Glow Up, Series 5, Episode 3: Blood Taxonomy

This is Hot’n’Juicy now. Feel old yet?

This recap died in the basement.

Before we get started, a quick shout out to Leomie serving absolutely pitch perfect Bratz Doll meme for the entire first half of this episode

she’s perfect.


For this week’s prosthetics-heavy Industry Challenge the MUAs were on the set of Ghosts where, in teams of two, they would be preparing one of the basement dwelling plague victims (no, not the incels) for filming and truly this challenge was over before it even began when Leomie introduced the assignment and the only people who clapped were Axel and Keiran

but the two of them did also work really together and seemed the best at building up a rapport with their actor which I wasn’t that surprised given that Keiran works in a salon. Their actor also certainly ended up looking the most “Ghosts”

and you know what they say, every He/They has their day

but I don’t think any of the makeups were truly disastrous – there wasn’t a single instance of a badly applied prosthetic to be seen and I found it really neat that it seemed like they had prosthetics that were specifically designed to match darker skin tones which I haven’t noticed on previous prosthetics assignments

but the prosthetics were only half the job as their boss for the day, Count Dracula Natalie Pateman, was eager for the MUAs to represent the full blood taxonomy spectrum

which was probably why she was so disappointed that Sarah and Saphron had held back on the bloody gore just a little bit

it is a little bit sanitised PG 13 zombie makeup but I think that might have stemmed just a little bit from the fact that I’m not sure how many of them have actually seen Ghosts and if most of their information to go off was “it’s a BBC sitcom” I think I would have held back on the blood too. However, not having seen Ghosts was not going to stop Taisha from writing Ghosts fanfiction

but given that Taisha had decided their plague victim had died from dramatically tripping down the staircase and not, you know, from the plague, it didn’t turn out half bad

I do think the cheek prosthetic looks a little bit too grid-like with the bloody sores being very evenly spaced

it looks like someone stepped on her face wearing rugby cleats – which was my biggest fear as a child and why I spent every rugby match waiting to serve the intimidatingly strong boys orange slices at half time. Why did it take me until I was 20 to realise I was trans? It was very obvious.

Lastly we have Roo and Wezley who Natalie had a few concerns about because the two of them were individually working on separate hands which the judges thought didn’t match

I do think it’s a bit weird that they got so caught up on the hands given that the Plague Ghosts are pretty routinely shot from a tight mid-shot in extremely low lighting

so by all means, concentrate on the face makeup

there was an issue with them not dirtying up the neck as much as the face which makes it look that little bit paler but I think it’s a little hard to concentrate on that when the guy looks like he died snorting Bird’s Custard – what a way to go.

The runaway freight train that was Saphron was brought to a slight halt this week as Keiran and Axel pretty comfortably took the win with Roo and Wezley looking like the clear Red Seaters.

Zodiac Attack

For this week’s Creative Brief the MUAs had to create a look inspired by their zodiac sign – there was luckily a decent mix of signs amongst the remaining MUAs, although not a single Capricorn amongst them because we can never have nice things, but hey, at least I can blame my bank balance on Jupiter and Pluto

it’s the incredibly threatening “Be prepared, Capricorn” for me.

In order to judge the makeups, Dom and Val were joined by Vanessa “Skulltress” Davis, famed on social media for her incredibly lavish makeups

so everyone was really having to push the envelope this week and most were going all out with their prosthetics, none more so than Roo who just about had me lighting the funeral pyres the moment they, from their red seat, said they had 14 prosthetics to apply. Rather impressively Roo had made them all themself because, unsurprisingly really, All Good Prosthetics Retailers™ don’t stock facial features for Bull/Scorpion hybrids (Bullpion? Scorll?)

I donated £10 to Mermaids for making this.

Roo did end up jettisoning a few of the prosthetics along the way because they were a little behind, being the last MUA to actually start painting their model but the resulting blend of their Sun and Rising signs was so cool

there’s a slight unevenness to the brow pieces but I just love that they went with the metallic horns and tusks to match the nose ring because they feel like the creature made them for itself and that tells such a story about it.
Roo wasn’t the only Scorpio in the room, and in fact their fellow Scorpio was their partner in mismatched hands, Wezley, who was also facing the time penalty but much like Roo managed to pull things back for himself, going for a slightly alternative take on Scorpio by concentrating more on the fact it’s a water sign

his prosthetic were also handmade – the fins are great, the anglerfish lure, which I’m sure was meant to evoke Scorpion tails, does look a bit like it’s trying to lure me in with an abundance of chili peppers though. The judges loved the look of sadness the piece has and because I’m a bird-brained twit, I loved the shiny

the fangs? We choose not to see them.

Taisha, being a Pisces, was also going for a fish look, choosing to paint a pair of koi fish onto her model’s face

I’ve said it on a few past series that painting a literal picture onto someone’s face isn’t my personal favourite makeup and I would have liked to have seen the fish given a 3D element like a slightly raised fin but the texture and movement that Taisha got, especially in the tails, is really beautiful and reminded me a lot of Degas’s ballet paintings more than Monet

and on top of her painting skills, Dom highlighted the fact the starfish and rock prosthetics she’d applied to the neck were some of the best in the room

big fan of her reaction to the praise too – we stan a humble queen

I just wish the pieces weren’t relegated so far to the peripheries of the makeup if she wasn’t going to paint the shoulders – nothing quite ruins French Impressionism like a tank top.

Prosthetics weren’t everyone’s friends this time around though with On-may finding herself in a losing battle against a horse nose

it wasn’t helping that the cheek prosthetics were so large and should have been moved upwards just a fraction, or according to Vanessa scrapped entirely and placed on the collar bone

On-May did have a panic attack when she began to realise that the prosthetics weren’t going to go exactly to plan and from what I saw, the show handled it really well and gave her the time and space needed to collect her thoughts and despite the hiccup, she got it all done

the prosthetics were still a bit lumpy but the colour work is beautiful and I love that the asymmetrical white liner on the side of the face brought in an element of her own individual style

it was just a little bit unfortunate for On-May that she had to show her makeup to the judges immediately after Saphron who had also done a purple space horse

I love that it looks like an alternative take on the Drow from Dungeons and Dragons – the judges mostly liked it too, Vanessa’s only criticism was the fact she didn’t like the ear pieces because they felt “too cosplay”, I just didn’t like the slightly derogatory way she said “cosplay” when she clearly meant “over enthusiastic D&D player”

because if you’re not wearing precariously clipped on ears, you’re not doing Dungeons and Dragons.

In many ways, I feel like Axel’s Scorpio inspired warrior felt like a perfect partner to Saphron’s

I could certainly see the two of them involved in some sort of intergalactic war. The colouration on Axel’s makeup was really interesting and I do love that despite being a hairless creature he still has a pencil moustache. It actually really reminds me quite a lot of the the Uruk-Hai from Lord of the Rings – the intense eye makeup, not the pencil moustache

an Uruk-Hai celebrating the 4th of July, but an Uruk-Hai nonetheless.

In the last two creative briefs, Keiran hasn’t done much with prosthetics so they were really pushing out he boat this time by not only attempting their first bald cap but also gluing the ear prosthetics Saphron should have had to their model’s jaw to create a mandible

Keiran of course being a Cancer – and I love the Cancers out there because I will never not find someone saying “I’m a Cancer” extremely funny

and the makeup came out great

I adore the speckled application of the colours and the ear prosthetics work very well but I am so sorry, once you notice the eyes, which I think were meant to look like the moon, look slightly like the Me Gusta meme face you really can’t notice anything else

Father forgive me for I have mentioned rage comics in the year of our lord 2023.

Lastly we have Sarah who is an Aries and was combining the ram with the fact Aries is a fire sign. It didn’t go particularly well for Sarah – she started off on a bad foot by applying one of the horns too low – and seemed to be contemplating surgically stapling her model’s face into a permanently raised eyebrow to make it even

the big problem for Sarah in the final result was the fact that the only things really driving home the point that this was an Aries makeup were the horns

and I think the judges were looking for something a little more transformative – and it probably wouldn’t have taken a lot, Drag Race did a zodiac runway on Season 11 and there were a couple of seep and goat makeups, the queens achieving the effect with relatively simple touches – I’ll never forget Ra’jah O’hara looking more beautiful than anyone has a right to while looking like a goat

and without any of the extra ovine features, Sarah’s makeup reminded me a lot of Riley’s Lust makeup from series 3

and that ended up getting her eliminated too, so maybe we just retire the horned red women for a bit?

A Zodiac Makeup Ranking
1. Axel’s Space Orc
2. Roo’s Bullpion
3. The Old Mr. Krabs Can’t Come To The Phone Right Now
4. The Purple Space Horse Your Ordered
5. Taisha’s Impression of French Impressionism
6. Wezley’s Scorpionfish
7. The Purple Space Horse You Got
8. Roast Lamb

Give It A Symmetry

With solid makeups and a good display of prosthetic work, both Wezley and Roo were spared the Face Off and finding themselves facing elimination were Sarah and On-May

their challenge this week being to create a symmetrical gemstone embellishment around their models’ temples

the right side had been done for them already and they were having to perfectly mirror it on the left side – which I had every faith in Sarah being able to do well because her VT makeup was a perfect display of symmetry

but she had stiff competition from On-May who was keeping an eye on those gems like she was watching the fastest and smallest game of tennis you’ve ever seen

they were pretty evenly matched – Sarah ended up with 1 extra gemstone in her design, while On-May had one fewer than she needed

in the end though, Val and Dom decided that On-May’s was the better balanced makeup and Sarah was sent home

I’m sad to see her go, I’ve really enjoyed both her personality and work on the show but sadly she just had one bad day, but if you want to see what she’s doing, you can follower her on Instagram at ModernWand.

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One thought on “Glow Up, Series 5, Episode 3: Blood Taxonomy

  1. aura

    I’m hyperfixating on this show so bad rn and these recaps are giving me LIFE, you’re so funny omg

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