Rotherham College Media Make-up students displayed their talent by winning three medals at World Skills UK, a competition which judges students by the highest standards in their chosen industry.
Having to first compete in rounds to reach the finals, months of hard work ensued as the finalists handmade each piece of their designs.
Level three student Emily Smith won gold for her creation, which included creating an intricate headdress and hand painting a scene on to her model’s back.
“I really enjoyed the experience, especially the competition, it was one of the best things I’ve done so far.” Emily said. “I was really shocked when I found out I had won, I was crying because all of my work had finally paid off.”
Emily scored 86 points out of 100 in her category, placing her joint first with another contestant. ”Without the tutors at college I wouldn’t haven’t been able to do any of it,” Emily said, “I had to learn a lot of the skills I needed really quickly, because some aren’t usually taught until later in the course.”
Vanessa Dawson entered the Fashion and Photographic Make-up category, coming second place for her masquerade themed design.
“It was stressful and hard work at times,” Vanessa said, “but it was a great eye opener to see what other trades and industries were out there.”
Vanessa’s design used delicate gems and lace to frame her model’s face, something influenced by a look created by her idol Pat McGrath. Using Swarovski crystals, Vanessa handmade each piece of the masque which then had to be applied to her model’s face as one finished creation.
“I always like to think outside of the box, so I wanted to do a modern take on masques to create a dramatic effect,” Vanessa said.
Alongside Vanessa and Emily, student Gemma Lewis also won a bronze medal in the Nail Art category.
“I absolutely loved the experience, I’d definitely do it again,” Gemma said. “I didn’t know the other people from college before we went, but they were all lovely and we got on well.” Gemma was given the Olympics as her competition theme and she portrayed the history of the games, starting in Ancient Greece.
Student Meagan Day came Highly Commended in last year’s competition and competed this year in the body art category with a Chinese dragon design. Although she didn’t gain a place in the league table this time, she enjoyed the experience and is already planning to apply to compete 2017.
As well as the competitions, the event also aimed to showcase skills in order to inspire schoolchildren and to give them a realistic view of working in different industries. Rotherham College Media Make-up department was chosen to represent the Media Make-up industry as whole and performed demonstrations of their skills throughout the event.
“We were each given a period in time as a theme,” student Ashley Jones explained. “I was given the 21st century so I explored how the pressure of social media and advertising can affect young people. I used a ‘half and half’ look, creating prosthetics to contrast a face enhanced by cosmetic surgery with a natural beauty.”
Other periods in time also included the persecution of witches, with student Leanna Keating using prosthetics to create severe burns, and the French revolution, which student Stacey Hughes represented by a towering hairdo made from three wigs, kept in place by a wire cage.
“I wasn’t confident with creating hairstyles before the competition,” Level 2 student Stacey said, “but I managed to create my look so I’m really happy with that.”
Ashley said “we’re one big team in Media Make-up and we all pull together. All of the different levels are really interlinked, so we’re like one big family. We are all very proud of the members of our team that won medals.”
Claire Bunclark, Curriculum Manager of Hair and Beauty, presented the students with flowers, as a token for “working tirelessly with 100% effort and dedication promoting the College.”
John Connolly, CEO of RNN Group, the parent organisation of Rotherham College, also congratulated the students, saying; “these are tremendous results for our students and staff, who were also invited to deliver a prestigious Skills Showcase at the event. These results actually put the College overall in 8th position, out of 117 providers taking part, which is fantastic testament to the commitment and dedication of the staff and students taking part.”