David Garcia, Tricoci University alumni

Alumni Spotlight: David Garcia

March 7th, 2016

Beauty Blog

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David Garcia graduated from Tricoci University in 2008 and from there, has skyrocketed his career as a successful stylist, educator, and Instagramer. He’s received extensive training from some of the most prestigious artists in the industry, including Sam Villa, Sonya Dove, Nicolas French, Martin Pearson, Anthony Cole, Diane Stevens, and countless others, including one of his biggest mentors, John Gialluisi, Creative Director for Mario Tricoci Salon and Day Spa. David works full-time at the Mario Tricoci Salon and Day Spa in Arlington Heights, IL but his work goes far beyond his typical working hours. Some of David’s most famous work was done outside of the salon in collaboration with renowned editorial photographer, Peter Kulak and Factor Makeup Artist, Sang V Le, and can be found on the pages of some of the hottest fashion and beauty magazines.



Photographer: Peter Kulak
Hair: David Garcia
Makeup: Sang V Le
Model: Michelle Martin @ Model Logic


Photographer: Peter Kulak
Hair: David Garcia
Makeup: Sang V Le
Nail: Ashley Gregory @ Ford Artist
Stylist: Kate Loscalzo
Model: Brianna Peeples @ 10 Management



Photographer: Peter Kulak
Designer: Vesta Adomonyte
Hair: David Garcia
Makeup: Lee Stewart @ 10mgmt
Model: Catherine Adams @ 10mgmt



Photographer: Peter Kulak
Makeup: Sang V Le
Stylist: Joze Rodriguez
Hair: David Garcia
Model: Gabrielle Eden @ Ford Models


A Q&A WITH the man himself

Why did you end up choosing to Tricoci University?

“Before enrolling at Tricoci University, I was working for Mario Tricoci and I was guided by my manager at the time to enroll to the Tricoci university. I had originally applied for a nail assistant job listing. My thoughts were just get my foot in the door and I’d be able to make my way into becoming a stylist. 7 years later, I am grateful for my education at TU because they provided me with the resources that have turned me and my career into who I am today.”

What advice would you give our students on how to be successful?

“The biggest piece of advice I could give a future professional is to never give up on your personal and professional education. Throughout my career, I’ve found that it comes down to balance. Balancing time, money, and priorities is one of the hardest things for us, as artists, to do. I’d always recommend having a separate savings account for education. The best feeling is taking classes and soaking up the energy from other like minded people. I highly recommend taking classes at the Redken studios in New York and The Wella Studios in LA or New York. Put yourself first… because you are worth it. I could go on forever…”

What was one of your fondest memories at Tricoci University, and how did it help you grow as a stylist?

“Honestly… this might sound a bit cliche… but I’m someone who learns from his mistakes, and a particular moment that resonates with me is a time when I first got on the floor in beauty school. I thought I had it in the bag. I was ready for whatever came my way, or so I thought. I then met my first long layer guest. She was a tall beautiful Asian woman with long beautiful hair and it was past her shoulders. Long story short, I didn’t fully comprehend the over direction within the long layer to keep the long hair long. So needless to say, she was very upset and cried about the whole thing. I don’t blame her… a small trim turning into a perfect mullet…. ouch. I’ll never forget that mistake because my goal is to never make someone upset about their hair. From that moment forward, I was on a mission to change the way I looked at hair and was ready to challenge myself into understanding my craft fully.”

What if your favorite haircut or style to do?

“My favorite style to cut will forever be variations of the bob. It’s a look that’s changed the industry in the 1920’s and is a look that still continues to empower women on a daily basis. There is something so gratifying about nailing the perfect bob. I still love me a good men’s fade though. I consider myself a very diverse cutter and that’s why I enjoy my craft. No two haircuts are ever the same, nor should be!”

How did you get into doing magazine work? What would you tell our students that want to get into doing the same kind of work?

“Magazine work is honestly a hobby for me. I met a makeup artist, one fine evening, on the TRAIN of all places! I know, random. He was like ‘You look like you do hair,’ and I said ‘I do, actually.’ One thing led to another, we swapped info, and before you knew it we were on a set at a photo shoot collaborating on different looks. I now work with an agent that allows me to work with professional models and helps me find gigs on Sundays. I love doing hair, even on Sunday – my day off. I continue to showcase my craft, even on days off, because there is simply not enough time in the day for everything I want to do. For future editorial artists, I’d recommend networking with different photographers and makeup artists that are interested in the same kind of work. Don’t forget to follow up with your networks and see your projects through. Nothing amazing ever happens without hard work and preparation.”

What are your aspirations for the future? In a previous interview, you discussed wanting to become an instructor. What do you love about teaching and what do you think you could bring to the table that others couldn’t?

“My aspirations for the future include traveling for my education, continuing to be active in the industry, and future collaborations with new artists. These qualities push me to be the best educator for my students. I believe in leading by example, and so becoming an educator was one of the best platforms for me. I am able to give back the knowledge that I have learned and there is nothing more gratifying then watching students who want to learn – then learning and then becoming amazing artists. Keep calm and educate on!”

What industry events do you never miss? Which ones would you suggest to up-in-coming stylists?

“As we all know the industry is as far as the eye can see, so being a team player and attending events is something that will guide you into your success. Like i said earlier, it’s all about time management. With that being said, I strongly believe in attending the ABS show. It’s one commitment that every stylist, colorist, and specialist should prioritize. We all get stuck at times and it’s amazing to be around like-minded people who have the same passion. With that, I challenge people to ask questions. I’ve learned that life is all about asking the right questions because without asking you’ll never know the answers that you’re looking for. In addition, if you have money saved, I encourage you to attend a hair show like NAHA. Man, oh man, the energy there is on fire! It’s probably one of my favorites. The location is typically in Las vegas but it can change from year to year.”

In a previous interview, you had said “The ‘worst hair’ label falls on Chelsea Handler. I love her, but I’d love to give her a real blowout.” What some tips and tricks to a GREAT blowout?

*He laughs out loud* “Well, talk about ‘sipping from the truth fountain’! Three tips and trick everyone should follow for an amazing blow out are tension, brush size, and the cooling of the hair – not the heating it.”

Who are your top 5 favorite Instagramers to follow?


You have a very successful Instagram account. What tips would you give our students in making their own Instagram pages more successful? How do you feel about filters? Do you have any lighting techniques that you use?

“Thank you! I have a very selective eye when it comes to my Instagram vision. I like to post different looks that I haven’t yet posted on IG. I’m also drawn to soft beautiful hair, it’s my favorite personal style to showcase. I’d say that because of my key demographic, I also try to target brides. But again, that’s just my personal strategy. Also, when it comes to lighting, I try and stay consistent throughout my pictures to create a mood for my overall IG. I love using white walls and natural light for the best pictures. Obviously, if you work with a professional photographer, use those images since they’ll always have the best impact on your following.”

And if you don’t follow David on INSTAGRAM, here’s why you should

Contact David garcia

Are you interested in working with David? Have questions, or just want to say “hi?” Go for it!

David Garcia
Mario Tricoci Salon and Day Spa (Arlington Heights)
p: 847.292.1900
e: [email protected]
IG: @davidgstylistmt
“Let’s collaborate on the next big thing”

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