Glow Up, Series 3, Episode 8: Spirit Level Eyes

Excuse me while I write an entire cartoon series about this trio of crime solvers, The Mystery Gang wont know what hit them!

We’ve reached the final showdown where the MUAs have to try not to crack under the pressure that is Duckie Thot’s intimidating levels of beauty.

The Masters at Work

As is now tradition the final Industry Challenge of the series is for the MUAs to put on a bespoke masterclass that shows off their abilities and personality and because we are in The End Times, it is a virtual masterclass so their audience is on a massive wall with varying qualities of webcam

Holly Stewart really did decide to film herself with a potato, huh?
Obviously they’re all major beauty insiders from brand owners, magazine editors and content creators and then there is “CSI man” and professional special effects artist Brian Kinney who was brought in purely because Sophie was going to be demonstrating how to do a black eye and they needed someone there who could ask a relevant question.
She had a very good angle with her masterclass in that she was doing one eye with the professional bruise wheel and the other side with an eyeshadow palette, and as she said you can’t really see a difference in the final result

I also love that Sophie basically used this segment as a call out of her friends that ask her to do their makeup at Halloween every year, shots fired from the BBC is one hell of a power move.
For someone who was very nervous about public speaking and a tendency to go mute when she’s overwhelmed she handled the whole thing phenomenally, a slight awkward pause at one point but she recovered very quickly.
I know it made sense for Sophie to do a special effects look for this, it’s where she excels and will continue to excel, but I, for personal reasons, would have liked to see her process for her every day eye look

I’m eternally jealous of people who can do the whole blown out thing – I try it and I look like a trash panda.

Dolli however was on hand to give us a tutorial on a more simplified and quick version of her every day eye-look that we have all come to be incredibly jealous of

her looks have been nothing but bangers all series, she’s the Kylie Minogue of style.
A key part of the masterclass challenge is always how many tips and tricks you can drop along the way, it doesn’t really matter how basic they are, and Dolli was chucking them out like Oprah giving away cars and being thoroughly likeable throughout the process and everyone was eating it up! I’m just glad they recognised how talented and lovely she is. Also, the bravery to attempt something that requires absolute symmetry in front of this many people and Dom’s spirit level eyes should be admired

and of course it was all capped off with the blinding inner-corner highlight THAT THE SHOW EDITED OUT.

Then we have Craig who was showcasing the male side of beauty and wanting to breakdown the stigma that men can’t or shouldn’t use makeup. Craig’s greatest strength is his Irish accent the fact he is just an incredibly charming guy, he’s the sort of person you could listen to talking about just about anything, it’s a pity nobody this evening was booking from the Calm app – please Craig, read The Velveteen Rabbit to me. I also can’t imagine how intimidating for him it must have been because Manny was on the Zoom call

Manny pretty much started from the same point of view and has snowballed into a beauty influencing Megalith (whose highlighters absolutely SLAP).
Craig’s masterclass, like Sophie’s and Dolli’s, was very good – there were no duds this year which is incredible – because he was focusing mostly on a simple day-to-day look there wasn’t anything to really grasp hold of with the routine, also his model had great skin from the jump so, what more is there to do but shame his slightly blue undertones and Dom’s lack of a hairline?

incredible scenes.

And for all their hard work, each of them managed to bag at least one prize, Sophie gets to have a career guidance chat with Brian Kinney, which might not sound like much but seeing as Sophie posted about her first professional job on Instagram last week, I assume the chat went well. Craig gets to be featured across Beauty Bay’s social platforms and Dolli rides gleefully into the sunset with a feature from Dazed Magazine, a collaboration with Sali Hughes and Cult Beauty AND a booking from Andrew Gallimore

I for one welcome our new supreme ruler.

It’s All About You

The final Creative Brief is to showcase why they as a makeup artist are unstoppable as well as using the opportunity to showcase what they’ve learned during the competition, thankfully this doesn’t result in either Sophie or Dolli bringing back Margaret Thatcher – small mercies.

You would think for her final big challenge that Sophie would have gone ham on the prosthetics but she was playing it very smart and stepping away from that side of her talents and embracing a more beauty-centric look and borrowing a lot of elements from her first look in the competition

It’s also a good thing that Val and Dom loved this look.
As well as that she was also basing the look around her coping mechanisms such as crystals and aromatherapy and was adorning her model’s face with soft green stones and dried lavender that perfectly complimented the more vivid shades of the eyes and lips

the lips, while gorgeous, are a little heavy for this particular looks and had they been a softer, more lavender purple I think it would have been a home run. I will however defend the use of the lavender, I think because it mimics the shape of the crystal crown it fits in perfectly, there’s a clear sense of purpose to it.

Craig was also doing a lot of embellishing as he went about creating his look inspired by MRI brain scans, showcasing how his positivity would be his biggest strength within the makeup industry. The rhinestones that he was using were intended as symbolism of endorphins and nothing in this episode brought me more joy than Craig explaining to Lisa Edlridge that he was using rhinestones “because rhinestones are shiny and endorphins are nice to have” and Lisa sagely nodded along with all the energy of a stan Twitter account saying “So true bestie x” and the judges go balmy over his little endorphin orb that he placed on his model’s chest

to be fair, the colours are very pretty and as we have discussed, rhinestones are shiny, so who am I to judge?
The one critique is that he could have maybe done a better job of connecting it to his main makeup because at the moment it does look a bit like Iron Man at an Ibiza rave

I really like most of this, the application of the black on his model’s body feels a touch rushed and a bit too patchy but the impact of the orange and blue is incredible, and the blending within them that gives it a real sense of depth is lovely

I do wish more had been done to play with his model’s features though, it’s not quite just painting a picture on your model’s face but it’s bordering on it, but that’s also just a personal preference for me – I’d have been interested to see it merge with a lip shape or an eye shape, just to give it that beauty edge.

Dolli was drawing her inspiration from her daughter; utilising her favourite colours (purple and yellow) and her birth flower, the chrysanthemum in order to create another of her warrior-like Africanfuturist looks

it’s honestly a breath-taking piece of work, the colours and shapes of the petals really remind me of the vulturine guineafowl and looks like something out of one of Nnedi Okorafor’s novels.
There are some issues with the symmetry, such as the liner and honestly, she should have left off that second laddered wing which might have given her more time to concentrate elsewhere but I like that they didn’t ding her on the slight asymmetry to the petals because their varying sizes, density and placement only adds to the emotional authenticity of the piece. I thought it was a sublime work of makeup, and the fact it had the added oomph from the UV lighting?

It’s amazing.

An Unofficial Final Makeup Ranking

  1. Dolli’s Chrysanthemum Warrior
  2. Sophie’s Ethereal Progression
  3. Craig’s Brain Likes The Shinies

Ahead of the final face off challenge one of the MUAs has to be sent home and finishing in third place is Dolli

it makes sense in the grand scheme of the whole competition, but for the work she did in this episode? She should absolutely have been going through to the Face Off but at the same time it’s hard to deny Craig or Sophie’s very good track record. They all deserved to be there, STOP MAKING ME PICK FAVES. And if you want to keep up with Dolli, you can follow her on Instagram at Dolli.Glam.


For the final Face Off Challenge of the series the judges have quite the ask of Sophie and Craig who had to do a full beat featuring lips, eyes and cheeks in only one colour in only 30 minutes. As someone who takes an hour to do her full face, this seems practically Herculean.
I was hoping one of them would be obscenely brave and decide their chosen colour was green or blue – just go fully mad and off the rails but alas, Craig went for pink and Sophie opted for the slightly riskier red.
There was some concerns over Craig’s base when he first began because it looked awfully thick and heavy

which is unlike his usual output and by contrast Sophie has gone for a much more sheer option but was going full 2008 on the eyeliner

but by the final reveal both of them had pretty solid makeups

both of them very much suffer from the same issue as Xavi and Samah did in their blue smoky eye challenge in which the one colour just gets blended higher and higher and you lose any sort of shape – although Craig’s did have a nice halo eye effect going on and I enjoyed the exaggerated wing out.
I think it’s the lips that broke the draw though, Craig’s are just a little too heavy and that sort of Saint Germain colour is quite dated, whereas Sophie’s glossed, almost blurred lip is much more contemporary and less distracting.

It was a close fought match but ultimately there has to be a winner and the Glow Up, series 3 champion is…

Sophie! A thoroughly deserving winner and I said she gave me Ophelia vibes at the beginning of the show and look at her now, baby! She has one of the most impressive portfolios of work we’ve seen on the show and her Instagram is even more impressive, I thoroughly suggest checking it out at SophieBaverstock.
And Craig was a thoroughly deserving runner up and I hope his talent and charisma take him far – and I personally love that his last words on the show were a Cher quote. You can follow him at CraigHamiltonArtistry.

And so we have our Glow Up winner, and once again a massive congratulations to Sophie!

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