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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