The Contessa Awards recognize the work by Canadian hair stylists in the past year. Think of it like hairy Junos, with hair Can-ebrities instead of music Can-ebrities.
Competitors pay a fee to submit their work, and a fee per category in which they compete. Judges are industry types, other hair stylists and such. Categories include Elite Master Stylist, Canadian Hairstylist of the Year, Avant Garde Hairstylist and, in a twist worthy of "Sesame Street" where one of these things is not like the others, Nail Enhancement Artist.
Some of 2012's winners:
Canadian Hairstylist of the Year: VÃ©ronique BeauprÃ©, Local B, Montreal If you've ever had a client who says â€œI want to look like a cocker spaniel who hasnâ€™t had any grooming for at least a year â€“ you know, like I was rescued from an episode of 'Hoarders' along with 43 other dogs,â€ then this is the look youâ€™ll want to create. Photo: Simon Normand
Avant Garde Hair Stylist: Palma Anshilevich, The Hair Spot, Toronto I hope they got this shot on the first try or this poor model may never recover her ability to stand up straight. Itâ€™s like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. *groan* Photo: BABAK
Elite Master Stylist: Guylaine Martel, Guylaine Martel Artistes Coiffeurs, Mont-Saint-Hilaire Elite Master Stylist... is this sounding like "Toddlers and Tiaras" to anyone else? Mini-Supreme, Grand Supreme, etc.? Martel should have won for â€œbest use of hair sprayâ€ for this whale-inspired creation...
...and the look that I can only imagine was a thought experiment: â€œwhat does Pamela Anderson look like when she wakes up in the morning?â€ Photos: Alain Comtois
Nail Enhancement Artist: Catherine Cote, Candy Nail Bar, MontrealThe nail art, in comparison, is surprisingly tame. Is that a squared-off French manicure? Let's hope and pray that's not coming back into fashion.
Also, could this modelâ€™s hand have done with a touch of hand cream first or is it just me?Â Overall, I think another artist we know has Cote beat hands down when it comes to creativity. But there's some kind of rule that says photos previously published aren't eligible -- because having your work featured in the country's top beauty and fashion magazines is undesireable, apparently. Photos: Caroline Lafond
At the end of the night, I can tell you that I prefer my Contessas Barefoot.