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Chic, classic and sexy looks on the road with Merle Norman

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When I was a little kid, I remember there being a Merle Norman boutique in my local upscale mall. I was fascinated by all of the colors and couldn't help but notice that they excelled at customer service. My pre-teen self made note of it and vowed to stop by the boutique when I was allowed to wear makeup. After all, I was unsure of my skin tone, what lip liner was for and also, what to do about brows.

Well, the day finally came when I was allowed to wear makeup, but by then, Merle Norman was no longer buzzy a label and there was no longer a boutique. I got started on other brands.

But now, Merle Norman is making a strong, chic comeback! I was happy to be hosted to experience them.

When you're traveling, it's important to look your best. Even backpackers are eschewing the "I don't care" look. After all, you really never know who you'll meet and what opportunities will come your way.

I love an eyeshadow palette that has a variety of textures, including good, non-chalky mattes. Eyecolor Trio in Wit and Whimsy has a non-vanilla colored, flattering peach tone, an icy blue and slate blue-gray. You can do a number of looks with the palette, use them wet for intense liners, do a fun retro thing with the icy color, use it for evening, etc. They are very sheer, so you will probably want to build the intensity.

Lip pencils are either good or you should forget about them. Merle Norman's in Hide and Seek has softness, but provides great definition, better than the famous lip pencil named after kitchen seasonings. It would work for a range of skin tones, except for the coolest, darkest skin. When you apply it, it really stays! I mean, you won't rub it off or anything. Consider wearing it under your lipstick for a base. However, don't be like that national cable news commentator I was on tv with who only wears lipliner: that's a dry, harsh look -- aging.

Merle Norman Age Defying + Lipcolor in Poised has all the hallmarks of the finest, most luxurious designer lipsticks: it's in a heavier, metal tube that has a satisfying "click". It has a great bullet shape and embossed logo in the color. The color itself is neutral, creamy with the slightest golden sheen for depth and further luxury. It has a praline scent. The color is elegant and would work in professional situations without looking like you're on your first interview ever.

Merle Norman products are available exclusively at Merle Norman studios.


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