Future's bright for Stephanie as LED lights bring victory at national competition

March 2017

Stephanie Harris

UCB’s talented make-up artist student Stephanie Harrison, has once again been victorious at a national competition, thanks to an inspired body art design which incorporated LED lights, UV paint and funky foam.

The 25-year-old from Tamworth in Staffordshire, won first place at the Warpaint Make-up Championships held at Professional Beauty London, the UK’s largest beauty show.

Entrants flaunted their creativity by bringing to life the theme ‘Love Is All Around’. Stephanie’s entry was entitled ‘Love is Electric and a Whole Load of Butterflies’ and was inspired by her relationship with a new partner and the vibrant colours used by modern impressionistic artist Leonid Afremov. She said: “I have one of his paintings on my bedroom wall which I think depicts love quite perfectly.”

Stephanie’s dad Wayne, a computer technician, used his technical expertise to wire up the LED lights, which illuminated the UV paint. But winning was not on Stephanie’s mind when she competed the stunning creation.  She said: “When I finished, I actually didn’t like what I’d produced and was certainly not expecting to win. When I heard my name read out in first place, I felt overwhelming joy.”

Stephanie, who is in her first year of a Specialist Hair and Media Make-up BA (Hons) degree at UCB, recently picked up two awards at the National Make Up Awards 2016, held as part of Beauty UK at Birmingham’s NEC. She was also handpicked to star in the Channel 4 programme Extreme Makeovers: On Fleek.

Asked if she still gets nervous, Stephanie said: “Totally! The nerves get a bit crazy at times. Of course you go into a competition to be successful, but I’m also there to have fun.”

She believes competing is a good way of building experience and pushing creative boundaries. She added: “Competitions give you the opportunity to stretch your imagination because the themes can be so broad. I’m trying things this year I would never have thought of last year.”

On completion of her degree, Stephanie hopes to undertake a Masters in Fine Art at Oxford University, and has already secured an interview later this year.

She will be showcasing her work as part of the Cabinet of Secrets exhibition at Centrala Art Gallery in Digbeth on March 22 from 4pm to 9pm. The exhibition is open to everyone. 

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