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ISSE Long Beach 2017

ISSE Long Beach 2017 0

I had the best time this year at ISSE 2017.  The annual hair, beauty, makeup, nail, and spa show that takes place at the Long Beach Convention Center was held this year on January 28-30.  

This year was very different from years passed.  Primarily, almost all of the nail brands were situated near each other, making my life and job a whole lot easier.  In years passed, nail companies were mixed throughout the show so you kind of had to search high and low to find them.

Some of the nail brands in attendance included: Akzentz, Belava, Bio Sculpture Gel, China Glaze, Christrio, Color Club, Skyline Beauty Supply, ibd, Jessica Cosmetics, LeChat, Nail Labo, Orly, E Nail Couture, Sha-Nail Pro, Vetro, Young Nails, Gelish, Morgan Taylor, Entity Beauty, Artistic Nail Design, Famous Names, Bio Seaweed Gel, etc.  

Some nail brands that showed there for the first time included: Aora Nails, Kokoist, Joya Mia, Brillbird USA, and NCLA. 

Some of the nail brands not there this year: essie, CND, Light Elegance, INM, Crystal Nails, ENP, OPI, & Apres Nails. 

I loved meeting up with the various companies and catching up and seeing whats new.

I also enjoyed meeting with the newer brands showing for the first time at the convention.  Brillbird USA, for instance, is an awesome highly extensive product line from Hungary.  They offered so many cool things including one stroke art paint, 3-D sculpting gels, and flakey chrome pigments, which is soon to become all the rage.

Aora Nails, this was their first year at the show and they made quite a splash with their huge and highly impressive booth showcasing their chrome pigments and magnetic gel polishes. 

Kokoist, a fantastic brand from Japan, was there for the first time, showing their gorgeous highly pigmented potted gels and highly popular fine brushes.

NCLA was there to promote their new line of gel polishes, Gelous?, which I recently got to try and must say, I really Love the formula. They're all 7-free, highly pigmented, and last up to three weeks. 

As a whole, I would say this year was year of Chrome. Almost every brand was offering some sort of iteration of the trendy pigment powder, and performing many demos showing what can be achieved with it.  Some of the brands offering chrome included- Skyline Beauty Supply, Nail Labo, Aora Nails, Bio Seaweed Gel, Bio Structure Gel, LeChat Nails, and E Nail Couture. The most impressive and informational of all the brands I felt was LeChat.  They have a rather extensive offering of chromes, 12 colors, and one of their top educators, Anastasiia Morozova, showed me a few of her award winning design techniques. 

Some of the brands did things differently this year and combined booths creating an almost mega booth.  Hand and Nail Harmony, for instance,  partnered up with Skyline Beauty Supply and had one large booth representing many of their brands, including: Morgan Taylor, Gelish, Artistic Nail Design, and Entity Beauty. 

Skyline Beauty Supply probably had the biggest of all the companies booths, having 5 different segments all showcasing different things.  There was Whale Spa on one end,  Vetro in the middle,  Sha-Nail Pro on the other side of that wall, Chrome Pigments and matte top coats were in their own section, and then Hand and Nail Harmony section as mentioned previously.  So they definitely took up the most floor space at the show this year and had the largest booth.  

Nonetheless, I would have to say Nail Labo was yet again the busiest booth of the show.  Whether it's demos with famed celebrity nail artists, like Britney Tokyo or Miho Nails, looki-loos, or just shoppers stocking up on their favorite brand at a discount.  

I can't fail to mention I met one of my favorite YouTubers, Suzie Manko, from Suzie's Nail Career Education.  She was so sweet and lovely in person I adore her all the more. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTldDNXS4GeChcmwm55mXYQ

Like every year, I had each of my nails done by a different nail artist from around the world.  My absolute favorite this year goes to my left thumb which features a hand drawn portrait of my malti-poo BooBoz, by the highly talented Vu Nguyen.  It took him around ten minutes to do, and literally used just white and black gel polish in various mixed ratios.  The result is absolutely stunning and so life like.   

If you weren't able to make it to this years show, I highly suggest checking it out next year, there is already information up on the website.  Also, if you don't want to commit to a three day pass, you can always go for one day and still have an amazing experience.

For more info on ISSE, check out their website here: https://probeauty.org/isselb/ 

 

 

NailPro Pasadena 2016 with Merricures

NailPro Pasadena 2016 with Merricures 0

I left Coachella and the scorching Desert heat behind me to attend this years NailPro Pasadena, or Nailchella, as it was appropriately nicknamed.  

I've been to many beauty trade shows in the past, but what sets NailPro apart from all the rest is the primary focus on the nail industry.  Thank goodness I wasn't getting bombarded with hair and makeup brands offering me samples and asking if I'm interested in receiving a demo blowout or mohawk.   

There was so much to take in: a competition with award ceremony, multiple raffles were announced over the loud speaker throughout the day, free education classes offered in multiple languages, and all around awesome deals on great products from many brands.

Some of the brands that were there include: Young Nails, Color Club, INM, Light Elegance, Bio Seaweed Gel, Bio Sculpture Gel, Minx, Apres Nail, VETRO, Essie, The Painted Nail, Akzentz, Atwood Industries, KUPA, Belava, Dazzle Dry, Crystal Nails, LeChat, US Naily Nail Printer, ibd, EZ Flow, Skyline Beauty Supply, Christrio, Footlogix, Famous Names, Jessica, Nailebrity, China Glaze, Gelibility, & Indiegirl.   

There were however a bunch of brands whose absence was felt and greatly missed, including: Gelish, Morgan Taylor, OPI, Nail Labo, Orly, CND, Gel II, Artistic Nail Design, nsi, N.O.Q, Kiara Sky, & nubar.  Perhaps they'll be there next year. 

As far as classes are concerned, I attended an INM acrylic class(beacause in my opinion they make the Best acrylic on the market) featuring educator and nail diva CustomTnails1, Temeka Jackson.  She did a great job answering questions from nail technicians of all experience levels, ranging from students to senior veteran professionals.  Temeka demonstrated her popular acrylic application on different mediums including on a tip, a form, and most impressively without using a form at all! The class lasted 45 minutes and became quite popular with more and more onlookers joining in. 

I personally did not stay to witness the award ceremony for the morning's competitions.  I had too much talking to do with all of the brands represented there.

Some of the stand out innovations include Minx, who has both a new formula (very easy to work with, and doesn't require as much heat) along with more large sizes on each sheet (think pedicures or male thumbs), Akzetnz, who introduced new mini pots of its popular gel shades, Essie, who revealed for the first time their upcoming gel-like polish line, which features a patented aerodynamic bottle shape and twisted brush wand.

It's sad but inevitably true that not all brands are equally popular.  Some booths were significantly more packed and crowded than others.  A few of the bigger stand outs include: Skyline Beauty Supply, which had a check out line literally almost half a block long, customers were shopping while they patiently stood to check out, which reminded me a lot of the nail trade shows in Japan.  Akzentz drew a big draw, on account of their new mini pots, matte top coat, and always popular Bling On. The INM booth featured some brand new beautiful displays, where a majority of their gel polishes (Gelavish) were completely sold out.  And as per usual, Young Nails grew quite the crowd both for customers shopping and watching demos.

I for one am very proud of myself and the fact that I only spent $30 at the show-  $20 on a safety bit from Young Nails, and $10 on foil art stickers from Skyline Beauty Supply (but only once the line died down).

I had an awesome time and can't wait for next years show.  

 

INM Educator Training 2015

INM Educator Training 2015 0

Hi everyone.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend;  mine was relaxing and rather delightful.

Last week, on May 14th & 15th,  INM held a two day education class at their headquarters in Anaheim, CA. The class was led by industry sensation Naja Rickett (celebrity manicurist, Guinness Record holder, reality TV star) {ig: the_naja), and 5 new INM educators from around the country: Marisol Alvarado (ig: sinplycreativeartistry). Selina Rodriguez (ig: selinasnailart). Ashley "Miami" Francois (ig: nailsbymiamiashley). D Malone (ig: therealdmalone). and Denise Washington (ig: chinanails).  

Naja started off day 1 by sharing her amazing story of her roots in the industry.  How she initially started off doing makeup, then became a chef... to finally years later becoming a reflexologist pedicure mastress to an all male clientele.   Naja was very inspiring, and spoke from the heart about her own personal experiences.  She's very business savvy, and put a fresh spin on things.  She demonstrated how to sell with confidence to your clients; empowerment if you will.  She explained that you want to create a conversation with people, and not "present" to them.  That you want to engage with your audience;  get them involved by finding a common ground.   

Naja talked a lot about what it means to be a team, stressing the notion "we believe in each other." She also emphasized how important one's appearance is- that your nails should Always be done. I couldn't agree more! 😉

We discussed how you make people feel is very important in the industry, because ultimately it is what keeps clients coming back.  

Naja explained how to give the perfect presentation by using a sandwich metaphor.  The top slice of bread explains who you are and why you are qualified. The middle contents/meat provide a more thorough explanation containing myths and important facts, while the remaining slice of bread serves as a summary of everything you just covered.

We also talked a lot about coaching and what it truly means- unlocking a person's full potential.

After a nice pizza lunch break, everyone individually presented to the class their best skill set.  We then provided in depth constructive feedback on each presentation.  I chose the importance of social media and having an online presence as the focus for my presentation.  

We can all learn a lot from each other.  We all have different strengths, and we all have different levels of experience.  I for one learned a Ton about working with acrylic.  First off, I learned my colleagues prefer using a much larger acrylic brush than I'm accustomed to, a size 14 or 16! vs. my usual size 8!!   That you pinch the ferrule of the brush with pliers.  Use clear nail polish to maintain the brush's shape.  That you run a flared brush under hot water to reshape it and keep the flyaways at bay.  Who knew?!

Around 5:30 pm, the class stopped for the day.  We then took a field trip over to the local Staples and Michael's Art Supply  for last minute supplies needed for demonstrations the next day.

On Friday, day 2, we each got to demonstrate the strengths we presented to the class the day before.  Miami demonstrated prep and shaping acrylic with a 2 ball method.  China demonstrated a 1 ball acrylic method, with how to lay a foundation. Selina demonstrated nail art.  Marisol showed 3-D & 4-D art using a mixture of acrylic and hard gels.  And D Malone showed her knack for sculpting using forms.  

As the day wound down, each girl got to physically put her skills to the test, and Ms. Naja got a complete new set of nails with each student demonstrating what they did best, coming together as a whole, one unit.  

I must say that I am very pleased and happy with this group of fine individuals, and look forward to seeing more of the magic they create in the future.

INM offers an amazing array of products and excellent incentives for those looking to become brand educators.

For more information on INM, check them out online here: http://inmnails.com/ 

 

 

 

Merricures visits ISSE- 2015

Merricures visits ISSE- 2015 0

Hey guys.  I hope you all had a great weekend, I know I sure did.

This past weekend was ISSE, the International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach California, held at the Long Beach Convention Center.

I started the first of 3 days off with a bang, having a VIP Media meeting with Jan Arnold, co-founder and style director for CND.  I was so honored to find out I was her first appointment of the day!! Go Team Merricures!! I absolutely adore Jan, her passion, knowledge, and charisma I find to be both infectious and inspiring.  She walked me through a wonderful presentation of both Spring and Summer 2015 Shellac and Vinylux collections.   She also told me about a brand new revolutionary product launching next month, that I can’t wait to share with you all (trust me, I wasn’t leaving that meeting without a bottle of it).  Jan was also very eager and proud to mention CND U, an online forum for nail education, had proudly launched.

We gabbed about New York Fashion Week and all of the amazing collaborations CND does with various designers, including: Libertine, Opening Ceremony, The Blonds, etc.  Because we are both so passionate about fashion I had to take a break from nails and quiz Jan on her amazing fashion sense.  I had to know who are her favorite designers.  I was very surprised at how quickly and proudly she responded: 1. Comme Des Garcons (because they are never trendy). 2. Libertine (because of their unique perspective). and 3. Simone Rocha: (her latest obsession from London).

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Then it was off to the show.  The show didn’t begin on Saturday until 1 pm, and I unfortunately had to work an event on the other side of town in the early evening, so I was only able to stick around for 2 hours that day.  Needless to say, the adrenalin rush of frantically running around trying to have catch up conversations with friends and colleges was a bit of a challenge.  I did manage however to have a couple demos done at Young Nails and Akzentz.

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While getting a demo, I spotted 3 of the lovely contestants from the hit nail reality show “Nail’d It”, including Ashley Craig, the 1st place winner, who received $100,000!  They are all so great and sweet.

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The next day, Sunday, was much better and more relaxed.  I had a full day to properly catch up with a majority of my friends, and get some really cool demos done, including from Britney Tokyo and Natalie Minerva (of Nail Swag) at the Nail Labo booth.

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I must admit I’m not the only one who was excited to get a demo done by these ladies.  People were aggressively lining up and causing a stir at the Nail Labo booth because everyone was so excited and needed to purchase the exact products the girls were using to create their remarkable designs.

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But when you see the kind of art these incredibly talented ladies do you understand why there was such a commotion/line.  In addition to promoting Nail Labo products, which are of the highest quality, all made and imported from Japan, the girls were promoting their latest endeavor, a 6 piece line of highly pigmented gels specifically made for doing nail art, called Tokyo Swag.  I’ve got some to review for you all, but more on that a little later.

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I also had the honor of meeting the top 3 finalists of NAILS Magazine’s Next Top Nail Artist Contest Lexi Martone, Lavette Cephus, and Danielle Costantino.  The girls were all so lovely and humble despite their immense creative talent.  I was lucky enough to have a demo performed by Lavette Cephus (who was later announced that evening as the winner).

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I couldn’t get over how cool Lexi Martone’s Nails were.

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This is Lavette working her magic on me-

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Nonetheless, the girls are each so remarkably talented.

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Sunday I also died when I met one of my idols, celebrity nail tech Kimmie Kyees.  She was such a delight and a wonderful person, more so than I ever could have imagined.  She even gave me a few pieces of advice on tips she has learned over the years.

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I also got to spend some quality time with my favorite buddies over at INM.  They filled me in on all the new awesome products they have added to their line, including 4 new multi-use pens, quick dry spray, and an expanded lacquer line.

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Sunday evening, after the show ended,  NAILS Magazine and CND hosted a wonderful cocktail party/awards ceremony at nearby Cafe Sevilla where the winner of the Next Top Nail Artist competition was announced.  There were tons of nail industry guests in attendance, including Sam Biddle, Katie Cazorla,  and Doug Schoon to name a few.  The awards themselves were MC’d by Hannah Lee and Jan Arnold.

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As you probably know by now, my girl Lavette Cephus won! She cried and was physically shaking.  Once she calmed herself down she delivered a beautiful acceptance speech.

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Monday was the last day of the show.  A lot of people in the industry call this “Students Day;” lots of individuals training in beauty school, hair, or nails come.  By this day, Akzentz was highly picked over, virtually sold out of most products; having to take down many orders to be filled later on.  I honestly think they did the best out of all the nail companies exhibiting at the show as far as selling product is concerned.

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New to the convention this year was an awesome multi-competition winning line from Hungary, Crystal Nails.  They have been highly successful throughout Europe for the last ten years, and are making a splash Stateside, offering an incredible insane amount of colors.  They make over 500 shades of each hard gel, gel polish, and acrylic.  Some of the colors I saw were incredibly unique and oh so beautiful, and glitters for days in every shade of the rainbow and beyond.

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All sorts of technological innovation including: color changing, chrome finish, magnets, and light refraction were being demonstrated by award winning and famous nail techs, including Classic Mully, who also appeared on Oxygen’s hit show Nail’d It.  I was fortunate enough to have a demo with her, which she shared her incredible art technique with me using their ChroMe & Tiger Eye Crystalac gel polishes, painting the underside of my nail primarily.

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Also new this year to the convention was The Nail Spot, a designated area for all things specifically nails related: hands-on and complimentary nail classes, creative nail demonstrations, and competitions.

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Absent this year from the show were a few major brands, including Essie, Cuccio, and hair care giant Moroccanoil.  I also noticed some companies downsized their booth, and in some cases significantly,  as much as half.  I do not know why, but I am sure they all have their reasons.

Overall the show was great.  I had an incredible time, and highly recommend everyone experience the ISSE show at some point. It’s an experience not to be forgotten.

Check out the rest of my photos in the gallery below.

INM Says “Cheese” @ NailPro Pasadena 2014 !!

INM Says “Cheese” @ NailPro Pasadena 2014 !! 0

I would have to say the biggest draw and commotion at this years NailPro “nails only” show in Pasadena was not the presence of multi talented singer/actress Anna Kendrick, but INM’s introduction of their Photobooth! Everyone from show regulars, top personalities- Katie Cazorla (the Painted Nail), to top competitors- Lorena Marquez & Chris Mans, to brand reps- Mami Griffin (Sha-Nail) & Morgan Haile (Morgan Taylor Lacquer) all stopped by INM‘s newest addition to their booth to flash their pearly whites along with some fun goofy props.

Not only was INM’s photobooth a huge draw, but so were the amazing nail demos they performed by top industry leader Lorena Marquez, and new competing protegee Chris Mans.

Also at NailPro Pasadena, was a challenge for the Guinness Book of World Records for fastest pink & white nails ever in history, to perform a full set in under 10 minutes- a truly remarkable feat!

In case you missed out on all the great deals on INM’s wonderful products, you can still check them out on their website: http://inmnails.com/

INM’s 1st Elite Educator Training

INM’s 1st Elite Educator Training 0

The weekend of March 1-3,  thirteen nail technicians from around the country were hand selected to congregate at INM’s headquarters in Anaheim, CA to participate in INM’s first ever Elite Educator Training.

The 3 day extravaganza was organized and ran by the remarkable, and newly appointed director of education for INM, Lorena Marquez,  a 26+ year nail tech veteran who has competed in over 200 competitions.

We laughed, we cried, we worked out butts off, and learned a ton.

 We started off the first day with an initial ice breaker, not only to get to know one another, but also to familiarize with each other’s artistic and creative abilities.  We were assigned a homework assignment prior to the weekend, where we had to create a nail design in 6 steps or less.  We than presented our work in front of the class.  After all the presentations and ice was officially melted, the initial training day was devoted to acrylics- Pink and whites, and colored acrylic, using INM’s numerous and beautiful powder paint acrylic powders.  We were partnered up, and got to work.

The second day of training was devoted entirely to gel- both traditional hard gel systems, the Entity gel system, and soak off gel polish, Gelavish.  We really got to get creative and have fun when it came to designing nail art with INM’s Gelavish soak off gel polish.

The third and final day was split into two parts.  The first half of the day each educator was assigned an INM product they had to present and “sell.”  The second half of the day was devoted to an exam to test what we’d learned the last couple of days.  We first had a 40+ question fill-in the blank exam that tested our knowledge of the INM brand, its history, and all of their products.  Than we had the practical part of our exam, where we were all partnered up and had 2 hours to perform 4 nails.  Two acrylic nails, one pink and white, one artistic colored acrylic.  And 2 gel nails, one a pink and white performed with traditional hard gel, and the second nail being a nail art design of our choosing using Gelavish soak off polish.

The educator training closed with a fabulous dinner/ awards ceremony at The House of Blues in Downtown Disney.  Christian Mans, was the star winner of the weekend, taking home 3 trophies.  Jessica Luna, Shannon Weissinger, and Elyse Perry also went home not empty handed.  Nonetheless, we are all winners.

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend and a tremendous experience.  We built relationships with fellow nail techs that will last a lifetime.

The INM Elite Educators include: Tara Cote, Sheera Gerth, Deneen Daniels, Elyse Perry, Sharon Midgley, Christian Mans, Jessica Luna, Isabel Olmeda, Tita Carter, Shannon Weissinger, British Burnett, Diane Self, and yours truly Merrick Fisher.

For more information on INM and their products, check them out at: www.inmnails.com

inm Gelavish Northern Lights Collection!!

inm Gelavish Northern Lights Collection!! 0

Brand spanking new, introduced for the first time ever at the ISSE Beauty trade show last weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. This collection is comprised of 7 densely packed glitter gel polishes, that will allow you to never hand mix glitter again, saving tons of salon time. I could not recommend these enough! They are each so great and wonderful.

Red: a sparkling pure ruby red.

Mauve: a soft shimmering salmon pink.

Fuchsia: a fabulous fine fuchsia

Aquamarine: an aqua blue with micro green shimmer particles as well.

Silver: micro fine holographic silver. My personal favorite in the collection.  I’ve looked all over for the perfect holographic glitter gel, and I feel I have finally found it.

Gold: micro fine holographic gold. Has reflective green glitter particles in it that really help add dimension and sheen. Also one of my favorites in the collection.

Black: an opaque black gel, with multi colored glitter

(all swatches shown here were 2 coats, cured for 30 seconds each in an LED lamp.)

For more information on INM, check them out at: http://inmnails.com/

inm Out the Door PINK Nail Polishes!!

inm Out the Door PINK Nail Polishes!! 0

Sweet Bouquet: a pearlized soft ballet slipper pink.

Pink Carnation: a bright 70’s diner pink.  Reminds me of a bright strawberry milkshake.

1st Kiss: a metallic light silvery infused pink.

Rio Razzberry: a neon fuchsia.

A Good Year: a metallic magenta.

(All swatches shown here are 2 coats.)

To find out more about inm nail products, check them out at:http://inmnails.com/

inm Out the Door Red Nail Polishes!!

inm Out the Door Red Nail Polishes!! 0

I recently tried some of the red polish offerings from inm’s “Out the Door” nail lacquer line, and was pleasantly delighted by it’s offerings. I found the formula to be quite great and consistent, with most shades becoming perfectly opaque in 2 coats.

Heart of Glass: a classic red, with a slight orange undertone.

Winner’s Red: a warm classic red, with a slight blue undertone.

Cabernet: a deep rich wine red.

It’s Red-iculuos: red sheer micro glitter. This was 3 coats to be fully opaque.

Goth Grape: a blackened purple.

Black Hole: a pure classic jet black.

Unless otherwise stated, all swatches shown here are 2 coats.

To find out more about inm nail products, please check them out at:http://inmnails.com/