Entering the Contessas is always a high-energy affair—from organizing your shoot to that final moment you send in your entry, to gala night. When you’re a first-time entrant, that energy is tenfold, even if you’ve been through the motions of doing a photo shoot before. For Nicole Pede, a seasoned salon owner and industry pro, after years of building herself up to this moment, it was finally time to let her creative vision show through.
While she’d assisted on many shoots for colleagues along the way, Pede realized that some things change when you’re on set. “It was a bit of a learning curve for me. It was a lot of playing on set and moving things around,” she explains. One particular learning experience for her: “One of the styles I created didn’t portray as well in a vertical shot,” which meant nixing it from her entry collection and understanding that a style may be cool, but may not always work with certain photo orientations.
Kaleidoscope of colours
Contessa entrant newbie Pede knew that when she did her first collection, it was going to be a balance between submitting something that worked, but also something that was inherently her. “I looked at colours that were trending—obviously pastels and brighter colours were at the top of that, but I’m really into jewels as well,” explains Pede. She cited the necklace as the jumping-off point, having seen it a few years ago. She used its aurora borealis-like iridescence as an accent to the colourful pieces in the hair without overtaking her finished look.
Schwarzkopf Professional BlondeME Blonde Lifting
Pede used this to tone and lighten hair prior to adding bright bursts of colour.
Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids
Pede used this range of shades to get her multi-coloured look, mixing and diluting each of the colours to get a customized finish.
Schwarzkopf Professional Osis+ Session Label Flexible Hold Hairspray
This mist was used to finish each of the styles, keeping them in place and battling flyaways.
Contessa 26 Finalist, Ontario Hairstylist of the Year. Hair: Nicole Pede; Makeup: Jessica Benner; Photos: Paula Tizzard