Celebrity Make-Up Artist Val Garland and MAC Cosmetics Global Senior Artist Dominic Skinner talk about ‘Glow Up Live’, based on the BBC3 hit reality show ‘Glow Up: Britain’s next Make Up Star’ due to play at the London Palladium

Five seasons down, and the BBC’s hit reality make up show Glow Up: Britain’s Next Top Make Up Artist makes the transition from our screens to the stage – head judges Val Garland – a renowned make up artist celebrating 30 years of working on various fashion campaigns including Alexander McQueen and Dominic Skinner – Mac Cosmetics’ current Global Senior Artist fronting Glow Up Live, to take over the London Palladium on the 15th and 16th October. Ahead of the live event, which will see eight contestants from the show’s previous seasons return to battle it out to be crowned winner live on stage, Val and Dominic tell us more about why it’s important to have a show such as this promoting the off stage skill of make up artistry!

Glow Up Live will take place on the 15th and 16th of October at the London Palladium. How are you feeling ahead of the event?

Val: I am utterly excited, aren’t you?

Dominic: Oh, I can’t wait. It’s gonna be a real dream come true because I’ve always fancied myself on the West End stage and I never, ever thought it was ever going to happen. I thought it might have happened in Sweeney Todd or something, but you know what, I’ll take it!

Val: My mum if she was still here would be so proud. Sunday night at the London Palladium. It doesn’t get better! The last time I watched Sunday night at the Palladium, I was watching Shirley Bassey.

A fully staged version of the hit show hit TV show Glow Up: Britain’s next Make Up Star, the show will welcome the return of eight renowned makeup artists from the past series so far, who will battle it out to be crowned the winner? How will the TV show translate onto a live stage setting?

Val: I think it’s going to be you know I think it’s going to be electrifying, because you cannot cut it – It’s in the moment. It is alive. So it’s Jeopardy. It’s unpredictable. It’s exciting. I think it’s going to be amazing.

Dominic: It’s going to be great fun, because the whole thing about Glow Up is it’s really captured a lot of people’s imaginations of what is possible with something that a lot of people just have at home. The idea of them, translating it into a live experience, to really watch these talented artists create makeup in real time, that’s why masterclasses, makeup master classes in particular are so popular all over the world because people love to watch creations and to have that onstage with the added excitement in jeopardy and you know, fun and entertainment. It’s going to be a really wonderful well rounded show.

Val: You will be seeing the magic happen!

What has it meant to you both to have a show such as this, that platforms makeup artistry on our screens?

Val: I think it’s really opened up and educated the public to what it takes to be a makeup artist, it is a true profession. People can see it’s not about just putting on a little bit of lippy, you have to know the science behind being a makeup artist. It’s made people a lot more aware that this is a real job.

Dominic: Yeah, I think real and also just the fact that it is a real job that has so many possibilities, so many avenues that a lot of people never really thought about. It’s it’s opening up the doors to a lot of people who would never have thought about a career in makeup in the past, but also it’s allowing people to understand that actually, their son or daughter playing around with makeup in their bedroom, it’s not a waste of time. There is actually a career that can happen from it. It’s allowed parents to really be supportive of their child into getting into an industry that may not have been something they would have thought about before.

Glow Up: Britain’s next Make Up Star has run for five seasons now, where you have both judged from the beginnings of the show. How has the show evolved from its beginnings up until now?

Val: We’ve grown as makeup artists because we have learned and we have been inspired by other makeup artists. I just think each season, it gets better and better. I mean, I thought the last season was incredible.

Dominic: The weird thing is, is that first of all, we got into this thinking – maybe people might watch it… and to think we’re now on season five, but not just season five, we’re in a season where we’ve got artists who are on the show who were inspired by season one to get into makeup and that is like a full circle moment. To think that the very first season inspired people to pick up a makeup brush and are now on the show, entering the show itself. It’s it’s incredible. It’s so uplifting.

Val: It’s more than makeup. When you’re in it and when you’re watching it, there is so much emotion that goes on – passion and emotion. I think you really feel it because there’s a certain honesty about the show.

Dominic: Yeah and I think that’s why the show has done so well. People really enjoy watching talent on screen but it’s not just talent. You’re also seeing passion but you’re also seeing the community. You’re seeing camaraderie, you’re seeing a competition show where people are cheer on each other’s cheerleaders. There is no mean girl, there’s no vindictiveness, everyone is there to help everyone else get to the final. They’re all pulling each other on and I think that is a real different narrative to all the other competition shows that you might have. It’s also it’s also showing young people in a really positive light. I think young people get it a bit of a tough at times – because it’s a generation that a lot of people don’t necessarily connect to. But what what show does is it highlights actually, they’re really wonderful, supportive, very self aware group of people that are also extremely talented and it’s just a great honour to be able to have a platform for those people to express themselves.

You’ve both paved successful careers within the makeup industry. So Val, you’ve worked on various renowned fashion campaigns and Dominic you’re currently in Mac cosmetics, Global Senior Artist. What have your makeup journeys involved?

Dominic: Making lots of mistakes and learning from them!

Val: Absolutely. I think being a professional makeup artist is like a rollercoaster because you get the highs and you get the lows. And every day is different – you have to have a thick skin, you’ve got to be well rounded and it’s a bit like being a Girl Guide, or Brownie, you’ve got to be prepared! You’ve got to be prepared for whatever life throws at you.

Dominic: You’ve got to prepare. You’ve got to you’ve got to be thinking almost two or three steps ahead. You’ve got to predict what is going to get asked to view what is going to potentially happen so that you can problem solve before the problem arises.

Val: What other job can you do, where you get to travel the world? Last week we were in Cologne, the week before that I was in Mexico. At the end of the next week, I’m going to Bangkok. You get to travel the world, you get to meet really interesting people. I think it was Darren who was telling me where he first met you and you were doing all this massive body painting theatre. You know, we’re travelling the world, we’re doing theatre,  we’re doing fashion shows, we’re doing films, we’re doing kind of editorials, we’re doing fashion campaigns. We get to work with the likes of Kate Moss. Giselle Bella Hadid. I mean, it doesn’t get any better!

What can audiences expect from Glow Up Live?

You can expect all the fun and excitement of the show on stage. A lot of banter, a lot of giggles, but at the same time you’re going to get a lot of information. You’re gonna learn some incredible tricks, some incredible hacks, makeup tips galore. You’re going to witness incredible inspirational makeup happening right there on stage. Plus, you might find out a little bit of gossip about what it’s like to be on the show.

Interview by Lucy Basaba.

Glow Up Live will take place on Sunday 15th and Monday 16th October 2023 at the London Palladium. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop