World Skills Competition

About a month ago we had a presentation from the head of beauty at college about a competition called World Skills. This is a competition  that eventually leads to a world wide final in a variety of subject fields from beauty therapy to brick laying. Two competitors can represent a college for each individual competition. They must be studying their given subject (So beauty Level 2 for me) and be between the ages of 16-25. Each competitor must complete a set amount of tasks in a given time scale and will be judged during the treatment and the finished look at the end.

The competition begins regionally where competitors compete for the top two places. The two winners of gold and silver then go through to the next round where they compete internationally at Birmingham’s NEC Arena. For Level 2 Beauty Therapy the treatments that should be performed are a basic Manicure – right hand red varnish, left hand French polish, Facial with visible masque, Half Leg Wax and a day Make-up look. World Skills released the task sheet for the competition and for the first time the marking criteria. I immediately sat down and dissected the sheets bit by bit as well as read through the rules and regulations to wrap my head around the entire thing. Half of the job when competing in a competition such as World Skills is finding the perfect model – a young attractive lady with perfect nails, long nail beds, outstanding skin and dark leg hairs to compliment your finished look. Also the judges expect you to be very dramatic for example doing long pressured strokes when carrying out a massage and over exaggerating every movement and gesture such as making clear you are about to go wash your hands. At first it appears silly but after time you get used to it. The judges are known to be extremely strict too especially on your appearance. Your trousers cannot touch the floor, hair must be back in a tight bun with no jewellery and your make-up must be over the top but without looking like a clown.

Helen, our colleges head of beauty, asked girls to put their name forward and straight away I was interested. I figured it would be an amazing experience even if I didn’t get very far and would look fabulous on my CV. Helen soon emailed me asking me to go into college on a Monday for extra-tuition. Monday came and I took my Mum to be a model for a manicure and facial. When arriving at college only one other girl was there, at first I thought perfect until Helen explained two other ladies were interested therefore the competition had all ready started for one of the two places to represent college. Feeling nervous and under pressure I set up along with the other girl named Rebecca and began my manicure. I carried out the treatment how I was taught in class whilst Helen sat and wrote critique. I finished and went onto my facial. Afterwards Helen sat me down and went through the notes. All in all my treatments were average, I needed to do single strokes rather than seesawing when filing, watch my posture and speed up my varnishing on my manicure. For facial I needed to change my water more often, use my fingers to remove eye make-up, take longer on my massage and make sure all massage cream was removed as well as few other amendments for both treatments. I left Week 1 of training feeling a little overwhelmed but eager to take on board the corrections and work on them in time for the following week.

7460466660_88b8e83173When I arrived the following Monday for Week 2 the previous girl wasn’t there, however a lady from my class who entered last years Nail Competition was there. After talking to her I realised her heart wasn’t really in it as much as nails but I knew she was competition. I started off with a half leg wax and finished off very disheartened :( I hate waxing to be honest, its sticky,messy and I cannot seem to get the hang of it at all. The wax wasn’t hot enough and therefore stuck to my clients legs. Helen picked up on my obvious panicking and came over to help. After this disaster I moved onto my manicure and then facial. I felt a lot more confident carrying out these treatments and took on board last weeks notes. My model even noticed! Again Helen went through the critique before I left and was pleased with my improvement. She told me to try a different type of wax and double check it’s hot enough, use minimal amount of spatulas, avoid tweezing if possible at the end, use 4 fingers and a thumb to hold the nail file, again avoid slight seesaw with my file, use a highly visible facial masque and a few other minor amendments. I’ve decided I’m going to ask my tutor to go over half leg waxes again during lesson to boost my confidence.

Yey! Im through..well kind of. Helen) has chosen me to represent Wakefield College in the competition  along with another girl who’s not yet been chosen for definite. I’m so excited. To be given an opportunity like this is truly amazing and makes me feel proud of the work and treatments I’m capable of doing at a high standard. The only problem is that I’ve been entered onto a waiting list as there’s no places left at the colleges that are holding the regional.  However Helen believes two locations may be able to squeeze me an extra space in, one being at the NEC Arena Birmingham on the 19th May. The 19th of May is my birthday when I will be turning 17 finally. Once again this brought up another problem, I will be in London that weekend celebrating my Mum and mines birthday with a girly weekend. Me and my Mum have come to the conclusion that if I do get a place at the NEC I will have to come home early on the Saturday night. This means I will miss going to the Roller Disco my Mums arranged haha!

iStock_000011470615XSmall-300x199 (1)When arriving at College for week 3 I only had about 45 minutes before a class was due to start in the classroom so I only had time for the dreaded half leg wax. Helen helped me out and gave me a lot of advice on how to carry out my waxing treatment. She told me how to set up properly, how to position my client to make the treatment easier for me and less painful for my model and many other useful facts. One of the other things I was pleased to hear is that for the competition you are not allowed to used the same spatula instead you must throw it in the bin after every dip in the wax pot. After trialing this technique I realised this stopped me from getting so sticky. Also Helen gave me another useful tip to avoid me getting so sticky which was to pump a bit of after wax into my gloves slyly ;) Now it’s just a case of waiting for a place but in the mean time I will be returning to college for more extra practice in the following weeks.

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