West Cheshire College launches WAG course


Sophie Corless

When a local college added ‘How To Get the WAG Look’ as a course, Leader reporter Sophie Corless couldn’t resist the chance to look like Coleen Rooney...

I have never believed I had the face, body, grace or style to carry off the WAG look, nor have I been tempted to try.

The likes of Victoria Beckham, Coleen Rooney and Alex Gerrard manage it with aplomb, but I have never once cast jealous eyes in their direction or been tempted to emulate their glamorous style.

However, as a self-confessed hair and beauty junkie and someone who has always yearned to possess maybe just a dash more grace and fashion sense, my curiosity was piqued by a local college promising ‘How To Get The WAG Look’.

This October half-term, West Cheshire College is running a two-day course at its Ellesmere Port campus to teach girls how to achieve the ‘sought-after’ look favoured by many footballers’ wives and reality TV stars.

The syllabus involves learning how to achieve the ‘perfectly groomed’ look of big, bouncy, curly hair, flawless make-up and, of course, the art of how to correctly apply your false lashes.

My only real reference point for the ‘WAG look’ is the girls often pictured in the pages of Hello falling out of nightclubs on the arm of a footballer, sporting radioactive tans, cascading Disney princess hair and truly terrifying ‘Scouse’ brows.

Is this really the look young girls of today want to emulate? And what would happen if I, who is about as glamorous as a week-old pasty, underwent a WAG ‘fakeover’?
West Cheshire College recently underwent something of a makeover itself, with a £65million investment seeing two new state-of-the art colleges built at Ellesmere Port and Chester.

The Creative and Service Industries Campus at Ellesmere Port has benefited from a brand new beauty suite and hair salon, the latter of which is part of the renowned, award-winning Francesco Group.

Together they function as a training facility for students, as well as a fully operational salon.

I was met at the salon by Karen Bennison, programme leader for hair and salon manager, who has worked at the college for two years following the departure from her previous role as artistic director at Regis hairdressers’ in Chester.

“When we were looking for ideas for commercial courses the teaching staff all agreed that all the girls come in wanting to look like WAGs and have big hair, false eyelashes and full-on make-up,” Karen said.

“They read glossy magazines, watch The Only Way is Essex and Desperate Scousewives and want to achieve that same hyper-feminine look. So my colleagues and I agreed we should run a course to help them recreate it at home.

“This course is about teaching the girls how they can achieve that same glamorous look elegantly. Many of the real-life WAGs are actually very sophisticated and that’s the message we are trying to communicate here – that there’s nothing wrong with being glamorous, but that it can be done with class and style.

“We will show them how to apply false tan, fake eyelashes, clip-on hair extensions and make-up and the techniques involved in achieving that celebrity look.

“But it’s not about churning out clones or encouraging the girls to become a parody of themselves. We want them to feel confident, elegant and self-assured.”

And with that, Karen swivels me round, deftly wraps my hair around a score of heated rollers and begins the improbable process of transforming me from Bagpuss into glamour puss.

As my rollers cooled, I was introduced to Catherine Bobby, a freelance make-up artist who teaches at the college and who has worked with a number of real-life WAGs based in and around the region.

“All the girls think they have to put as much make-up on as possible to achieve this look,” said Catherine, who works as The Sun newspaper’s make-up artist in the North West.

“But, actually, many of the WAGs I have made-up much prefer the pared-down look, as do their husbands and boyfriends.

“I often see clients who make the mistake of trying to copy a singular style, for example heavy ‘Scouse’ brows, but you have to look at the shape of your own face and your own eyes and work your make-up to suit it.”

Just over half-an-hour later, Catherine had finished making me over and Karen, ably assisted by college learning advisor Joanne McKay, had teased, coifed and styled my unruly mane to perfection.

Catherine handed me the mirror and I literally gasped with disbelief. The reflection staring back at me was, well, it was surprisingly lovely – I had been transformed from a dishevelled Lois Lane in to a glamorous lady who lunches.

I left the salon with an extra spring in my step and actually received my first wolf-whistle in years on the way home. I realise that’s not every woman’s greatest wish but, for me, it felt wonderful.

That evening I went on a date and my suitor even told me that the WAG look suited me, even if he wasn’t so keen on the bold eye make-up.

The next morning I was up early and had my heated rollers in by 10am, ready to face the day as my glamorous new self.

I can safely say I have embraced my inner WAG, and I’m looking forward to a fabulous new future.

The ‘How To Get The WAG Look’ course will take place at will take place on October 23-24 at West Cheshire College’s Ellesmere Port Campus and costs £50.40. The course is open to anyone aged 16 and over.

Visit www.west-cheshire.ac.uk or call 01244 656 555.

Clothes courtesy of New Look, Mold.

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