For several years I have been privileged to be one of the international panel of judges that decide the International Make-up Artist Award. This prestigious competition is held annually at the Beauty International show, in Messe Dusseldorf, Germany.

The show is an enormous event over many halls and is truly worth a visit if you have never been. As someone who has been an exhibitor and visitor at every event held in the UK I have to admit that the Germans surpass us by miles. The show is so spectacularly presented it makes you feel proud and motivated to be a part of the beauty profession.

This years event did not disappoint – in fact as it was the 25th Anniversary Show we were treated to a weekend to remember. Our hosts were perfect in every way, looking after us at every step of the way. The Gala Anniversary Dinner was fabulous, with a great band (shame I slipped on the dancefloor and wounded my pride)!

Saturday was competition day and I was very, very impressed with the standard of work from the 15 International competitors.

The theme this year – ‘Red Carpet’ – perfect for this glamorous event.

For this competition all of the models are provided by the organisers and each model has her hair done by a team of professional hairdressers and is dressed is appropriate clothes by a sponsor of the event. This year all models were brunettes and wore a fabulous array of evening dresses.

The great thing about this approach is that it levels the playing field between the competitors – the models are drawn at random for each entrant and they are introduced in the morning, and then have practice time before the 30 minute competition in the afternoon.

The British entrant – Tamara Ramsey-Crockett – is a graduate of West Thames College, Hounslow. She did a stunning make-up (one of my favourites), which although faultless was not placed. The winner was the Polish entrant, with Russia coming second and Germany in third place. The standard was exceptionally high with only a point or two between very best entrants.

To the lucky winner 1000 Euros – not bad for a 30 minute make-up.

Me, well I am just looking forward to next years competition already and hoping that the Germans celebrate 26 years in the same way as they did their 25th anniversary this year…

If you would like more information on Tamaras work or the courses at West Thames College, follow the links www.trcmakeup.com and julia.townend@west-thames.ac.uk.