Glow Up, Series 5, Episode 4: Shakespearean Eyebrow Tragedy

She’s so Marie-AntoinetteCore.

Please keep your fingers out of the holes.

Live and Let Live

For this week’s Industry Challenge the MUAs were facing the cut throat world of parasocial relationships and doing a sort of live get ready with me on TikTok but it wasn’t just any livestream, it was Paige Louise’s livestream – Paige being the owner of P. Louise and I was delighted by the fact they introduced her shoes first in those Givenchy boots that make everyone look like a My Little Pony character

and she had the extremely brushable looking hair to match

that hair isn’t just full of secrets, it has buried bodies. The P today stands for “Patio, dig it up.”

There was an added twist to the challenge though as the goal for going Live was to showcase as many ways to use a single product as you possibly could – some got it significantly easier than others, Saphron, I’m so sorry that you had to suffer the textural nightmare of having to slather yourself in lipgloss for NOTHING

it wasn’t Saphron’s best Industry Challenge, but even she admitted she as a little uncomfortable with it and not just because she had lipgloss all over her face and was trapped in the P. Louise hostage room with Paige circling her like a yassified lioness

the general consensus was that she wasn’t engaging with the audience enough and was being boring HOWEVER, whenever they showed the actual livestream (comments and all – which were getting progressively more unhinged as the live went on) they were really positive and loved what she was doing

I was obsessed with the amount of people asking what the purpose of this was and how they could get the opportunity and everyone had to ignore them because they couldn’t tell them it was for Glow Up.

On-May however hit the jackpot because I have never seen anyone get this excited about black mascara before

she did have a slight advantage in going first because that’s when all the hardcore P. Louise fans would show up and you probably wouldn’t have to deal with *too much* negativity because the chat was mostly being spammed with flame emojis – Social media, it’s all about the advancement of communication. She was really great though and kept the whole thing moving at a steady enough pace to be enjoyable while she did her distinctly On-May brand of graphic liner, including half a Dick Dastardly moustache

she’ll tie you to the train tracks but she won’t make the ropes too tight.

Following On-May was Keiran who, aside from Axel’s Shakespearean Eyebrow Tragedy, had the best opening when they completely didn’t notice the phone in the middle of the ring light and just kept talking to Paige who eventually pointed it out and they turned into a really cute moment

Keiran had been given Purple Eyeshadow as their product and I thought the energy of the whole thing was great – it was conversational and never slowed down and the final look was absolutely my favourite of the challenge – the graffiti splatter effect worked so well and reminded me a lot of the iconic Adrianne Curry photoshoot from ANTM’s first cycle

but I lost my mind when Keiran said the hardest thing was to not just put purple all of their face while looking a bit like a cartoon character that just took a blueberry pie to the face

but God bless them for doing it because it kind of set the tone for the rest of the MUAs to go absolutely ham on their products. Wezley, armed with neon blue liner, followed Keiran and given that Wezley is something of the series narrator at this point and basically Leomie’s understudy, he was of course extremely good at the whole Live thing and I thought had the most engenius and unique offering with brushing the liner through his hair

and then finished the whole thing off by doing the Vogue pose routine better than Michelle Visage did on Strictly Come Dancing (no, I will not let her live this down)

and the final look was pretty good

you know how in The Addams Family movies Morticia is permanently lit in shadow with a single beam of light highlighting her eyes no matter what scene she’s in?

Wezley has that but it’s golden hour no matter where he is.

Roo had red lipstick, which I think was one of the easier ones because there’s countless tutorials all over the place for how to use lipstick for a full face of makeup, but it’s a double edged sword because it’s a struggle to make it interesting and, don’t let the mullet fool you, Roo isn’t the most outgoing person, or at least not on camera so there was an uncertainty with how they’d do under the pressure of a potentially large audience

they’re the Mulholland Drive of makeup. (complimentary)

Roo did end up doing really well in certain ways, the final look was really cool and shape-y

but after a strong opening they did conduct the rest of it like it was more of a masterclass than a Get Ready With Me but seeing as though the last challenge of the series is usually a masterclass you might as well get the practice in while you can!

From what we saw, there wasn’t that much negativity being thrown at the MUAs, which was a surprise because it’s social media but Paige kind of gave a call to action for everyone to be a bit ruthless

nobody ended up getting booted though – can you imagine if you lost the challenge because MkeUpLvrr13 left a comment saying “Boot.”? I would delete every app I owned. The only MUA that ever brought up any negativity was Taisha who responded by murdering someone live on TikTok and will be investigated for manslaughter

and the best part, she just kept applying those circles, there was no sign of self-consciousness or the crippling realisation that you were being perceived by 310 people

the best thing about the MUAs returning from the challenge looking like a packet of skittles was Axel’s increasingly concerned face because he had a pot of yellow liner

“If I don’t come back from this looking like I taste of lemon, I’m going to lose.”

They may not have ended up with the boldest look (or using the liner for anything except liner) but Axel made for a very engaging live, opening strong with the revelation that they’d shaved their eyebrows and drawn them on

although if you’re not sitting on the floor pretending to cry in front of a couch reading a notes app apology it’s not a true social media apology, it’s only sparkling insincerity.
The final look was really good, and probably the most wearable

but it was just liner being used as liner which the judges let slide on the grounds that Axel hadn’t done the freckled hail Mary

“We want to see you use this product in as many ways as possible”
*uses the product to make freckles*
“No, not like that!”

Nobody absolutely flopped which was something of a relief and I would say it was a pretty close run race for the top spot between Wezley, Axel and even Taisha but Wezley pulled ahead because he’d used the product in more creative ways and for his win he gets to do another live with Paige in the future.

Gimme Core, Gimme Core

For their creative briefs the MUAs were once again having to get a bit personal as they designed makeups inspired by their -core, or chosen aesthetic of their past, future or present. I like to think of myself as Renaissancecore because if I don’t look like I’m married to the worst man in 1536 or a background character in a Botticelli painting my look is a failure

it hasn’t always been this way, it used to be BoyWhoLookedLikeHeWasDressedByHisMotherCore

please appreciate the glow up, I think it’s hilarious.

Saying all that, the makeup that I felt the most affinity with was probably Saphron’s because I too listen predominantly to anything metal – I love my noisy boys and she absolutely nailed the whole corpse-y album cover look that all of them have to do at some point

she just needs to apply an unreadable font and it’s literally good to go as an album cover. Wait a minute…

Graphic design is my passion.
To make absolutely sure that nobody at home would go and kill themself chugging blue ink, the show did make sure to mention exactly what Saphron had used to achieve the Dracula chewing the end of his pen look

it’s those fangs, they’ll go straight through everything.

Also impressive is the fact that despite having to start in a red chair, none of Saphron’s usual polish and execution was lost in the process. Keiran was also in a red seat, which I didn’t entirely agree with to be honest – I had a great time watching them and stand by the look being my favourite. Keiran had somewhat made a rod for their back this challenge though by deciding to include a nose prosthetic

which they didn’t really need to do for their Scene Queen inspired look, the moodboard for which caused immeasurable psychic damage as I flashed back to the Blingee era of internet gif making

but regardless of that I love the idea and design behind the character

it’s deliciously camp – Dom and Val didn’t really get it

tell me you never had a MySpace page in 2005 without telling me you never had a MySpace page in 2005 – it’s blatantly obvious it’s a scenecore look, I mean she looks like the lovechild of The Pink Panther and Avril Lavigne at the height of her emo princess phase – which is only a marginally odder pairing than Avril Lavigne actually marrying Mr. Nickleback. The overall quality of the makeup was perhaps hindered by the time spent putting the prosthetic on, but I think it’s unfair to say you can’t tell what Keiran’s goal was.

My personal favourite makeup of the episode though was from On-may who was drawing inspiration from Japanese culture for her Creepy Kawaii look

the gorey element being a nod to Trypophobia (the fear of clusters of holes) and if you were on the internet in the 2000s your first exposure to Trypophobia was either a stranger on a messageboard sending you the picture of the woman’s nipples photoshopped to look like a wasp nest (it was a feral wilderness of a time) or low-res scans of Junji Ito mangas you downloaded from dodgy websites with poor translations, and On-May’s makeup very much felt like it could fit within the world of Junji Ito’s Tomie

I’m obsessed with this, the beauty side of it is stunning and the gore of the holes is phenomenally well executed, so well in fact they may have had to put mittens on Dom to stop him poking the model

Sir, hands to yourself.

Nobody else went that gory, but Taisha was trying her hands at an optical illusion too with her BratzCore look, finding out Taisha was a Bratz girl when she was younger makes so much sense, you can see it in her personal style, she always looks perfect

willing to bet my life savings she was a Sasha Sun with a Jade Rising and Yasmin Moon.
As for her makeup, the judges were slightly concerned about the symmetry

the illusion worked out a lot better than I had anticipated and it looks really great at a glance, if a bit like someone tried to draw Trixie Mattel from memory, but once you start looking a bit longer and closer it doesn’t quite hold up, especially up against a whole room of really strong makeups. She wasn’t the only one that needed to bring a little more intensity to her look as Axel got a similar critique for their Cyberpunk look

for an android look it does look a little bit too soft and painterly and everything needed just a little bit of sharpening up and defining, but I liked the neon light effect in the pink lines. I also loved the holographic shimmer on the eyelids that fed nicely into the look

I’m also very MagpieCore apparently – my little bird brain just likes the shiniest things.

While Axel looked to the inevitable robot uprising of our future, Wezley was throwing things back with his ClassicCore, Old Hollywood drag makeup inspired by Marilyn Monroe

I’m kind of osbessed with this and whoever gave him the butchest looking guy they possibly could to make look like Marilyn Monroe, you’re a genius and I’d like to give you a BAFTA.
I thought it was also a really good take on Marilyn, it’s so expected to go for the Marilyn that finds herself unfairly plastered all over soft furnishings with misattributed quotes on the Facebook Marketplace, but the more subtle lips and the smokey liner trailing across the face add a real morose melancholy to the look that I think better fits the character of Marilyn and he very much deserved the Ding Dong

but he wasn’t the only one because Roo who, like many of us did over the course of the last 3 years at one point or another, embraced Goblincore

this is incredible – there’s a real 90s fantasy makeup style to it in the shaping of their model’s head, it all reminds me a lot of The Borrowers and even Don Bluth movies

it’s just a really fantastic piece of character design and I liked that Roo kept it cute – it would have been a bit too obvious and kind of easy to phone it in as a horror makeup, I think it shows real skill and understanding to pull off a genuinely cute little goblin.

A Race To The Finishing Liner

Keiran sadly hadn’t managed to beat the seat whereas Saphron, for the clear narrative and inspiration in her Metalcore makeup, had. As for who would take her spot, it was between Axel and Taisha, with Val and Dom ultimately deciding that Taisha was just a little bit weaker

for their Face Off Challenge the two of them were having to recreate a black-lined glossy lip which is a bold look

I would not have liked to be in their shoes because if I used black anything near my lips I’d look like I was competing for Russia in Eurovision 2020 because I can barely line my lips in nude pink

so I was impressed that the two of them had anything vaguely resembling a decent lip line by the end of it given that their hands were shaking so much

neither of them were perfect, Keiran’s while neatly shaped in the centre kind of smudged in the corners and Taisha’s… reminded me of PhiPhi O’Hara’s poorly aged stand up comedy character in All Stars 2

the judges did at least commend her for the intensity she got in the black by going straight in with the pencil whereas Keiran had opted for an angled brush, but that wasn’t enough to save her and Taisha was the 4th MUA to leave the show

I really enjoyed getting to know Taisha a bit more this episode – I think this was her first episode with one of her VT inserts, so I wish the edit had been a bit kinder to her because she’s had solid makeups and seems like a great girl, and if you’d like to follow her on Instagram, her handle is TaishaMakeUp.

And so 6 MUAs remain…

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