Merle Norman. Cosmopolitan. May 1983.  Back in the ‘80s, makeover studios were quite the rage at the local mall, but the originator of the modern makeover was a woman by the name of Merle Norman, who started to formulate her own cosmetic products in her kitchen and opened her first studio in Los Angeles in 1931. The theory behind the business was that if she could just get women to try the products first, they’d see the value and would become loyal customers. As a matter of fact, the term “try before you buy” was coined by Merle Norman herself due to this philosophy. She also created opportunities for women to own their own makeover studios through franchising, opening the door for ladies to enter the world of entrepreneurship. Ms. Norman knew that makeup could be empowering and transformative, and she was right. 

Merle Norman. Cosmopolitan. May 1983. 

Back in the ‘80s, makeover studios were quite the rage at the local mall, but the originator of the modern makeover was a woman by the name of Merle Norman, who started to formulate her own cosmetic products in her kitchen and opened her first studio in Los Angeles in 1931. The theory behind the business was that if she could just get women to try the products first, they’d see the value and would become loyal customers. As a matter of fact, the term “try before you buy” was coined by Merle Norman herself due to this philosophy. She also created opportunities for women to own their own makeover studios through franchising, opening the door for ladies to enter the world of entrepreneurship. Ms. Norman knew that makeup could be empowering and transformative, and she was right.