Our fingers and toes help us accomplish vital daily tasks such as flossing, wearing flip-flops, and massaging peanuts until they let out their butters. Give your peanut tenderizers a buff with today's Groupon: for $30, you get a basic manicure and a waterless pedicure (a $60 value) at Merle Norman.
Studio owner Renee Hitt and her legion of licensed and certified keratin tamers harness the pampering powers of OPI polishes, gels, and treatments to beautify weary fingers and toes. The waterless pedicure coddles pedal pushers with a custom-made sanitizing refreshener, an all-over dry buff, and a hot-towel hug. Cuticle and callus removers stave off impending epidermal invasions and clear the path for a second exfoliation, which readies toe shingles for buffing, shaping, and the waxy dénouement of a Perfectsense paraffin treatment. Finger fangs receive an equally pamperous experience with a basic manicure, which shapes, exfoliates, polishes, and preps nails for brief stints moonlighting for stars too lazy to light the way of interstellar time cops.
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.