allure and Lucky magazines, with its hydrating hemp-oil bases and cruelty-free lineup. Candles melt into a candle pot with wax that can also be used as a warm massage oil, postcleansing moisturizer, or elbow cream for dry pet elephants. Earthly Body’s haircare line, Marrakesh, infuses each tendril-smoothing solution with Moroccan argan oil and three signature scents (original, High Tide, and Dreamsicle) to bolster frizz-free manes. Mineral-based makeups dust across facescapes without the harsh chemicals or pore-clogging guilt found in animal-tested products.
With locations throughout California, including LA, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Jose, Inland Empire, Ventura County, and Orange County, the knowledgeable staffers at Planet Beauty stock the store?s shelves with enough top-quality beauty products to outfit a regiment of beauticians. Guided by experience as aestheticians, stylists, and makeup artists, they help guests navigate the roster of premium brands, which includes bad-hair-day-banishing products from Frederic Fekkai and K?rastase. Skincare potions from Peter Thomas Roth clear facial canvases before applications of Smashbox blush brighten cheeks or Divaderme lash extender make eyelashes visible from orbit.