ISSE

ISSE 2018

ISSE 2018 0

I had a wonderful time and experience at this years ISSE (International Salon and Spa Expo) show in Long Beach.  While the convention was three full days, January 27-29, I was only able to attend one day.  Like last year, majority of nail exhibitors were designated to a specific area, making it a lot easier to peruse all of the various brands.

Some of the nail brands showing include: Bio Sculpture Gel, Bio Seaweed Gel, Christrio, Famous Names LLC, Joya Mia, Le Chat, Nail Labo, ella + mila, Kokoist, China Glaze, EZ Flow, ibd, O’nine, E Nail Couture, Gellico, Revel nail, Missu, Orly, Odyssey Nail Systems.

There were however a few brands that have shown in the past that were not in attendance this year.  They include: Entity Beauty, inm, Kupa, essie, CND, Young Nails, Gelish, Skyline Beauty Supply, Morgan Taylor, Artistic Nail Design, NCLA, Bluebird, Akzentz, Color Club, and Vetro.

Nonetheless, I still learned a lot from the various brands in attendance.  

Over at Le Chat, they have 12 new Spectra holographic shades in both gel and nail polish launching February 27. One of my favorite nail educators and world competition champion Anastasiia Morozova, taught me various tips and tricks.  For instance, if you are using a model or a friend to practice nails on and they don’t want them permanent and would like to remove them easily, paint 3 or 4 layers of nail polish top coat; this will allow the model to remove the gels easily.  Black gel polish should be cured for a full 60 seconds in an LED light, as opposed to 30 seconds, because it is so highly pigmented. 

There were a few brands showing for the first time that were creating quite a stir, like Gellio and Missu.  

            In general, I love a good trade show, and if you work or are interested in nails, ISSE is for sure worth checking out.

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/ 

 

 

ISSE 2016

ISSE 2016 0

I had a great time this past weekend attending the Intentional Salon and Spa expo in Long Beach.  Most nail brands were there representing their latest offerings.  Some, however didn’t make it this year, including CND and Essie.

Some of the most popular nail booths include: Vetro, Nail Labo, apres Nail, and NOQ.

Check out my pics in the gallery below.

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.

Empower Nail Art

Empower Nail Art 0

Introducing this awesome new technology that will Wow your clients and nail art lovers alike!  I had the pleasure of meeting the creator of Empower Nail Art at the ISSE convention recently.  Not only did he explain to me all about his awesome creation, but he commissioned celebrity Nail Artist Kandi Banks, aka KandiYamz, to perform demonstrations.

The product is an adhesive film, NOT a foil or a transfer.  It is significantly thinner and more flexible than traditional nail decals/polish strips presently on the market.  Also, unlike Minx, this does not require any heat or special light fixture to set it, the product is ready to go as is!

The nail films are specifically designed to be used either on their own over the natural nail, or to accompany Any conventional acrylic, polish, or gel that you wish.

The Intro Kit, featured above, has everything you need to get started, and retails for under $50:

– 1 Nail Template: can be used to create full finger wraps in 11 different sizes, and in 4 cuticle shapes.

– 1 Crystal File: to file off and remove excessive product at the free edge.

– 1 X-Acto Knife: for precise cutting.

– 1 pair of Squeezers: a small scissor-like apparatus to aid in post application trimming or detailing.

– 4 Half Size Nail Film sheets: so you can play around and get familiar with the product.

Full sized sheets, also pictured above, can be purchased separately and come in a variety of prints and styles.  I particularly am drawn to the holographic ones.  The sheets measure 3”x 7” & feature 150 different design shapes printed on the back of each film, so you can cut them out easily and perfectly in no time at all.  The films retail for under $10 each.

For more information or to purchase, check out Empower Nail Art here: http://www.empowernailart.com/ 

VETRO!

VETRO! 0

I recently met with the wonderful folks of VETRO at this years ISSE Convention in Long Beach.  Introduced for the first time ever to the US market at the convention. VETRO is a gel polish line made in Japan from the creators of ever popular brand Bella Forma.

The line has 69 beautiful gel colors.  The line also has some innovative products exclusive to them, such as the “Flat Design” and “Design Liner,” that are nail art brushes suspended in a cleansing solution, that enable you to easily create peacock designs, fine art, marble effect, or tie- dye patterns using any color you prefer.

Some of their colors, like 065 Luce Bronze, swatched here, come with a built in thin detailing liner brush, so nail art and design are a breeze.

I chose 3 colors from the line to showcase and swatch here.

076-Oro: a shiny sparkling bright yellow gold.

006-Seta Lip: a pearlized soft baby pink.

065-Luce Bronze: a sparkling rose gold.  This shade as the built in liner brush for detailing and nail art work.

Each of the colors shown here are two coats, cured each for 20 seconds in an LED lamp as directed.

For more information on VETRO, check out their website: http://www.vetro.jp/en/