‘Glow Up: Next Make-Up Star’ AKA ‘Glow Up’ is a competition series where Makeup Artists (MUA) participate in weekly challenges to prove their mettle. The contestants are judged by industry bigwigs Dominic Skinner and Val Garland, who are joined every week by a famous guest. Even though makeup is an important part of the film industry, the art and science of makeup took a long time to come into focus.
Over the years, skills, techniques, and products have been refined so that people can use them to transform appearances. While it is quite common for makeup artists to gain recognition for their work through social media, this reality series gives them a bigger platform to showcase their talents, and it becomes a stepping stone for their professional growth. If you are wondering whether what we see on the show is authentic or not, here is what we would like to share with you.
Is Glow Up Real or Scripted?
One of the reasons people love the show is because it focuses on the competition and skills of the MUAs rather than their interpersonal drama. The format of the series makes the content feel quite wholesome, and viewers can genuinely enjoy the skills the competitors bring to the table. The opportunities this reality show provides to the MUAs are absolutely authentic, which explains why the show takes the competition so seriously. For example, Emmy-winner MUA Brian Kinney offered to mentor the winner of season 3, Sophie, to help her achieve her goals. Similarly, Dolli, who came in third, was invited to collaborate with Sali Hughes and Cult Beauty, an opportunity to feature in Dazed Beauty, and a booking from Andrew Gallimore.
On various occasions, the contestants and judges have spoken about the connections they build while filming a season. In an interview with The Guardian in April 2021, Maya Jama shared her experience of working closely with the contestants. She said, “I don’t know how involved you’re supposed to get in these jobs with people. We cried at points; it was emotional. Maybe it would have been different if it wasn’t a pandemic because everyone goes home and lives their lives separately, but because it was our whole life for that month and a half, you put your all into it.” Jama felt that she could let her guard down and be herself while interacting with the competing MUAs, an experience she deeply appreciated. In a different interview, Nicole Marilyn shared that her favorite memory of being a part of season 3 was meeting the fellow contestants for the first time. The Londoner felt that she made some great friends who would be a part of her life for a long time.
The reality show does a great job when it comes to diversity and representation. Val Garland threw some light on that. “We want to see more inclusion and diversity, but fundamentally, we should just be looking for great makeup artists – that should be our objective. Not, ‘have we got the right number of people and types?’ in the show. But I have to say that, with ‘Glow Up,’ it happened naturally, and that’s as it should be,” she stated. Frankly, this is quite believable since different faces, aesthetics, and diverse cultural backgrounds only enrich the body of work in an industry where creativity is key.
However, some viewers and critics felt that sometimes the judges’ comments lacked helpful feedback since their responses were limited to whether or not they liked a look. It is possible that the details are edited out because not all the viewers might find the technicalities interesting. This is the case with most competition shows because the producers have to focus on creating content that people would actually enjoy. Taking everything into account, it seems that ‘Glow Up’ is quite an authentic reality show.
Read More: Where Are Glow Up Season 1 Contestants Now?