Advanced Airbrush Makeup
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Advanced Airbrush Makeup

Posted on: July 19th, 2017

Joe Orteza attended Tricoci University’s Peoria Campus as a full-time student and recently graduated from the Cosmetology program in 2017. During his time at Tricoci University, he’s won 1st Place in the Esthetics category in the Chicago NW Barber Battle for this airbrush makeup look, 1st Place in the Tim Burton Inspired Student Competition, 1st Place in the Peoria campuses Fourth of July Makeup Contest, 1st Place in the Peoria Campuses Finding Dori Makeup Contest, and was a finalist in Tricoci University’s “Rock The Color” Student Competition.

Products Used

Dinair Airbrush Makeup
Joico InstaTint Color
Redken Triple Take 32 Hairspray
Badger Airbrush (airbrush and compressor)
Stencils (Joe’s were cut by hand)

Special Thanks

Model: Rachel Stieghorst
Videography/Production: Erin DiGangi

The Man Behind the Airbrush, Joe Orteza

TUBC: Joe, what was your inspiration for this airbrush makeup look?

Joe: I took inspiration from Japanese anime and steampunk. Outside of that, the people that really get my blood flowing include Jaclyn Hill, Manny Mua, Laura Lee, Jeffree Star, luvekat, and mashed up_makeup to name a few.

TUBC: Why did you choose to go to cosmetology school?

Joe: I’ve been a freelance artist and fine arts teacher for a long time, and saw hair and makeup as a new medium for me to work with. Mario Tricoci is a name in himself. I’m familiar with his salons and spas. I know he is also a true artist and pioneer in the field. Also as a teacher myself, I felt that he would be able to translate his knowledge and skill into the set curriculum. Now that I’ve graduated I’ll continue to teach Fine Arts but I’ve also opened a new hair salon with my business partner Tia Callaway in Peoria called “Shear Savvy”. The salon officially opened July 3rd, 2017 and our grand opening will be held on Sept 30th. Our salon specializes in hair color trends, haircuts, and all undercut and side cut designs. We are only a 4 chair salon in order to maximize our client’s needs.

TUBC: Did you always want to open your own salon?

Joe: Yes! My older brother and mother are both cosmetologists. Also, growing up, my family owned a salon for 10 years. Perhaps it’s in the blood.

TUBC: If you could give advice to someone currently attending TUBC, what would it be?

Joe: Go to class on time, and own every day you are there! Never stop being a learner. Don’t be afraid to compete, and show off your skills in the student competitions and like I did in this airbrush makeup tutorial for Tricoci! I would also like to thank all of my teachers and administrators, as well as my friends from Tricoci University’s corporate office! I would like to thank my classroom skills teacher, Ms. Jenn, who taught me all my basic skills and a pretty mean fade! I would like to thank my floor teachers, Ms. Emily and Ms. Jess, for allowing me to be a Diva on the floor, and sharing their knowledge and guiding me. To Ms. Vanda, my makeup guru, who always gave me sound advice. And lastly, for the friends Marcy, Laura, Aaya and Jess M. who graduated before me, thank you for sharing your skills with me and assisting me on many projects.

Contact Joe Orteza

Instagram: @joeorteza


Shear Savvy

3128 E. Washington
St. East Peoria 61611
Salon: (309) 966-0650
Joe Orteza: (815) 878-8412
Tia Callaway: (309) 415-0231

Bridal and Editorial Makeup


Facebook: /campbridebeauty
Instagram: @campbridebeauty

Semou Soumare, Master Educator

Posted on: July 7th, 2017

Meet Semou Soumare, Master Educator and Teacher Trainer

Ms. Semou Soumare’s love for beauty and hairstyling started at the tender age of nine. As a young girl, she loved to experiment with her own hair and created new looks often. She was eager to stretch her creative talents by styling her sister, mother, family, friends and neighbors as she grew up.

In 1994, at the age of 24, Semou followed her sister and immigrated to the United States with her own young family in tow. She immediately went to work in her sister’s braiding salon and even stepped up to manage the shop alone when her sister required a leave of absence. The experience left her hungry to learn more, expand her skills, and become a licensed professional.

After moving to a new state in 1998, Indiana, she began training for a career in a different industry and quickly realized her mistake. Semou belonged in beauty industry–it was her passion. She left the technical school and enrolled in a prestigious beauty college to perfect her haircutting techniques and advance her customer service skills (a college that would later become Tricoci University of Beauty Culture).

She went on to have a large client following at several different salons before realizing something was still missing. Ultimately, she returned to school to earn an instructor’s license so she could give back to the industry and teach the next generation of beauty professionals; something that has become an even greater passion of hers today.

In her time with Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, Semou has continued to grow and develop her talents. She has become a mentor and coach to fellow instructors and has helped many students launch successful careers in the industry. Currently, she is teaching future educators the best ways to teach others.

As a testament to Semou’s expertise in the field, “Sophisticated Black Hair Magazine” has sought out her advice regarding natural hair care topics and techniques on more than one occasion.

In her own words, Semou says, “My goal is to continue coaching tomorrow’s educators to their fullest potential, and I look forward to continuing to do that at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture.”

At this time, Semou is a Master Educator of Cosmetology and a Teacher Trainer at the Indianapolis Campus. She is fluent in three languages; French, Wolof African, and English.

Always the student, she has also decided to return to school to train for an Esthetics license.

Learn more about Semou and Tricoci University of Beauty Culture by visiting our campus. To set up an appointment, please call 317.841.9400.

Father-Son Haircut Fundraiser

Posted on: March 7th, 2017

Father-Son Haircut Fundraiser Will Help Midwest Christian Academy Build New School Gym

Tricoci University of Beauty Culture Barber Students Excited to Give Back, Help Their Neighborhood

Chicago, Illinois – The gym at Midwest Christian Academy (MCA) needs serious help. The facility is unfit for student use because the roof leaks and the electrical system is faulty.

There is hope, though.

Barber students at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture’s Northwest Chicago campus are coming to the MCA gym’s rescue with a father-son haircut fundraiser on Wednesday, March 29.

The students will offer $10 father-son haircuts from 3:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. inside the MCA gym, located at 3465 N. Cicero Avenue. No appointments are necessary and free parking is available on the MCA campus.

“It is such an honor and privilege to provide this experience for my barber students and for Midwestern Christian Academy,” says Amy Collazo, campus director at Tricoci University’s Chicago Northwest campus.

The fundraiser is personal for Collazo because both of her children are MCA students, and the school is just a 15-minute drive from her campus.

“Our children deserve the best facilities for their educational needs, just as our students have here at Tricoci University,” she says. “My barber students are all around the most giving and positive leaders in the industry, it will be amazing to see them mentoring the future!”

Collazo says fundraisers like this are necessary because student tuition is MCA’s only income source. “The school doesn’t get state or federal funding like other schools do,” she says. “Staff members make a lot of sacrifices to educate our children.”

The barber students are excited to do something good for their community.

“Being able to give haircuts to boys and fathers as a bonding day is really an amazing feeling,” says Jay Putman, barber student at Tricoci University. “I hope while I’m gaining experience, we are also helping create memories.”

Niko Dervishi echoed Putman’s sentiments. “It’s a great opportunity to gain experience while supporting and giving back to the community.”

To learn more about the Midwest Christian Academy gym rebuilding project, visit

Fades & Fringe Model Search

Posted on: February 10th, 2017

Tricoci University of Beauty Culture Launches Model Contest for Young Men and Women

Do you know a young man or young woman who has “the look”?

Tricoci University of Beauty Culture is launching a model contest called “Fades and Fringe” to find as many as six young men and women to become the new faces of its 14 Illinois and Indiana campuses.

The contest begins Tuesday, February 14. Winners will receive up to $1,000 each for participating in a photo shoot with Mario Tricoci and the Tricoci University Design Team. Each contestant will also benefit from having their hair, nails and/or makeup professionally styled by Tricoci University’s Design Team for the photo shoot.

Images from the photo shoot will be used across Tricoci University’s online and mass media campaign platforms, including website, social media, billboards, CTA ads, print ads in publications like Seventeen Magazine, and more.

“We are really excited to launch our first model search to find men and women who represent the Tricoci University brand with modern, professional, edgy, chic and on-trend looks,” says Krista Smith, VP of Marketing and Communications at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture. “Our contest and the resulting images that will be splashed across our media platforms present a great opportunity for new, unsigned models.”

The contest begins Tuesday, February 14, when prospective contestants can submit photos of themselves for online voting. Each contestant is required to submit at least two and no more than seven photos of himself or herself to the model contest mailbox at Image portfolios for each contestant will be posted online at by March 13. Online voting will take place March 14 through 20.

The rules of the “Fades and Fringe Model Contest” are as follows:

  • The contest is open to men and women 16 years of age and older who are not currently signed to a modeling agency. Contestants under age 16 must obtain the consent of a parent or guardian before entering the contest.
  • Email submissions must include one traditional headshot and a full body shot to be eligible for the contest, along with the contestant’s name, phone number, birth date, height, and dress size for women or pant and shirt size for men. Photos will be accepted between February 14 and March 10.
  • Contestants and the general public will be able to cast votes for their favorite models March 14 through 20. The six men and six women who receive the most online votes will be invited to the in-person final selection round, scheduled for March 27 in Chicago.
  • As many as three men and three women will be selected from the in-person round for the paid photo shoot, scheduled for May 4 and 5 in Chicago. Contestants who win both rounds also agree to have their hair cut, styled and/or colored and/or their makeup altered to meet the Tricoci University Design Team’s vision for the photo shoot.

For additional information about the contest, please visit

Barber Joe Flano, Mentor of the Month

Posted on: December 20th, 2016

Joe Flano

Barber, Educator, Host and MC of Major League Barber

Joe Flano is a licensed barber, educator for Major League Barber, Inc., host and MC of beauty and barber competitions and tradeshows across the country such as Americas Beauty Show, International Beauty Show, ISSE Long Beach, Bronner Bros ATL, San Juan Beauty Show, Premiere Birmingham, and Premiere Orlando.

Joe has been involved in the hair and beauty industry since the age of 16. Inspired by his Great Aunt Matilda (Aunt Tillie) Walker, the first barber in the family, Joe grew up with fond memories of her cutting hair at her shop on the south side of Chicago.

“I wanted to become a barber since my young kid days. I always thought of it as a ‘cool job’ and as a barber I could make lots of money. The person that inspired me to cut (hair) was my lovely great Aunt Matilda ‘Aunt Tillie’ Walker. She used to tell me stories and give advice when she had her shop on south side of Chicago. She was the first barber in the family, then I came second. She passed away to the ‘Big Barber Shop in the Sky’ in October of 2012 but I will continue to live the dream she had for me and she will always be in my heart and everything I do to succeed in barbering.”

As a former Team Barber for the Marquette University college basketball team, Joe’s client list is anything from average. During his career, Joe has cut the hair of Maurice Acker, Jerel Mcneal, Chicago Bulls Forward Jimmy Butler, Dallas Mavericks Guard Wesley Matthews, Brooklyn Nets Deron Williams and Jeremy Pargo. And his musical clientele is just as impressive with Rockie Fresh of MMG Record Label, Rotimi of FrontRoSeat, the hit Starz Series “BOSS” also featured in Keyshia Cole’s music video “Trust and Believe” and lastly, former WGCI’S Radio DJ and host, DJ A-OH and WGCI’s current Radio DJ, DJ Milehigh.

“If you want to become successful in this industry all I can say is get out more, meet new people, and build relationships with people. You never know who you’ll come across in the everyday world. You keep that up and one day you’ll get the opportunity to take the opportunity.”

Contact Joe

Instagram: @mlbjoeflano @majorleaguebarber @mlbmidwesttradeshow
Facebook: Joe Flano
Twitter: MLBJoeFlano

Turn Eyeshadow into Liquid Eyeliner

Posted on: December 2nd, 2016

by Crystal Baldazo, Esthetics Master Educator for Tricoci University

Have you ever looked at an Eye Shadow and thought “I wish this was an eyeliner” or “if only I could FIND an eyeliner in THIS color?” In all of my years of loving makeup this has happened to me hundreds – no thousands of times.

Back in high school, I would mix my Eye Shadow with water and hope for the best.  I mean, it worked, became liquid eyeliner that I could apply with a brush and get a nice line with, but it never stayed – once it dried it would soften more than I wanted and then eventually the wind would blow and shadow particles would just fly off of my face (totally the way it happened).  So I gave up trying to make liquid liner out of shadow happen.

That is until I discovered that there is this magical liquid called a “Transformer” or a “Mixing Medium” – they are these fantastic drops of liquid gold (okay, not really gold but you know what I mean) that you mix up with your favorite shadow to form a paste that you can use as eyeliner.  This way you can take that brilliant gold, silver, glitter, or that perfect royal purple and make it into that winged eyeliner that you’ve always dreamed of!  Once you have your custom eyeliner color all mixed up you can use a small angle brush (or a thin liner brush if that’s your thing) and glide that liner right onto your lids.

A couple of my favorite transformers are “Cake Eyeliner Sealer” from Kryolan and “Stuck On You” from Color Lab.  They turn your powder shadows into a liquid liner and also give them that staying power that we all need for those gusty Chicago days.  The “Cake Eyeliner Sealer” is designed to be used with Kryolan’s “Cake Eyeliner” (which is amazing) but you can also use it with any powder and the “Stuck On You” is designed to be mixed with any Color Lab powder…but again, you can mix it up with just about anything.

If you’re wondering where you can get these amazing products, I have good news – we sell all of these products at Tricoci University!  You can stop into a campus, get the best facial you’ve ever had (see what I did there), a mani/pedi, some fresh new color for your hair AND get all of the supplies you need to make your own custom eyeliner colors.

Happy Winging!!


Facilities Award by Modern Salon

Posted on: December 1st, 2016

Tricoci University of Beauty Culture Honored for Facilities by Modern Salon’s Excellence in Education Program

Tricoci University of Beauty Culture (TUBC), which has 14 campuses in Illinois and Indiana, took top honors in MODERN SALON Magazine’s Excellence in Education Program for its facilities. TUBC also received an honorable mention in the marketing innovation and next level (advanced education for alumni) categories.

“We are grateful to MODERN SALON for honoring us for our facilities,” says Ross Bravo, CEO of Tricoci University of Beauty Culture. “We strive to create environments at all of our campuses that prepare our students for successful careers in the salon and beauty industry.”

MODERN SALON, known as the salon industry’s head-to-toe beauty resource, collaborated with the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) to develop the Excellence in Education Program. The purpose of the program is to help the professional beauty school community gather, share and celebrate examples of great salon education experiences and beauty career development happening across the country.

Honorees were determined based on key criteria in seven categories: community involvement, facilities, marketing innovation, next level (alumni programs), job placement, school culture, and technology. Two top honorees are recognized in each category—one for an individual school location and one for a multi-location school organization—and were announced Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, at the AACS Annual Convention & Expo in Orlando, Florida.

Featured Artist in Lividity Magazine, Jessica Watkins

Posted on: November 1st, 2016

39-year-old Tricoci University Elgin esthetics graduate and mother of 3 kids, Jessica Watkins, started her career as an esthetician later in life than most. In 2015, she decided to attend Tricoci University for esthetics and fell in love with school. “I never wanted to leave actually. It was such a great outlet for me and I thoroughly loved the entire staff and all of the students. For me it was kind of a culture shock going to school with all of these 20-something kids, but it was so much fun and everyone was so kind. No one even gave it a second thought and honestly it was more on my mind than anyone else’s.”

Prior to going to Tricoci University, Jessica was in banking during her early 20’s and then later left the business world to have a family. She stayed home with them throughout their young formative years and worked within their school as a lunch lady. But throughout all of it, she has always maintained an artistic sensibility. “Through my love of makeup and all things gore, I couldn’t find the right path to take in order to make this evolve into a career. So I thought, ‘what is the base of any makeup? Skin. And decided it would be a great idea to go to school to learn about the foundation of skin.”

Through esthetics she learned a lot about skincare and is now working at Anne K Salon and Spa in North Aurora doing facials, makeup and waxing. “Oh my God, do I love waxing. I’m twisted I suppose. But [at Tricoci University] I got to build on my love for makeup more on the beauty side and kind of discovered that I loved doing [waxing]. [Makeup] is just as artistic as anything else and I really love it.”

Jessica saw that James Ryder from Ryder Makeup Labs was going to be visiting the Elgin campus and she did a little research to find out who he was, what he’s done, and what he does in terms of the boot camp he offers. After a little research into his star-studded past with his A-list clients like Reese Witherspoon, Katie Holmes, Scarlett Johansson and as Vincent D’Onofrio’s personal make-up artist and wig specialist for The Cell, which received an Academy Award Nomination in 2001 for Best Make-up – she said “I’m a determined person and I said right there to myself that I’m going to get into that boot camp.”

James came out and spoke with the school and invited them to join in the workshop he was doing that weekend.  Jessica decided it would be a great investment. “[James and Olivia] make you aware they’re going to be watching you and expecting the best from you. I went in with a plan but it was nerve wracking because of the pressure.” She had a few moments to speak with James Ryder’s assistant Olivia, who, for the last look of the evening, steered her in a different direction than she had originally planned. The last look was a free for all and she said, “make it big, make it fantastic.”

When all was said and done and James brought Jessica and her model up before the large group, although she was glad she took Olivia’s advice on the change of direction for her makeup application, in the end she wasn’t chosen to attend the boot camp. Jessica thanked James for the opportunity and asked him what she could have done differently. She knew there was also an application process offered to be selected for boot camp and when she asked him about it, he referred her to his website.

Later that week she gathered up her courage and sent an email to Ryder Makeup Labs about the boot camp. Within an hour, she received an email back stating the following:

Please return the attached application along with the required submissions within 72 hours. Good Luck!

“I was like oh crap, what do I do. This was Monday and I have school all week. Where am I going to find 72 hours to do all this?!”

The next day Jessica went into school and told her fellow students and staff what she needed to accomplish in the next 72 hours and everyone was so supportive. She received letters of recommendations from the students who modeled her looks, her teachers that believed in her talents, and after 71 hours of intense, hard work and with 1 hour left on the deadline, she hit “submit.” And then she waited.

A week went by and as anyone would be, Jessica was a bundle of nerves. Then she got the call. “We want to invite you to [Ryder Makeup Labs] June boot camp in LA.”

Jessica flew to LA and met the other 6 girls in the boot camp who she had previously connected with in a group on Facebook. “We met up and went to dinner and right from there we all became friends. We had to. It’s such an intense experience that if you don’t cling on to these people and make them your family, you’d be lost.”


At 8am the next morning the experience began. Everyone was on pins and needles thanks to James’ funny yet terrifying “military boot camp” video Facebook post to the group. And though everyone was super nice, James, Olivia, and Kelly started the morning by saying “You might cry. This is intense.” And within a few hours Jessica and the other boot campers were putting makeup on models. For most of them, this was their first experience with a photo shoot. And just like you would expect of a boot camp, they were getting yelled at. James would give Olivia, his assistant, “the look” and she’d start into you – “Go faster! Make this pop!” From 8am to 6pm for the next week they worked constantly on their feet with little breaks. At night, they would then meet as a group to discuss the day and do homework. It was intense.

The final day of boot camp ended with a mock movie shoot. Using a script, they each had to develop the makeup for the characters of the movie. “If someone got punched then they are going to have swelling or bruising, if someone got stabbed you had to create a stab wound.” With an hour of sleep, they worked tirelessly from 8am to 8pm. “I really think that gave us a taste of reality, if this is what we want to do and this is the industry we wanted to work in.”


One of the looks that was created by Jessica during boot camp was featured in Lividity Magazine. “[This look] was a little bit a departure from what we were doing. It was regal and elegant and we were used to doing dark and sultry. It was a thrill to see it in the magazine, it brought tears to my eyes when I saw the finished product.”


“I have a lot of things happening right now. I work a few days a week at a spa and then I also have a studio space in Naperville. In my studio I do facial waxing but it’s meant for me to practice makeup and prosthetics. I’m hoping to grow my skills. I will always pursue education and learn as much as I can and I will always practice as much as I can. I’ll never be perfect but that won’t stop me from trying. James and Olivia are so supportive and tell you ‘you’re going to go home and start booking jobs’ because they have every confidence that you can do it.”

And Jessica, you should.


Mentor of the Month: Jim Yates

Posted on: November 1st, 2016

Some 40 years ago, in Scotland, a young man named Jim Yates was working as an electrician when he met a young woman who changed his life. This woman worked in the beauty industry and was already making a lot of money. He did what any smart man would do—he married her and began to immerse himself into the business of beauty.

Jim changed course by attending beauty school and going on to open his own salons. He and his wife eventually took a leap of faith and moved to California where they opened another salon.

Jim, a true entrepreneur who realized that their success came from providing value in service, also began building training systems, a little something he dubbed Nuts and Bolts Training. He began to teach salon professionals about goals – how to have one and how to achieve it, building strategies and having a plan.

Today, Jim Yates is a well-respected author, lecturer, and expert in change management for the beauty industry. He is on the cutting edge of school and salon business development practices, and as such is considered by many owners as a key factor in their business’ success.

As a former salon chain and prestigious school owner, Jim is a committed educator. His company, Nuts and Bolts Training Company, has a growing list of member schools that have introduced the proprietary business training program to thousands of students across the United States.

Many schools and students of Nuts and Bolts say they received real hands-on training with real solution-orientated experiences and NO FLUFF. For Jim it’s all about consistency, and learning to replace bad habits with good ones. He teaches that there are no magic formulas, just good business practices.

Free Haircuts on Veterans Day

Posted on: October 25th, 2016

Tricoci University of Beauty Culture Offers Free Haircuts for Veterans, Active Military on Veterans Day, November 11

Armed services personnel are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the safety and security of our nation at home and abroad. That’s why all 14 Tricoci University of Beauty Culture campuses in Illinois and Indiana will provide free haircuts for male and female veterans and active military personnel on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11.

Male veterans can choose a haircut or shave at Tricoci University’s campuses that offer a Barber Program. Barbering is offered at six campuses, including Northwest Chicago/O’Hare, Northeast Chicago/Rogers Park, Libertyville and Bridgeview in the Chicago area.

“We can never do enough to say thank you to the brave men and women who protect and defend us. This is a way we can honor their sacrifice,” says Ross Bravo, CEO of Tricoci University of Beauty Culture. “We hope our students are busy all day. We are honored to observe Veterans Day in this way.”

WHO: Male and female veterans and active military personnel.

WHAT: Free haircuts provided by Tricoci University cosmetology and barber students.

WHEN: Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, during campus hours (hours vary by campus).

WHERE: All 14 Tricoci University of Beauty Culture campuses in Illinois and Indiana.

WHY: To thank veterans and active military personnel for their sacrifices to keep our nation safe and secure.

HOW: Walk-ins are welcome. Appointments are not required, but can be made by calling 877.286.0096.

Tricoci University provides the most current, technically precise and versatile education available in the beauty industry today. All services are provided by students under the supervision of a licensed instructor.