Tricoci University's Beauty Blog

Helping you learn more about everyday life at Tricoci University with student articles, tips, advice, and techniques on Beauty & Beauty Education.

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Posted by on in Makeup

This is a guest post by Kelly Sitowski, a student at our Rockford campus.


My name is Kelly. I'm a full time cosmetology student at Tricoci University. Deciding on attending Tricoci University was an easy choice for me. I had previously attended a different cosmetology school, so I knew exactly what I was looking for. Plus, I figured I'd never walked out of a Mario Tricoci salon unsatisfied. So hopefully I would have the same experience on one of his campuses. And the day I walked out of Ms. Kristen's office, I knew I had made the right choice.

My first day in essentials was completely mind blowing for me. It had been almost a decade since I had been in a classroom. As a mother of 3 kids, I was already overwhelmed by homework every night. And now I had my own to worry about. But I have an amazing support system behind me. And I knew it would all be worth it in the end.

But just as I had settled into my new role as a TUBC student, life had thrown me a few curve balls. My family and I had experienced one loss after the other. I had missed a lot of school, and so had my kids. But the best thing about the TUBC teachers is that they are here to help students succeed. And with the help of everyone at TUBC, students included, I was able to catch up.

I look back at all that I have experienced in the last few months and I can't believe how much I've learned in such a short amount of time. I thought cutting hair would be my passion. But to my surprise the hair gods had other plans for me. Styling and coloring seems to come easier to me. And knowing that I will be in an industry that is always advancing, I will always have more to learn. That's the best part for me! I love everything about this industry, and I can't wait to see where it goes in the future. And I'm even more excited to master my craft, and to make my own mark on this crazy and ever changing industry of beauty!

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Posted by on in Beauty School

This is a guest post by Olivia Gonzalez, a student at our Highland campus.

Moving to the Chicago area after living in Florida for 11 years has been the most drastic change in my life. Leaving my entire family, friends, and past idea of my future behind has been the most difficult decision for me - and the best one I've ever made.


For years I had this idea of what my future would be like. It consisted of writing papers, finishing college and working 8-5 in an office everyday.

While working at Ulta Beauty, a customer reluctantly approached me asking for help in the makeup department. She began explaining her position of being in her late 40's, recently divorced, and having an empty nest. She was ready to dive back into the dating world, but didn't know where to begin. After 2 hours of educating her on the do's and don'ts of makeup application as well as demonstrating countless techniques, she was finally able to create a basic natural look on herself. She then turned around, embraced me, and began sobbing quietly - in that moment, I knew this was the industry for me. Having someone that allows them-self to be vulnerable and trusting of myself, a stranger, is humbling as an artist because of how delicate and personal the subject is - like reading their diary of inner-most insecurities and being able to rewrite the pages.

After the realization of what I knew I was meant to do and having the ability to transform someone's physical appearance and boost their self confidence, I took a chance. Visiting my aunt in Munster and seeing what Chicago had to offer motivated me to change my course and follow my creative genes. One week later I moved a thousand miles away from my support system and started my new life. Since then, I've enrolled in Tricoci University of Beauty Culture and have had the opportunity to network with several renowned cosmetologists and makeup artists; as well as be a part of different shows and events.

Although I couldn't be happier with my decision, it's not been easy. The journey of trying to make it in such a rigorous industry and having to prove myself everyday to superiors and clients has more challenges than any AP class I've taken. In my moments of weakness when I find myself wondering how I could ever exchange my sunshine for frigid winters, an opportunity arises (whether it be a beauty show, competition, or even a compliment from client) and I'm reminded of why I've made the choices I have - I love what I do.

Hits: 149

Posted by on in Highland

This is a guest post by Marie Suchy, a student at our Highland campus.

We all go through periods of our lives when it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how hard you think you're trying, it just never seems to be enough. You'll place blame on stress, problems at home, the people in your life, etc. But if you really want to do something, you'll make it happen! If you want to go somewhere, you'll make travel plans. It all lies within yourself.

The moment you stop making excuses is the moment you become an adult. Taking responsibility for your actions, reactions, and attitude says a lot about the maturity level you want to be on. With that, comes with attracting the right kind of people. In turn, surrounding yourself with people who will push you to your success limit is exactly what you need to excel.


Nearing the end of my journey with Tricoci University, I am severely overwhelmed with the amount of support that is voluntarily handed out to the students. I was told recently that you get what you give. Now of course I've heard the term before, but I never really associated myself with it more so than I do now. I must have gone right somewhere.

I am walking out of this school with full confidence that wherever I end up is exactly where I belong. You are your problem, your solution, and your destiny. No matter where you are, you're the only one who will be with you, always. Accept change that comes with life. Gum used to be five cents, and now it's almost two dollars. We adjusted to that. We can adjust to anything else.

Hits: 197

Posted by on in Hair

This is a guest post by Shelby Aurand, a student at our Indianapolis campus.

At Tricoci University, I've been fortunate enough to be surrounded by an excellent mix of educators. They're all not only talented but extremely helpful. Since the first day I've been here I knew I could go to any teacher with a question about our curriculum and I'd walk away confident with the response. One teacher in particular has made a huge impact on my education here.

Ms. Semou is one of the best teachers I've ever had. She's already a fantastic stylist but also is an amazing teacher. I know it'll take years and years of practice to become as skillful as she is in every aspect of cosmetology, but I aspire to be as talented as she is. She's definitely a natural born teacher though. Any question or advice I need, I know I can go to her. She's patient and kind with any help I come to her for. I appreciate that she not only is always willing to help, but makes me feel so proud of myself when I perfect something I've been struggling with. She makes sure to let all of us know what a good job we're doing.


At the beginning of the program, I struggled with remembering all the protocols for each and every hair cut we learned. She saw that and started helping me immediately. She made sure to walk me through them so I understood what each step is and why we do it. She encouraged me every day to practice them until I finally became confident with all the cuts. I went from being terrified of doing a hair on my own, to rocking all my hair cuts with confidence and enjoyment.

I believe a great teacher needs to possess the qualities that she does. They need to be talented and have an overall understanding in the subject they teach. They need to be patient with their students but push them to excel. They need to praise their students for accomplishing the things they struggled with. Ms. Semou has given me the knowledge, talent, and confidence I need to become a successful stylist once I graduate.

Hits: 32

Posted by on in Highland

This is a guest post by Miranda Sons, a student at our Highland campus.

I have always had a passion for doing hair. Growing up, I was the one always doing styling hair for family and friends. I chose a different path to begin with but I soon realized this was my calling. Being a cosmetologist doesn't feel like a job to me because I love doing it!


Joining school, I never expected to learn so much while having so much fun. I learned so many different things I have never heard of, and I met friends I will have for a lifetime. I also have learned a number of different things from all of my teachers. Each teacher is an expert in a different subject. Miss Mary is great with everything, and Miss Stephanie is doing a great job of following in her foot steps. I am confidant she will be an excellent teacher. She really cares about the students and I can tell how passionate she is about helping us. Miss Marrisa is amazing with color, while Miss Ladonna is amazing at styling oval-celled hair. Miss Darnetta really knows her facts and Miss Sheryl is great with men's cuts. Miss Linda and Miss Shanetta are my go-to teachers for honest opinions. I know they will tell me if a color I'm thinking about will look good or not. Miss charity is an awesome motivator and she is great when it comes to styling hair. I'm really glad that these Tricoci teachers are the people that molded me.

I am pleased to have the Tricoci name behind me. I will be graduating within the next month and I am extremely nervous. It is going to be scary not having the teachers and students I am comfortable with there to help me, but I know I'm ready.

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This is a guest post by Carmen Gutierrez, a student at our Chicago Northwest campus.

I am so proud to be part of this campus. It is packed with some of the most amazingly talented students TUBC has to offer. They pulled no punches showcasing their skills during our latest TUBC creative demo for prospective students on March 21st. I assisted a fellow student, Cintia, with hair and makeup for the lovely model pictured below, one of TUBC’s students, Ebony:


Here are all the models after our students did what they do best. The two in the middle were actually connected, well…sort of. Their hair was braided together. This duo undoubtedly won the crowd over and was voted #1 in this creative demo…they are also in the essentials program. So I am sure we will see much more from this group. Congrats to them! 


Ms. Carla spoke with the prospective students about our Esthetics program. During this presentation she demonstrated how they learn to create custom make up. Ms. Carla is very passionate and knowledgeable about the program and it shows. It was evident everyone really enjoyed this portion of the evening. After all, who wouldn’t love to make custom makeup?!

Ms. Christina, along with a group of students, decorated our theory room to give the prospective students the full Cirque de Tricoci effect! Ms. Abby did an outstanding job getting the prospective students to attend this creative demo. She also provided them with an array of snacks and drinks. Congrats to her for putting together another successful creative demo!


It was great to see such a diverse group of prospective students. Beauty knows no age, nor color, nor gender - beauty is beauty!

Until the next one!

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This is a guest post by Suzanna Acosta, a student at our Chicago Northeast campus.


Highlights and lowlights is the process of changing a person's haircolor using lightner or hair color. There are four basic types of ways to achieve highlights and lowlights: Foil Highlights, Hair Painting/Bayalage, Frosting and Chunking. The product used depends on what the desired outcome is. These four categories include Temporary, Semi-permanent, Demi-permanent, and Permanent. Temporary, Semi-permanent and Demi permanent all use different types of dyes and tones, while Permanent uses bleach or lightener to ensure a lasting result.

Highlights have been around forever, although not used in the traditional sense. Different methods have been used for centuries. Highlights were believed to be first used in Ancient Greece as early as 4 B.C. During this time resources were extremely limited. Ancient Greeks used ointments made of olive oil, pollen, and gold flakes. Then, the person sat in the sun for long periods of time. This method was time consuming and extremely non-effective. Nonetheless, it was still used for many centuries. During the Renaissance Era 1400 A.D-1600 A.D things changed slightly. Alum, honey, lemons and a sulfur mixture were used. After these compotents were mixed together, a cap-less wide brim hat was applied to the head and the mixture was applied over the hat onto the head. And just like the Ancient Greeks, the person then sat in the sun for hours. This process was a little more successful due to the sulfur and lemons, although very tedious and non fragrant.

Modern Highlights were devolped in the early 1900's. During this time period modern caps were first used. With this method the cap is applied to the head and strands are fed through the various holes in the cap. These caps separated the desired strands from the rest of the hair allowing stylist to achieve a look without excessive bleeding. We first see Hydrogen Perioxide used instead of home remedies or elixers. After the 1920's, there is a dramatic decline in hair services due to war and economic downturn. Somewhere around the 1960's and 1970's we see a return of hair highlightning. At first deemed a fad, by this time the cap is very much in use. Highlights were very monochromatic and not natural looking. During the 1980's we see a trend explosion in highlights. This is when foils are first introduced into the mainstream. With foils, people were able to place highlights where ever they wanted. This is around the time we first start seeing low lights. Frosting and chunking also popularize during the 80's.

Highlights and lowlights have came a long way in history. They are still very much in demand and are ever evolving. I am very excited for what the future holds for the industry!

Hits: 162

Posted by on in Rockford

This is a guest post by Cortne Stroner, a student at our Rockford campus.

I'm Cortne and I attend Tricoci University of Beauty Culture in the Rockford area. I choose Tricoci University because, they have their own way of teaching. Students at Tricoci aren't just thrown into a classroom, they start fresh and from the beginning. They learn the basics, all the way from holding shears, to color corrections and even perms. They value education more than any school in the Midwest or any school I have ever been to.


 At Tricoci it's not just about cutting hair, or adding color to someone's hair, there is more to it. Everyone learns about the science of hair and skin, so we actually understand and can communicate to the costumers correctly. And it's not just a school to me; it's like family there. I made a lot of friends at Tricoci, and some have become my best friends. I have not only made friends with the students, I have also made close personal connections with my teachers. I have met some pretty great people by doing their hair. It's amazing how much a relationship can grow through doing hair.

Tricoci has been quite the experience for me; we get a lot of guest speakers that give us good tips on hair and techniques we can use, trips to Chicago for demo events, having cookouts when its nice out and we even have competitions where we all get reall competitive. Being a student at Tricoci, I've had advantages like half off products, personal services, beauty show tickets, and trips I would never be able to take without this school. I was actually able to meet Mario Tricoci himself and his personal assistants! It was a pretty great experience by itself, but bonding and sharing common interests with him was something I will never forget.

These past ten months have probably been the most eye opening and thought provoking months of my life. I really do want to do hair and I want it to be my career; Tricoci has opened that door. I honestly can say that I love my new family and my new home.

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This is a guest post by Katy Torgerson, a student at our Rockford campus.

Coming into Tricoci University for the first time was a bit overwhelming at first. I had toured other beauty colleges and I was not convinced that my experience would be as comfortable as possible. But I felt the best at TUBC. And coming in to meet Miss Kristen was very encouraging! My mom and I felt that Tricoci would be a very nice experience thanks to her.

Essentials was a very interesting experience, even if I felt a bit overwhelmed again. Talking about all the mark offs on the clinic floor was quite nerve-racking, and I was experiencing changes starting school full time and starting a new job working part time. But I felt like coming to class was a time for me to focus on what is important. And Miss Amber was so helpful! I think I speak for my whole class when I say we all have a very special bond.


On to the clinic floor, I felt as any new stylist would feel. I started mark offs and was feeling like school wasn't for me, but the assistance of my teachers helped me see that this is where I belong! Over all, I feel like my Tricoci University experience so far has definitely been worth the time and commitment. I feel like I am getting the education I need to be the best stylist I am capable of being. I look forward to handing out my resume and putting Tricoci's name on it. I feel I will be able to have a good foundation in learning new skills and the use of different products.

I would recommend this school to anyone interested in beauty culture!

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This is a guest post by Nancy Adkins, a student at our Rockford campus.

The experience I had with Mario Tricoci and Dan Johnson was a amazing! Dan Johnson is a color specialist and been in the beauty industry for 30 years. Mario Tricoci has a chain of salons and schools spanning nine different locations. Dan and Mario are very successful and it was a wonderful experiencing just being around people of their status. I learned a how to do a hair consultation more thoroughly on a client from Dan Johnson. He taught me how to look at my clients’ skin and "high color" to help choose the right hair color on them. I learned with the complexion of my skin color and eye color that I can wear a golden/rich blonde. For example, the hair color that best fits me is the golden blonde that Beyonce wears a lot. I was very happy that someone of his calibur compared me to Beyonce - that me feel very special! I learned from Mario Tricoci that doing hair isn't just a job. It's a career. He asked us what a job even is? He responded “A job is just above broke”. As in, cosmetologist don't do hair just as a job, but as a career. "80 percent of being a successful cosmetologist is having a great attitude/personality, and 20 percent is your actually skills." 


I will always remember the day Mario Tricoci and Dan Johnson visit my school, I learned so much from them. I will always remember what I have been taught and will take it with me forever as I prusue a career in the beauty industry!


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Posted by on in Rockford

This is a guest post by Amanda Musser, a TUBC student at our Rockford campus.


My name is Amanda Musser and I am currently attending the part-time esthetics program at Tricoci University. I chose Tricoci because it is the only school in the area to offer an esthetics program. I already work in the spa industry as a massage therapist and have been wanting to add to my own set of skills from skin care part of the industry. I also love to do special effects makeup, which ended up being my favorite part of the program.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-04-07-at-1.37.44-PM.pngKryolan make-up used on wrists

I really liked the Kryolan kit we received, and the artist that came to demo for theatrical makeup was cool. It was very interesting to see how different looks and effects are achieved. Going to the actual Kryolan store in Chicago was definitely a highlight during the program, getting to see all the awesome products they have to offer and CE classes they teach. It was a great starting point for anyone looking to get into the makeup field. Halloween time was pretty fun too with all the cuts, bruises, and wounds we got practice.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-04-07-at-1.43.08-PM.pngBruises with Kryolan make-up 

Besides the makeup aspect, I was glad to be able to work with the Vichy shower - I love water therapy treatments. And of course with the waxing, I get a sense of satisfaction when remove unwanted hair and make someones skin soft and smooth. Last but not least going to the beauty show in Chicago was fun and a great place to gain product knowledge. I also got to see what kinds of products and equipment are available for working in this field, (you'll see things you didn't know were out there), and lots of demos and tons of free samples. Hope you enjoy the program as much as I did!

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This is a guest post by Tameka Jorden, a TUBC student at our Glendale Heights campus.

We recently had the pleasure of having Ivan Zoot demo clipper cuts. The demo stared with Ivan introducing us to the company he works for under Marianna. Marianna is a distribution company that manufactures products for other brands. They make products that range from house cleaning to hair supplies.

Ivan inspired us with his story of how he started in the beauty industry. After beauty school he opened up his own salon. At Zoot salon his creativity and passion for clipper cuts flourished. After ten years of salon ownership he decided to take his career to the next level. Ivan sold his salon and began working for hair care companies educating others in clipper cuts. He found his salon a home with Marianna and began making a name for himself in the barber industry.

Ivan travels weekly to schools and salons inspiring others to become successful in the industry. He shares all of his clipper secrets on YouTube as well as his website. Ivan also responds personally to emails from students and professionals who have questions on clipper cuts or advice on how to be successful.


Ivan's demo consisted of many current clipper cut hair trends. The demo was of a woman's faded clipper cut blended into a G-Bob and men's hi and tight cut. As he began the woman's Miley Cyrus inspired look, he walked us through the steps of creating the hair cut. During the cut he shared his tips on blending and creating movement with your clippers. For the woman's fade he shared how to make the hair cut look feminine, which is extremely important. During the men's hi and tight demo, he shared secrets on how to taper as well as cutting behind ears. Ivan showed students how to create and remove weight lines during a fade cut as well as creating a strong neck line.

All in all Zoot's demo was highly inspiring, informative, and energized. He defiantly inspired and motivated students to explore the wold of clipper cutting!


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This is a guest post by Kaitlyn Ready, a TUBC student at our Glendale Heights campus.

Here at Tricoci University we have many after school programs in which you can attend for extra hours. These programs are so much fun and so much more than just getting extra hours it is a great experience. We have events at least once or twice a month. Usually from 5-8 after school or sometimes even on a weekday like Sunday. We recently had an event called Cirque du Tricoci in honor of Cirque du Soleil.


Cirque du Soleil is an awesome circus event where they have all kinds of performers from acrobats to exotic animal performances. Our take on Cirque du Soleil was the exotic makeup and wardrobe that is behind this awesome show. So the students have an option if you would like to participate in this creative demo for extra hours and fun! The event is from 5-8. Students can choose any theme from the Cirque du Soleil act to recreate with amazing hair and makeup. You can start your hair and makeup at 5:30 and you have until 7 to get everything ready and fabulous for the fashion show! There are usually about 10 groups that participate and they do a run way walk for our guests that come to see the show and those guests vote on the winner!


Some of our guests that come in are prospective students or even friends and family. So we really put on an awesome show for them not only do we do the runway for them and display our awesome end results but we actually do a hair demo for them as well. Cassie one of our students ran the hair demo last night she showed our guest some awesome techniques on how to curl hair with different tools and how to use some of the tools we use here at Tricoci University! After our guests watch the hair demo they are guided back to our theory room where they can grab some snacks we present to them and take a seat to watch the show!

Behind the scenes our students are preparing for the show and let me tell you we have the most creative students I have ever seen. It amazes me the creativity some of these lovely ladies have I mean it takes me by shock every time! That is what's so awesome about being in the beauty industry because there are absolutely no limits on what you can do with hair and makeup. Some of our students that attended this creative demo were Kayla, Genelle, and Kristen. These students are actually still in essentials ,which means they are not on the floor yet taking guests. It just shows you how truly amazing there creative skills are because they don't have too much experience behind under their belt. That did not hold them back from winning the contest! They did such an awesome job. Their character they were trying to create was fire which is one of the Themes from Cirque du Soleil. From my pictures you can see they really embraced the theme of fire. They teased her hair sky high to appear as flames. Some of the techniques and products they used for this look was back combing in which you back comb the hair to give it a ton of volume. They also used got 2 b hair glue which people use mostly for things like a Mohawk to help it stand on end. This really came to play in there design to help hold that sky high hair in place. They also had some colored hair spray they used red, orange and yellow which are the common colors of flames. They also added a ton of glitter for her makeup to really make her stand out. There end product really was amazing and they deserved every last bit of that first place prize! Especially for still being in essentials!


Some of our other contestants portrayed different elements from Cirque du Soleil such as fire and ice, acrobats, ring master, and clowns. Their interpretations of their characters were awesome as well. You can see from my pictures the amazing time and fun we have here at Tricoci University. You can also see the amazing talent we are so very proud to sport. It's incredible to have no limits on creative ideas and it really opens up so many doors of ideas and I think hair stylist are really coming into this new era where anything is possible! 

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Posted by on in Highland

This is a guest post by Marie Suchy, a TUBC student at our Highland campus.


We all go through periods of our lives when it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how hard you think you're trying, it just never seems to be enough. You'll place blame on stress, problems at home, the people in your life, etc. Let me make this easy for you. It's You. If you want to do something, you'll make it happen. If you want to go somewhere, you'll make travel plans. It all lies within yourself.

The moment you stop making excuses is the moment you become an adult. Taking responsibility for your actions, reactions, and attitude says a lot about the maturity level you want to be on. With that, comes with attracting the right kind of people. In turn, surrounding yourself with people who will push you to your success limit is exactly what you need to excel.

Nearing the end of my journey with Tricoci University, I am severely overwhelmed with the amount of support that is voluntarily handed out to the students. I was told recently (whilst being an emotional wreck about graduating) that you get what you give. Now of course I've heard the term before, but never really associated myself with it more so than I do now. I must have gone right somewhere.

I am walking out of this school with full confidence that wherever I end up is exactly where I belong. You are your problem, your solution, and your destiny. No matter where you are, you're the only one who will be with you, always. Accept change that comes with life. Gum used to be five cents, and now it's almost two dollars. We adjusted to that. We can adjust to anything else!

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This is a guest post by Cheryl Smith, a TUBC student at our Rockford campus.


Hi my name is Cheryl and I’m currently attending TUBC in Rockford, IL (almost ready to graduate). I was enrolled in the esthetics program in 2007, but had to leave for medical reasons. I made the decision to come back to TUBC because I continued to hear great things about the school. I ended up enrolling for the part-time Esthetics program in 2013. I chose Esthetics because I’ve always had a huge interest in skin and make-up. In the Esthetics course you do learn a lot in a short period of time. Some of my favorites we learned about were the make-up. I learned how to make fake cuts and wounds like they do in the movies. It’s actually pretty neat. You also get to make your own make-up. Like custom foundation, blush, eye shadows, even lip gloss and lip stick! It was by far my favorite. You’ll also learn about waxing & different facials and how electricity can actually help the skin. Right now I’m hooked on the micro-current and how beneficial it is.

moisture infusion facial

I will say, it did at one point start to get overwhelming for me because I was taking a much bigger and more time consuming schedule then what I was used to, but I was able to overcome that and move past the stress. I spoke with a lot of TUBC staff, ones that were here on the Rockford campus and staff from other campuses. All of them gave me words of encouragement to keep going. Their words, coupled with the desire to change my life for the better, propelled me forward. I want to be able to do my own thing some day and not have to work for someone else my whole life. I would love to be able to work out of my home or even travel to someone’s home and offer the same serves that you’d get in a spa.


Here I am a month away from graduating. Let me tell you, it feels incredible to be able to accomplish something that was such a struggle for me for so long. It feels even better when you accomplish something knowing there were people out there (back at home) that were expecting me to fail because they knew I was taking on such a huge schedule. I know it’s a bit corny but a good friend of mine would just say to me, "Cheryl, just keep swimming, just keep swimming” when she knew I was struggling. And I did just that. Oddly enough it helped! I would say that to myself when things started getting tough. My point to all of this is NEVER EVER GIVE UP!!! No matter what obstacles you encounter while you’re here go talk to a teacher or someone because they will do whatever they can to help you succeed. They have your best interest and want what’s best for you. All of the staff are so friendly and are easy to talk to. I’m so glad I chose to come back TUBC. I will truly miss everyone. Before I go I just want to say thank you to my teacher Ms. Amy and all the other staff members of TUBC for not giving up on me. TUBC has been such a great experience for me, not only for the schooling needs, but I’ve also met some great people and friends along the way!

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Posted by on in Event

This is a guest post by Kevin Hehr, a TUBC student at our Libertyville campus.

Tricoci University has a student body that is hardworking, and we focus on everything we need to get done before we hit our graduation, including our practical work, client experience, retail, and exams. One thing that is always in the back of our minds, however, is where we will take our new knowledge and skills after TUBC. Luckily, Tricoci University provided us with a Job Fair to help us get a clearer view. The fair was held on Tuesday, March 10th at the Libertyville campus, and a diverse selection of salons was represented in the school at different stations. Students rotated in groups and had the chance to meet with stylists from all different types of salons. These included Touché Salon from downtown Libertyville; Great Clips, a franchise salon; Sport Clips, a salon geared toward men; Ulta salon, found in Ulta locations everywhere, Kiva and Premier salons from Macy’s on State Street in Chicago; Elite Laser and Skin Spa in Algonquin, and of course, Mario Tricoci Salon and Spa, with representatives from both the Libertyville and Vernon Hills locations.

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With such a variety of stylists to speak to, there was something there for everyone. We were given the opportunity to ask questions, hear about each salon’s assistant programs and growth opportunities, and get a better idea of what the beauty industry has to offer. The experience was a rewarding one, as students were able to compete in raffles, exchange contact information with prospective employers, and gain information and inspiration for what the next step might be, making the fair a huge success!

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Monday March 24th was a very special day for Tricoci University - being mentored by top Redken Artist such as Kris Sorbie, Lauren Hagen, Adina Doss, Brayden Peltier, Hugo Urias, Ruth Roche, and Luke Huffstutter. The atmosphere was electric as Ruth took the stage; her humor was refreshing as she spoke to students about her experience in the celebrity realm. Being real and honest on the hard work she has put into her trade to boost her career. Her answers were received with open ears as students looking to pursue that direction were at the end of their seats. It was a great to see the students actively asking questions to help them break into the Platform and Celebrity status.

Ruth took the time to speak of how she attached herself to people she admired and wanted to be. She spent lots of time working behind the scenes for FREE! Her payment was the education she was getting working with these people. It has taken years to get where she is it was not an overnight process. Ruth was forthright in her journey and the hard work it took to get there. All the while she was performing the most amazing weave technique on her model. The students were in awe of her amazing work as well as her words of wisdom.

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Next up on stage were the lovely Adina Doss and her partner in crime Brayden Peltier. Brayden the Braider riveted the students with his fishtail techniques paying special attention to the finger work involved. His Partner Adina Doss wowed the students with the latest clipper trends in women’s hair cutting explaining how important it is to individualize to your guest, not to conform to the cut.

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Lauren Hagen brought to the stage the latest trend the students are so excited about….. Spot Lights! Having seen it up on the main stage at the ABS the students clamored to get more. Her detail to the techniques she evokes curiosity amongst the students who can’t wait to get back to school to try them out.

Hugo Urias! It’s really Hugo Urias! The best stylists really do make it look so simple. The students jaws dropped and were amazed that one really can hold an updo with just two not 22 hair pins.

Kris Sorbie a legend amongst giants, with her wit and inspiration kept us focused on the important stuff like; ourselves. Making sure we are always learning and growing in our profession. Gifting us with knowledge and where to acquire more, such as the Redken Symposium and introducing it to our students for the betterment of them.

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Enrichment and enlightenment continued with the very funny and talented Luke Huffstutter.  Engaging and encouraging the student to give themselves a 10,000 dollar raise a year. Letting us know that we are in control of our pay check not the man. And backing it up with his own real life experiences. Michael Coles protégé was right on message, reaffirming the lessons they have been learning at all of the Tricoci University campuses.

This day was a fun, education packed journey that filled the students with inspiration and encouragement to be all they can be and to constantly strive to be better.


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Posted by on in Highland

This is a guest post by Melissa Herrod, a TUBC student at our Highland campus.

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Why do I love to style hair so much? When I was about fourteen years old, I picked up a comb for the first time and realized this is what I want to do with my life. I thought this was the most exciting thing that I could ever do!

It all started on the "first" - that's what we called fifty first where I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I wasn't really a people person. I was very shy and quiet, always keeping to myself but I still manage to have all the friends in the neighborhood! My porch was hot and my grandma was mad. But I would say that if it wasn't for the good and motivating friends and family that I have, I probably wouldn't be where I am today.

I remember the very first hairstyle I tried on my best friend Takara. It was a basket weave and everybody loved it! I was so excited just to see people smile, but everybody didn't smile all the time because when I did my other best friend Sophia's hair, which was my very first hair cut, there were tears! I felt so bad and I almost got beat up! But when everybody started smiling and telling her how good her new hair cut looked, she apologized and I was feeling good again.

Those were just some of the good and bad of what I went through, but all things considered I would say this is the most rewarding career that I could have stumbled into. I'm so blessed to have experienced this, and if I had to do it twice I would do again if I had to! But I don't think that will happen as I'm finally getting my license!

I'm in love with this profession, and until the day I retire I'll always wake up excited to go to work.

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Tricoci University of Beauty Culture (TUBC) is honored to once again support the Edward Touhy Guardian Angel Foundation's annual SENIOR PROMise, an inspiring initiative that enables economically disadvantaged young men and women in Chicago to look fabulous at their senior proms.

A team of cosmetology students and leaders from TUBC's Bridgeview and Chicago campuses will do prom-perfect makeup and hairstyles for a select group of young adults who otherwise couldn't afford to glam-up for what should be an important milestone for every teenager.

The high school seniors must also be in good academic standing in order to be selected for the prom makeovers. SENIOR PROMise includes pupils from the Queen of Peace High School, who will visit a TUBC campus on April 25th, Marist High School (May 9th) and North Lawndale College Prep High School (May 16th).

Numerous Chicago-based organizations such as the Latin School of Chicago, Francis Parker High School and Old St. Pat's Church are offering generous donations to make the prom dreams of high school students come true. The Edward Touhy Foundation collects items such as formal dresses, handbags and shoes for the teens to wear. Other supporters include the Service Club of Chicago, Smith Senior Living Community Employees and the Geldner Center.

The SENIOR PROMise initiative forms part of Edward Touhy Guardian Angel Foundation's wider mission to provide vital resources to economically distressed students so they can graduate from charter and parochial high schools in Cook County, Illinois.

Brian Weed, CEO of Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, says: "It's a no-brainer for us to support this wonderful initiative. We truly understand the importance of education and enabling young people to have a brighter future, so we're honored to be involved in this opportunity to help make a difference. Our cosmetology and esthetics students find it very rewarding getting involved in special charity initiatives, working to change lives by using their beauty skills."

Mary Kay Touhy of The Edward Touhy Guardian Angel Foundation, says: "Many high schoolers take going to their Senior Prom for granted, but it's a sad reality that some students from poor backgrounds are unable to afford this magical experience. Senior PROMise is helping to change this by rewarding these students for their efforts at school. It is one of our most feel-good initiatives as everyone deserves to be a prince or princess for the day, whatever their background! We're so grateful to all of our supporters, including Tricoci University of Beauty Culture."

More about The Edward Touhy Guardian Foundation
The Edward Touhy Guardian Angel Foundation was established in 2009 to provide resources to economically disadvantaged students so they can graduate from high schools in Illinois. These resources help the students move on to higher education and brighter futures for themselves and their families. So far the Foundation has awarded tuition and in-kind assistance to students at 13 high schools in Illinois. One hundred percent of these students received their high school diplomas, and all of them have entered institutions of higher learning in the fall after they graduated. For further information, please visit or connect at

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This is a guest post by Katrina Tinsely, a TUBC student at our Indianapolis campus.

Doing hair is so much more than just a hair cut or just a color or a style. It's about people. We not only make our clients look good, but we make them feel good as well. As far back as I can remember I've been interested in the beauty industry. My first job was working the beauty counter at a local drug store and from there I was hooked. There I saw how this entire industry changed not only how people looked but how they felt too. As simple as a new lipstick or cheek color completely changes the way a woman feels about themselves.

While working at the drug store I discovered how well I worked with people. It was so easy for me to carry on complete conversations with total strangers. That's when I decided that this is what I wanted to do, in some way shape or form I wanted to be in the beauty industry.

My mother, Grandmother, and Great Aunt all did hair but they all quit after a little while because they didn't enjoy it. I didn't want to make that mistake. So early on I started learning as much as I could about hair, skin, and nails. I read my moms cosmetology books, and my mom showed me different things that I couldn't learn from reading. I started practicing on my friends and family, and soon I knew it, I was made for this! Some people go their entire lives doing a job they hate just to pay the bills. I feel so blessed that I was given the opportunity to pursue my passion. Every day I get to wake up and do exactly what I want to do.

So here I am, in cosmetology school, and I love it. Every day I learn something new about myself. I'm 25 years old, and before I got here I thought I knew myself pretty well, but the truth was that there was a whole other side that hadn't been discovered. The feeling I get when I'm standing behind my client is a whole new joy that I never knew was there. I don't know exactly where I want to go when I graduate, but I know that this is what I'm supposed to do. I love that fact that I'm not limited to being a stylist only. I could be a makeup artist, I could work with the elderly in a nursing home, and I could work on a movie set doing hair and makeup for celebrities. The possibilities are endless, but regardless of the job I choose I know that I will be helping whoever my client is. There is so much more to this industry than just makeup, hair, glitter, and money. This industry gives women and men the ability to be whomever or whatever they want to be if even just for a few hours. There's that feeling when you get a new hair cut, when your all dressed up with your make up done, that feeling when your husband says you're beautiful. It's all of that rolled up into one word, Cosmetology. 

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