nail labo

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/ 

 

 

Introducing Nail Labo’s Presto Gel

Introducing Nail Labo’s Presto Gel 0

Hello everyone.

I am so excited to introduce an amazing product line to you all from Nail Labo in Japan- Presto Gel.  A full line of the highest grade professional nail tech products around, it is known as “the most advanced soak- off system on the market to date.”  I am truly blown away by Nail Labo and it’s products.

There are many reasons as to why this company is different from its competitors.  First of all, they use only “Safety LED light: unlike existing UV lights, Presto LED curing technology has been commonly used in the dental industry and proven to be safe & reliable.”  Second, “Safe and great handling gel: the development of Presto Gels was achieved by applying dental technology in its construction, so that its viscosity is just right for controlled handling and lasting stability.  The Clear Gel is the base that adheres well with very little shrinkage.  The Top Gel prevents discoloration and leaves a beautiful luster finish.”

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And lastly, “Trusted quality of “Made in Japan”: development and manufacturing of Presto Gels has been carried out in Japan under strict inspections and oversight to ensure the safety and stability of product quality assurance.”

The latest line Nail Labo’s is introducing to their Presto Gel line is a collaborative effort of nail art gels with famed LA celebrity based nail artists Britney Tokyo & Natalie Minerva (Nail Swag) called Tokyo Swag.  Comprised of 6 shades, these highly non viscose gels (meaning they do not spread or bleed) are essential for any and all techs who perform nail art!

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The six shades of Tokyo Swag art gel include:

Swag #1: a classic cherry red

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Swag #2: a true vivid blue

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Swag #3: a sunshine yellow

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Swag #4: a grassy green

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Swag #5: a perfect bright pink

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Swag #6: a tangerine orange

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In addition to these Tokyo Swag art gels, Presto already has in their line an incredible black and white shade you can use for all nail art purposes: A02 (black) & A01 (white)

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I have tried and worked with many different brand’s art gels before, but these are hands down the BEST art gels I have ever used!  The non-viscose formula is Perfection, which means the gels stay where you put them; there is no bleeding, sliding, or spreading of product whatsoever.  They are incredibly well pigmented, you can even paint light colors, like yellow, onto black!! The art gels are also good to use straight out of the packaging! No stirring necessary.  It’s unbelievable!  I have never experienced this with any other gel product.  They also cure in a record breaking 20 seconds in LED! Saving time on in the process is always a major plus!

In addition to their gels, I also got to try out some of Nail Labo’s extensive brush offerings.

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All of these art brushes shown are made using the highest quality Kolinsky hair, and best of all, they include an aluminum brush cap, to protect them for safe storage and free from dust!

Gel Brush- Gel Design: I use it to cover larger areas with color, for instance filling in a character’s face, or painting a large bow.

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Gel Brush- Art #4: is the finest of the art brushes.  I use this for all small detail work, like outlines or painting lace.

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Gel Brush- Art #6: I use this for all line work.  Painting lines, grids, outlines, things of that nature.

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Gel Brush- Art #11: with long pointed needle like whiskers, this brush too is great for line work.

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I am not a great artist, so by all means please be kind, but here are some samples of some art work I have done using the Tokyo Swag art gels and Presto Brushes:

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I honestly can’t say enough good things about my experience with Presto Gels and all of the Nail Labo products.  To not only say that they are of the best quality is an understatement.  They are truly perfection.  Low odor, easy to use, highly pigmented, no bleeding, and fast curing.  If you haven’t tried them out yet, do yourself a favor and get some.  This brand is trusted and coveted from some of the best nail artists in the world.  If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us too. 🙂

For more information on Nail Labo, check out their website: http://www.naillabo.us/

And to purchase their amazing products: http://www.naillabostore.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.