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D2D California Dreaming Series

California Beautiful

You can't write about the California Dream (as we did in today's California Dreamin' segment) without mentioning beauty. And in Southern California, it's imperative that you look HOT. The gyms here are filled with hard-bodied men and sinewy women. A full pout, dewy skin, and very little body hair are requirements for being on the celebrity A-list. (And protruding cheekbones don't hurt, either. Check out this New York Magazine feature on the new, new face of Hollywood.)

Elham Jazab (below) is a wax technician trying to take advantage of that quest for a "new face" in order to fulfill her own California Dream of becoming a successful actor and comedian. Her comedy is influenced by her Iranian background, her work as a wax technician and her experiences living in beauty obsessed Los Angeles.

Video by Shereen Meraji/NPR

According to Jazab, your average beauty conscious American doesn't seem to be spending the same amount on upkeep as they were a year ago. In fact, it looks like the recession is having an effect on salons near you.

"People aren't tipping as much," Jazab explains.

The National Cosmetology Association agrees. In a recent survey conducted by the organization, 74% of cosmetologists report lower spending on services, and over 60% report a reduction in tips from a year ago.

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Have you cut your beauty budget? What got the ax and why? Do you think Americans spend entirely too much time obsessing over looking good? Let us know by commenting below.

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