It's like the Oscars for hairstylists and, as Stephanie Wright, the owner of Mystique Hair Design - White Rock's popular salon by the sea - will tell you, it is an honour to be nominated.
Every year, La Biosthetique of Paris, maker of high-end beauty products, sponsors an international competition to recognize outstanding achievements in hair design. Thirteen countries are invited to participate and Canada, as always, is well represented with entries from prestigious "name" stylists across the country.
This year, Wright's team decided to put their talents up against the best.
"We're quite proud of the work we do here, and of the way we keep ourselves up to date with the latest and best," Wright said. "I wanted to prove that you don't have to be a big name in an urban centre to be at the forefront of what's happening in hair design."
It seems the elite panel of judges agreed. This year, three of Mystique's stylists submitted photos into the Beauty Stylist Awards. The submissions, based on before-and-after photos, take into account makeup and fashion choices as well as the hair style and colour.
Mystique Stylist Stephanie Hordyk came in the top 10 in the national showdown.
Her model for the competition was a daring and brave 13-year-old client. Hordyk says her motivation behind the cut "was to do something that scared me, but still suited the client."
"As a new stylist in the industry, I wanted to try a short edgy precision cut and this was the perfect opportunity to challenge myself," said Hordyk. "Each entry undergoes intense scrutiny so I knew I had to perform well and bring my work to the table."
When asked what Hordyk's inspiration for this look was, she said she wanted practical and yet edgy.
"My inspiration for the cut was to choose something that edgy that could be still worn everyday," she said.
"My colour inspiration came from watching a fire burn. There are so many different colours within a fire; it is hard to tell where one starts and the other begins. This inspired me to blend coppers, reds, and golds, while keeping the base a rich brown like the wood that fuels the flame.
"I wanted the cut and colour to stand out on their own so I chose a very simple 'Twiggy' inspired makeup look. We did a heavy line on the eyes and kept everything else neutral and contoured to enhance our model's bones structure."
For Hordyk, the recognition of her esteemed peers in the world of hair design has been gratifying, but she's just as happy about bringing that international style sensibility to White Rock.
"It shouldn't be just about what works on a runway in Paris. It's about finding the look that works best for each individual and their particular lifestyle. Pixie cuts are all the rage right now," she said.
"Our entire team is looking forward to seeing where this trend takes us this fall/winter. It makes cutting more interesting when women are willing to part with their long locks and try something new."
And try something new Hordyk did.
"My goal in entering this year was to gain experience, better myself as a stylist, and push myself out of my comfort zone. I never thought I would make it as a top 10 Canadian finalist. It is truly an honour!" Wright, owner of Mystique Hair Design, said, "at Mystique we take education, advanced training, and consistently being industry leaders in our neighbourhood very seriously. We often go outside our comfort zone in order to push for perfection in the latest trends in hair and beauty.
"I am so proud of all the stylists for their entries and photo shoots and couldn't be happier that Stephanie Hordyk was a finalist! Success like this just pushes us forward and allows us to become more creative and fashion forward."
© Copyright 2013