Associate publisher and editor Hannah Lee has been leading NAILS Magazine’s creative team for the last 14 years. In addition to writing and editing for both the print and web versions of NAILS, Hannah also collaborates on each nail look for our cover shoots with art director Danielle Parisi, our photographer, and our many talented nail artists. She’s in constant contact with nail techs and industry heavy-hitters in order to keep her eye on what’s happening in the world of nails. Under her direction, NAILS has won an impressive 27 Maggie awards for magazine excellence. In addition to judging our many in-house nail art contests (Mini-Masterpiece, Self-Portrait, Mural), she’s also been a judge on the international nail competition stage. Tired of the same old nail competitions, Hannah came up with NAILS Next Top Nail Artist to combine her love of reality competition television shows with her desire to find the best of the up-and-coming nail artists our industry has to offer.
NAILS Magazine: Sree Roy
Managing editor Sree Roy has developed a keen eye for nail art during her seven years at NAILS Magazine. Sree keeps her finger on the pulse of all the trends — from textured nails to seasonal colors — but also appreciates it when an artist thinks out of the box to create a unique nail voice. She’s judged several international nail photo competitions during her tenure, including Canada’s Contessa Awards, and has been quoted in a wide range media outlets from CNN.com to CBC Radio One. Sree’s so excited by the final 12 in the inaugural NAILS Next Top Nail Artist competition and can’t wait to see these up-and-comers flourish into the next generation of worldly nail artists.
NAILS Magazine: Danielle Parisi
Danielle Parisi has 16 years of experience in magazine art direction. Starting her career for the exclusive Orange Coast Magazine, she joined the NAILS team in 2004 and has never looked back! She is one of the industry’s leading art directors, and she leads the graphic voice on both NAILS and sister magazine VietSALON. Danielle’s creativity has propelled her team to winning more than eight Maggie Awards and a slew of in-house awards as well. Danielle’s unique style and eye for what’s hot and trendy keep her and the NAILS team ahead of the game.
Gelish: Danny Haile
A veteran nail technician with more than 30 years in the nail business, Danny Haile is also a fierce award-garnering nail competitor who holds many international titles in competition, including WIMBA World Champion, International Nail Champion, Midwest Champion, and others. He retired from active competition in the middle of the last decade and since has been a judge of nail competitions all around the world. He also trains world champion nail competitors. Danny has published articles in Scratch Magazine in the U.K., NAILS and NailPro magazines in the U.S., Unghie in Italy, and many, many other professional, beauty trade, and consumer publications. His passion is in product development. He was the co-founder of EZ Flow Nail Systems in 1986, and, after selling the business, had done research and development for several major manufacturers including OPI, Odyssey, Young Nails, Entity, IBD, and Super Nail. A few years ago, wanting to fulfill his passion, Danny came back to the industry and started Hand & Nail Harmony in 2009. There, Danny has utilized the newest technology to re-develop acrylic product systems and redesigned gel systems to create the award-winning Gelish.
Dashing Diva: Masako Sasaki
Week 1: Guest Judge
Best known for her amazing nail art, Dashing Diva educator Masako Sasaki managed and operated four Dashing Diva Salons in Japan from 2006 to 2010. Licensed in New York State, she’s received numerous awards from the Japanese Nail Stylist Association and Dashing Diva Professional. Her magazine work includes Can Can, Story, Baila, Tarzan, Seventeen, Nail Max, Nailvenous, and NY eJapion. And in addition to participating in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and New York Bridal Fashion Week, she has done television work in Japan.
Entity Beauty: Lorena Marquez
Week 2: Guest Judge
Lorena Marquez is among the most respected names in the nail industry. Her artistic accomplishments include over 200 competition wins, including the 2004 and 2005 Nailpro Cup Championship and #1 competitor ranking by NAILS magazine in 2005. In 2000, Lorena won the World International Nail and Beauty Association Tip & Overlay Championship. Her artwork has been featured on the cover of NAILS and Nailpro magazines. Lorena has educated nail professionals worldwide and has been a featured educator at many national and international venues. She is also a member the International Nail Jury Association.
Gel II: Rose Velez-Miggins
Week 3: Guest Judge
Rose Velez-Miggins is a celebrity nail artist, professional educator, and owner of doorBella Creative Concierge Service. As Gel II and La Palm’s director of public relations and global ambassador, she’s known as a leader, a self-starter and a hard-working nail professional. Her work has appeared on red carpets around the world as well as published in NAILS Magazine, Nailpro, GLOSS Magazine, American Dreaming Magazine, Shape, and People. She thrives in environments that grant her the ability to coordinate fashion and nails. She believes freedom of expression is an invaluable privilege and is ecstatic that people are using their nails as a medium for style. As a strong believer in mentorship she believes in building an empire one (finger)nail at a time with her motto, “You can look like a million bucks, but if your nails are unkempt, you won’t FEEL like a million bucks!”
INM: Juli Miller
Week 4: Guest Judge
INM director of education Juli Miller is a veteran of the nail industry, starting her career in her late teens. After working for IBD for many years as director of education (helping out in product development and creating ad campaigns for the company), she took time off to enjoy her one and only son. Juli’s work has appeared on the covers of NAILS and Nailpro magazines, as well as in TV commercials. She previously competed and later judged nail competitions, working with Vicki Peters as a competition coordinator.
Malinda Haggerty has vast experience, combining over 17 years in the beauty industry, along with a strong sales and event coordinating background. She’s been an educator for NSI since 2005 and her work has been featured in both NAILS and Nailpro magazines, as well as advertising campaigns for NSI. Malinda resides in Oklahoma with her husband and their three children.
Week 6: Guest Judge
As the founder, president, and CEO of Orly International, Jeff has been revolutionizing the nail care industry since 1975. Over the years, he has been dedicated to inspiring beauty care professionals around the world with specialty products including nail care treatments and lacquers. One of Jeff’s true passions has been designing timeless and innovative nail looks. As the creator of The Original French Manicure, Jeff brought the first classic nail look not only to the nail care industry, but to the world of fashion. Thirty-seven years and countless innovations later, Jeff introduced the patented, ergonomic Gripper Cap in 2002. The American Beauty Association has honored Jeff’s achievements with numerous ABBIE awards, recognizing his overall excellence in the beauty industry. In 2005, Jeff celebrated Orly’s 30th Anniversary and the launch of SpaRitual, the first eco-luxury nail, foot and body care line designed exclusively for professional salons and spas.
It’s So Easy: Jill McMurray
Week 7: Guest Judge
Marketing veteran and It’s So Easy brand manager Jill McMurray stands by the statement that “nothing is impossible with nail art.” Looking to take the recently acquired A.I.I. brand to the next level, Jill’s focus is to modernize but keep the fun and playful elements that are It’s So Easy Nail Art. She brings over 15 years of marketing experience to the team. Her first foray into beauty was over six years ago in the skincare sector, where she focused on product development and planning. Offering a fresh perspective on the nail side of the beauty world, her knowledge of trends, attention to detail, and innovative approach to nail art makes her an ideal addition to the team. Her favorite part about working on the It’s So Easy brand is the extensive amount of creative freedom and the talented, innovative team. “The possibilities are truly endless with It’s So Easy,” she proudly states.
Misa Cosmetics: Alexis Nguyen
Week 8: Guest Judge
When you want something done, ask a busy person. That’s one of the reasons Misa Cosmetics asked educator Alexis Nguyen to be one of the judges for NAILS Next Top Nail Artist. She’s been in the business for nearly 25 years, the last 10 as the owner of Nails & Co. Spa with five bustling locations in and around Boston, Mass. With over 100 nail techs working for her at an industry-low turnover rate, Alexis knows how to spot a nail tech with the skills and the passion for a successful career. Alexis is a mom to four kids and is launching her own facial and body care line based on her extensive knowledge as an herbalist. And she makes all the product by hand for all her salons. Who better to be a judge than a woman who has experience in so many areas? Time to bring the A-game.
Week 9: Guest Judge
Combining business savvy with vibrant charisma, Jan Arnold, the co-founder of internationally successful CND has been leading the nail industry with innovation and style for over 30 years. Since the company’s incorporation in 1979, Arnold has become one of the professional beauty industry’s most respected authorities in the fields of nail technology, runway trends, and education, as well as a recognized spokesperson for the industry. Arnold’s vision of nails as fashion accessories has translated to the runways. Seasonally since 1996, CND’s top nail pros have manicured runway models and started trends during Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Paris, and Sydney. As a result, Arnold is an editorial favorite and is regularly quoted in top consumer publications such as Glamour, Elle, and Allure, explaining nail trend forecasts or benefits of proper nail care.
OPI: Suzi Weiss-Fischmann
Week 10: Guest Judge
OPI executive vice president and artistic director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann created the first 30 OPI colors in 1989. Suzi creates every OPI nail lacquer shade. She ignited the “dark nail” revolution with Lincoln Park After Dark, was the first to add real diamond dust to nail lacquer, and pushed nail art into the fashion mainstream with Shatter by OPI. She has composed thousands of iconic OPI colors and names including: You Don’t Know Jacques!, My Private Jet, Bubble Bath, and Here Today Aragon Tomorrow. When she produced I’m Not Really a Waitress, it was heralded as the “best shade of red” by women across the globe. Allure inducted the lacquer into its Beauty Hall of Fame in 2011, having won Best Nail Polish awards more than nine times. Known worldwide as “The First Lady of Nails,” Suzi is the go-to authority for beauty editors and fashion designers alike, regularly giving her thoughts on color and nails in major publications.