Series Review: Glow Up, Season One (Netflix)


Series Blurb:

A talented group of aspiring make-up artists attempt to prove their potential to industry professionals in this competition hosted by Stacey Dooley.

My Review:

Though I love horror, fantasy, and scifi, every now and then I like to watch something centered in the real world that’s fun. Things like Next in Fashion, Queer Eye, Face Off. I’d passed Glow Up a number of times, but for some reason when I saw it recently I had to check it out.

This is another reality tv competition between talented makeup artists resemblant of Face Off. They compete episode to episode with unique challenges that will test their scope of skill and creativity for a big prize in the end.

Having watched many seasons of Face Off, this series was right up my alley. I enjoyed the colorful cast of contestants and picking my favorites out early on as we got to know them  and their creative style better. It was interesting to see how they handled stress in various situations. In some, the time crunch was insane, others more relaxed.

The challenges weren’t as immersive as Face Off, but were still comparable and fun. My favorite probably had the be the fantasy makeups they did earlier on in the series. 

I did have something of an issue with the structure of the show. There is a main challenge that determines who is in the bottom ranking, then another makeup session to see if the bottom can get out of that ranking against their peers. The remaining two in the bottom have to duke it out in a final very time-limited face off against each other. Whoever loses goes home, but therein lies the issue.

In these face offs, the contestants portfolio and excellence in other projects is completely disregarded. Meaning if you scored in the top in the main challenge but were lackluster in the second makeup session, you could instantly be in the hot seat. While that’s understandable, I found that several contestants consistently performed much poorer than others in main challenges and secondary makeup sessions, staying in the bottom spot only to continue to best their peers in the last makeup face offs.

While that’s certainly admirable, I found it to be extremely unfair and created a crutch. These specific contestants (in my mind) should’ve gone home much earlier, and when performance of others makeup challenges is disregarded, much more capable and skilled contestants ended up going home way too early.

I think if you watch, you’ll completely understand what I’m talking about, but it really got on my nerves with a certain repeat offender. I’d really like to see the hosts have more creative control in eliminations rather than cheat worthy individuals of this opportunity.

Despite its shortcomings, I binged this show pretty quickly in just several days, and I’m excited that a second season is available for me to binge. If you are looking for a fun makeup show, this may be the one for you!


Final Score



That’s it for this series review. How about you? Have you seen this one?

Did you enjoy it? Love it, hate it? Feel free to comment, and have a great day!


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