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The business of looking good

Beauty has taken a detour.

No longer consigned to the eye of the beholder, it has alighted at 500 King�s Highway in Fairfield bearing the name of Marinello.

Marinello Schools of Beauty opened softly in February and officially cut its ribbon in July. The 12,000-square-foot salon, spa and school occupies the combined footprints of a former video store and a mattress store. It hosts 24 client salon stations where the service is professional and delivered at a 70 percent discount relative to similar skin, nail, shampoo, color and style treatments at upscale spas and salons.

A tour revealed a steady flow of customers, some of whom come for specific students � and who will likely leave with them when the students complete their 1,500-hour regimen � and others who come strictly for price and result.

The stations are staffed by the senior, most-experienced students, handling walk-in and appointment-based traffic. Ninety percent of the students are female, but the school is ramping up its barber offerings this fall with a new 1,000-hour course toward certification.

The 24 full-scale stations are complemented by a wall of shampoo sinks and even a blow-dry bar for the equivalent of a hair pick-me-up. And they are not the half of it.

Another 42 chairs and related work accessories are called �general stations.� This is where students earlier in the learning process � like Tiara McCloud � work on mannequins, on each other and, when they are prepared and find a willing family member, on them, too.

�A year from now I�d like to be in a salon, making money and making people beautiful,� she said. �I�m doing great and I love it here.�

McCloud represents a Marinello ethos that goes well beyond the panoply of classes that even includes the fine art of monster makeup.

WCBJ-Westfaironline.com � by Bill Fallon

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