Students Nail It!

Winning students have the Midas touch

Two Stoke-on-Trent College students have been ‘talon’ spotted in a national competition.

Andrea Gordon, aged 40, from Etruria, and Vanessa Deakin, aged 39, from Hanley, were among the top 10 in the UK to compete in the UK Skills finals in advanced nail art at Birmingham’s NEC.

Andrea managed to secure a silver medal in the competition held on Saturday November 17, while Vanessa’s work was highly commended.

Given the theme, the Midas touch, both students had just three-and-a-half hours to complete all 10 nails from scratch, and were also marked on a step-by-step guide they created for the judges to read.

Rachel Lea, course team leader in beauty at the college, put the pair forward for the prestigious awards, which sees students from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales competing against each other in regional heats before the best are picked for the finals.

She said:

“There is a quite a lot of pressure at the finals and it’s a long day as we were up at 5am to get their models ready as their hair and make-up, as well as their nails, have to be perfect. We do a lot of work in the run-up to the competition, but all the hard work is worth it when you see the look on their faces when they win. I knew what they were both capable of and they’re both wonderful students. There was only about a half point between gold, silver and bronze, so I’m very proud of them.”

Andrea used the golden theme to recreate a golden age in pop and hand painted delicate gold discs, notes and top stars on her nails including Elvis, Lady Gaga and Madonna. I took my own slant on the theme,”

she said,

“and I was working right up to the finish time, but although it’s nerve wracking I respond well under pressure. I’ve done competitions before and it’s thanks to those I’ve got a job in a good salon as I’m also a qualified hairdresser, as I’ve been studying at the college for six years. I used to be in catering, but I had to do hairdressing for my own sanity and my mum was in hairdressing so I have it in my veins.”

Vanessa depicted the story of King Midas himself, with some nails being painted with golden grapevines and a hand painted King Midas and Dionysus.

She said:

“Rachel has been really encouraging and my mum was a paintress in the pot banks so I think that’s rubbed off on me as I love painting and I’ve always been a bit arty. I’m now doing my level 3 in theatrical and media make-up and I’d like to combine both in my work in the future and maybe open a place of my own.”

You can find out more about all the courses currently on offer at the next college open evening on December 5th. The evening is being held at both the Burslem and Cauldon College campuses on December 5th between 5pm and 7.30pm.


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