A Woodbridge-based beautician has been named among the best in England after winning an award for her lash work.

Yasmeen Sarwar Gonzalez won Lash Extensions Specialist of the Year at the English Hair and Beauty Awards.

It was Mrs Sarwar's first entry into the competition that was held at Delta Hotels by Marriott in Nottingham.

Mrs Sarwar said: "I didn't expect to win, I was pleased to be a finalist and already felt a winner just by that as thousands of people apply every year.

"I recorded up to them announcing my category then I stopped recording as I wanted to clap for the winner as there were 10 businesses in the final, and to my amazement, my business was called out as the winner."

The 36-year-old has been a beautician for 20 years, and has three beauty degrees including a PGCE in teaching beauty to other people, a trade she will be starting in May.

Mrs Sarwar said: "I felt I had everything it took to grow my own empire with all my wealth of knowledge and education, only thing stopping me was funding.

"I took a plunge and decided to leave my spa manager job and go self employed working from home, and it was the best decision ever.

"I am a specialist at eyelash extensions, naturally creative, and can pretty much create any look clients want, also learning more skills in the field.

"I work very hard on my social media, posting regular updates a lot of times a day. I am very flexible, I live for work and open seven days a week with long hours."

Some 500 people from the field of beauty and hair attended the black tie event, with a three-course meal and entertainment provided.

She added: "It was amazing to be part of such amazing event, an honour, they are amazing to organise such a thing for us and recognise people who work so hard every day.

"I believe the sky is the limit. I come from a poor background, and I have worked hard to raise funds myself and grow my brand.

"I will be global one day."