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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](http://gr.pn/GVS5Jk) brand before committing to the purchase of products or full spa treatments.

3641 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Thousand oaks,
CA
US

The state-certified aestheticians at Shabby's Skin Kare combine their knowledge of recent developments in skin therapy with Dermalogica products to conduct soothing and effective treatments. Before beginning any of their 10 signature facials, they conduct a complimentary face mapping to determine the most suitable treatments and products. To complement threading and waxing treatments, they oust stress with back-and-neck, hand-and-arm, and scalp massages.

1350 Los Angeles Ave. Ste. 3A
Simi Valley,
CA
US

For more than 20 years, Oracle Salon owner Melissa Geriah has been giving her customers’ coiffures the benefit of her extensive training in a wide range of professional salon products and coloring techniques. Her services include men’s and women’s haircuts, beard trimming, highlights and color, and image consulting.

28925 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu,
CA
US

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.

21512 Victory Blvd
Woodland Hills,
CA
US

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 Kérastase. Skincare potions from Dermalogica and Peter Thomas Roth clear facial canvases before applications of Smashbox blush brighten cheeks or Divaderme lash extender make eyelashes visible from orbit.

6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Canoga Park,
CA
US

The stylists at Studio Pure provide specialized salon services for both men and women, using environmentally friendly products from Goldwell, Paul Mitchell, and Redken. The menu of services includes haircuts, color, and shaves for men as well as extensions, weaves, highlights, eyelash extensions, braiding, spray tanning, and makeup for women.

22247 Mulholland Hwy
Calabasas,
CA
US