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Andalusia resident wins at nationals

Jennifer Brownlee of Andalusia won the silver in esthetics nationally. Kristin Wood, right, served as the model for the competition. | Courtesy photo

Andalusia’s own Jennifer Brownlee took home a silver medal at the SkillsUSA conference recently.

Brownlee, a 30-year-old mother, won the second highest honor in the country in the esthetics competition.

The SkillsUSA Championship is the national-level competition for public high school and college technical students enrolled in career and technical education programs.

Brownlee won the state gold medal in the esthetics competition.

Brownlee said she was “surprised” that she won the competition.

“There was a lot of good competition,” she said. “I believe it comes down to have a great instructor.”

Denise Sauls, cosmetology instructor at LBWCC, works with the students to prepare them for the competition, Brownlee said.

“We spend time in the classroom and outside the classroom preparing,” she said.

As part of the competition, Brownlee was required to take a written exam, an oral exam, which included a skin consolation on a judge, which included a facial, and she prepared a daytime makeup look and a fantasy look.

“I spent time online researching and getting ideas for the fantasy look,” she said. “Between our instructor, who is a wonderful instructor, and Raychel Bland, who was the 2009 esthetics gold medalist, it was truly a group effort.”

Opp’s Kristin Wood served as her model.

Brownlee, who will compete her degree requirements in August, said she chose the field because she could work and still have flexible hours and make money.

“I love it all,” she said. “I think it’s an industry that continues to grow. You can always learn more. That’s my favorite part that they are always looking for new things in this industry.”

Brownlee is currently completing her internship at Bella Vida Medical Spa in Enterprise and is employed as a nail technician at Merle Normal Cosmetics in Opp.

Brownlee wasn’t the only LBWCC student to participate in the SkillsUSA Randy McGough of Honoraville and Bryan Strickland of Glenwood also participated.

“This experience was an awesome one for each of us, especially the students,” Sauls said. “Each of the students did a tremendous job and represented LBWCC well at this competition. We are very proud of them.”