Max Estrada | Artist of the Month

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Max Estrada

Article by Alisha Rimando | Published in 2024

GlossaryLive.com is thrilled to honor Max Estrada, the founder and CEO of Exclusive Nail Couture and the International Master Director of Global Education, as our Artist of the Month. With well over two decades of expertise, Max’s journey in the nail industry is a testament to his dedication, innovation, and passion for nail artistry and education.

Max Estrada was born into the beauty industry, developing an early fascination with nail products. By the age of five, he was already immersed in trade publications and attending his first trade show. Growing up in his family’s salon in Arizona, Max’s professional career began with a foundation in practical, hands-on experience.

At just 16, Max entered his first professional nail competition, showcasing his impressive acrylic application skills. His confidence and precision earned him a top 10 placement in his division, igniting a drive to continually enhance his craft. This determination has seen Max placing in every competition he enters, always striving to refine nail shapes and develop technologies that simplify the lives of nail artists.

In 2014, Max achieved his ultimate dream by founding Exclusive Nail Couture Professional. His innovative product line has gained national and global recognition, complementing his mission to elevate the nail care industry. Through his company, Max provides cutting-edge tools and products designed to meet the evolving needs of nail professionals.

Max’s contributions to the industry extend beyond product innovation. As a global educator, he shares his extensive knowledge and passion through classes worldwide, inspiring countless nail artists to reach their full potential. His belief that “the best competition to win is the one with yourself” underscores his commitment to personal and professional growth.

Max Estrada’s influence as a trendsetter is evident in his approach to the future of nail artistry. “The nail industry is not about where it has been but where it’s going,” Max states, embodying the forward-thinking vision that drives his success.

Today, Max continues to express his love for the nail industry through each meticulously crafted nail. GlossaryLive is proud to celebrate Max Estrada’s remarkable achievements and his unwavering dedication to the art and education of nails. His journey is truly an inspiration to all aspiring nail artists

Follow Max & share this article!

Related videos, articles & glossary terms on GlossaryLive

Alisha Rimando | Artist of the Month

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Alisha Rimando

A Nail Journey of Passion & Empowerment

Article by Alex Fox | Published in 2024

In 1995, Alisha Rimando embarked on a journey that would forever change the landscape of the nail industry. Starting as a nail technician in a salon, Rimando quickly discovered her passion for teaching and educating others in the art of nail enhancements. This love for sharing knowledge propelled her into the role of a global educator, competitor, and hand model for renowned World Champion, Tom Holcomb.

Under the tutelage of Holcomb, Rimando honed her skills and techniques, eventually achieving her own World Championship title in 2005 for pink & white sculptured nails. This victory marked a significant milestone in her career and solidified her reputation as a master in the field of nail styling.

In 2008, Rimando took another leap forward by contributing to the 6th edition of Milady Nail Technology. Since then, she has authored or contributed to over 10 textbooks and supplements for Cengage Learning, including Standard Cosmetology. Rimando’s dedication to education and innovation has earned her numerous accolades and honors throughout her illustrious career.

Based in New York City, Rimando’s proximity to the fashion capital enabled her to become a session artist for magazines and designers during New York Fashion Week. Her work even caught the attention of celebrities, leading to a feature in Jennifer Hudson’s ‘Spotlight’ music video. Additionally, Rimando served as the training director for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas, where she trained over 360 nail techs across 31 locations in the USA.

The passing of her mentor and best friend, Tom Holcomb, in 2011, spurred Rimando to recommit herself to the professional market and resume teaching the methods of nail enhancements he had imparted to her. Over her 28+ year career, Rimando’s work has been featured in hundreds of trade publications worldwide, and she has conducted training seminars for nail students, professionals, and top educators in more than 25 countries.

Now, Rimando brings her wealth of experience and passion for the industry to GlossaryLive.com, a platform dedicated to honoring her mentor and celebrating the contributions of nail artists worldwide. Through GlossaryLive.com, Rimando continues to inspire and empower the next generation of nail stylists, fostering a community of creativity, collaboration, and excellence.

Alisha Rimando’s journey through the nail industry is a testament to her unwavering dedication, relentless pursuit of excellence, and entrepreneurial spirit. From humble beginnings to global recognition, Rimando’s story serves as an inspiration to aspiring nail stylists everywhere. As she relentlessly expands the horizons of creativity and innovation, Rimando cements her legacy as a trailblazer in the realm of nail artistry.

Follow Alisha & share this article!

Related videos, articles & glossary terms on GlossaryLive

Jenny Bui | Artist of the Month

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Jenny Bui

Cardi B's Nail Artist Jenny Bui: From Refugee to Queen of Bling

Article by Alex Fox | Published in 2024

Jenny Bui’s rise from a childhood of poverty and turmoil in Cambodia to becoming the celebrated nail artist behind Cardi B’s iconic stiletto jeweled nail looks is a story of resilience, determination, and unwavering passion. Born around 1970 in Cambodia to Chinese parents, Jenny’s early years were marked by hardship and strife. At the age of five, her family’s world was shattered by the onset of the Khmer Rouge regime, plunging them into a harrowing struggle for survival. Fleeing the horrors of genocide, Jenny and her family embarked on a perilous journey, seeking refuge in Thailand and later Vietnam.

Despite facing unimaginable challenges and the tragic loss of loved ones, Jenny’s indomitable spirit propelled her forward. At the age of 14, she immigrated to Montreal, Canada, where she worked tirelessly to support her family, taking on various jobs from waiting tables to working in a dental office. It was during this time that Jenny’s journey into the world of beauty began to take shape.

After settling in the Bronx, New York, Jenny pursued her passion for cosmetology, initially intending to focus on hairstyling. However, her path took a fortuitous turn when she discovered a newfound fascination with nail artistry. Drawing inspiration from her Cambodian heritage and a desire to infuse glamour into her creations, Jenny honed her craft, developing her signature style characterized by intricate designs and Swarovski crystal embellishments.

In the early 2000s, Jenny opened her first nail salon in the Bronx, but it was in Harlem where she truly made her mark. Despite facing discrimination and adversity, Jenny persevered, earning a reputation as the go-to nail artist for bold, blinged-out designs. Her clientele soon expanded to include celebrities like Cardi B, whose partnership with Jenny propelled her into the spotlight and cemented her status as the ‘Queen of Bling’.

Driven by a passion for her craft and a desire to empower others, Jenny has become a trailblazer in the nail industry, sharing her expertise as an educator and entrepreneur. Her commitment to excellence and dedication to her clients have earned her accolades and recognition, including the prestigious Nail Artist Influencer of the Year award at the 2019 American Influencer Awards.

Despite her success, Jenny remains grounded, prioritizing her role as a mother and her commitment to her family above all else. As she reflects on her journey, Jenny’s resilience and determination shine through, serving as an inspiration to aspiring nail artists around the world.

Looking ahead, Jenny’s dreams extend beyond the confines of her salon walls. With plans to travel the world and share her expertise through teaching and collaboration, Jenny’s legacy as the Queen of Bling is destined to endure, leaving an indelible mark on the world of nail artistry.

Follow Jenny & Share this article!

Related videos, articles & glossary terms on GlossaryLive

Aigul Fritzke | Artist of the Month

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Aigul Fritzke

Inside the creative world of resident nail artist, Aigul Fritzke & her path to design excellence

Article by Alex Fox | Published in 2024

In the vibrant world of nail artistry, Aigul Fritzke stands as a beacon of creativity and innovation. From her humble beginnings as an artist exploring various media to her current status as an industry expert, Aigul’s journey through the nail industry is a testament to her unwavering passion and dedication.

First venturing into the realm of nail art in 2005, Aigul was captivated and drawn in by the nail canvas as a new outlet for her artistic expression. With a background in sketching, painting, and photography, she eagerly embraced the opportunity to explore the intricate artistry of nail grooming. Enrolling in nail school in 2006, Fritzke embarked on a journey of skill development and self-discovery.

Initially operating from a small part-time studio, Aigul’s commitment to mastering her craft led her to transition to a full-time endeavor once her children were all in school. Renting space in a hair salon provided her with the platform to hone her skills and expand her clientele, setting the stage for her future success in the nail industry.

Throughout her journey, Aigul has found inspiration and guidance from industry mentors such as Alisha Rimando, Amy Becker, and Pisut Masanong. These mentors played a pivotal role in shaping her expertise in acrylic sculpture, gel application, and acrylic painting, respectively. With their guidance, she ventured into the realms of fantasy art and 3D sculpture, solidifying her reputation as a versatile and innovative nail artist.

A strong advocate for education and collaboration, Fritzke emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and knowledge sharing within the industry. Believing that there is always something new to learn, she encourages fellow artists to embrace opportunities for growth and exploration. “Who doesn’t want to be the best? There’s so much to learn in this business,” she enthuses. “At trainings, you meet other artists, and they all do nails differently. There’s so much to learn from each other, if we take the time and consideration to do so.

Aigul’s passion for competition has also played a significant role in her career, as she’s garnered numerous accolades on the international nail circuit and now serves as a judge herself. In 2019, she co-hosted the first Nailympia Canada, further solidifying her reputation as a leader and innovator in the industry.

As she looks to the future, she remains committed to inspiring and empowering aspiring nail professionals. “Try new techniques and don’t be scared to ask questions,” she advises, emphasizing the importance of curiosity and innovation in the pursuit of excellence.

With her unwavering dedication and boundless creativity, Aigul Fritzke continues to push the boundaries of nail artistry, leaving an indelible mark on the industry and inspiring generations of artists to come.

Follow Aigul & Share this article!

Related videos, articles & glossary terms on GlossaryLive

Giselle Caballero | Artist of the Month

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Giselle Caballero

The artful journey of award-winning nail artist Giselle Caballero, a nail professional in passionate pursuit of creativity on 10 tiny canvases

Article by Alex Fox | Published in 2024

The artful journey of award-winning nail artist Giselle Caballero, a nail professional in passionate pursuit of creativity on 10 tiny canvases In the dynamic world of nail artistry, Giselle Caballero stands out as a trailblazer whose journey began in 2009 upon her arrival in Canada. Her story is one of self-discovery, resilience, and the unwavering pursuit of creativity. From an initial interest in graphic design to becoming a celebrated nail artist and educator, Giselle’s evolution in the industry reflects her commitment to excellence and continuous growth.

 

Giselle’s creative spirit has always been evident, as she enjoyed painting, drawing, and working with her hands from a young age. Pursuing a career in graphic design, she found herself yearning for a more hands-on form of artistic expression. The transition to nails provided the perfect outlet for her creativity, allowing her to craft miniature art pieces on tiny canvases. As Giselle explored the world of nail grooming, it quickly transformed from a means to supplement income during a job search to a fully-fledged passion and career.

 

The establishment of her business, EGO Beauty marked a turning point in Giselle’s career. Focused on providing top-notch quality, unique designs, and personalized styles, she built her reputation on pillars of excellence – prioritizing service quality, cleanliness, correct technique, and high standards. Giselle’s dedication to creating a welcoming environment for clients and students alike has been integral to shaping EGO Beauty’s identity.

 

For Giselle, nails are not just a job; they are a passion that extends to educating others. As an educator, she’s developed techniques and tailored curricula to share her knowledge and skills with fellow enthusiasts in the nail industry. Giselle finds joy in fostering a supportive learning environment, encouraging her students’ development, and continually upgrading her own skills to share the latest techniques with them. If Giselle could change anything about the industry, it would be to advocate for more accessible education. Bridging the gap between novice and experienced professionals by ensuring quality training and continuous learning opportunities, she feels would elevate the overall standards of the nail industry.

From starting at home to opening her private studio and academy, Giselle’s journey is marked by milestones. Winning the championship in NAILS Next Top Nail Artist Season 7 was a pinnacle moment that opened doors for collaborations and projects beyond her initial scope and have given her untold opportunities since, proving that putting yourself out there can pay dividends to one’s career. A day in the life of Giselle revolves around a simple mantra: eat, sleep, nails, repeat. Her days start with breakfast before immersing herself in various nail-related tasks at her studio. From managing social media to working on class materials and planning new designs, Giselle’s commitment to her craft is evident. Living and breathing nails, she finds genuine enjoyment in her daily rituals behind the nail desk. Kindness and empathy are the guiding principles of Giselle’s life. Recognizing the diverse journeys of individuals and offering support in the form of encouragement or love are crucial to building a strong and supportive community.

 

Giselle offers this advice to aspiring nail professionals, “Stay passionate, keep learning, embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and build a supportive network within the nail community. Continuous education is key, and letting creativity shine is essential for a fulfilling career.” Giselle attributes her success to the combination of passion, perseverance, and hard work. Staying focused, pressing on through challenges, and continually improving are the driving forces behind her achievements.

 

Looking ahead to 2024, Giselle aims to expand her team, enhance her educational programs, and contribute to the industry’s growth. She aspires to push creative boundaries, explore collaborations with influential brands, and foster a community of skilled and inspired nail professionals while continuously evolving her own skills and techniques. Actively embracing change by keeping up with trends, evolving techniques, and incorporating new technologies, Giselle has found that adapting to shifts in client preferences and industry advancements ensures that her skills align with the ever-changing nail industry. And speaking of the current nail trends in Canada, Giselle reveals, “The most popular nail trends right now are cat eyes (velvet nails), airbrush (aura nails), and minimalist styles, which are all currently dominating the Canadian nail industry,” she smiles.

Watch LIVE interview with Alex Fox

Follow Giselle & Share this article!

Related videos, articles & glossary terms on GlossaryLive

Lisa Boone | Artist of the Month

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Lisa Boone

Veteran nail artist & educator Lisa Boone began her nail sojourn in the 1980's as a hand model before transitioning to creative force behind the nail desk

Article by Alex Fox | Published in 2023

Lisa Boone has over 20 years’ experience in the nail industry. The wide berth of knowledge she’s accrued has taken her from behind the chair, to the competition circuit and researching innovative products to assisting technicians in their quest to create better products and services in the salon. Lisa began her career as a nail tech in Chicago in one of its first nail-only salons and soon became the award-winning hands behind Tom Holcomb’s world champion nails. After traveling the competition circuit for over 15 years, she became intrigued with developing winning formulations and cultivated a love for researching new and improved products for the industry.

Playing a crucial role in the R&D of new formulations for various industry manufacturers, Lisa has since won awards for both packaging and new product development in the beauty industry. As well being cited for best new product awards by industry professionals and magazines across the globe. Lisa is proud to consult for many local up-scale salon start-ups, on topics including location choice, design, establishing products lines and vendor relations, staffing and training, as well as ongoing management functions. This allows Lisa to ensure the quality of salons in her local market and aids in her quest to elevate her local nail industry.

Lisa has judged for the 2nd World Championships, is a staple on the global judging circuit for Nailympia Competitions worldwide and can be seen all over the world as an international educator.

Follow Lisa & Share this article!

Related videos, articles & glossary terms on GlossaryLive

Hazel Dixon | Artist of the Month

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Hazel Dixon

An international nail champion, educator, product developer, expert, judge and artist, Hazel Dixon has her finger in every nail pie imaginable, but where did it all start?

Article by Alex Fox | Published in 2023

Known worldwide as an award-winning Fantasy Nail Art champion, Hazel was up to her neck in nappies, AKA diapers, when she was drawn into the world of nails. Seduced by the creative edge that nail styling presents, as well as the ability to stay at home with her three young children, Hazel swiftly immersed herself in everything nails. “I was drawn to the idea of doing nails when I saw an airbrushed set sporting the Nike logo. I’d never seen anything like it before,” Hazel recalls. Her interest sparked and creative taste buds tickled, Hazel looked directly into courses as, she confesses, “I felt it couldn’t be that hard, but boy was I in for a shock!”

Attracted to a schedule of working evenings and weekends around her family, Hazel quickly realized it was more a calling than a quick-fix solution. “I love nails,” she chuckles. “I can explore my creative edge while transforming nails into tiny pieces of art. The buzz I get when I’ve finished a set, and see the client’s face light up, renders me speechless, it’s such a powerful, positive feeling.” Boasting a wide repertoire of nail skills, Hazel admits her strengths lie in both structure as well as all nail art genres including extreme techniques. Entering the world of nails in 2006, she took her initial training with CND and has since taken over 73 different classes with an array of brands including Akzentz, NSI, EzFlow, Crystal Nails, Brillbird, as well as completing an NVQ 3 in nails, and untold trainings with a host of award-winning educators across the world. Hazel cites, “Great education, lots of patience, an immense amount of practice and fantastic ongoing support from educators,” as the secret to her ongoing success.

Keen to share her entrepreneurial spirit, the highly decorated trophy and medal winner, Hazel, hung up her competition brushes in 2021 and picked up the mentor mantle. With her own nail brand (HD Professional Systems) and academy to run, alongside her salon, Hazel stood down from the competition circuit in order to use her expertise to support others moving in that spectrum. Working one day a week in her salon, Purely Nailz, Hazel’s philosophy steers her into keeping on top of her salon skills while innovating and raising industry standards. She explains, “The HD Nail Artist Academy has several locations up and down the UK where the 10-strong educator team presents a full array of ABT accredited courses plus workshops from total beginners to the most advanced techniques.” Located in the patchwork of pines and heathland that make up Thetford Forest in Norfolk, Hazel’s trinity comprising salon, academy and warehouse is a hive of activity and a thriving family business. “My academy offers something for everyone. Over the past few years I’ve written over 100 classes and workshops, presenting an array of training that best suits individual needs. I offer both in-house and online training, however, it’s my belief that complete beginners should only be taught in-house due to the science that must be covered. I feel it’s so important the educator be beside the student every step of the way.”

With two types of online training on the menu, Hazel is sure she’s got all bases and learning styles catered for. “Online training is packaged as pre-recorded workshops for existing techs with core, fundamental nail knowledge already in their repertoire. I also offer live Zoom training sessions, which are not accredited, but for students that prefer having the educator ‘live’ with them whilst learning.” A boost like no other, a mentoring program offers significant advantages to those who take the plunge. Mentor, Hazel advises, “Find a fellow, passionate nail tech or mentor. Surround yourself with like-minded people that will encourage, motivate and help you through the good and bad times. Having someone you can call or message that ‘gets you’, is so important. I don’t know what I’d have done without the people who keep me motivated on a daily basis.” Hazel also encourages nail pros to, “Invest your time and money wisely. Research the academy properly before taking a course, to ensure it can provide you with the skills and outcomes you’re looking to achieve, then be specific about this, don’t try to ‘learn’ too much, too quickly. Take your time and be sure you’ve successfully learned and perfected each skill before moving onto the next. Choose one that offers ongoing support, as this is so important.” Believing in a ‘practice makes perfect’ work ethic, Hazel concludes, “I don’t get time for hobbies, but I always make time for my husband and family, as well as indulging in retail therapy and dinner dates. Quality time outside of nails is essential to success, for balance as well as to relieve and relax the mind.” Hazel’s mantra sums this up nicely.

“Be happy with what you have, while working for what you want.”

Follow Hazel & Share this article!

Related videos, articles & glossary terms on GlossaryLive

Dafne Fernández | Artist of the Month

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Dafne Fernández

Learn more about the person behind Nailympia Mexico, who's making a global footprint for nail mastery from her nail academy in Mexico City.

Article by Alex Fox | Published in 2023

Working as a nail professional since 2009, Dafne Fernández, known for both her nail sculpture, structure and art skills, is the founder and owner of Stanzy Nails & Beauty, Botica Puré, Mano Santa Nail Art and the director of the Stanzy Academy in Mexico City. Dafne became globally renowned after taking the role of global educator for Artistic Nail Design from 2012-2018. A champion tech, Dafne has won accolades in Orlando, Vegas, Pasadena and at the first Nailympia Canada in 2019. Dafne is an international judge, who has educated in Japan, the USA, China, Turkey, The Netherlands, the UK, Russia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and Greece. She’s also the host of Nailympia Mexico and the forthcoming Nailympia Brazil.

“I wanted to host Nailympia in my region because I believe that competitions are necessary in order to build and grow as a nail professional. This activity sets high standards and challenges that a competitor must work through in order to participate. As each element of competition tests the nail tech, abilities are realised and then stretched, skills and creativity are raised and the nail professional finds their purpose as success is enjoyed.”

Follow Dafne & Share this article!

Related videos, articles & glossary terms on GlossaryLive

Michelle Soto | Artist of the Month

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

Michelle Soto

This October, we celebrate Michelle Soto, international educator, judge and nail artist extraordinaire from Florida, USA.

Article by Alex Fox | Published in 2023

Stepping into the world of nails at the tender age of 12, Michelle Soto was spoiled for a year as her aunty used her to hand model for practice purposes. Later, after moving to Puerto Rico, Michelle made a point of manicuring her nails, mimicking what she’d picked up from her aunt. “My nails became a talking point and people asked me to do theirs, but I always said, ‘No, I only do them for myself’,” Michelle reflects. “However, after some consideration, I accepted my father’s proposal of going to nail school. Getting certified before I would groom anyone’s nails was really important to me. At that time in my life, being certified yet still not thinking it would end up becoming my career, was my mindset.”

On deciding to train in nails, Michelle enrolled at the Pierrette Academy in Puerto Rico, which later changed its name to Ema’s Beauty Academy. “I was offered to work at a well-known salon from the owner of the academy herself,” smiles Michelle. “I agreed and worked in it for a year, then I made the bold move to open my own salon; I was just 16 at the time.” Michelle continued to run nail salons for a number of years before changing her path to work more recently full-time with V Beauty Pure LLC in the USA. “I’ve tried many products throughout the years and one of my favorites is V beauty Pure,” she asserts.

With the onset of the global pandemic changing Michelle’s career course, she highlights, “Not being able to work for some time pushed me in a different direction; I had so much time to think about what I was doing and if it was the right pathway for me. I then changed my life completely. I‘ve always wanted to dedicate myself to teaching full-time while helping others achieve their goals, but I was always too busy to commit. The pandemic gave me the opportunity to make the jump.”Living by the principle to always give any endeavor her best shot, no matter what the circumstances, Michelle instils, “One must always be reliable, consistent and never forget to be humble in this life. In these challenging times, take this opportunity to focus in on yourself and your craft. Get prepared with all the knowledge and tools that will help you grow for when you are able to start working again and most importantly, keep posting content on social media platforms, don’t give up!”

1. Behind the Scenes - GlossaryLive Masterclass | 2. Michelle Soto jugding at Nailympia Orlando 2023

Praising social media as an excellent source of inspiration for nail stylists, Michelle notes, “The artist in me sees nail art everywhere I go! Although, much of my inspiration tends to come at night, so I keep a sketch book on my night table, however, maybe just one percent of my ideas make it into the book itself.” On reflection, she also adds, “As an artist, being able to express myself through my nail work alongside the happiness that it brings to my clients, is a blessing. The ability to express the client’s emotions in the nail style is also extremely rewarding and now I take great pleasure in teaching all this while sharing my knowledge and experience with others to support their career journey.”

Citing her recipe for attaining great nail skills is to never stop practicing or getting educated, Michelle acknowledges that, “Consistency and knowledge are key!”

With education at the top of her menu, Michelle utilised her time wisely during the pandemic and originated a wide selection of courses. “ I’ve developed online trainings that offer a variety of techniques to help salons called Salon Success. These courses offer topics such as nail anatomy – artificial and natural, product & control management, general biosecurity and health alongside E-File, bit theory and practice applied to nail extensions and manicures, nail tip and form application as well as commercial shapes (square, coffin, classic salon almond and stiletto), dip powder, acrygel, UV hard gel and nail art with gels, to name a few.”

Appreciating that ‘Rome was not built in a day’, Michelle stays grounded and focused while optimistic about the future. “My advice to beginners is to keep an open mind, have lots of patience, make sure you practice and don’t give up! Always be reliable, consistent and never forget to be humble!” Moving onwards and upwards, Michelle is excited for a future with her goal being to coach students, “To hit the salon floor fully experienced and knowledgeable. Capable and ready to service!”

Follow Michelle & Share this article!

Related videos, articles & glossary terms on GlossaryLive