Pin It
BBC3 Glow Up
courtesy of BBC3

Meet the new crop of exciting MUAs from season 2 of BBC3’s Glow Up


TextAlex Peters

Val Garland, Dominic Skinner and Stacey Dooley reprise their roles on the make-up centred talent contest

“Make-up to me means more than just putting a bit of powder on someone’s face and making someone look beautiful,” says Bernie, one of the contestants in the opening episode of BBC3’s make-up-centred talent contest, Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make Up Star. “Make-up for me is like painting on a canvas.”

This sentiment encapsulates a spirit that underpins not only the premise of the show, now on it’s second season and once again judged by the legendary make-up artist Val Garland and Senior MAC Make-Up Artist Dominic Skinner, but the whole beauty landscape in 2020. With the advent of social media and boom in popularity of platforms like YouTube and Instagram, there’s been a democratisation of beauty and a rise in DIY make-up artists whose focus on artistry, creativity, and self-expression represents a shift in the way we think about make-up and its transformational power.

“In the past 10 years, make-up has really become an art form for everyone thanks to Instagram and YouTube,” Skinner told Dazed Beauty when the show first aired. “However, I feel it’s only now that this type of make-up show could be done as really it’s this younger generation who have grown up seeing make-up as an art form who aren’t constrained by society’s view of what make-up is.”

Now is the time to experiment, throw out the rule book, and create the wild beauty looks of our dreams. And this is exactly what the 10 contestants are aiming to do as they battle it out to impress the judges and win a contract to assist some of the world’s leading make-up artists. Every episode, the contestants face two creative challenges, each an opportunity to wow the judges with their skill and imagination, before the bottom two MUAs take part in a technical elimination face-off at the end. It’s fun, it’s frothy, it's competitive, and it’s very, very addictive. Ahead of tomorrow’s first episode, we spoke to some of the contestants to find out more.

OPHELIA

How was your experience on the show?

Ophelia: When I first watched Glow Up season one I was constantly asking myself: ‘Can I do these tasks and challenges? Will I do well if I was on the show?’ 

It intrigued me. Honestly, it was harder than how I imagined it. It was very intense and challenging. However, it felt very different from how I would work on a daily basis, there was no space for error with the time limit! I loved it, the experience pushed me and it showed me how much I can achieve and create under pressure.

How do you describe your beauty style?

Ophelia: Melancholic. Diabolical. Ethereal. Certain times I can be quite opulent with the more glamorous, wearable looks, but with some bad attitude thrown into it.

Who is your beauty icon or favourite look of all time?

Ophelia: This is very hard to choose because all my favourite beauty icons have their own features and styles that I love. However if I have to choose one, it will have to be Michele Lamy. It is not too relevant to make-up but it is her style, the way she dresses, dyes her nails and fingers, with grillz, chunky jewelleries and finishing it off with a smudgy smokey eye. Let’s not even mention her age, it is inspiring to me that age and wrinkles should not be the reason to why you can’t look the way you want to. Plus she is a VERY successful business woman with mad creativity. She’s the whole package of beauty, success, and charm!

“The future of beauty should simply be freedom” – Ophelia

It’s the year 2100. You’re the owner of the largest beauty tech company in the world, what five products or treatments will you dedicate your resources trying to invent?

Ophelia: 1) Skin texture transformer: a product that can give your skin a complete transformation. Do you want to have snake skin today? Or would you like a shiny smooth half transparent membrane like skin? 

2) Temporary skin dye in many different colours (safe for any areas)

3) The Best in the world make-up remover. Make-up off in one swipe. I mean, so far we still haven’t seen that yet.

4) Digital make-up printer: Flawless, detailed, precise, symmetrical full make-up look done in 15 minutes.

5) Multi-purpose texture paint: Concrete eyeshadow? Glass lips? Titanium highlight? Make-up that gives you the most interesting texture. 

What is the future of beauty?

Ophelia: The future of beauty should simply be freedom. It should be fluid and free. It should be a blank wall and you can do anything to it. I still think there are a lot of old school boundaries and views on how beauty should be like nowadays. I am from Hong Kong and I know how hard it is to not be judged and looked at funny everyday just by wanting to look the way I wanted to.

HANNAH 

What was it like working with Val and Dominic?

Hannah: Working with Val and Dom was extremely valuable, if a little intimidating at first! They have an incredible breadth of knowledge between them and as someone who, at the time, had never even done make-up on anyone other than myself, I literally took every opportunity to absorb everything I could from them. They are patient, constructive, and fun, and clearly just wanted to help guide us to grow and be better artists.

How do you describe your beauty style?

Hannah: My style tends to be quite harsh, I love creating an emotion in the viewer. I love creating ‘ugly beauty’, maybe just because of my own experiences of traditional beauty standards, and just not connecting with them. What I think is visually stimulating and emotive, is something that evokes thought in a viewer, and that might be why I like to create looks that are contrasting and maybe considered ‘weird’. Weird is good.

Who is your beauty icon or favourite look of all time?

Hannah: I am very inspired by Fecal Matter, made up of Steven Raj Bhaskaran and Hannah Rose Dalton. The ‘ugly’ fashion and beauty works they create are so fresh and challenging, and I have always been drawn to that kind of extra-terrestrial glamour. 

I also love the beauty looks created by members of the horror drag community, such as Vander Von Odd, Hollow Eve, or Salvjiia. I think being able to totally transform the face and create a whole other being is an incredible talent, so I look to them for inspiration.

“I love creating ‘ugly beauty’” – Hannah

As a warning to the other members of the resistance your head is to be mounted above the gates of the city. How would you do your makeup that morning?

Hannah: Probably some sort of prosthetic that covers my whole face so I can hide from whatever riot is about to kick off. But if there’s no riot, I might create some sort of weird bone crown that looks as if it is growing out of my skull. Then maybe just a nude lip, don’t want it to be ‘too much’, right? Haha.

What is the future of beauty?

Hannah: People will experiment with their identity more. We have multiple personas already, the personas we have on different social media channels and then the real us, so I think it’s only a natural progression to think that playing our identity using make-up will be next. Drag is obviously a huge cultural influence, and it’s a wonderful thought that in the future, gender and identity will be way more fluid than it is now. The freedom in appearance that make-up provides will actually influence people’s identity in the future.

KEZIAH 

How was your experience on the show?

Keziah: Without a doubt it was both the most exciting and challenging thing I’ve ever done. I had some incredible experiences and met some amazing people, but it definitely pushed me more than I’d expected at times.

How do you describe your beauty style?

Keziah: A bit chaotic. I always struggle to find a word to describe my style because it’s constantly changing. One day I might be inspired by a colourful tropical bird and the next maybe a pile of old junk but I’ve learnt to trust my creative instinct so I don’t question it. I try to see the beauty in everything.

“Without a doubt it was both the most exciting and challenging thing I’ve ever done” – Keziah

Who is your beauty icon or favourite look of all time?

Keziah: It’s gotta be David Bowie! I love every one of his looks and how he pushed the boundaries of what was considered ‘beautiful’. 

It’s the year 2100. You’re the owner of the largest beauty tech company in the world, what five products or treatments will you dedicate your resources trying to invent?

Keziah: I had an idea a while ago for a kind of digital make-up – like a design projected onto the face using some kind of face tracking tech. Maybe it could be animated to achieve stuff typical make-up can’t. I know it’s been done before  – I saw Lady Gaga use it in a Bowie tribute once – but if I had the resources I’d try to develop it; it could be used for some awesome performances! Other than that I’m not sure, but I’d totally have a crazy Willy Wonka-style factory where I come up with all my inventions! 

ASHLEY

How was your experience on the show?

Ashley: My experience was incredible! To even be picked was a big shock for me, I learned so much and made some friends for life. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone!

What was it like working with Val and Dominic?

Ashley: Val and Dominic were amazing. They’re experience speaks for itself, so getting criticised by them (good and bad) was an honour in itself. 

Who is your beauty icon or favourite look of all time? 

Ashley: My beauty icon is Danessa Myricks, her style is beautiful and her products are outstanding. 

As a warning to the other members of the resistance your head is to be mounted above the gates of the city. How would you do your makeup that morning? 

Ashley: I’d give myself the biggest green smokey eye, giant lashes, black lip, I’d have my skin beaming so everyone would have to look up and take note before they walked by!

It’s the year 2100. You’re the owner of the largest beauty tech company in the world, what five products or treatments will you dedicate your resources trying to invent?

Ashley: First of all, I’d have some sort of exfoliating facial and moisturising treatment to give everyone the best base. I’d have to  have a base or primer that protects the skin. A palette with blank cream with some sort of colouring system to make your own eye bases/lipsticks and blush.  A mirror or tablet that you could input your design into before applying to see how it would look. And it sounds very generic but a good set of easy to clean super soft brushes that wouldn't break on you!

JAKE

How was your experience on the show?

Jake: Very rewarding, I had a lot of time to reflect on myself and how I conduct myself and it was great to get an insight into myself like that! Being around like-minded people was absolutely inspirational. We did sleep in bunk beds though, so as nice as it was being around these people being shacked up with them bunk to bunk was kinda crazy!  The show provided me with what felt like endless opportunities doing things I could have only ever dreamed of without it!

What was it like working with Val and Dominic?

Jake: Them telling me I was unprofessional, I mean... it was insightful, in the sense that you genuinely get to see how they work and how their brains work and it’s always interesting to see how people who have made it in the industry, give back priceless knowledge that money couldn’t buy.

Who is your beauty icon or favourite look of all time?

Jake:  I just look to the things I grew up with to help me find my footing in beauty, I’m obviously heavily inspired by Bratz dolls but at the same time have a huge love for stand out beauties through time, for example Cher, Dolly Parton, and Pamela Anderson. I find myself super excited and inspired by people like Itslademi, cakefaceben, Jeffree Star. The list could go on, but my favourite look of all time has gotta be the 00s-style heavy cheek, dark eye, and dark dark lipliner, because that’s how I feel most beautiful when my face is painted like that. 

“I’m not changing my glam just because my heads on the block” – Jake

What is the future of beauty?

Jake: Honestly I don’t know, beauty is shifting so quickly, and has so many different standards to each person! If you think of something 9/10 it’s already a beauty product, if you think of a neon green highlighter, it’s a thing already! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you can do whatever you want to your face or the person you are working on with consent, beauty can be anything and does change moment by moment, so in answer to your question, who knows where it is going from day to day, you can be sure it is an ever lasting industry, people will never stop wanting to be beautiful. 

As a warning to the other members of the resistance your head is to be mounted above the gates of the city. How would you do your makeup that morning? 

Jake: Are you trying to decapitate me, and if you think I wouldn’t do a brown smokey eye and nude lip, you would be very wrong, every day is brown smokey eye and nude lip day, also if you’re cutting my head off, knock a couple of centimetres off my nose! I’m not changing my glam just because my heads on the block. PSA: don’t change for anyone or any scenario, it’s literally not worth it! 

It’s the year 2100. You’re the owner of the largest beauty tech company in the world, what five products or treatments will you dedicate your resources trying to invent?

Jake: I'm going to be doing that well before then and if you think I’m going to be giving you gold dust ideas you’re absolutely wrong hunnay! Peace and pout, Jake!

New episodes of BBC Three’s Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make Up Star are available to stream weekly on BBC iPlayer from Thursday 14 May

Read Next
Jawzrsize2
Reviewing all the sponcon beauty products you definitely shouldn’t try Beauty Feature
Abby Roberts artistry tiktok makeup
TikTok superstar Abby Roberts on artistry, identity, and her huge following Beauty Feature
Harris Reed, Thriving In Our Outrage
Harris Reed on the angelic, sordid beauty of their final collection Beauty Feature
Isamaya Ffrench
Isamaya Ffrench announced as the new Burberry beauty director Beauty news
Miley Cyrus
Watch Miley Cyrus predict the return of the mullet back in 2008 Beauty news
Fred Harding large hands viral tiktok
TikTok teen goes viral for his extremely large hands Beauty news
kaia gerber tattoo quarantine stick and poke
An expert on DIY stick and poke tattoos – the dangerous lockdown trend Beauty Feature
Till Janz Magic Youth
Dazed Beauty Club is officially open for business Beauty news
spirited away Studio Ghibli nails makeup
This new trend takes inspiration from all your fave Studio Ghibli films Beauty news
Raisa Flowers
Watch Raisa Flowers do a cute beachy make-up look perfect for summer Beauty news
Pretty Woman
How to use bathing to combat your quarantine stress and insomnia Beauty Feature
Noto Botanics
Noto Botanics is the political, sustainable brand you’ve been looking for Beauty Feature
Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid: ‘People are so fast to do permanent things to their face’ Beauty news
Manny MUA Gutierrez lunar beauty prism blush launch
Manny MUA: ‘The beauty world tends to be an ugly place’ Beauty Feature
Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus’s mum has given her a choppy pixie mullet in isolation Beauty news
loveleo Leo Reilly musician Los Angeles
Step into the off-kilter world of musician and TikTok heartthrob LoveLeo Beauty Feature