PERFECTLY styled hair and flawless make-up were on show at an annual competition run by a Basingstoke college.

Students from Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) showed off their creative talents at the Hair and Beauty competition at The Anvil, in Basingstoke, on Monday – and, as ever, there was some impressive work on display.

Those taking part could enter into 12 categories, including red carpet hair, prom hair, fantasy make-up, face and body art, nail art and a Night at the Oscars make-up.

Entrants in the body art category were particularly eye-catching. Student Brooke Gore transformed her model Lewis Slane into a lion, complete with mane and bloody scratch marks on his arm.

Learners entering the nail art category, with a theme of The Movies, came up with imaginative ways of presenting their work, with one student creating nails styled as 3D zoo animals from Madagascar.

There was also some less outrageous, but very stylish, looks on show, including those entering the red carpet hair category in which classic styles were created.

Lucy Peters, a Level 2 media make-up student, said: “Although it’s really nerve-racking, the competition has given me confidence in my ability, and taught me to stay calm under pressure. It’s a great learning curve.”

Kristina Wrigley, who is on a Level 1 hair and beauty therapy course, added: “This has given me lots of experience in practising styles I have never done before.

“I suppose you could say I’ve learned to believe in myself a bit more, which makes me feel more confident in my work.”

A team of industry professionals judged the students’ work, before winners were announced during an award ceremony later in the evening.

Those in the packed theatre watched demonstrations on stage by Jude Ifould, head of beauty at BCoT, and former BCoT tutor Mike Taylor, from the British Barbering Association, before prizes were given out to students.

Graham Kent, owner of FHC for Hair, in Houndmills, Basingstoke, helped to judge the competition. He said: “It really does take a lot of nerve to stand up and be judged, not only by professionals, but also to compete amongst peers.”

Fellow judge Guy Kremer, a celebrity hairdresser, added: “It is great to see such young raw talent on display – the standards are very high and the finishing excellent.

“Students have not shied away from challenges and have gone for advanced techniques. Some of the make-up designs I would definitely use on a professional shoot. I am so impressed.”

Amy Godden, from L’Oreal, who helped judge the work, described it as “amazing”. She added: “So much creativity and imagination has gone into creating these looks. I can’t believe that many of these students have only been doing this for a short time.”

The aim of the competition is to give students the chance to extend their skills and learn under pressure while showcasing their creativity.

Jane Hemsted, assistant principal of service industries and enterprise at BCoT, said: “This year, more than ever, learners have embraced the opportunity to think outside the box and allow their creative talents to shine through.

“Employability skills for our students are also a fundamental part of why we run this competition. Today’s students really are going to be our industry’s future – you can tell that by the level of talent demonstrated here today.”

Proceeds from this year’s competition were donated to St Michael’s Hospice, in Basingstoke.