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.
Elegance Medi Spa's cosmetic procedures entwine Eastern modalities with noninvasive Western technology. Using this mix, the staff of certified technicians can help patients vanquish flab with an FDA-approved LipoLaser, banish unwanted hair with laser hair-removal services using the LightSheer XC diode laser, and fade discolouration with teeth whitening. No matter what aesthetic treatment patients choose, they first undergo a comprehensive consultation to discuss their concerns, goals, and favourite celebrity baby names.
At Richard Mar School of Hair and Esthetics, trained and highly experienced professionals train and mentor students on their ways to becoming spa specialists, owners, and managers. Taught in small groups and with individual training, these students perform a full spa menu of services including styling hair, adding twinges of color or complete sets of foils, and administering soothing facial treatments, massages, mani-pedis, and waxings. They also train for and perform in competitive trade shows to build their portfolios and put notches on their belts sewn from hair.
With numerous noninvasive techniques at their fingertips, Esteem Treatments brings about wellness while drawing out natural beauty. Technicians can melt fat with lipo-laser technology and contour figures with wraps. Dermarolling stimulates skin tissue to iron wrinkles, stretch marks, and blemishes. To tighten skin, they employ radio frequency, and shock-wave therapy can be used to relieve pain from chronic inflammation. They even can rid bodies of toxins with detoxing footbaths.
At Safra Day Spa, the skilled staff soothes clients' bodies and rejuvenates skin with full-body massages, facials, and other spa treatments. Dim lamps cast a soft glow on earth-toned walls as manicurists trim and shape digits at well-stocked nail stations and cosmeticians refresh complexions with laser skincare treatments. Guests can also relax with indulgent spa packages, and male clients can peruse the roster of specialized men's services.