Insights Into The Hussy Story

With the Montrose Christmas Parade just days away, Kim Kelly and Kris Kline of Merle Norman Cosmetics on Honolulu Avenue shared some fun history of the Nethercutt family, founders of Merle Norman Cosmetics and whose descendents are this year’s grand marshals of the parade.

Many years ago, Merle Norman’s nephew, J.B. Nethercutt, desperately wanted to purchase a 1934 Packard (of which there were only five in the world) but the owner, John Hussey, refused to sell it to him for any price. J.B. was determined to get it and, as luck would have it, he found one in an abandoned field and bought it. Jack Nethercutt, J.B.’s son and the chairman of board and president of Merle Norman, restored it to its original condition in 2008, painted it a beautiful red color and named it in honor of the man who owned the car his father wanted. When the name wouldn’t fit on the license plate, he shortened it to “Hussy.”

Hussy has been a part of The Nethercutt Collection since 1966 and has won numerous awards at car shows. Jack and wife Helen received numerous requests from women for a lipstick that matched the car’s beautiful color. In celebration of Merle Norman’s 80th anniversary, they decided to introduce a line of Hussy-inspired lip colors and an exclusive OPI Nail Lacquer in the same color; no other name besides the name that inspired the color would do.

To deliver the unique color of the car, The Hussy Collection was created with Color Travel Pigment technology derived from the auto-paint industry for cosmetic use. Comprised of multi-layered pigments, this technology allows color to have many dimensions and change based on the angle in which it is viewed. With Hussy, lips are a rich red at first glance, but change subtly in undertone depending on the viewing angle with shades of rust, gold, orange, pink and blue.

Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio in Montrose and owners Kim Kelly and Kris Kline have been serving the local community since 1979. The Studio offers the full range of Merle Norman cosmetics and skin care plus a selection of services including Special Occasion Makeup application and complimentary Makeovers. Located at 2341 Honolulu Ave. Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio in Montrose is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Founded in Los Angeles in 1931, Merle Norman Cosmetics is a leading brand of premium skin care, foundations and color cosmetic products. Its founder Merle Nethercutt Norman was one of the first women in cosmetics and a true innovator. In addition to creating breakthrough products, she empowered other women to begin their own business selling her cosmetic products. Today, Merle Norman Studios are located throughout the United States, Canada and in seven countries internationally. Still run by the Nethercutt family, the company is one of the few that continues to manufacture almost all of its products in the USA and uphold its founding mission: provide quality products backed by a full satisfaction guarantee, offer a makeover and encourage customers to “try before they buy” and continue to give individuals the opportunity to have financial freedom with owning their own Studio.
For more information, visit or call (800) 40-MERLE.