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Students discover mind, body, and spirit additional skills

Posted onPosted on 6th Feb

Training salons at West Nottinghamshire College welcomed make-up artists, barbers and stylists, a reiki practitioner, and more as students got stuck into learning more about roles within hairdressing and beauty therapy during their industry week.

Students were able to see a range of practical demonstrations of hair and beauty techniques as well as hear how industry experts reached their career goals.

Hair stylist and salon owner Marie Hall (above) presented her career pathway, describing how she came from the college’s own hairdressing programme and worked her way to success as a stylist to finally running her own business – MH Hair in West Bridgford.

Marie, who also holds teaching and accounting qualifications, became the first person in Nottingham in 2005 to be awarded the Wella Colour Expert award. She spoke to students about studying on the Wella higher level degree.

Dior make-up artist Holly Tomkins detailed her career in the industry, starting as a make-up artist and colour creative for John Lewis store in Leicester. Having worked with the Dior brand for over five years, Holly has now been promoted and travels with Dior on cruise ships, seeing the world and creating looks on cruise passengers.

Physical and mental wellbeing was also a matter for focusing on as groups visited The Mill Adventure Base, Sutton, to sharpen their team-building skills while getting their fitness levels improved on the outdoor equipment.

Ian Hastings from Muted, the men’s mental health charity, gave an overview of men’s mental health and his own battles with depression. He outlined how the charity supports men’s mental health in the workplace. He thanked students for their recent fundraising initiative, which saw barbering students raise £80 offering staff and family members haircuts in return for donations.

Reiki practitioner Rebecca Howarth introduced student groups to the practice of reiki healing and how this can be used within the salon setting to complement other holistic therapy practices. She gave a healing demonstration to students, outlining how energies can be channelled to promote good mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Special effects make-up was put under the spotlight as media make-up students practiced some zombie looks on each other, focussing on how to create realistic wounds, veins and skin textures.

Less gruesome skin creations were produced thanks to Suzanne Jaques, of Shooting Star Body Art, as she taught Level 1 students how to create realistic flowers and rainbow effects on the face and body.

Teachers also planned specialist practical sessions helping students to see them demonstrate dermaplaning, spray tanning, brow tinting and henna body painting techniques, to add to their class-based knowledge.

Make-up artist Amy Wilkinson brought her talents to the salon as she demonstrated a natural make-up look which students could replicate in their work. She covered application techniques as well as how to select the correct product for a range of different skin types and tones.

Meanwhile fashion designer Lisa Bodill, who is currently working for designer Paul Smith, brought along a portfolio of her designs and clothing which she has produced over the years. A former design student at the college, Lisa helped students to think about costumes for their end-of-year shows, which will complement their hair and make-up looks.

Students discovered how to get themselves competition ready thanks to former student and World Skills competitor Sophie Davies. Sophie, who studied Level 2 Beauty Therapy at the college, took part in the beauty therapy World Skills in 2022 performing a back massage, exfoliation and cleanse on her model, followed by bridal make-up and manicure. Sophie shared her career journey to date, detailing her job as a self-employed nail artist.

It was a close shave for barbering students as they explored the art of the cut-throat shave with barber Simon Gallop. Simon demonstrated how to perform a full shave and facial treatment on a male model, incorporating a facial steam, face scrub and hot towel treatment. He also discussed his career journey and the route to become self-employed in the industry.

Lip scrubs, hair packs and face masks were created from scratch in the Level 1 Beauty Therapy class as students researched the benefits of natural ingredients suitable for their home-made creations, including bananas, honey, coconut oil and egg. They created their own logos and packaged their products professionally.

The group also completed a certificated mehndi skin art lesson, practicing the basic patterns of henna tattooing.

Head of department for hairdressing and beauty therapy, Nicholas Thorpe, said: “Our guests from across the industry have been able to inspire students both with their skills and their own career pathways. There are many jobs within this sector that you wouldn’t necessarily think of and aren’t that obvious, so it’s important to shine a spotlight on those ‘hidden’ roles.

“Industry week has helped our learners to keep abreast of the ever-changing trends within hair and beauty whilst acknowledging that there are some great sustainable methods to take into treatments.

“Our groups learnt so much including how to take those skills to higher levels such as the Wella degree, helping them to realise how pushing themselves to succeed reaps many rewards.”