AFTER being a finalist seven times, hairstylist Sharon Nightingale won gold in the partner colourist Goldwell Colour Zoom awards this week.
"I've been a finalist seven years running - always the bridesmaid, never the bride,” Ms Nightingale said.
"Finally I got first place this year. It's very exciting.
"Reach for the stars - that's my motto.”
Ms Nightingale owns Noosaville hair salon Lustre the Colour Studio, and will be off to Barcelona in October to represent Australia in the global finals.
She said being a part of the prestigious colour and hair style competition for a number of years helped her chances of winning, as well as going one step further with this year's theme.
"I've always attended the global event as support team, I think that's what really gave me the edge this time,” she said.
"This year's theme was 'influx'. I went with metallic palettes in my hair style, a smooth flow of change.
"I drew inspiration from looking at a running river bed, with metallic tones, turning one tone in to three when the light hits it, the same way light does when it hits water.
"(Then I) put that in to the hair, so there was different tones and colours depending on how light hits it.
"There's an element of history in my entry. There's shapes I've cut before years ago, with a modern twist, making it edgy and now.
"I just pushed the boundaries a little bit further with this one. I've always wanted to make it beautiful for the clients in the photo, but this time I pushed that aside a little and just went for it.
"It got me over the edge, and I think it was using green as well.
"In a way, we had to dive in to our most artistic area within ourselves.”
The global finals in Barcelona are only a few short weeks away, where Ms Nightingale and her hair model will be attending in hopes of being crowned grand champion.
"We all have to recreate an image that we come up with, so I'll be travelling there with my model Kayla,” Ms Nightingale said.
"It's four days of competitions, education and parties.
"If I win, that will then allow me to be a part of the global team for 2020 that help decide the future theme for the next Colour Zoom.
"It's on my bucket list to win it.”
Ms Nightingale said just by entering the competition every year, it helps her team to broaden their horizons and have the confidence to take more risks in their work.
"We all (the hairstylists) entered individually this year,” she said.
"Unfortunately none of my staff were finalists but next year they'll get up and give it another go.
"The learning we receive from entering and creating an image, it allows us to think differently, allows us to never be stale, so we're always bettering ourselves for our clients.
"It pushes you to be better and be more creative.”
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