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As a teenager, Sally Attianese says she felt like an "ugly duckling" with a prominent nose, uni-brow, and acne prone skin, causing her to become very self-conscious of her looks.
"My mother with her infi nite wisdom and beauty taught me how to take care of my skin and focus on my assets, which were my eyes," says Attianese. "She also taught me that you can't rely on looks–you have to be beautiful from within also. I had my fi rst makeover with a Merle Norman Studio at age 22 and stayed with their skin care regime. I also developed a personality, becoming a funny girl who looked like Barbara Streisand!"
Attianese's career took an unexpected direction when she landed a corporate career in human resources with Marriott Hotels. As life took her through marriage, divorce, and relocation in a short period of time, she resigned from corporate after 12 years and returned to Connecticut during a recession. She was unable to fi nd a job and suff ered from depression. Finally, she took a job as an assistant to the general manager of a department store, and used her skills to turn the employees and the store around to be number one in the region.
"Then we merged with Macy's and with the fear of being laid off or unemployed again in my late 40s, I took a chance," says Attianese.
That chance, as fate would have it, was that Merle Norman Cosmetics in Branford was closing. Having been a life-long devotee of the brand, she saw her opportunity.
"On a whim, I took a chance and opened my own studio in Branford's Downtown Center in 1995," says Attianese.
As she has always been creative with art and possesses a humanitarian spirit, anyone who has met Sally knows that she is passionate about her business, her town, and everyone she meets. Sally works with other merchants to increase their visibility, drive business, and do what she can to make the town better for all that live in or visit the area. And as she off ers makeovers or even a new shade of lipstick, she'll get to know her customers as she helps them to show off their best selves.
"I think your life experiences and fate have a lot to do with fi nding your passion in life," says Attianese. "Now I am doing what I love using art and my humanitarian nature to help other women bring out their assets through makeup artistry. Makeup helped me fi nd my confi dence so I could bring out my inner strengths and abilities, and I hope to empower other women to do the same. When you look good, you feel good, and you are open to all possibilities in life!"
This story was provided by Merle Norman Cosmetics, located at 116 North Main Street, Branford. For more info, call 203-481-9770.
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