Glow Up, Series 4, Episode 4: Jazzy Business Devil

That cake you left out in the rain has come back to haunt you.


This week’s Industry Challenge was a biggie with the MUAs having to create looks for H&M’s next beauty campaign with the general theme being Summer Party Nights. In order to create their looks each of the MUAs had been assigned an outfit of varying degrees of taste (we’ll talk about it later) and the winner of the challenge would have their look featured in H&M’s global beauty campaign which does make this the Glow Up prize with the biggest potential audience reach.

This being a more glam beauty based challenge did mean that Rachel was in her element and loving every single second of it, so it was nice not to have to watch her sweat at the sight of a prosthetic. A big part of a beauty brief is realising what your model’s best features are and enhancing them, which I think most of the MUAs actually did really well but Rachel was particularly blessed with a model with beautiful freckles

and she really made them sing with her very pared back look but still managed to make the look all about the makeup with her pink liner

the judges are wild for it, particularly guest judge, Marjorie Lacombe-Jelinek and as good as the eye look is, I don’t think they gave her enough credit for how good her model’s brows look – Rachel really snapped in every regard to this challenge, with it almost being a landslide victory, however Nancé put up a good fight, having surveyed her designated outfit like it was one of Monet’s Water Lily paintings

she came to the decision to keep it simple with a monochrome purple halo eye

it was definitely the most nighttime of the bunch, with it almost leaning towards being a little too sultry, however I think the subtlety of everything else, particularly the lips, manages to keep it at least a little bit casual looking.

I think a few of the MUAs did get a little caught in their heads about trying to match the outfits as best they could – particularly Lisa who spent a fair bit of time mixing two different eyeliners to create a purple that would perfectly match the pants she was given

you can take the primary school teacher away from the art projects, but you cannot take the art projects away from the primary school teacher.
And to her credit, she definitely achieved a pretty good match and I really liked the sort of holographic, almost 90s look that she achieved – and the makeup makes her model’s eyes look huge, like Allison “CreepyChan” Harvard vibes

but as far as a look for a campaign that’s meant to show off the products? Probably not the best decision, although it could quite easily be used in an Instagram or TikTok video to show different ways to use the products. But while I liked the look, Dom did not and VERY HARSHLY deemed it “tacky”, which it isn’t *not* but also… did he see the outfit?

I’m not sure anyone wearing a tinfoil spaghetti strap top is going for the height of sophistication, she looks fun! Let people look tacky, we’re fast approaching the early 2000s renaissance after all.

Lisa wasn’t the only one to get a pretty harsh critique, bearing the brunt of Dom’s impatience was Kris whose look wasn’t *great* but I think to call it “embarrassing” was just a touch too brutal

I like the idea of the look – the yellow liner is really cute and the colour match of the foundation was pretty good – this series’s MUAs have definitely been better at matching foundations *touch wood*. But yeah, the eyelashes were not particularly well applied and he hadn’t really achieved much of a glow to his model, she looked a little dry. But again, I wouldn’t say it was “embarrassing”, it’s just inexperienced.

I was hoping that after last week’s Industry Challenge that Sophie would come back swinging, unfortunately they were once again deep within their own head and spent a lot of time fretting over whether or not their model’s base was good enough and then got very down on themself about the patchiness of the eyeshadow – but I have to say, I really loved the final product

it does help that her model is ridiculously stunning, that is an aspirational mullet. The judges were less keen, with Dom calling the shape of the eye look “juvenile”

but… I think that was *kind of* the point? Very defined, geometric eye looks are pretty popular at the moment and I kind of like that it looks like a butterfly wing – and also may I draw our attention to the highlight on the cupid’s bow? Because I am obsessed.

Yong-chin had also gone for a pretty dramatic eye in a really pretty sort of dusky pink shade which I like, something about the lips do look a little uncomfortable and cakey, but I enjoy how much her model looks like she belongs in the world of Heathers

the judges really loved it but the look was deemed “autumnal” which I can’t really disagree with, but also maybe that’s a little bit the fault of H&M for including autumnal shades in their summer makeup collection.

And lastly we have Ryan’s look, which I personally really liked and thought it suited his model really well

his model’s best features are clearly her skin and her hair and I think anything too dramatic on the eyes would have somewhat taken away from that – and I loved the green mascara, I thought it was pretty cute! The judges however didn’t think it popped, except when it popped too much with them deeming the inner corner highlight “too big”

to which I say: “Can an inner corner highlight ever be too big?” if your inner corner doesn’t look like its own constellation, then it’s too small – also, the moodboard they were given featured some pretty big inner corner highlights

sorry to momentarily turn into a YouTube drama channel, but I had receipts.

In the end Rachel very deservedly won the challenge and as a result has had her look featured in the campaign

and needless to say she was *very* happy about the whole thing

but it was a very close run race between her and Nancé, who did receive a shout out from Marjorie for her work.


This week’s Creative Brief saw the MUAs having to create a look inspired by a season of change that has happened in their lives – I love the fact that had to specify that it had to relate to their lives because if they hadn’t, the amount of Summer to Winter looks we would have got would have been comedically hilarious.

Of course there did have to be a pair of MUAs in the red chairs, with Ryan being very excited that his timeshare on Red Chair Island had well and truly expired

and instead the MUAs receiving a 15 minute time penalty were Kris for his lashes

and Sophie dressed as a Jazzy Business Devil

I will sell them my soul for a buffalo nickel.

Kris did probably have the most to prove to the judges because they had a VERY strong reaction to the lashes, and once again, Kris was going big with a homemade prosthetic

I cannot even begin to fathom quite how one goes about making a homemade, half-face cake prosthetic, so kudos to him. This is also (somehow) the most pared back look we’ve seen from Kris with his model’s face still completely on show, which allowed him to bring in some more classic beauty elements

I love that concept art so much because it looks like something you would see painted on the side of a funfair ride – it’s garish, bright and slightly nauseating, truly his makeup had it all

it’s a really great makeup and I love that he he went for the bold red lip that kind of matches the strawberries. But I cannot look at it for very long because it does make me feel slightly queasy in the same way that any episode of Rocko’s Modern Life does.

Lisa was also going with some bold prosthetic choices, and was this week’s designated model blinder

although her model did not spend the entire time complaining about how much they wanted to take the makeup off, which I’m sure helped keep Lisa focused on finishing the whole thing

I certainly get the story of it being about unleashing her creative passions, but I agree with the judges in that the transition should have been steadier and we should have been able to see more of the beauty makeup – but I do really love the slight allusions to eyes that she made with the daubs of paint

I thought that was really cool and clever but might have read more obviously if one of the eyes was visible as a regular, more ordinarily madeup eye.

The last of the prosthetic pieces was from Ryan who very quickly slapped a rhinoceros horn on his model’s forehead, who then did everything in their power to not make eye contact with the camera

Ryan’s look was inspired by the work he’s done with an anti-poaching organisation in Africa, and I believe he’s currently out there at the moment

Ryan has some really big and bold looks under his belt and I think this is so far his weakest, it’s still a good look with the makeup application being great throughout, but I do think it lacks a slight clarity of concept to fully tie it to the brief. Ryan certainly wasn’t the only MUA having this issue as Yong-Chin’s look inspired by her time spent travelling through South East Asia was met with middling reviews

I think her handling of the clay and paint that she was using to put the look together is utterly masterful – and that redness moving down to the slate blues is a really intelligent observation about how statues age, but for all that work it does feel just a touch 1 dimensional and it could have used something to just bring a little more depth and narrative to the piece – even just some really artful liner in that same yellow, because we do know Yong-Chin can do *great* liner

as someone who can barely draw a straight line at the best of times, I am always impressed with her personal makeup.

Riding high off her win in the Industry Challenge, Rachel was continuing to play to her strengths by bringing in an element of glam to her look that represented her desire to learn more about the makeup world beyond beauty and glamour

narratively, I think Rachel’s was the easiest to understand, I don’t think it’s a wholly original look but I think it was executed well enough – sure there’s a few lines that could have been refined by I think the placement of them and the way they play to her model’s bone structure was really well done.

Nancé was also braving Dom’s high standards for linework and making it that much more risky by aiming for symmetry

the linework might be a little iffy in places, but as far as the symbolism of finding happiness despite the darkness I think it works wonders, and clearly her story about having gone through an ectopic pregnancy, subsequently not really trying to have children but loving her niece as if she was her own, calling her “the only child I never had”, clearly hit home with Marjorie – and I thought their conversation about the power this look has, and makeup in general, was really beautiful and important and speaks to why a show like Glow Up is so important and shouldn’t be dismissed on the grounds of it being “just about makeup”.

Lastly we have Sophie who despite being 15 minutes behind did seem to spend a fair bit of time creating 3D flamed eyeliner with a 3D pen, which I enjoyed because it is very satisfying to watch

Sophie’s look was inspired by teenage rebellion and very much drawing inspiration from the British punk movement with their Punk rock Chuckie Finster look

I really love this look, I think it perfectly captures that chaotic teenage energy and this is very much what I wished I had looked like aged 14. I also really appreciate that Sophie had taken the time to paint on the chain around the neck when they so easily could have just used an accessory – and they had very nearly obliterated the whole thing, much to the judges’ shock and dismay

a moment that they put down to Sophie not having enough confidence in their makeup, and I’m not really sure that’s the case given the way Sophie presents themself every episode

clearly they have confidence in their makeup, I don’t know if they have confidence in the judging…

Game, Set and Matte

Ahead of the Face Off Challenge, Kris fully redeemed himself for his crimes against lashes and so was spared the ordeal while Sophie just fell a little short in the eyes of the judges, and joining them was Yong-chin for just not showcasing as much skill as the judges are looking for at this point in the competition.

For this week’s Face Off Challenge Sophie and Yong-chin were having to create a Matte Powder Lip, which very specifically had to have the texture and appearance of a rose petal and this would be VERY important later.

It was definitely the closest Face Off Challenge we’ve ever had, I think even more so than Eve and Hannah’s Glitter Lips in series 2

which is why I did think this was going to end up in a non-elimination, which I would have welcomed because I really do love both Sophie and Yong-chin’s styles – sadly however the judges did manage to talk themselves out of a stalemate and decided that for a lack of a rose petal finish Sophie would be leaving the competition

as the Commander In Chief of the Sophie Stan Army, I am pretty gutted to see them leaving, I have all the time in the world for their approach to makeup and fashion and if you want to follow Sophie and see what they get up to, you can find them on Instagram at MackerelMonday. They’ve just done a really cool photoshoot with Charity Kase from Drag Race UK which is pretty awesome.

And so, we’re down to 6 MUAs!

If you’ve enjoyed this recap of Glow Up Series 4 and would like to support the blog you can donate to my Ko-fi account HERE!

Leave a Reply