Episode 1: Hidden Strength
In the very first episode of season 4 Glow Up, we see the brand new contestants ready to take the competition by storm. Here we meet the likes of Lisa who bravely gave up her job teaching to pursue a career in makeup and 20-year-old Boltoner Ryan, who has used makeup to help him get out of a tough metal space.
The contestants were challenged with their first professional assignment to complete a natural look for a social media campaign. The contestants were asked to create a natural yet glowing look for sport and fitness brand, Gymshark. Their brief was to create a look that stood out to their social following and engaged their shoppers.
Whilst lots of the contestants started off strong, many went overboard with their colours and were too heavy with foundation. Ultimately, Lisa’s look showed natural skin and a subtle graphic liner that earnt her the win in this episode.
In the creative challenge, the contestants were tasked with showcasing their hidden strengths by creating a look on themselves and this is where things got exciting! This challenge brought out some personal struggles as well as some amazing triumphs: Charlie drawing on their experiences with body dysmorphia and Adam showcasing his bravery after losing his father.
Yong-Chin came out on top in this round leaving the judges speechless and even getting a ‘ding-dong’ from Val, as well as Sophie mesmerising us all with their stem-cell-inspired look.
Unfortunately, it was not all happy in the studio. MUAs Charlie and Mikaél found themselves in the bottom two after their looks failed to impress the judges. Charlie and Mikaél were asked to produce a reverse cat eye in order to fight for their place in the competition. Sadly, we said goodbye to Charlie as they failed to finish the eyeliner, instead opting to display a message of queer love and support on the model.
Episode 2: Body Paint
Episode 2 returned to our screens with another exciting professional challenge: Cirque Du Soleil makeup. The GlowUp contestants were paired up with a talented Cirque Du Soleil performer with a brief to recreate their stage looks perfectly. With bold blue eyeshadows and strong brows, the contestants were tasked with matching the shape, intensity and foil applique placements of the makeup look.
Whilst Mikaél was in his element in this challenge and came out on top, Yong-Chin, Ryan and Kris’ performers did not make it to the stage, leaving them vulnerable to the red chairs. Ultimately, Kris and Ryan paid the price and had 15 minutes less time to complete their looks for the final challenge.
In the creative challenge, contestants were asked to create a weird and wonderful look that incorporated body paint. Here at Coloured Contacts, we love body paint makeup with our affiliates regularly using body paint to create their looks, this challenge was right up our street! Time was of the essence in this challenge and the Glow Up MUAs were feeling the pressure. Sophie’s time-consuming prosthetics meant that their look was threatening to be incomplete.
With Kris and Ryan beating the red chairs with their big and beautiful body paint looks, it meant that Adam and Rachel faced the bottom two as their looks weren’t finished. For their first face-off in the bottom two, the contestants were asked to replicate a mermaid's lip with a glittering metallic finish. Unfortunately, Adam’s lip lacked precision and glimmer meaning he was the second to leave the competition
Episode 3: Prosthetics
Glow Up Episode 3 kicked off with a dramatic introduction to their next professional challenge: prosthetic makeup. The MUAs got to work with the prosthetic designer of the hit TV show Doctor Who to create alien characters ready for the screen. After receiving a special effects masterclass from guest judge Danny Marie Elias, the contestants were challenged to apply 2 face prosthetics and then bring their character to life with colour.
With some of the MUAs never handling prosthetic pieces before, this challenge was tough. However, Ryan and Lisa stormed ahead getting plenty of vibrant colours on their models. Sadly, Mikaél over-embellished and forgot the crucial pax paint to cover his vinyl cap meaning his look would not last on the set. Mikaél along with Yong-Chin found themselves in the red face-off chairs in this episode.
For the final creative brief, the contestants had to create a monstrous, mutated character using prosthetics. We loved Rachel’s take on human spaghettification and how she incorporated the prosthetics to make it look like the skin was melting off. Super scary!
Nancé used her makeup look to highlight the dangers of skin bleaching by using a prosthetic piece to cover the face. Her concept allowed her to talk about the pressures faced by black people to become light-skinned in order to fit in with society.
Whilst most of the Glow Up contestants had placed their prosthetics on and used lots of colour and makeup to cover them, Mikaél and Yong-Chin struggled to bring both features together. Mikaél opted for some pointed elf ears he then proceeded to cover them up leaving the judge disappointed in his overall look. Whilst Yong-Chin went bold with big horns, the judges felt that she had failed to tell a story and that the makeup was overshadowed by the way she had placed her prosthetic. In the end, both contestants failed to get themselves out of the red chairs and went head to head over a floating pearl eyeliner face-off challenge. It all came down to symmetry and precision in this challenge and with Mikaél’s line not matching up to the other eye, it was time to bid him farewell from the Glow Up competition.
Glow Up continues every Wednesday at 8pm on BBC Three and iPlayer. Keep your eyes peeled for more episode recaps of this hit TV show!