wella-life

And Your Semi Finalists Are...

That’s right! Our 2015 North America Trend Vision Awards are fast approaching! From the hundreds of talented entries submitted for our Journey of Enlightenment and New Frontier Unchartered Territories trends, choosing our Semi Finalists was no easy feat! But alas, we’ve narrowed down our 25 Semi Finalists for each of the Student, Young Talent, and Color categories!

These fabulous semi-finalists will now move on to the next round of judging - where on June 10th we will announce who makes the cut as the final seven finalists to compete at NATVA in Las Vegas!

To say we are proud of all the entries submitted would be an understatement! The caliber of work, dedication and talent was superior this year and we are so thankful to all of those who participated! We can’t wait to see what you will bring to the stage next year!

Drum roll please… And now for what you all have been waiting for, here are you NATVA 2014 Semi Finalists!

Student Semi Finalists:

Young Talent Semi Finalists:

Color Semi Finalists:

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Tailor-Made Makeover by Justine

Meet Zara. She is finishing a Master’s degree in L.A. while booking modeling gigs to pay the way. I met with her for a corrective color and we decided to transform her haircut and style from day to night. Zara learned how to create multiple looks for her high-intensity lifestyle. One of the most important responsibilities that we as stylists hone is creating the versatility  to work with our clients needs- whichever job, adventure or event they choose! 

Zara was colored with Wella Illumina Color and Koleston Perfect permanent color. Her haircut was inspired by Sebastian Professional’s Urban Explorers “San Francisco” collection. Her hair was styled with Wella Care and Styling Brilliance Shampoo and Conditioner for thick hair, Thermal Image Heat Protection Spray, Mirror Polish shine gloss, and Flowing Form styling cream.

Zara’s faux bob was created with the Sebastian Professional micro-crimper. I took 3x3" sections of hair and back-brushed to expand the texture. I rolled lower sections under to create the bob shape, and finished  the layered pieces with Sebastian ReShaper hairspray. 

Are you exploring?  

Insta-Inspiration

If you follow us on Instagram - which you should be - then you’ve probably noticed that we’re huge fans of reposting fabulous creations by our followers. That’s what Wella Ed is all about – sharing, inspiring and learning with our community.  And every once in a while one stylist or another will stick out, and right now, we’re excited to introduce you to one of our most avid #WellaLife hashtaggers,  #WellaFamily, meet Chris Weber: a stylist at Barbarella Hair Salon in Vancouver, Canada.

From the bold colors to crisp cuts, with no two photos ever looking alike, Weber’s artistic creations are always on point. With a love for fashion, style and ability “to change peoples looks,” Weber began his career in hair artistry in 2008 as an apprentice in Germany before moving to Vancouver in 2012.  His transition to Canada was seamless and if anything, gave him a greater opportunity to grow and learn more about hairstyling and about himself.

For Weber, being in a “trendy city” has allowed him to meet other like-minded, creative fashionistas – which include his trusting clients who are always open to trying new looks.  With so many creations to date, it’s hard for Weber to pick a favorite editorial or lifestyle look out his portfolio – his favorite thing about any and all of his work though, is his ability to create an entire look (cut, color, style) using his own visions.  

Curious to where Weber’s “visions” for all his fabulous looks come from? Well, fashion magazines and fashion bloggers, of course! Weber makes it a point to always be up to date with the newest looks and trends, also by following all the other “amazing hairstylist and salons from all over the world on Instagram.”  Oh, Instagram, how inspiring you are!

While following others online definitely lends inspiration, Weber also advises that other stylists “should work with other creative people and see hair styling not just as a job, but see it more as an art.” Weber, who whips our Wella colors into live masterpieces, is definitely an artist we will be keeping an eye on!

All Hail The Queen of Color

All great icons have that fearful moment of where the next step will take them, but once they take that step (in a fierce heel, we’d hope) a whole world of possibility opens for them.  Sonya Dove, Intercoiffure of America’s Color Council Director and co- owner of The Dove Studios, took that fierce heeled step when she was asked to take on the Color Council Director role after having been a member with Intercoiffure in England.  Having initially turned the Color Council Director position down, Dove admits that at first she “was nervous, but now I absolutely love it…it has given me a great opportunity to network with the best.”

The Intercoiffure “Icons of Color” Award was a show that Dove proposed to Intercoiffure America’s President, Lois Christie, to honor leading colorists in the industry. She began asking people whom they felt came to mind when asked the question: Who has made a difference to the Color industry? While hoping to host the awards, Dove was soon surprised - and honored - when she herself received an invite as an “Icons of Color” award recipient.

So what inspires this Color Queen? Nature. Especially the colors of a good sunset and…get ready for it… jellyfish!  Why, you ask?  Well, because “they have so many iridescent colors and have a soft fluid motion at the same time.” Knowing this, it’s not surprising that the Northern Lights are also on her bucket list of things to experience.

While traveling to far off countries, meeting fashion and hair style royalty, blowing the minds of students and stylists everywhere, and winning awards like the #girlboss she is, Dove personifies “small but mighty.” Despite being hair color royalty, co-owning a salon, and living 3 years ahead of the curve, Dove’s love for her art is anchored in the simple concept that gets us all into this biz in the first place: “to make a difference in someone’s life.”  Whether it’s through teaching and educating new stylists or contributing to a client’s happiness by helping them feel better about their look, she describes the feeling as “so gratifying.” Both students and clients “have been an important part of my personal life. It is always a two way effort in a very good and positive way,” says Dove.

And for you dreamers out there, keep dreaming! Because to Dove the #wellalife is a “family of friends with all the same passion of sharing, inspiring and being of service to others in a selfless way,” which provides a great channel to achieving your stylist dreams.  “Never give up on your dream, be consistent and know that you will always do your best. Take criticism as a way to advance your vision, and as soon as you are clear about what you want to create, the path to manifestation will appear.” – Sonya Dove, Icon of Color

Bassinet To Beauty Salon

You could say that this stylist was born to be a stylist; growing up with a mother in the beauty industry, cosmetology has always been in Colleen Herman’s blood. Mesmerized by the business and craft of the industry, Herman’s initial interest in stage arts led her to study makeup and wig design in college. She then took to the world – literally - doing wigs, hair, and makeup for operas, musicals, TV and get this… Cirque Du Soleil! With a creative resume like that, it’s no wonder she has found herself creating color with our #WellaFamily!

Although her adventures have been anything but dull, the journey hasn’t always been easy for Herman. Moving across the world at only 23 challenged her personal strength. Herman says that “[it] showed me how much I was capable of when I committed to something. “

Deciding to move back to Cincinnati after 5 years abroad was nerve racking, but Herman’s feats didn’t stop there! Upon her return she followed in Mom’s footsteps, opening her own salon and spa! Although she had little experience behind the chair or in managing a salon, Herman stayed committed and determined. Now, Coco Creative Wellness is the proud home to 13 employees and was recently voted one of the top Cincinnati Salon and Spas! You go, girl!

Through these ups and downs and merry-go-rounds of life, Herman says that her mother has always been her first mentor. Balancing a busy schedule, having a blast in her personal life, and doing it with grace is what Herman’s mom was all about.  Now as business partners, Herman is applying those lessons from Mom and creating a success story of her own.

As a Nioxin Expert and Wella Color Trainer, Herman has an innate desire “to be continually inspired.” She “feel[s] awesome about being part of the Wella Education team as the message, trends, products and services that these brands promote are cutting edge and completely on the pulse of what stylists and consumers and seeking.”

Outside of her interest in the salon, Herman enjoys connecting her mind, body and spirit through yoga.   Want to create your own success story like this bassinette to beauty salon owning yogi? Here are 5 tips she has to share with up-coming stylists:

1.  Be bold. Ask every question that comes to mind.  Everyone learns when YOU ask!

2.  Find at least one mentor.  Don’t forget to take notes! Besides watching, practice! (Fake it ‘til you make it!)

3.  Be open-minded.  Know that when you master the rules, they can be broken and turned into new ways of doing things.

4.  Change your perspective often. Take a step back, and look from every angle.  You might surprise yourself at what you find!

5.  Welcome feedback in all forms.  Ask for constructive criticism from mentors and peers you trust, and remember that continuing to learn is continuing to GROW.  

Red, White, Blue And All the Other Hues: The Journey From Marine To Master Colorist

This Marine-turned-Master Colorist has grabbed our attention! Eric Lindsey, Master Colorist and co-owner of Salon Myo, as well as proud owner of Kharisma Hair Studio, is continually pulling hair color out of the trenches and taking it to the next level.

Lindsey began his colorful journey after completing his service with the Marine Corp. While working as a bartender, one of his regular clients – who happened to be a salon owner – talked him into attending cosmetology school, which he confesses, “was one of the hardest experiences of my life; going from such a strict environment to one of artistry and looseness.”

After passing Cosmo School with flying colors he decided one day to “randomly walk into Jose Eber’s in Dallas, Texas” where his talent – and we’re pretty sure winning smile- landed him a gig as an assistant. Talk about bold move!  Jose then transferred Lindsey to Beverly Hills as a color assistant where he studied for 3 years before diving into his true passion: educating others.

While being recognized nationally and internationally for his work, this color expert attributes his success to “loving what you do and the professional relationships that you build with your peers.” Lindsey truly believes in building those professional relationships having just participated in Wella’s National Education Training (NET) with the “who’s who” of the Wella Family, and was humbled knowing, “I get to spend my time with all of these talented people.”

So, what inspires this Captain of Color to keep soldiering on? His mentors. Lindsey says he “looks up to so many people in this business” and believes that once you find a great mentor or facilitator, to “get as much knowledge from them as you can!” That’s why being a part of the Wella Family is so rewarding, as he is amazed at “how much the educators are so giving to one another in their time and knowledge. It’s truly a family and close knit environment.”

It’s no wonder this Marine-turned-bartender-turned-Master Colorist believes that all budding stylists should “enjoy the ride because you are about to embark on one of the biggest adventures and careers that you could ever conceive.” So march on stylists, but don’t be afraid to color outside the lines!

Wella Education Exclusive - The Doves Behind The Chair Color Show Formulas Revealed

Ok, this is pretty maj, and we’re sharing the news exclusively here on Wella Education with our fave industry peeps. (You!) Whether you’re there in the flesh, or fawning over the looks from afar, here are Christopher and Sonya Dove’s supernatural - and superhero - color formulas. We triple dog dare you to recreate these….ready, go! (And, when you do, be sure to tag us #WellaHair so we can share!) 

Keep reading

Brains, Beauty and Balayage

#WellaWhat?! Wella Balayage Paddle with Paula Rufo

Have you used the NEW Wella #BlondorFreelights #BalayagePaddle?! Well, you have Paula Rufo and her knack for co-creating on-point innovations to thank for this fabulous tool! #wellalife #wellahair

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Wella Education

on Monday, April 20, 2015

From behind the chair to product development, Paula Rufo has been getting it done in the beauty world – but the path she took to stylist fame didn’t really happen the way she planned.

In true bestie form, Rufo and her BFF, had made a pact to attend college together. Rufo would become a world-renowned fashion designer, while her bestie would be an elite hair artist.

But the more they dove into their respective dreams, things changed.  Rufo loved the “instant gratification” that being a hair stylist gave her. She found her passion in hair, while her bestie went on to become a fashion designer! Guess they kind of stuck to the pact, right?

Rufo chose the perfect path, obviously. She’s worked behind the chair, taught at Blaine Beauty School in Boston and worked as a Wella Educator. Where she really shines is in product development with Wella Professional –hair has been her domain throughout her career (and we’ve got nothing but gratitude for her!)

The Wella Balayage Paddle? Yeah, that’s Rufo. How did she know exactly what you wanted? She listened to the people! Co-creation is the key to the perfect product.

Rufo worked with stylists near and far to come up with a new paddle idea that allows us to have all the tools we need right in our hands when creating colored looks for our clients. It was actually during a focus group that Rufo was inspired by the need for a new innovative tool.

Get THIS, stylists were bringing in their own tools to solve the problem, things like dustpans and painter’s spatulas, hoping to perfect their Balayage process. Stylists know how to be resourceful! But, those tools just weren’t good enough.

For Rufo, it was important that she heard from all “stylists at every level, ensuring that they touched on every single one of the stylist’s needs” when coloring. Through Rufo’s meeting with various stylists, the shape, size and innovative color reservoir of the Wella Balayage Paddle came to life.

And Rufo certainly isn’t done innovating in the stylist world. She hopes to continue to “co-create with other stylists to ensure our company is always designing new innovations to fit both stylist and consumer needs.”

Whether it’s tools, service or products, Rufo is working it to give us the best of the best to build our skills and create our art!

Turnin’ on the Color Charm

Growing up with a family full of creative artists, and spending summers staying cool (literally) surrounded by perfectly inked early 90’s rock stars in a Long Beach salon, it’s no wonder Kenneth Collins has found his career in the biz of creating color.

Unlike some of his painting peers, “hair did not come naturally or easily,” for Collins. From being a single teenage parent in cosmo school, to getting his first gig in the biz, this Wella Educator admits that sometimes the road to success “seemed impossible” and that “it took years for me to find myself as a hairdresser and craftsman.” But, after assisting at the I.S.S.E. Long Beach Hair Show, Collins found his passion and “fell in love with stage work and education.” Collins then spent “years running for top artist and doing prep work for hair shows,” which, after much work and dedication, led him to securing a spot on the Clairol design team and even an opportunity to perform live (!) at IBS in New York!

Since his debut on that Wella Color Charm technical stage at IBS, Collins hasn’t stopped performing! For Collins though, that shining moment was only the beginning. After a tragic loss in his family in 2012, Collins was determined to make a name for him self within the industry. So, like any great stylist would do, Collins set his sights on Trend Vision, by prepping himself by taking the editorial class at the #WellaStudioLA with Victoria Thurman Hall and Diego Raviglione. There, he says, Thurman Hall and Raviglione truly “refined and sharpened” his vision - which showed when Collins became a finalist in the Trend Vision Awards that year!

Amongst the photo shoots, hair shows, and even work behind the chair, Collins still says the most gratifying thing for him as a stylist is being a mentor and empowering others with knowledge, “I live for light bulb moments - I love to see people having breakthroughs.”

So, what advice does this educator have for you future trendsetters?

Educate yourselves – “Education is key and forever necessary.”

Compete – “The creativity it brings out of you is surprising.”

Service - “Treating clients right is a beautiful art in it self. After all, it’s what got Vidal Sassoon his start in apprenticeship going, for free.”

From his first bleach re-touch at age 13 (yes, he did fry his friend’s hair) to rockin’ the seminars at the #WellaStudioLA, we can only expect to see Collins continue to grow and take the #WellaLife to the next level!

To The Wella Studio And Beyond!

Even though he started creating leopard print ‘dos on friends and dyed his own locks just about every color of the rainbow in high school, it wasn’t until the first day of cosmetology school - the moment he unrolled his kit for the first time to be exact - that Frank Andrade realized that he was right where he was supposed to be!

Since then, Andrade has taken his journey of hair art head on. Moving from a full-time, behind the chair stylist and salon manager, Andrade kicked this year off right, joining the #WellaStudioLA as a Studio Core Team Artist. It’s safe to say life has been moving at light speed for Andrade, and while it can feel as if there are “never enough days in the week or hours in the day,” Andrade agrees “you make time for the things that make you happy.” With the dream of having the power to fly (LA traffic is no joke!) and finding  “bliss in education” we’re sure this artist will have no problem keeping up!

For Andrade, who visited the studio as a young stylist (and was in awe of the inspiration and level of education then) life as a Studio Core Team Artist has been “the most satisfying experience I’ve had in my career.” Every day at the Studio “holds something new, it’s never the same thing twice.”  With the constant flow of new faces and interactions, Andrade loves, “being able to meet and pass on education to so many fellow artists.”

On top of educating others, being a Studio Artist also means always being ahead of the trends and creating some serious looks, so how does Andrade keep up? By pulling inspiration for his creative coifs from both his peers as well as clients, of course! Andrade firmly believes that “you are motivated and inspired by the people that you surround yourself with. I learn from everyone that I encounter, and urge everyone to do the same.” With the caliber of talent at the Studio, we’re pretty sure the Studio Team is fully stocked in the creative minds department! Andrade also finds inspiration from nature to the Downtown LA happenings. His most important inspiration though, comes from, “the person sitting in my chair. The look comes to life on my clients because it’s inspired by them.”

While Andrade has had a PRETTY GOOD year, he knows that the “road to success will never end – it’s not a final destination, rather an ongoing journey.”  Deep, Andrade! But we couldn’t agree more! With the hope to travel and inspire stylists globally and believing as artists we should never be afraid to fail, we’re thrilled to see where Andrade’s journey takes him.

Style, Snap, Go Social!

Fresh on our minds from the business building seminar at the #WellaStudioLA at this year’s #WellaLifeTour is how the power of social media can be used as a fantastic tool for our industry, and so many of you are using it like pros, probably with your eyes closed. Don’t believe us? Check out #WellaFamily Instagram fan, Matthew Roskell (@fgmatthew). This tech-savvy stylist, who can’t live without his iPhone, is putting that little camera to good use and using social media like a pro!

Clearly using social as his pocket-sized, visual portfolio is working in his favor having been nominated multiple times for the British Hairdressing Awards, getting an opportunity to work at London Fashion Week, and not to mention receiving rave reviews from a look we #reinstagramed!

For Roskell (and Wella Ed, and our educators, and well… all stylists), social media is not only a fabulous way to portray talent, but also to enhance it. As a Creative Director for Francesco Group, Roskell is constantly using social media to expose himself to other artists and learn new techniques “to create change for the sake of my client and myself” when in the salon.

Want to get on the same level as Roskell? Follow people who inspire you! Nothing inspires creativity more than seeing what inspires others! Don’t forget to also share the love – give that pic on Instagram a heart, go ahead and “like” that Facebook photo, “Tweet” a look that you just did on a client! Sharing your work and appreciating others’ is a great way to build connections within the industry and show prospective clients you are passionate about what you create.

So take notes from this social savvy stylist (and be sure to check out his Instagram!) because we can’t wait to see what fabulous pics await us in our newsfeeds!

All Bets Are On

Finding your life-long career can feel like quite the gamble. That is especially true for Galin Hristov, a Wella Professional Field Education Expert, who began his pursuit of the perfect professional career as a Military Academy student in Europe.  Although this rigid schooling taught him a thing or two about never giving up and self-discipline, it wasn’t his dream and he soon left to see what other opportunities were available. From Rock band member to a Master’s Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology, Hristov was still not satisfied with his professional path and decided to play his hand at other options.

While figuring out his next move, Hristov managed the business website and styling software consultation for his wife’s salon. Being there on a daily basis, Hristov developed an appreciation for the “technical aspect” behind the craft of styling and was particularly attracted to the way this art allowed for “the freedom and possibilities for self-expression.” Before he knew it, Hristov took to styling, betting that this too would only be a temporary gig. It’s pretty safe to say, Hristov bet wrong, because 15 years later he is still styling and has become an education expert within our industry.

Being the expert that he is, it’s no surprise that Hristov strongly believes that “knowledge is the foundation for creativity and strong cutting skills that last a lifetime.”

What better place to keep the wealth of knowledge flowing, than the Wella National Educational Training (NET) seminar that Hristov recently attended.  You’re going to want to retire your poker faces for a moment, and put your money on what 2015 has to offer, because Hristov divulged some NET news that Wella is “coming out with some amazing new product innovations!”

While being able to scratch-and-win seems ideal, “nothing worthwhile happens quickly and easily,” in life (especially as devoted stylists), but that’s what makes our achievements feel like hitting the jackpot! Hristov encourages that, even when you have a “bad hair day,” never “let yourself be discouraged by a mistake - learn from it - and you will be a better person tomorrow.” We are so thankful for educators like Hristov who truly embody the #WellaLife and make it feel more like a “Global Wella Family – where we stay connected, we share, we celebrate together, we empower each other, and united we build our dreams.”

Who needs Lady Luck when you have a whole #WellaFamily cheering you on every step of the way?!

Brotherly Love In The Big Apple

Growing up as the eldest sibling can be tough… growing up as a big brother of four sisters, well, we can only imagine! But the brotherly love doesn’t stop there! Having had to work with hair from an early age with four younger sisters, its no wonder David Nieves has become a natural leader as a Wella Studio Artist!

We just can’t get enough of the familial warmth and passion for sharing Nieves brings to our Wella Studio in NYC - something we’re grateful towards Alexandra Matiz, Nieves mentor, for helping him find! After becoming a licensed stylist, Nieves met Matiz at a Wella Experience Seminar and was instantly attracted to her charm. It was thanks to this meeting and Matiz’s ability “to see something” in Nieves, that helped guide him into the artist and mentor he is today.

From supporting events like Intercoiffure to entering North America Trend Vision, Nieves’ report card of accomplishments is worth looking up to. With his no fear attitude to “take challenges head-on” and a hope to affect the industry in positive ways, we’re sure to see Nieves continue to gain bragging rights sure to make Mom and Dad proud!

Want to follow in big bro’s footsteps? Then be sure to check out some of his upcoming classes at the studio.  Whether you’re trying to advance to Master Color Expert, in need of foiling or creative color inspiration, looking for tips on maneuvering a color correction or just discovering Wella Professionals, Nieves will be there to cheer you on along the way.  And in between the laughter and selfies, (there are sure to be a few) don’t forget to “listen very well to what you are being told, you will learn something new all the time.”

From sisters to students, Nieves has had quite the experience on his road to success and continues to aspire to learn something new everyday.  Whether there are bumps (or knots) along the way – Nieves accepts the challenge, “the day I don’t face a challenge (big or small) is the day I will know to change my career.” So go ahead, add a little frizz or color correction to his day – it’s nothing this #WellaFamily member can’t handle!

From "Saturday Boy” to "Shear Genius"

Anthony Morrison tells a fantastic story about being a 15-year-old “Saturday Boy” in a salon in his native London. He was paid only in tips for shampooing clients, cleaning the salon and running errands, and let’s just say some of his older co-workers liked to have fun at his expense. “I was sent out to purchase a special hair gel for a very important photo shoot, which I was told could only be obtained directly from the pharmacist,” he remembers. “So off I went to perform my important task. I politely and properly asked the young female pharmacist for this special ‘KY Jelly.’ She tried to explain that KY was not used for hair, but I kept insisting my boss needed this special gel for an important photo shoot.”

Of course, at a certain point, the pharmacist realized the poor young man had been the victim of a practical joke and sent him on his way. “In spite of the continual jokes at my expense, my love for hair only grew,” Morrison says. And boy, did it ever, along with a list of achievements and accolades that would make those old co-workers swoon.

In just the beginning of 2014, Morrison achieved some serious wins: from being crowned the winner of Bravo’s first season of Shear Genius to becoming the ‘Glam Squad’ hair makeover artist on TLC’s hit show 10 Years Younger. And, after which, he participated in a MILLY show at New York Fashion Week. Let’s just say his list can only go on from there…

All of these events have been major career game changers, but Morrison still basks in the glow of daily life. This talented artist believes that “education in any form is priceless” and that’s why you can still catch him taking classes at the Wella Studio. For Morrison, “knowledge is power” and is constantly encouraging himself, peers, and his team at the Londoner Salon to “learn as much as you can and then share it!”

This incredible sense of dedication extends to his personal clients as well, (excuse us while we lose our collective train of thought daydreaming about being in his salon chair… Sigh). “When a client is in my chair she or he is the only one in the world at that time, and I respect that they don’t want to share you with anyone else,” he says. “I treat every consultation like the very first one.”

Last year, things came a bit full circle for that young “Saturday Boy” from London when he had the opportunity to meet the man who has inspired him for more than 25 years. “So many unreal things have happened since winning Shear Genius but the biggest life changing moment was meeting Vidal Sassoon. Back when I was 15 and working in that salon I would carry his classic hair cutting book back and forth to work with me and at night I would even fall asleep with it,” he says. “Meeting him and having him tell me my hairdressing was beautiful – I think his exact words were ‘Anthony’s work is a perfect demonstration of perfect hair cutting and styling’ –  I could have died and gone to heaven at that moment. I’ll take that memory with me to the end of my days.”

Don’t Underestimate This M-Cat

Wella Studio Artist Michele Catalanello is one of those artists who grew up knowing just where life would take her. Going from styling doll hair as a child, to imitating trendy looks in magazines on her friends as a teen – she signed up for cosmetology school the second she could.

For this “glass half full” girl – her road to success was paved with adventures. Going from stylist to Sebastian Design Team Artist and now a Wella Studio Artist educating others, it’s safe to say Catalanello is quite the hair-adventure junkie!

Much like knowing she wanted to be a stylist, essentially from birth, the same rang true with Sebastian. She was drawn to the brand after attending her very first hair show. It was Sebastian’s “edgy, creative and ability to lead in hair fashion and trends,” that attracted Catalanello to the Sebastian team.  

Catalanello satisfied her wanderlust by traveling around the world as a Sebastian hair and makeup artist, she says that her experience on the team “enabled me to accomplish my goals and dreams.” And while Catalanello has had some amazing experiences working fashion shows, television shows, videos, press junkets and tours upon tours, oh and winning an award for Most Inspirational Artist in 2005… her most memorable experience may not be what you think.

While working as a Sebastian Artist at Future Vision in Toronto an entire audience of 500 people sang Happy Birthday to her – for Catalanello that will always be a night “I will never forget!”

Aside from the traveling, fabulous work opportunities and audience serenades, Catalanello’s biggest take away from her experience on the Sebastian Team was how, through Sebastian’s constant reinvention, Catalanello was “inspired to constantly reinvent” herself as well.

In true traveling form, Catalanello has now moved on to her next ambition as #WellaStudioNYC’s Studio Artist! Having lived in LA and elsewhere, Catalanello is excited about paying it forward as an educator – and seeing those light bulb moments brighten the room – as well as the experience her new NYC lifestyle may bring.

So, if you’re planning to take a trip to our studio in the Big Apple for a class with this talented stylist (and you should be), come ready with goals, be ready to be fearless, and bring Catalanello a chocolate chip cookie (trust us on this one).

Work Smarter, Not Harder

As an honor roll student in high school with scholarships to just about any college she wanted, life for Nicole Thomas was “pretty much laid out for” her. That was, until she stumbled upon Wella Top Artist, Sonya Dove, on stage at a hair show in Chicago (oh, the powers of watching Sonya Dove)! Thomas confesses that, “after that show, I knew that I wanted to do hair!” After completing one year at college to keep her parents at bay, Thomas entered beauty school – and 18 years later she is still doing hair and loving every moment of it!

While this Wella Technical Specialist has had some pretty amazing guidance and plenty of experience within the industry, she has definitely found herself second-guessing her techniques and decisions as a colorist. Although this stylist could never live without her Blondor Freelights or feather razor, she does admit that the gravity of how important her work is to her clients would have anyone shaking in their boots.  Thankfully though, Thomas was able to put those coloring fears to rest recently in the Master Color Expert Phase 1 course.

Thomas says that taking the MCE course has given her “more confidence than I have ever had.”  Taking the knowledge she has learned and applying it right away has already made a difference in the way Thomas approaches color as well as in how she teaches as a Technical Specialist - the more she educates herself the easier it has been to “work smarter… not harder.” We like the sound of that!

The camaraderie Thomas experienced in the MCE class was also another big take-away for her.  “Everyone working together to make sure that we all succeed… that’s the way this industry should be,” and is exactly why we live the #wellalife!

For this stylist, who truly believes in her craft and making her clients happy, education and passion are extremely important. Thomas advises that as a new or veteran stylist, we should “never stop getting education and use every form of it that is available.”  And as she keeps learning, styling and being passionate about color - we can’t wait to see what she has to offer in the future!