24th Annual Contessa Awards

backstage

Last month the 24th Annual Contessa Awards were held in Toronto. The Contessa Awards recognize the best in Canada’s beauty industry. They are an opportunity for beauty professionals to showcase their work among their peers. Hair, nail, and makeup professionals are encouraged to submit their best work and winners are chosen by a panel of industry experts. One category that I favor for obvious reasons is, Makeup Artist of the Year, which was awarded to Craig-Ryan French.

makeup artist: Craig-Ryan French
photographer: Doug McMillan 

I had the chance to catch-up with two of the Contessa makeup artist finalists, Maria Li and Jakki Polyoka.
A program manager for the Makeup Artistry Certifcate program at Mohawk College, freelance makeup artist Jakki Polyoka, answered a few questions.

What is the process like to enter the Contessa Awards?
Well, you have to start with a great team…mine included myself (makeup artist), a fabulous hairstylist (Natasha Ateah), an amazing photographer (Michael Simon Grybko) and three beautiful models…and we go from there! As for entering, Michael had the job to organize and follow all the specifications for the entry CD’s and he did great!

How do you choose a theme for your entry?
We had guidelines from the Contessas, evening and avant-garde (my choice). I am constantly saving pictures of  makeup I love, so I have a collection that I am inspired by. Then based on the model, I choose the appropriate look to suit that face.

Favourite makeup products? 
I have a variety of favourite products from assorted companies. If I had to choose just one, I think the Camouflage by Caryl Baker Visage is one product that really makes my makeup application look flawless.

Plans for the future? Maybe enter the Contessa Awards again?
Oh I am already thinking of what I am going to do next year! I was honoured to be a finalist this year.

one of Jakki’s entry

Freelance makeup artist, Maria Li studied makeup artistry at Complections International Academy of Makeup Artistry in Toronto. Maria answered a few questions!

What is the process like to enter the Contessa Awards?
Shooting and entering the Contessa Awards is a very organic thing that happened together with my photographer Babak. We often shoot for hair and fashion clients and we did some shoot where I had total creative control.  I loved how they turned out so then I entered it to Contessa.

How do you choose a theme for your entry?
As an artist, makeup is one of my creative outlets.  It’s important for me not to be limited to the popular looks that we see everywhere. I am inspired from life, my travels, and art. So I always want to create looks that haven’t been done before; or haven’t been done right before. One of my looks for this year’s entry is done delicately with rhinestones. It’s been attempted by many before but I wanted to do it not in a cheesy way, but really do it right; fashion forward, classy and elegant.

Favourite makeup products?
There are so many great products and it wouldn’t be fair to the others if I just listed one or two. I have to say that to use a good foundation and to make a clean canvas is really important.

Plans for the future? Maybe enter the Contessa Awards again?
Keep doing beautiful work, create new looks that people haven’t seen, and just push the boundaries. Yes, I might come back and enter for Contessa again and the Naha too.

one of Maria Li’s entry

Thank you to Jakki and Maria for their answers and hope to see their work again next year!
A big congratulations to all the Contessa Award winners, to see a complete list of winners click here.
The Contessa Awards are produced by Salon Communications Inc., owner of Salon Magazine and Elevate Magazine.

backstage:
images: beautyparler.ca
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