BBC reality show, Glow Up, streams from Netflix to your lounge room, showcasing the talent of 10 makeup artists each season.  Hosted by Stacey Dooley, who is accompanied by judges Val Garland and Dominic Skinner, the show brings talent from the beauty industry and self- taught stars across the globe to Britain, to battle it out for who has the most creative, technical and impressive makeup artistry skills.


Guest judges appear each week relevant to the episode’s challenge to critique the MUA’s work. With a plethora of prosthetics, paints, shadows and lashes, the competitors are challenged to create looks that do everything from represent their inner drag queen, to embody their favourite song. Watching artists grow throughout the show and snatch up opportunities to work with leading photographers, models and performers is as inspiring as it is heart-warming.


Glow Up had me placing a large order at Sephora, looking to invest in eyeliners and coloured palettes to attempt a look as grandiose as the contestants.


Notable creative talents in the show include:


James Mac (@jmac_mua), season 2 contestant and Irish queen, who works through a form of Tourette Syndrome to create show stopping looks. According to James, he “was always an artistic kid but growing up as a closeted gay, country boy, I had to act and be a certain way. I’ve come a long way.” James is an example of the depth of talent we hide away when we try to conceal who we really are, in order to blend in.


James worked with intense colour to express his identity and passion for uniqueness, flourishing by embracing his true self.









Another notable talent on Glow Up, is season 1 contestant Leigh Easthope (@easthope_fx), who worked as a colour-blind freelance makeup artist for only nine months before embarking on a competition that would change his life.


Leigh felt “the experience of Glow Up was stressful, overwhelming but most of all incredible, I learnt so much about myself, my artistry, the industry and I had some amazing experiences and made some friends for life”. He advises aspiring artists to practice and practice and practice until their confidence and skillset blooms into a career.


What these two MUA’s show us, is that we can overcome our challenges through pursuing our creative passions. James and Leigh both work as freelance makeup artists and continue to grow in the beauty industry.



Glow Up is currently casting for a third season, looking to give a platform to aspiring MUA’s to prove their talent to the world.  To enter Glow Up follow the prompts on the following link: