Merle Norman Cosmetics is a Los Angeles-based company that sells a line of skin care products, makeup, and fragrances. The company has been in business since 1931. Merle Norman focuses on American-made cosmetics and fragrances that are distributed from two major warehouses in L.A. and in Memphis to over 2,000 retail franchises throughout the country. The company now uses its own research and development team to create new cosmetic and fragrances. The main focus of Merle Norman Cosmetics is two pronged; with one aspect being the development of products for consumers and at the same time to develop franchise opportunities for small business owners.
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Is Merle Skincare Worth The Money?
A common question about this brand is if the products are worth the cost.
In our opinion, Merle Skincare products deliver value for money, but take a look at other brands that don’t require you to sacrifice your precious money.
We recommend brands that are committed to developing clean yet effective products.
One brand is Carrot & Stick, a clean skincare brand that perfectly balances the gentle nurturing of plants with the powerful results of innovative science.
Carrot & Stick intro bundles deliver great value for money because you can bundle 3 full-size products worth up to
$240 for $88.
What’s Inside Merle Norman Skin Care?
Here’s a closer look at the active ingredients commonly used in Merle Norman skin care products. Vitamin C, peptides, and retinol make up the core ingredients for the Merle Norman skin care line. These ingredients should all be part of your skincare routine.
We’ve been hearing for years that Vitamin C is the best anti-aging ingredient. It’s a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
Vitamin C also helps fade dark spots, evens out skin tone, and increases radiance. As if that wasn’t enough, research suggests that when vitamin C is applied to the skin, it significantly reverses aging-related structural changes by influencing collagen and elastin synthesis.
It’s in the Merle Norman Brilliant-C Brightening Serum.
But our favorite Vitamin C serum is Carrot & Stick The Defence Serum. It contains 3 distinct types of Vitamin C that work together to help fight free radical damage. We recommend using it every morning.
As you age, your body’s production of collagen and elastin slows down. These two proteins are responsible for your skin’s structural support. As a result, the skin loses its natural plumpness and smoothness.
While collagen is necessary for maintaining youthful-looking skin, the collagen protein is too large to absorb into the skin topically. That’s why applying skin care products that contain collagen won’t provide the anti-aging benefits you’re looking for.
This is where peptides come into action. Peptides are the building blocks of protein, and they are easily absorbed into the deeper layers of skin due to their smaller size.
Merle Norman Anti-Aging Complex Night Cream contains a Triple Peptide Complex to help reduce the signs of premature aging.
If you’re looking for a peptide serum, we recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum. It contains 7 plant-based peptides to promote plumper and smoother-looking skin.
Retinol is the go-to anti-aging ingredient recommended by dermatologists and skin experts. It’s clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores.
The only downside? Retinol can often lead to side effects like skin dryness, peeling, and irritation.
It’s in the Merle Norman Retinol Night Complex.
Use retinoids at night. We recommend this retinoid oil serum. It contains Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, an ingredient that provides similar benefits with less irritation.
Merle Norman Company History
Merle Norman launched her first cosmetics studio in Santa Monica, CA, after creating and demonstrating her own homemade products to friends and family. She was one of the first cosmetics specialists to allow her customers to try on her products before making a purchase.
After she opened her first studio with the assistance of her nephew, J.B. Nethercutt, she began to perform before-and-after makeovers to further market her cosmetics. Once her studio became successful, she gave other women the opportunity to open their own Merle Norman studios through a franchising program.
Merle Norman Product Information
Merle Norman carries a wide variety of skin care products as well as cosmetics. Items include serums that get rid of wrinkles and fine lines, exfoliating masks, facial creams that are designed to get rid of acne, as well as several items for men.
The company does not allow its franchisees to sell products out of their homes or online, so any products that you may find online are likely not authorized for sale by the company.
Cosmetic product prices range from $8.00-$16.00 and include foundation, eye shadow, mascara, lip liner, eye liner, and blush. Prices may vary from studio to studio, and customers should call their local Merle Norman studio for exact prices and availability while they are comparison shopping for cosmetics.
Purchasing Merle Norman Products
While there are no Merle Norman cosmetics available on the website, there is a studio locator available, along with franchise information and detailed information about the products. Customers can browse for products via a drop-down menu and read more about how each one might benefit their skin. Merle Norman reviews from customers are not offered on the site, and there is no other supporting information except what the company provides.
Customers can also purchase gift certificates at any Merle Norman studio. Customers who shop at the studios can take advantage of a number of other services there, such as express makeovers, skin assessments, consultations for brides-to-be who want to coordinate their dress and their cosmetics, and a number of spa treatments.
Merle Norman studios will also often let customers try on products first, which can make it helpful when making a purchasing decision. However, as with any retailer that allows you to try products first, keep in mind that the person behind the counter is likely not a skin care specialist and is there to make a sale – not necessarily to help you find the best product. Therefore, it is important to stay objective when trying on any new product, and first ensure that it truly is right for your skin.
Merle Norman Returns
Return policies for each Merle Norman studio may vary from state to state. Most studios offer their customers up to thirty days to return any purchase, but franchise owners may set their own policies and rules. Because no franchise owner is permitted to sell any cosmetics or fragrances online, items purchased at online auctions or retail websites cannot be returned to any franchise location.
Merle Norman Franchise Information
The website also offers advice and franchise information for those who want to open their own Merle Norman studio. There is an extensive FAQ section that covers how to find an available location, how to get financing, and how the Merle Norman Company will assist you should you decide to own and run a location.
What Are Alternatives to Merle Norman?
If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin. We recommend The Repair Serum, followed by The Moisturizer.