The beauty experts at Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio take a personal interest in their clients’ pores. They perform complimentary assessments of skin type before plucking the proper makeup from a varied inventory, ensuring foundations and shadows flatter complexions and compound eyes. Comprised of cosmetics and skincare from the Merle Norman line, which was born in Los Angeles in 1931, the beautifying powders and serums can be tested in-store before purchase. That means customers can sweep bronzing powder across cheekbones and seal in the sun-kissed hues with Expert Touch Finishing Spray before deciding if it really matches their favorite ski mask. In addition to the studio’s namesake line, staffers also stock professional OPI nail polish, perfumes, and accessories.
Gould's Academy was voted the city's best day spa and best hair salon in 2013 by the Memphis Flyer, and Commercial Appeal. Aestheticians re-earn these commendations with ever facial and body treatment they perform, using proven products such as Murad.
BrowGal's Stefanee Kelley holds a small metal ruler up to your face and soaks in the view. After summing up your features, she deftly tweezes out stray hair to reveal two smooth, strong arches that give focus to eyes, cheekbones, and lips. Her sense of proportion has been honed during nearly two decades as a cosmetologist, a career that led her to work alongside luminaries Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, and Bobbi Brown. The influence of these women is clear in her technique and style, which she describes on her website as "natural and fresh-looking," following Kelley's rules of never tweezing from the top and never tweezing vicariously by removing hair from the nearest mammal. Kelley also isn't afraid of hair, and will fill in sparse eyebrows with BrowGal's signature line of powders. "I'm a fan of thicker brows, because they make you look younger," she told the Oxford Eagle in a 2006 interview.
Thick eyebrows also signify good health, a truth Kelley confronted while volunteering for Look Good Feel Better with the American Cancer Society. According to At Home In Memphis, her father's battle with cancer inspired her to join the program and give cosmetology lessons and makeovers, particularly brow enhancements, to oncology patients. Today, she continues to lend her expertise to women enrolled in Look Good Feel Better, and has expanded BrowGal's menu to include waxing and permanent makeup, which gives enduring beauty to those without the means to maintain their look.
Led by industry veteran Michael Branan, Hippie Jack's Barber Shack prides itself on keeping its old-school barbershop vibe while still offering the latest in men's hairstyles. The extensively trained staff snips hair into classic and new looks, trims beards and mustaches, and shaves face stubble until chins are as soft and smooth as a lamb wearing sunglasses.
Rounded archways and chandeliers decorate the interior of Wink Couture, a multicultural salon staffed by friendly stylists. Those stylists beautify all types of skin and hair with custom-tailored services. They purify skin with spa facials, apply flattering makeup, and update hairstyles with color or texture-altering treatments. Eyelash extensions are another specialty.
Ameerah Jones, a stylist at A Better Image Beauty and Barber, loves working on hair of all textures. When Groupon asked what her favorite service was to perform, she was hard-pressed to narrow it down to just one: braiding children's hair, adding silkening treatments to a new haircut, and restoring damaged hair with conditioner treatments—she enjoys them all. One thing she's absolutely sure about, however, is the best part of her job: "working with people and making [them] feel beautiful!"
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular service: Styles and braids, cuts, color, and restorative treatments
Brands Used: Kera Kare, Design Essentials, ISO, Wella, Sebastian, Bumble