Glow Up, Series 3, Episode 5: A Piñata In Mourning

Ryley’s dedication to getting those branches to stay upright is admirable.

The fifth week of the competition and we’re taking the giant leap from ASOS to aliens – Neil Armstrong COULD NEVER.


In yet another big challenge the MUAs have to create a look to be featured in one of ASOS’s new social media campaigns and more to the point it was for the first look in the ad so had to be responsible for hooking people in but also somehow still catering it to ASOS’s relatable aesthetic. And they will be doing this at God knows when in the morning judging by the time they set off from wherever they’re staying

the thought of 6 makeup artists all trying to get TV ready at the same time in the early hours of the morning fills me with nothing but dread. I can barely cope with fighting over a mirror in the gym.

As it’s very much a beauty campaign, Ryley was once again under the spotlight for her colour matching, which she seemed to think was slightly too orange as she was applying it but as far as it read on the television, it looked pretty spot on

or at least not different enough to be a real red flag.
It was the sheen that gave her the most issues as she began liberally applying setting powder to her model only to later realise that someone had snuck a pot of glowy setting powder into her makeup case and this resulted in a rather reflective model

and as well as the makeup is applied, the look just needs a bit more of everything, she’s somehow managed to erase all of her model’s incredible bone structure. Which is kind of a feat in and of itself.

Other than Ryley the only other contestant who hasn’t worked behind a makeup counter at one point or another is Sophie and she was feeling a little adrift for the most part, eventually deciding that for her look she was just going to make the eye as eye-catching as she possibly could by slathering it in reflective shadows

that browbone could guide a ship to shore and I love it – the judges weren’t too keen on it though, saying that it was a touch too ordinary which it maybe is but Sophie’s model very much has that relatable, girl next door look and it suits her phenomenally and I think it would suit the average ASOS customer.
It also didn’t help Sophie’s general discomfort with the challenge that she, like most of the others, thought glam queen Dolli was going to win the challenge (and for awhile it did look a bit that way) until she made the decision to give her model a bright red and extremely glossy lip

it is very distracting, but what I will say is that it looked very different in the makeup room lighting and Dolli may not have gauged just quite how reflective and blinding it would have been once it hit those studio lights

it’s beautifully applied though and makes her model’s lips look incredible, quite why Dominic thought this was bridal I don’t really know, if anyone’s was bridal, I’d say it was Samah with her soft peachy tones and very natural looking skin

it’s really pretty, and helps that her model is stunning – those eyes are like glass marbles which alone would stop someone scrolling through Instagram. As for the makeup, I really love the slightly bronzed nose, I think it’s such a cute detail, Samah could maybe have done a little more with the eyes to give them that slight bit more definition. I was surprised that so few of the MUAs opted for doing any sort of graphic liner, Jack went the most bold with their extended liner and it certainly paid off

I love the contrast of the severe straight line with their model’s very round features – it works very well and creates a dynamic look and I think they’d have taken the win if it hadn’t been for the fact Craig had this stone cold stunner up his sleeve

Just damn.
The glow in her skin is God tier and the gold graphic eye is a perfect balance of eye catching and soft which prevents the look from coming across as severe – which with the really slicked back hair and the angular makeup could have easily happened.

An ASOS Makeup Ranking

  1. Craig’s Goldeneye
  2. Jack’s Linear Liner
  3. Sophie’s Browbone Lighthouse
  4. Samah’s Bridal Beauty
  5. Ryley and The Cancelling of Facial Features
  6. Dolli’s Festive Lips

Craig takes the win meaning he’s now up to two along with Dolli, who had quite the fall from grace this week and finds herself in the red chairs along with Ryley. I think was the right decision all round but I’m still holding out for a Jack win.

The Good, The Bad and The UFO

In a complete departure from the ASOS beauty campaign, for the main challenge the MUAs will have to create a makeup that is inspired by aliens and anything vaguely futuristic. I had expected this would mean Bald Caps at Dawn but only Jack and Ryley were reaching for the fiddly little buggers, and Ryley was taking it a slight step further by not only using it to cover her model’s hair but rendering her completely blind from the moment her 15 minute delay started

The sinister things that makeup artists get to say <3

It was rather brave of her to attempt this because it was her first time using a bald cap and the only real help she could get was from her model because Sophie was elbow deep in prosthetics, so it was very much a literal case of the blind leading the blind as they navigated it over her head

in the end the effort paid off as Ryley powered through her makeup at a rate of knots as she forgot how time worked and believed she was going to be finishing 15 minutes earlier than everyone else – luckily she had her sightless model by her side to correct her and could relax a little as she finished up her creepypasta creation

there’s a very effective simplicity to it as it remains identifiably human but otherworldly enough to make it distinctly unsettling as the placement and sizing of the dots creates the effect of its own face sinking in on itself like a collapsing galaxy. It’s just a genuinely good creature concept and I would love to see it fully realised on the big screen.
I think it was worth all the faff to keep the branches on her back and ger model being completely blind did make it much easier for Ryley to cover her model’s back in tape to do so

Her makeup did also give us the great moment of Ryley having to lead her model to the photo studio and Dom, dressed like a piñata in mourning, completely lost it

meanwhile everyone else tries to remain as dignified as possible.

Jack’s bald cap gave them no issues as they whipped it straight on and their model could behold her newfound bald glory

from there they painted their model pink and everyone was a little concerned as they had war flashbacks to Elliott’s jellybaby creation but Jack pulled it away from that by creating some very interesting contoured shapes

and as Val said, they really should have stopped there but nobody is immune to the alluring call of the sequin and alas she got a bedazzled forehead

Val wasn’t a fan but I think the way the sequins blead out of the ornate crown and scatter down her head to form the very vaginal-shaped cluster (I apologise for putting those words together) adds a narrative to the Alien Goddess character that they had set out to create. But maybe I’m biased because they had the Plavalaguna from Fifth Element on their moodboard.

Samah was also going with a pink alien, (according to Dom, pink aliens are the new green aliens which were the new black aliens which were in turn the new original grey aliens). As well as painting her model pink Samah was using pre-made prosthetics for the first time to create a hybrid of a lion and… for some reason Jigglypuff from Pokémon. Her mind, it is a labyrinth. Her aim was to create an alluring alien, a statement that was followed by a dead cut to her model looking like she was a hamster suffering from an allergic reaction

nailing the Jigglypuff so far tbh.
She had intended to have a brow prosthetic too but because her model has a very petite, round face there just wasn’t the room for it – there’s barely room for the cheeks but Samah persisted nonetheless

it’s not her best work, the shape is all off and it lacks a certain depth to it but the reshaping of the nose is extremely good, if a little more Squirdward than lion

it’s just very apparent that she lost half of her design and kind of had to make it up on the fly.

Sophie, a practiced prosthetician, was unsurprisingly having a much better time with the prosthetic pieces that she was just about covering her entire model’s face in

it’s a risky move because it can end up looking a little bit Halloween-y but with Sophie drawing heavily from the the heavyweights of horror in the 70s and 80s, that’s not too dissimilar to what she was aiming for and highly succeeded at

she accomplished everything that made the creature creations of Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson and Fred Dekker so successful and it’s that her model can still clearly animate and emote through the makeup. It’s really astonishing work and I kind of wish there was a show like Face-Off still on air because I can’t even begin to imagine the sort of work Sophie would pull off if she was given 2 days in a workshop, because the treatment around the eye alone was worth the DING-DONG

it’s beautifully gross.

Out of all the concepts, I think Dolli’s was my favourite – I just like the idea of an African queen using magic to take beauty secrets from across the universe – it’s a YA novel that’s desperate to be written and turned into an awful CW show.
The look started out really well with this interesting duo-chrome shaping

and when she says she stole beauty secrets from across the world she really meant it and applied them all at the same time

there is… so much to unpack. The biggest issue is obviously the eyelashes which are weighing everything down but the sequins are also just a bit meagre and very obviously sequins, Jack managed to integrate theirs into their look in such away that they looked organic, this looks like a craft accident. But I did like the strange textured eyelids

and the fact she didn’t have any fall out from it? Well, it helped later.

The only person to go down the cyborg route was Craig who was creating a sort of NHS 3000 Bot and having a hard time battling against a chin prosthetic that just wouldn’t stick down, it seemed he eventually managed to coax it into submission and produced a very clean look that has the feel of a Doctor Who character

Craig’s strength is always in his shaping and this is no exception, the lines are all clean and pristine and the little details like the rounding of the nose and the highlight of the top lip in blue give it a very silicone-like feel.
The best view of it though if from the profile where the metallic elements really come alive

it’s a really good combination of human sinew and machine-like hydraulics. Another stellar round for Craig.

And if you were wondering what the eliminated contestants did:
Nic turned herself and a friend into a pair of intergalactic scrunchies: HERE.
Elliott hasn’t posted his yet but he has teased it and it’s set to look pretty great so keep tabs on his Instagram HERE.
Xavi took himself to a world where humans and butterflies have combined in a sort of intergalactic DVD cover of Silence of the Lambs: HERE.
Alex hasn’t posted hers and I’m sad about it, I’m intrigued to know what she would have done.

An Alien Creation Ranking

  1. Ryley’s Haunted Gimp Angel
  2. Sophie’s Evil Dead: In Outer Space!
  3. Craig’s NHS Bot 3000
    • Jack’s Alien Fertility Goddess
  4. Dolli’s Kitchen Sink
  5. Samah’s Pink Squidward

With Ryley absolutely nailing the brief it was obvious that she had managed to beat the seat and with Samah struggling with her prosthetics it was she who took Ryley’s place in a Face Off against Dolli.

Glitter Bomb

For their Face Off Challenge Dolli and Samah had to create a structured glitter eye and the judges are very specific about the fact the glitter should be placed above the socket or below the lashline – which I had hoped would mean someone would create a glittery clown look but sadly both of them kept their glittery very much above the socket, with Dolli opting for an incredibly fine glitter to create a pair of purple arches

It’s one of the best executed Face Off Challenge makeup we’ve ever seen, I don’t think you could do those any better if you had half an hour. This did of course mean it would be a tough ask for Samah to beat and unfortunately she went a little ham with the glitter

I’m obsessed with the way her model’s eyelid struggled to fold back into place due to the sheer amount of glitter and it’s by no means an unsuccessful look – it’s very even, there’s no fall out and it’s certainly bold. It just wasn’t the brief and so our bottom 2 Goddess, Samah, finds herself eliminated from the competition

She’s been a great contestant with one hell of a journey through the competition and if you want to keep up with what she does next you can follow her on Instagram at SamahSay.

And so, only 5 MUAs remain

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