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