Every November, Canada’s most gifted hair, nail and makeup professionals compete for a coveted Contessa Award. Since 1988, the Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards have been recognizing the talent of the most influential beauty artists in Canada.
Produced by Salon Magazine, the Canadian professional beauty authority, the Contessas draw in hundreds of gifted artists each year to compete for one of the 24 coveted awards, ranging from Canadian Hairstylist of the Year to the John Steinberg Award for Community Service. A photo-based competition, each Contessa entry is evaluated by a panel of beauty industry experts on critical aspects that include originality, creativity, flawless execution and fashion appeal.
The Contessas elevate Canadian professional beauty standards by highlighting, promoting and recognizing our best and brightest stars. The event brings together the entire industry, from coast to coast, for a delightful evening of celebration and excitement.
Faze had a chance to catch up with, Lucy Abate, this year’s winner of the prestigious Student/Apprentice Award.
Lucy Abate (above) wins the 2018 Contessa Award for Student/Apprentice with these stunning looks.
FZ: When did you know you wanted to work with hair?
LA: Since I was a little girl! I would play with my Barbie dolls and cut and style their hair, and colour it by dipping it in Kool-Aid.
FZ: Who was your first client?
LA: When I was 13 my grandma needed a haircut, so she gave me her debit card and told me to buy whatever I needed to be a hairstylist. I was super-nervous to cut her hair, but she told me not to worry, that if I messed up it would grow back and that I needed to keep trying until I learned how to do it!
FZ: What inspired your award winning looks?
LA: My boss’s daughter came into the salon with a friend who had amazing texture in her hair, and I talked to my boss about the idea of Rick Rack, which is a type of crimping.
FZ: What was your biggest challenge?
LA: I kept doubting myself. I kept thinking I wasn’t good enough and it would never happen. It was my boss who said I do amazing work and I need to appreciate it.
FZ: Your advice to others who question their own talent?
LA: Fake it ‘til you make it! Do everything with a smile and no-one will know when you mess up!
If you want an award-winning hairstylist to cut your precious locks, you can find Lucy at Felix & Ginger Salon in Caledon, Ontario!
Big Winners Of The Night
Canadian Hairstylist: Tony Ricci
Salon: Ricci Hair Co.
Photographer: Richard Miles
Canadian Colourist: Michelle Pargee
Photographer: Kale Friesen
Avante Garde: Silas Tsang
Photographer: John Rawson
Makeup Artist: Marika D’Auteuil
Photographer: Ben CK
Nail Artist: Danielle Clark
Salon: Trabbit Nail Creations
Photographer: Danielle Clark
Always A Fun Night!
To see other big winners of the night and to learn more about the Contessas visit Salon Magazine.