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City College Make-up students Autumn Hughes and Jess Maskell with models at WorldSkills UK regional heat

Student make-up artists place 1st and 2nd in WorldSkills UK heat

19th July 2017

Two student make-up artists from City College Norwich – Autumn Hughes and Jess Maskell – put in an outstanding performance in the WorldSkills UK midlands regional heat at Walsall College by coming 1st and 2nd respectively.

Their success means that one or both students could now qualify for the WorldSkills UK national finals, which will be held at the NEC Birmingham in November.  The national finalists will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and the chance to represent Team UK at international level.

The regional heat had an environmental theme, with competitors having to design and put together a unique look that showcased not just their makeup skills, but also their costume design and hair styling abilities.  Whilst the clothing and accessories could be prepared in advance, the whole look had to be put together by the students in just one and a half hours. 

Heat winner Autumn Hughes, 18, from Great Yarmouth, took her inspiration from campaigns to protect bees.  Her make-up featured a golden honeycomb design on her model’s cheeks, distinctive yellow and black stripes in the hair, and a combination of mesh and sheer fabrics in the costume which helped create the look of a bee’s delicate wings.  Autumn said:

“We only had an hour and a half to put together the look, which isn’t long, so you had to come up with ideas that could be done quickly and which have most impact.  It didn’t all go to plan during the competition, so I was extremely overwhelmed when I found out I had won the heat.”

Autumn has just completed the 2nd year of the Advanced Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects and Media Make-up Artistry at City College Norwich.  She would like to work as a make-up artist in film or television, and gained valuable work experience at Mustard TV during the course. 

Autumn says the support of her course tutor, Tracey Gaines, over the last 2 years played a big part in her WorldSkills UK competition success:
“I couldn’t have done it without my tutor and all the support she has given us throughout the year.  I’ve found the course very interesting as I have a huge passion and love for make-up.  I’ve really enjoyed learning.”

Tracey Gaines, Course Leader for the Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects and Media Make-Up Artistry, said:

“With just 90 minutes to put together their looks, Autumn and Jess had to get everything spot on in such a short timescale.  They were both well practiced and prepared beforehand, and on the day itself were completely focused and really well organised.  All of their hard work really paid off.  To come away with 1st and 2nd place is a massive achievement and we are extremely proud of them both.”

Over 100 student makeup artists from around the country have been involved in 12 WorldSkills UK regional heats, which are being held in conjunction with awarding organisation VTCT.  The 8 students with the highest scores from the heats will go through to the national final.

To find out more about WorldSkills UK competitions, visit