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Caribbean Nail and Beauty Trade Show

By Kimoy Leon Sing

It was two days of beauty at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya, as beauty professionals from across the Caribbean brought the best in nails, hair, jewelry and makeup to the annual Caribbean Nail and Beauty Trade Show.

Now in its fourth year, the event was hosted by the Caribbean Institute of Nails and Beauty.

Recognising and acknowledging the nail industry and the importance of nail technicians, Gail Young and her daughter, Shanice, have provided an outlet for nail technicians and those in the beauty field to not only showcase their services and talents but also the latest in nails and nail care.

Gail, owner of the Caribbean Institute of Nails and Beauty in Curepe, has been in the nail industry for more than 20 years and has taught over 4,000 students.

She said, "As nail technicians, we tend to be passed over as the girl in the corner doing nails, but we are more than that. We are entrepreneurs conducting our own profitable business."

With about 30 booths showcasing various beauty products and services, the Andre Kamperveen Hall came to life, as hair and nail enthusiasts got an opportunity to witness live makeup, hair and nail demonstrations from some of the best in the business.

One popular booth at the show was Nails Inn, which claimed to have everything you could possibly want when it comes to nails, from acrylic nails to tips, press-on and clear. The most requested service by customers, however, is 3D (three-dimensional), says owner Annie Maraj.

It seems 3D is not just for television. This trendy piece of nail art is becoming more and more elaborate, says Maraj, making nail technicians constantly look for the next big thing when it comes to nails. If you are unsure what 3D nail art is, it is basically a design that is done in a layered fashion. It not only gives the impression of depth, but also height.

After spending more than 20 years in the restaurant business and then going into retirement, Maraj was drawn out of retirement by her niece, who encouraged her to open her own nail store.

Maraj said, "I noticed that every time my niece, Nicole, had to do her nails, she would leave Central and go all the way to Port of Spain to get her nails done. After watching this for some time and a little prompting by her, I decided to open up my store. It is now three years in existence and doing great, and I don't know when next I will retire."

Another popular booth was Ansura Wholesalers of Arima, that distributes four interesting beauty lines in Trinidad: Chi, Biosilk, Kor and bella terra mineral cosmetics, the newest line of mineral makeup products in Trinidad.

According to Juliana Fermin, distributor of bella terra mineral cosmetics in Trinidad, their products are wide and varied and contain mineral blushes, bronzers, foundations, lipsticks and other products that improve the health of the skin while providing a flawless, weightless coverage.

Fermin said, "I am all about using safe products. The Chi line of products is ammonia- and formaldehyde-free. Women want to be beautiful, but the added benefit they get from using our products is knowing that the products they are using on their skin are also safe."

"Every aspect of beauty—be it nail, hair or skin—often intertwines so it is very important for us to collaborate and share ideas in order for the industry to have a positive outlook," Young said.

She noted that these trade shows are aimed at educating beauty professionals

and clients too. Other popular booths at the show included Teparg Enterprises Ltd, T&T Institute of Nail Technicians, Body NV, Tres Belle Cosmetique and Dollz Beauty Spa. Young said, "What we really like the public to understand is that the beauty industry wants to give the best products and services as we can. But customers have to have knowledge about the products and services so they can be empowered to know what they will and won't take. "When the public knows what the proper standard is, and knows what to expect, then it will encourage those who are performing the services to step up and educate themselves and give patrons value for their money. Overall everyone would benefit." The two-day event, which featured everything in nails, nail care and beauty, ended on Monday.

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