Some are new to the entire industry. Others have just taken a giant leap into a new part of their nail career. Here, read about seven techs so new (with three years or less of nail experience) or so-recently brave (with one year or less in a new facet of their nail career), NAILS didn’t even know how luminous they were until reading their rave reviews. Keep your eyes peeled for what’s to come from these up-and-coming stars.

The Rising Star: Codou Morris, Dolce Salon and Spa, Chandler, Ariz.

Codou Morris has been inspired by the classes she has taken through Entity Beauty.

 “We just held a nail competition here in the Phoenix area and had a surprise winner. Her name is Codou Morris, and her nails were phenomenal. She created a sculpted nail using our white and transparent pink powders.

“Overall, her application was fabulous. Her smile line was crisp and clean, her cuticle was smooth, and her overall shaping and finishing was almost perfect.

“She has the potential to be great nail artist, but I get the impression she doesn’t really know how talented she is!” - Michelle Williams, Regional Sales Director,  Entity Beauty Inc.

“I’ve learned things from other techs when I modeled for competitions. I look at pictures of good nails and fine-tune my work based on what it should look like.

“In the future, I’d like to get into education as well as competitions. I think I definitely want to get some mentoring before I approach that world, though. But I always want to be in the salon. I think it keeps you in touch with the nail world.-Codou Morris

The Rising Star: Angie Perkins, Awesome Nails, Grayslake, III.

Although Angie Perkins has been in the nail business for more than 12 years, it was just a year ago that she learned how to do pink-and-white acrylics and gel nails. Now she does a full set in just over an hour, and her backfills are beautiful. Deep, crisp smile lines are becoming her signature nail.

“Also, she has advanced training in display and merchandising from a cosmetic company she works for. This has been extremely useful to the salon because she incorporates her knowledge into the retail displays, and at the holidays she is a master at creating our gift baskets.”   Mary Metscaviz,  Awesome Nails,  Grayslake, III.

 “I had never done pink-and-whites prior to working at Awesome Nails. I had been doing single-color nails with a tip and overlay; there aren’t too many places around here that do pink-and-whites.

“I was able to learn to do them because luckily I have patience with myself. I didn’t do them before because I wasn’t comfortable working with forms. I wasn’t sure how to properly fit them to the nail. Even to this day it takes me a couple of forms until I get it right on just one nail.”  Angie Perkins

The Rising Star: Brenda Anderson, Great Lengths, Checotah, Okla.

“Brenda Anderson joined Team Vicki about a year ago. At a show in Texas, she approached me because she was looking for a company where she could ‘teach from the heart.’ She felt she was going nowhere and was at a stalled level in her career but wanted to do better. Over the next several months, she attended every function we held, and since then she participates almost daily on the Team Vicki mailing list, always steps up to the plate when she is needed, travels to trade shows, and now is a vital part of the competition team.

“Her first competition was at the 2006 Nailympics in Las Vegas. She ended up finishing third time in the Tip and Overlay Novice category. When I asked her what was the biggest thing she learned from her first competition experience she said, ‘I can survive being a nervous wreck!’ It also has confirmed for her that she was a good tech and educator, something she questioned before joining Team Vicki.”  Vicki Peters, Vice President,  Vicki Peters Signature Series

“When I went into the competition arena for the first time, I went in with the mindset that I wasn’t doing something I had never done before. I was coming in there to do nails.

“I was fortunate to place the first time I competed. That gave me a really big incentive to believe I can do this. Somewhere down the road I would like to see myself in the top 10 of NAILS Top 25 competitors list.” - Brenda Anderson

The Rising Star: Danny Phung, ProfessioNAIL in Coquitlam Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 Although he’s been an OPI educator for only a year, Danny Phung’s technical abilities and friendly, easy-going demeanor have quickly made him a standout. This nine-year nail veteran grew up in a family that has been in the nail industry for years, so it’s no surprise he would follow in their footsteps.

“The great thing about him is he’s not content to just do nails and own a salon. He’s always looking to further his nail career by reading trade magazines and attending shows and educational events, so he can stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in the industry.”  Elsa Guerrero,  Education Coordinator,  OPI Products

“If I’ve mastered one technique, I want to move onto another. I try to put myself on the client level, not the technician level. Just because you’re able to do something really fast, that doesn’t always mean you’re the best. And just because you’ve mastered one technique doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best technique for every client.

“Right now, one of the most important things to me is education and teaching the Asian community that service isn’t necessarily about time, but it’s also about working one-on-one with clients. It’s about how knowledgeable you are, so the clients will trust you.

“Someday, I’d also love to be a distributor in Canada or be an entrepreneur and have a chain of salons and teach all the techs how to be great nail techs.”  Danny Phung

The Rising Star: Lizette Porcayo, Nails Naturally Hand and Foot Spa, Chicago

“Lizette Porcayo is a dream employee. Not only does she work for me, but she works with me. She has taken ownership of Nails Naturally Hand and Foot Spa. She has already planned all of our events for the year and created the advertisements for them.

“One of the other great things about Porcayo is she’s self-motivated and a self-starter. If she reads something in NAILS Magazine and believes it’s a good idea, she will come to me with what she has read and how she thinks it can work for us or how we can change it for the better.

“Also, she is always looking to hone her skills and eager to do good in the community and fundraise for things like breast cancer and homelessness. She is a dream partner, and I wish I could duplicate her 10 times over.” - LaShaun Brown-Glenn,  Nails Naturally Hand and Foot Spa,  Chicago

“I take lots of continuing education classes; whether it’s business classes or nail classes, I like to learn. I recently took an online business class with Kristi Valenzuela.

“Right now, I’m also in school part-time. I’m going to be a dental hygienist. Eventually, I would like to do that part-time, nails part-time, and skin care (I’m also an esthetician) part-time. I want to own my own place that incorporates all three.” – Lizette Porcayo

The Rising Star: Tracey Reierson, Serenity Nails, Redding, Calif.

“Tracey Reierson has been a Young Nails educator for the past three years, but 2006 was a big year for her. She was named a Young Nails Senior Mentor, and she sold her salon so she could do education and distribution full time.

“As an educator, she is a powerhouse. She doesn’t know when to stop; her work ethic is intense. Her ability to absorb information makes you want to touch her, to make sure she is human and not a sponge. She has a genuine passion for the industry, and her motivation to help others is unmatched.

“As for her skills: She can pump out pink-and-whites so fast, you stop and wonder ‘How did she do it?’ Her salon skill has been perfected over the years to the point where she can slap on a perfect set of pink-and-whites, talk, eat, sleep, wake up, do yoga, have a cup of coffee, and take her pugs for a walk, all in one session. And I haven’t even talked about her glitter fades, glitter toes, colored acrylic, or color gel application. This girl rocks!” - Habib Salo,  CEO,  Young Nails

“I really am a strong believer in attending classes and shows. I meet a lot of people who don’t see the importance in doing that. Every time I go to a class, even if it’s the same one I’ve taken five times, I learn something new.

"In the future, I hope to become a better educator and get better at meeting the needs of the people I’m distributing to.” - Tracey Reierson

The Rising Star: Shelena Robinson, The Painted Desert, Bend, Ore.

“Shelena Robinson has been with Creative Nail Design for years, but last January we had auditions for Team Creative; she auditioned and was amazing. She does one of the most beautiful smile lines that I’ve seen under camera. Both sides are exactly the same height, and she makes it look effortless.

“Now part of Team Creative, she brings her passion and love of creating beautiful nails to each and every class. Her primary goal is to educate nail professionals in all aspects of hand and foot beauty and to help raise the standards of professionalism throughout the industry.” - Doug Smith,  Director of Education,  Creative Nail Design

“I wanted to join the team because I’m always looking for new challenges. I love helping people learn new things that help them do things better.

“Even though I felt pretty comfortable going into the Team Creative audition, there was that added little bit of stress. Under the camera, everything has to be made to look so simple.” - Shelena Robinson

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