Expert Advice

Ones to Watch

July 10, 2011 | 11:29 PM
This month's MODERN sponsors showcase the talented faces representing their companies. Here's a peek at the exceptional professionals making their mark on the beauty business and samples of their work.

Tommy Buckett, Sedu
Ones to Watch

Tommy Buckett's edgy and trendsetting styles have graced the runways of New York Fashion Week and attracted celebrities like Ashley Olsen, Sienna Miller and Rachel McAdams. Named "New Up-and-Comer" by Allure, Buckett has also earned a spot in New York Magazine's "The Best of New York."

Buckett was signed on in 2010 as the Sedu Elite Styling Consultant to channel his talent into designing inspiring styles, educating on his cutting-edge techniques and collaborating on product innovation for Sedu.

Ones to Watch

Sherri Jessee, Rusk
Ones to Watch
This celebrity stylist also does platform work across the globe representing Rusk. Attending MODERN SALON's Artist Session ignited Jessee's passion for session work. Her hair and make-up work can be seen gracing the pages of publications worldwide.

As a Rusk educator, her "Edgy Elegance" collection was the opening act for the prestigious Intercoiffure America/Canada Fall Atelier. Whether working in the salon, doing live TV interviews or international platform work, a strong commitment to the Rusk philosophy, "Knowledge = Confidence, Confidence = Success" is evident in Jessee's dedication to education.

Lucas Santino, GK Hair

Lucas Santino currently holds the position of International Corporate Trainer at GKhair. But he has also worked with many leading salons in the beauty industry like Cobella Hair and Beauty Spa at Selfridges, Harrods and Paul Mitchell institutions. "It's all about making it simple and most importantly, fun," he says.

Santino is not just a presenter and facilitator of GK Hair Taming System, but he is also considered a high energy "Trainer of Trainers." His role has brought a new level of skill and product sales ability to many in the salon and distribution arena.

Ones to Watch

Maria Higgins, Dennis Bernard

Maria Higgins became a stylist prior to receiving her bachelor's degree in business. She has been on platforms all over the country for the Dennis Bernard Companies, bringing a wealth of business and styling knowledge to all her seminars. Currently, she keeps her team at Hello Beautiful Salon in Corona, California, motivated with her upbeat attitude and love for beauty.

As for what inspires her: Higgins lights up talking about the glamour years of Hollywood and the stars from long ago. No matter what kind of hair style she's working on, she tries to incorporate sophistication and charm into all her work.

Ones to Watch

Lilliam Penaloza, Conair
Ones to Watch
A native of Puerto Rico, Lilliam Penaloza has a solid 10 years experience in the beauty world. Being trilingual (Spanish, French, English) has allowed her to crossover and assist hairdressers from different cultures.

She has strong styling background with concerts, video and photo shoots, magazines, the Latin Grammy Awards and Miss Universe Pageants. She is also a make-up artist for local and international artists as well as a fashion consultant, and currently a Rusk designer.

Sherilynn Smart, Pureology

Sherilynn Smart, Pureology PureArtist, spreads her energy and passion to those who work alongside her. She is one of the original members of the Pureology Artist Team and an owner of Sherilynn Jade Salon in Lafayette, California.

Her expertise includes razor cutting and formal finishing, with an emphasis on long hair designs. Sherilynn is also an experienced Redken Certified Hair Colorist with a focus on creative color placement.

Alejandro (Alex) Rijos, Great Lengths USA
Ones to Watch
Graduating from The School of the Arts High School in New York, Alex Rijos went on to North Carolina University of the Arts for Theatre. He then followed in his mother's footsteps and became a hair stylist. After working in New York for 10 years, Rijos relocated to Florida, where he currently works at Echo Salon in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

In 2007, he became a member of the Great Lengths USA Education Team. Along with educating, Rijos participates on the GL USA Show Team as a platform artist, his work is seen on the runways of Miami Fashion Week and he's developed a strong reputation for his editorial work in the Miami area.

Ones to Watch

Sondriel, Ouidad

Sondriel, a Ouidad Curl and Color Specialist, has always celebrated the vibrancy and versatility of her curls. As a curl stylist she thrives off using her passion and knowledge to educate clients and help them embrace their curls and natural texture. In addition to styling, Sondriel is part of the Ouidad education team. She can be found teaching as a lead educator at hair industry events, trade shows and in the "Four Minute Curls" video on

Sondriel works behind the scenes at photo shoots, fashion shows, Broadway shows-including In The Heights- and styling celebrities at New York Fashion Week events.

Frances Marie, Rejuvenol
Ones to Watch
Frances Marie, director of education and lead stylist at Rejuvenol Signature Salon pioneered the development of the Rejuvenol hair product's line. She has developed techniques that led to streamlining applications of the products like Rejuvenol's Brazilian Keratin Treatment.

Her time, passion and devotion for her craft has created an admiration from people who attend her educational seminar classes as well as at Rejuvenol Signature Salon.

Young Lee, Turbo Ion

When CROC landed signature stylist Young Lee, it was a match made in heaven. A former celebrity stylist in his native South Korea, Lee has been commanding the CROC stage, captivating everyone who witnesses his signature "Stroke" hair cutting and styling technique. Lee not only has a powerful stage presence, but he's an educator as well.

"Education for me is a two-way street and a life long journey," he says. "We all have so much to give and so much to learn at the same time." Lee will be showcasing his talents at the upcoming International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach, California. There he will also help to launch the Greenion Collagen Powder Perm, an all-natural, permanent straightening/waving system.

Rafe Hardy, Sexy Hair
Ones to Watch
Artistic Creative Director Rafe Hardy can be found onstage demonstrating hair styling at industry events, creating and teaching Sexy Hair's signature hair cut collections and overseeing the company's creative team.

Hardy has attracted a global following and touched the lives of stylists all over the world. He has risen through the ranks as a master artist and educator, doing stage work at hair shows throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia and Thailand. His passion for learning rivals his passion for teaching, and his enthusiasm for Sexy Hair is unwavering.

Ones to Watch

Robbie Schaeffer, OPI
Ones to Watch
As the son of OPI President and CEO George Schaeffer and OPI coowner Miriam Schaeffer, Robbie Schaeffer developed a love for nails at a very young age. As the first licensed nail technician in a family of nail care connoisseurs, he has now taken that passion to the next level-by opening ROB/B, the first OPI concept salon that is Gold LEED-certified "green." Schaeffer's journey in the nail care industry started when he joined the OPI business at the age of 14. He worked in various departments within the company including marketing, manufacturing and sales; learning every side of the family trade which helped him accomplish the concept of ROB/B.

"For years everyone has been awaiting a salon that represents the OPI brand," says Schaeffer. "ROB/B takes OPI's world-renowned quality and literally pours it into distinctive professional services."

Ones to Watch

Joseph DiMaggio, L'Oréal Professionnel
Ones to Watch
In the midst of touring North America as a drummer, Joseph DiMaggio began cutting hair for fun after his shows. Fans flocked to concerts not only to hear his band play, but to also to stand in line for one of his signature cuts. DiMaggio quickly realized that styling hair was his calling in life. He left the concert circuit to seek formal training and dedicated every second to mastering his craft. He sought many mentors within the world of styling and cutting, including master hair stylist Odile Gilbert.

DiMaggio realized continuous education is key, and as a result developed a love for educating and sharing his passion. This led him to begin teaching advanced cutting, styling and education methods in salons across the country, which eventually brought him to L'Oréal Professionnel as a Portfolio Artist.

Ones to Watch

Joel Torres, TIGI
Ones to Watch
His face may not be well known, but this architect of beauty has been responsible for the image of famous personalities. With 13 years in the beauty industry, Joel Torres works in prestigious salons in Puerto Rico, and has traveled to places like Australia, Holland, Argentina and New York, among others, as a hairdresser and a Regional Education Director for TIGI.

Being part of the TIGI team allows him to follow two of his greatest passions: being continuously educated on the latest trends from around the globe and sharing his knowledge with fellow stylists. In spite of all his success, he is still very clear on his goals: "I hope to continue to present my work in cities I have not yet visited, while representing Puerto Rico with pride. I also want to continue my education in places like London, Spain and Canada."

Ones to Watch

Michael Dueñas, Schwarzkopf Professional
Ones to Watch
Michael Dueñas, founder of Hair Room Service, is a versatile stylist with enthusiasm, insight and creativity. Now with eight years of education and experience in the industry, Dueñas is using the knowledge he's gained to create something unique with Hair Room Service-an exclusive agency that brings salon service directly to the client.

As a national educator for Schwarzkopf, he is always up-to-date with the latest trends in both fashion and hair. Throughout his teachings and travels, Dueñas has gained extensive knowledge from the industry and generously shares his expertise with others.

Ones to Watch

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