Award winner Lan Nguyen (left)
Award winner Lan Nguyen (left)

The winners of the United Kingdom’s inaugural National Make-Up Awards were announced Feb. 28 at the Professional Beauty Show at ExCel London. The awards recognize make-up artists working in all facets of the local make-up industry, including beauty, film, TV, editorial, advertising, studio, retail and salon.

The Overall Winner was Lan Nguyen (profiled in Make-Up Artist magazine Issue 88). Nguyen has worked on London Fashion Week and with clients including L’Oréal, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Grazia, Elle and more. Nguyen also took home the award for Best Make-Up for a Studio Shoot. Her awards were based on her portfolio and photographic work, experience and contribution to the industry. Although she said she felt qualified to enter, the results surprised her.

“I was totally shocked, as I knew Ruby Hammer was one of the strongest contenders and well known in the industry,” Nguyen said, ” … but in my heart I was so glad just to be awarded this, especially it was across the board from all different judges in film, fashion, beauty, editorial …  that, to me, that was the most important thing.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Paul Engelen, a 30-year veteran whose film credits include Gladiator, Cold Mountain, Quantum of Solace, The Man with the Golden Gun and several others. Engelen has been nominated for two Oscars, four BAFTAS and four Saturn Awards. (The other nominees for this award were Morag Ross, Tommie Manderson, Wally Schneiderman and Pat Hay.)

To qualify for the awards, professional artists were required to submit their portfolios to the judging panel in advance. During the show, artists in the Retail On Counter category were required to create a glamorous make-up look in an hour; entrants in the Salon Make-Up category had an hour to create a bridal make-up look and students got three hours to create a Rocky Horror Picture Show full body make-up and an hour and a half to create a 1950/’60s-style icon head and shoulders make-up.

A panel of U.K.-based make-up industry experts (including Jackie Tyson, Daniel Sandler and Carol Churchill) judged the awards. The Overall Winner prize was a spa trip to Spa Break in Cyprus and a professional make-up kit from Beauty Base London. The winners of each category received two VIP theater tickets for an exclusive Bill Kenwright production and a £50 voucher to buy Safe Beauty make-up tools and products.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Overall Winner: Lan Nguyen
Lifetime Achievement: Paul Engelen

Professional Make-Up Artist Category
Best Make-Up for Editorial: Ruby Hammer; runner-up, Kym Menzies
Best Make-Up for Advertising: Emma Norris; runner-up, Rakhee Shah
Best Make-Up for On Screen: Emily-Jane Williams; runner-up, Silvia Pinzaglia
Best Make-Up for a Studio Shoot: Lan Nguyen; runner-up, Zukreat Nazir

Retail On Counter Category: Shabana Dhadda (Benefit); runner-up, Eoin Whelan (Giorgio Armani)

Salon Category: Sherry Hassan (Gloss Hair & Make Up); runner-up, Lauren Thatcher (the Belmore Centre)

Student Category: Becky Marks (Swindon College); runner-up, Suzanna Forrister (Thanet College)

Entry details were posted at

At press time, event organizers were unavailable for comment.

Lan Nguyen will be a keynote speaker at IMATS New York in April. For details, go to