Glow Up, Series 5, Episode 7: The Ruckus of the Umbilici

Ah yes, my favourite ancient Greek seer, THEYodamas.

Get your navels out, it’s hot recap summer.

A Little BRIT Frightening

For their semi-final Industry Challenge the MUAs were taking on the red carpet as they prepared 4 celebrities of varying degrees of social clout and navel valor for the BRIT Awards – which is a really fun awards show to get because there’s absolutely no dress code so you get some traitors people showing up looking like they’re wearing the most elegant primeval drawing of a skeleton

and right next to them is someone dressed like they’re catering to someone with a Rorschach fetish

their completely unmade up face always really tickles me.

Overseeing the challenge was Hector Espinal, who has apparently recorporealised after last year’s MUAs turned him to dust during their Jayda G 90s rave challenge when their only link to the 90s was the discography of the Spice girls

so this week he was keeping out of earshot of everyone and mostly standing by the set dressing clothes rack looking like a mafia don making shady deals with Leomie who was dressed like a spy

as much as I do love someone dressing up like they’re trading government secrets, I do wish she hadn’t covered up her Brits outfit

but she might have had to fight Tallia Storm because there’s only enough room for 1 pink two-piece wearer on the red carpet

you know the scene in Legally Blonde where Elle gets tricked into showing up in a sexy bunny costume? This is like that but somehow they convinced Tallia that the BRITs was both a ski resort and the beach, but truly I would expect nothing less from someone that wore their own face

oh, she understood the branding assignment at hand – I doubt many people had heard of Tallia prior to this but my god am I obsessed with her now. I thought she was extremely charming and she was not pretending that dressing like climate chaos Barbie was anything but an attention grab (and good for her)

it was also nice that someone was asking for something big and dramatic – four different smokey eyes might not have made for a very interesting challenge and Saphron gave her exactly what she wanted with the big statement pink eyes

the only obstacle Saphron really faced was the fact Tallia was trying to deliver nuclear reaction jpegs throughout

which I suppose is easier to do when your MUA isn’t introducing themself like Eeyore

Yinka Bokinni was on the receiving end of Keiran’s depressive malaise and wanted a graphic eye look to match her entry into The Ruckus of the Umbilici

and she was in pretty safe hands considering Keiran’s own eye makeup looked like it could cut someone

and the final look was good but between her incredibly luxurious brows, the liner, the lashes and the shadow it did kind of all muddle together into a smokey smear

but it was the process of getting her red carpet ready that was the real sticking point with Keiran getting a little flustered and Yinka essentially taking over Hector’s job for the day

it was also a bit unfortunate that Yinka wanted a graphic eye and then Kim Petras showed up to the same event looking like a KO’d pokemon thereby making any other attempt at graphic liner look like the demurest of cat eyes

sadly nobody was brave enough to request anything that whacky, with Axel having to essentially recreate the top google result for “yasss queen slay smokey eye”

which Axel was a little bit relieved about given that beauty isn’t their domain so getting to do something that toed the line of theatrical was a bit of a life raft in the turbulent waters of Daisy Maskell’s under-eyes

unfortunately Axel never quite got to grips with them and before Daisy hit the red carpet, Hector had to step in to touch up the creasing – which we never actually saw and I’d be curious to know how bad it was, but they spared Daisy the indignity of someone, god forbid, having a slightly creased under eye

and Axel had to find out in the most brutal way possible – by furiously refreshing Getty Images

that “I can only find one photo” is delicious in its unintentional shade – but I also struggled to find an image of Daisy on the Red Carpet – the only place I could find hosting one was and my antivirus software went into overdrive the moment I clicked on it to copy and paste it.

Last up is Roo with Zara McDermott who was the only one with a Wikipedia page, so she’s the big minor celebrity that gets to eat the other minor celebrities

and being cut from the Love Island cloth, she was very much all for the very bronzed, minimal glamour which sounds like it’d be easy to do in the blink of an eye, however Roo was going to apply those two shades of eyeshadow like they were a master painter of the Dutch Golden Age

eat your heart out, Vermeer.
There was some rightful concern over whether Roo would get everything done given that they’d taken half an hour to reach Moderate Slay Level: 1

but they managed to pull it all together, only needing a little extra time to apply a bit of lipliner and Zara looked gorgeous

it’s exactly what she asked for and Roo could have easily won for it but unfortunately Tallia looking like the love interest in every poorly aged early 2000s college movie kind of eclipsed everyone else

I’m obsessed with her song Addicted purely because she makes her Jonas Brothers opinions very clear

apparently she’s completely conceded the notion of Joe Jonas to Sophie Turner, she will however fight Priyanka Chopra on sight.

Hit After Hit

For their Creative Brief the MUAs had to create a look based on their greatest hit – degrees and awards being the popular option, however Axel was bucking the trend and was just thrilled that our Lord and Saviour NikkieTutorials had deigned to acknowledge their existence

which to be fair is pretty cool – my greatest celebrity interaction was Laurence Llewelyn Bowen following me on Twitter after I posted the video of him entering a room like a socially unaware vampire

and then he got really pissy when he saw that I wasn’t livetweeting the second series of Changing Rooms because it clashed with better and bigger things

given it was cancelled not long afterwards, I think we’re feuding? Someone get Ryan Murphy on the line NOW!

So Axel was taking the fairly glamorous zombie makeup that Nikkie had seen and replicated as a Zombride

and basically putting it through the prosthetics wringer

this particular series has been a good year for wide open mouths: On-May’s first makeup, On-May’s slime monster makeup, anyone within 2 feet of On-May and just On-May in general…

but the scale and very convincing depth that Axel had managed to achieve is the cherry on top of the gaping maw and the only thing Dom could really clock them on was the minor fading on the shoulder

Tag yourself, I’m Hector dressed a bit like a vampire giving the most incredible side-eye.

Speaking of big mouths that can’t shut, Keiran was in the red seat for blabbing too much about their track record which is very funny on the one show that doesn’t really feel like it cares about track record that much – if somebody wants to Bottom Two Goddess themselves to the final, they will support them in their endevour, there is no Three Strikes rule. But in keeping with the track record theme, Keiran’s look was inspired by their achievements as a hairstylist given that they don’t have as much comparative experience in the makeup space

they did however make the mistake of taking the bait when Hector asked them about symmetry

and unfortunately said symmetry was ever so slightly off – the nose will get you every time

(I will not mention Azami from Junji Ito’s Uzumaki. I will not mention Azami from Junji Ito’s Uzumaki. I will not mention Azami from Junji Ito’s Uzumaki.)
It doesn’t stop it from being a really cool makeup though, something about it looks like the cover of a book, you could easily convince me that this was an alternate cover for a reissuing of The Great Gatsby

there’s just something ever so slightly art deco about it that I really like and while the black lines across the top of the face could have used a little refinement, the gold is flawless and so well applied.

Roo and Saphron were both making looks inspired by their degrees and both were going for quite prosthetic heavy makeups, although Saphron was making things a little more difficult for herself by deciding to use unconventional materials such as her Knit Your Own Troll craft kit

the troll makeup being inspired by the time she did a prosthetic makeup for her final university piece despite being told not to because she hadn’t been taught how to do prosthetics – so essentially she trolled her department with a troll

it’s one of those makeup looks that you can almost picture how the character is going to move and sound – the little yarny Shrek ear suggests it’s a Scottish accent

it was a beautifully tactile makeup – the jaw confused me a little because I was just very aware that her model had three lips

and Val took issue with the visible seam of the wig cap, although I think that may have just been missed because they’d given Saphron a mountain of a man to do this makeup on and imaginably had to hire a sherpa and fill out a liability waiver every time she ascended to his scalp

Edmund Hillary could never.

Roo’s degree was in fine art, their makeup being a nod to their final showpiece that involved masks and all sorts of liquid


and they were hoping to recreate the look by attaching miniature faces to their model’s chest which they would then fill with liquid (the operative word being “hoping”) unfortunately Roo kind of jumped the gun when it came to filling the faces and one of them did spring a leak

which was sad for Roo, but I felt worse for their model who had to sit there with a napkin on their boob like they’d just had a really bad breastfeeding incident

God forbid we show Daisy Askell’s crepey under eyes, but poor Ola over there will have to sit on national television with one soggy boob.

Naturally, trying to repair the burst face (Pete Burns has entered the chat) took up quite a bit of Roo’s time and you kind of knew where this was going the moment they cut to the side by side of everyone with about an hour to go and Roo was just covering their model’s eyes

and doing nothing to fill their slightly damp model with any confidence

don’t worry sweetie, you look fine and definitely not like the two girls that got fried on the sunbeds in the cinematic masterpiece that was Final Destination 3

I did enjoy the game of University Essay Buzzword Bingo that came with the look though – “Hegemony” and I would have got a full house

the highlight however was the sheer magnitude of Axel’s out of focus confusion

also kind of obsessed with how this shot far too perfectly replicates this shot from Insidious

is Saphron… the villain?

Eye, Spider.

With Roo barely finishing in time, they were immediately sent to the Face Off which Axel had managed to escape, so it was a showdown between Roo and Keiran over a pair of spidery eyelashes

which did involve dissecting a pair of false lashes like a child discovering the moral quandry of killing insects

and ultimately both of them achieved a suitable spideriness despite starting with different techniques

there’s pros and cons to both – Roo’s are more spidery while Keiran’s are more symmetrical which meant they ultimately could not decide who to eliminate and instead of making them wrestle for it (one day…) they decided we’d have a top 4 with neither being eliminated – and I present to you the reveal in 3 incredible screenshots

the last time Keiran looked like that they were screaming at Trixie Mattel.

and so, we have our Final Three Four

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