Vol. LXI, No. 16
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
From powder to polish, bronzers and blushers, mascara and moisturizers, foundation and facials, Merle Norman Cosmetics & Skin Care offers a complete range of products to give you a new look.
Founded in 1931, and headquartered in Los Angeles, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inc. now has a network of 2000 individually-owned and operated franchise studios throughout the U.S. and Canada. One of the newest studios opened in March in the Cornerstone Court at One tree Farm Road in Pennington.
"I've been in the cosmetics business for 20 years," says owner Diane Mazey. "I wanted to have a place where women can gather and have some fun in a very nice atmosphere. And I really believe in the Merle Norman products."
Skin care products cover a full range with something for every type of skin condition: dry, oily, sensitive, aging, and special problems, such as rosacea and acne, and for all ages.
"We have mothers bringing in their daughters to get them started on proper skin care and make-up, women in their thirties, forties, fifties right up to 90!" reports Ms. Mazey. "Sometimes, they come in for make-up and then discover the skin care line or vice versa."
What is unique about the Merle Norman studio is the "Try Before You Buy" concept. Customers are treated to a complimentary facial and make-over, and then may or may not choose to purchase products.
"The facial includes cleaning, steaming, mask, and moisturizer," explains Ms. Mazey. "Skin care is so important. We have five different lines of products, from help for teens to anti-aging, as well as peels and micro-dermabrasion products. Some items are botanical and collagen-enriched."
After the facial, the customer enjoys a personalized make-over, she adds. "When deciding on make-up, the most important consideration is the condition of the skin. Skin type, coloring, facial structure, and life-style are all important. We also give the customer a questionnaire, inquiring about preferred make-up styles natural, classic, professional, or dramatic."
Ms. Mazey helps her clients with hands-on instruction and advice. "Once we have established the style she likes most customers want easy-maintenance I show them exactly how to apply the make-up. I'll do one side of the face, and they will do the other."
One of the results of appropriate make-up is enhancing one's good features and diminishing less attractive ones, points out Ms. Mazey. "For example, if eyes are small, you want to make them appear larger. This can be done with shadow, different ways of lining the eyes, etc."
She also notes the importance of contrast. "If you have blue eyes, you make them 'pop' by using brown shadow, and for brown eyes, use blue shadow."
Having the advice and instruction of a professional is so important, adds Ms. Mazey. "There are also ways to highlight cheekbones and address the shape of the face long, round, square, etc. The biggest make-up mistake people make is wearing too much, perhaps trying to cover dark circles, spots, etc., and the second is not paying enough attention to eyebrows. They are so important. They frame the face, and through proper styling, brows can give an instant lift and even help correct challenges of facial shapes."
From eyebrow pencils (including automatic and retractable) to brow shapers to the new tinted brow sealers, there is a range of products to create flattering brows for everyone.
Popular today are shimmer and luminescence to add a touch of glamour, and cream eyeliners are new favorites, especially desirable for their long-lasting quality.
After experiencing Ms. Mazey's hands-on expertise and instruction, customers are eager to try out their new make-up, and often return to give her a visual report. "They will come back to show me how they're doing, and also, make-up is seasonal. For example, summer make-up is different than winter make-up, just as evening make-up differs from day make-up. We advise on this too."
One of Ms. Mazey's favorite activities is providing a "Girls' Night Out". "They can have a party here with wine and cheese, and then they all have a facial and make-over. It's great fun, and they all enjoy it. Also, 10 percent of the sales for products goes toward a discount for whatever the hostess purchases."
Ms. Mazey does special occasion make-overs for events such as proms and weddings, as well as fund-raisers. "During the time of the event, I'll donate 10 percent of the sales to that charity. Currently, I'm doing one for the Montgomery Alliance for Education and another for the Village Learning Center. I want to give back to the community."
In addition to the full line of Merle Norman products, including new foundation brushes for "a beautiful flawless look," Ms. Mazey offers the Lollia line, with lotions, bubble bath, and candles. Also available are buttery-soft robes and the high-end Irving Wrice make-up mirrors from Germany.
Ms. Mazey is very enthusiastic about the number of clients, including repeats, she has had in a short time. "111 in just a few weeks! I am typically doing three and four facials a day. I think we are set apart by the passion we have for the products and the opportunity to let customers try before they buy. There is no pressure. The facial and make-over are complimentary, the products are high quality and priced right. We have a very attractive studio and a relaxed setting for people. Come and see us!"
The studio is open Tuesday through Friday 10:30 to 6; Thursday until 7; Saturday until 4. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are suggested. (609) 730-8700. Web: www.merlenormanstudio/mn-9491.
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