Best lil’ Nail Show Texas 2016

Best Lil Nail Show TexasHowdy y’all!  — Sorry, I had to.  :)  I attended the Best lil’ Nail Show Texas in Humble, TX a couple of weeks ago.  This was my first experience at a nails-only trade show, and this one was a cash & carry format where licensed professionals could purchase products directly from the vendors.  There were many great discounts offered at the show, which I definitely took advantage of.  It was a relatively small show, but there were many well-known brands & nail industry icons present.  There were also nail art demonstrations taking place at many of the booths.  I wish I had thought to photograph some of them, but wowza!… amazing nail art was being created everywhere.

The trade show was only one day, but the event spanned over a three-day period and included many educational courses that licensed pros could sign up for, a Tech Talk event, and Face to Face with Doug Schoon.  I unfortunately missed out on some of the festivities because I arrived at the end of the first day, but I attended the trade show and took a one-stroke nail art class with Lauren Wireman from Wildflower Academy.

CND was a huge hit at the show with their Cut the Cord Event where they gave away FREE CND LED lamps if you traded in one of your old professional lamps (one per person).  I remembered to bring a lamp and received one of the ~800 lamps that were given away.  Of course the buzz about this generated a huge line of people at the start of the show, but luckily there were enough lamps to go around and I think everyone that brought a lamp to trade in was able to receive one of the CND lamps.

cnd-cut-the-cordBelow is a photo of Jan Arnold from CND, and brand ambassador Kieu Chinh announcing the new CND Creative Play lacquer line.  Kieu Chinh is a Vietnamese-American actress, philanthropist and Lifetime Achievement Awards recipient.

cnd-2Creative Play is CND’s new 7-free nail lacquer that includes 80 colors and 10 finishes.  Below is a photo of the very colorful display.


I stopped by the Tammy Taylor booth and learned a little about the Gelegance gel polish line and her new Love My Pedi foot cream.  I received a sample of the foot cream to try, but haven’t used it yet.  You’re supposed to massage it into your feed and cuticles before bedtime to rejuvinate your feet.  It has a nice subtle scent that smells like mint chocolate.


I had to visit the Belava booth to check out the Belava Embrace pedicure chair again.  I received a demo of the chair at a different show last year and fell in love with it… it’s so elegant looking, comfortable and functional.  The chair swivels to the side so that clients can get in without having to climb over the bowl, and the chair reclines back quite far so that you can also perform other services such as facials and waxing in the chair.  It massages, heats, swivels, and is fully adjustable.  I love that it doesn’t need plumbing and it’s very sanitary since you replace the liner with every use.  I ended up buying this chair in a rich, dark grey for my new studio!  I’m seriously dying of anticipation over here.


I went to the Orly booth to see what’s new.  Below is a photo of their two latest collections – Melrose (Spring), and Pacific Coast Highway (Summer).  I was informed that all current and future collections will be released in all three Orly formulas.  Orly has a lacquer line, an extended-wear lacquer line called Epix, and a gel polish line called GelFX.  I think most people love being able to match the colors if they wish to use a gel and lacquer, so that’s great news.


Bodipure gloves & socks are another product that I learned about at the show.  This is a single-use moisturizing treatment for a waterless manicure or pedicure. It was explained to me that you place the glove on your client’s hands after trimming and shaping the nails.  You allow them to rest for a few minutes and then poke the fingertips through the end of the glove and perform the rest of the manicure (cuticle clean-up, cleanse, polish, etc.) and then remove the glove at the end and massage the remaining treatment into the hands and arms.  If you have questions, visit their website and watch the short video demo.

It’s an interesting concept.  I received a sample packet and will have to try it out.  My main concern was whether the gloves/socks are biodegradable and safe for the environment, and they are.


At the Essie booth, the Director of Education, Gino Trunzo gave Krystal (of Polish Galore) and I a demonstration of their new Apricot Cuticle Peel and Cuticle Oil.  You apply a drop to the cuticle area and wait just 15 seconds before pushing and removing the dead skin.  This product can be used with a waterless manicure, but you do have to use just a dab of water after cuticle clean-up to neutralize the acid.  The demo was so impressive that I purchased a bottle to try.  So far I’ve only used it on clients with extra stubborn cuticles and it works great to soften them for easy removal.

essieShimmer Brights is Essie’s latest lacquer collection.  Each of the colors has a pretty shimmer finish.  The yellow color that you see below is Essie’s 1,000th color called Aim to Misbehave.  In celebration, this color comes with a custom cap and is said to possibly become a collectors item.


social-clawsAngela Zeleny from Social Claws was demoing her new product called SUGAR | ice.  These are lab-grown nano crystals that have some serious bling!  Currently SUGAR | ice is available in three colors… White Fire, Pink Aurora and Black Star (seen below).  The crystals come in an adorable triangular origami box with a little tray inside for easy pouring.  Each box contains 2,000 crystals – half of them faceted, and the other half round.  You can pour the crystals over top of a no-wipe gel coat for a full sugar nail effect, or you can place them individually for a custom look.  In certain lighting the crystals have the subtle look of sugar, and in brilliant light they sparkle like ice.  And most importantly, a portion of the proceeds goes to help kittens in need… hence, Angela’s cute kitty ears!

Angela was also my roomie on this trip, and the reason I was invited. :) I learned a lot about this product and received a few samples to try.  I hope to have more info in the future.  In the meantime, head on over to Ten Little Canvases and read Kim’s very detailed write-up of the product, and check out her amazing nails.  Drool!


Dazzle Dry is another product that I recently became familiar with.  This product dries rock hard in 5 minutes without a UV light!  Seriously – I had a chance to try it on myself about 5 weeks ago and was so impressed.  The polish on my nails lasted for several days without chipping, and I actually removed it before any signs of wear.  And I still have the same polish on my toes today (yes, I’m in desperate need of a pedi!).  I was able to put my shoes on after just a few minutes and the polish didn’t smudge at all.  Needless to say, I picked up some Dazzle Dry to use at the studio for pedicures.  :)


I stopped by the Famous Names booth and picked up some Dadi’ Oil.  I’ve heard so much about this oil in all of the different nail groups I’m in, so I had to try it.  And they had a killer deal on a large full size bottle, and 12 smaller retail-sized bottles.  (BTW, trying to fly home with those in my carry-on got me flagged for a full search! LOL).  Famous Names also carries popular products such as IBX and Cinnatize.  I also offer the IBX system at my studio and it does wonders for repairing and strengthening natural nails.  Love it!  Visit their website for more info.


I was lured into the Cuccio booth by their butters and sugar scrubs since I was in the market for some new pedi products.  I purchased several scents to try out – so far the Milk & Honey scent is my favorite.  The sugars are great because they exfoliate well without being too coarse and harsh.


At the Young Nails booth I saw their new SlickPour system.  This is similar to the acrylic dip systems that have been out for a little while, but you portion out some of the powder and pour it over the nail instead of dipping which is a little more sanitary. (BTW, you can pour the traditional dip powders in this manner as well).  Watch this video to see how SlickPour works.  This is an alternative to gel polish manicures that offers even more strength.


The Real Nails Qweenz were at the show doing photo ops.  I admit that I hadn’t heard of them before, but their nails were quite impressive and I had to ask a few questions and get my picture taken with them.  Yani (center) said that she stopped counting how long she’s been growing her nails after 20 years!  Their nails do break occasionally and they are repaired with acrylic. I know that many of you are wondering how they perform some every day functions, and you can find some of that info on their YouTube Channel.


The Wildflowers Nail Academy booth had lots of great nail art goodies such as paints, brushes, tools and glitter.  I picked up a few bottles of Lauren’s Butter Paints since I signed up for her classes and I wanted to have a few extra colors to practice with.

wildflowerOn the last day, I attended the 5-hour one-stroke nail art class.  It’s a much harder technique than I anticipated, but we learned many of the basic fundamentals such as how to make a wet palette to keep your paints from drying out while practicing, how to load the brush, composition, and some basic strokes.  Below you can see some of my practice strokes and the one nail that I created.  This was the first technique that we learned and it was the easiest by far.  I also loved learning a few other little tricks such as how to create a simple fern.


I also had a chance to meet a couple of blogger friends in person, which is always fun!  The evening I arrived, I had dinner with Angela from Social Claws and Kim from Ten Little Canvases.  The three of us hung out together the majority of the time, and Kim and I ran into Krystal from Polish Galore the morning of the show (pic below).  I love putting faces to the names and meeting people that I’ve talked with online.  This was my third time meeting Krystal, and it’s always a pleasure!  I hope to see them all again at future shows.

blns-bloggers(Me, Kim & Krystal)

I also want to give a big “THANKS!” to AthenA Elliot (AthenA Rocks & Nail Talk Radio), Donna Schur, and all other volunteers who organized the show, and to Angela Zeleny (Social Claws) for inviting me and allowing me to room with her!  The turnout was great, and I’m sure the show will draw an even bigger crowd next year!


3 Responses

  1. Leslie Ann says:

    That chair will be awesome. New nail Salon? Are you opening one of your own?

    Thanks for the tour, it was almost like being there. Your nail art rocks! I clicked on the links to get more info from the various companies. Again, like being there.

    • Andrea says:

      Hey Leslie! I moved into a small space at a Salon Lofts location. You can see a few pics on my Instagram account. Still waiting for my new pedi chair to arrive. :)

      • Leslie Ann says:

        Woo Hoo, Congrats. I’m so happy and wish you all the success you so rightly have earned. Post pix of the salon here when you have a moment.