March 2019

Super Steph to star in BBC talent show to find nation's best make-up artist

Read time: approx 1 mins

A super-talented and multi-award winning UCB Specialist Hair and Media Make-up student is to star in a new BBC talent show fronted by Stacey Dooley MBE.

Steph Harrison was hand-picked from 2,000 applicants to be one of just 10 contestants on Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star, an eight-part series scheduled to air on BBC One and BBC Three on Wednesdays from March 6.

Her rise to stardom is particularly phenomenal considering she was told she might never walk properly again after seriously injuring her spine in a car crash in 2008. Bedridden for a year, her determination got her back on her feet and she became a huge success.

Having already filmed the TV series, but sworn to secrecy on the identity of the winner, the 27-year-old said doing the show was totally mind-blowing.

“I can’t say what we got to do, it’s top secret, but it was amazing,” said Steph, known round UCB for her distinctive rainbow dreadlocks and ‘cyber goth’ style.

“From the mystery judges, some of whom were my absolute heroes, to the incredible challenges we got to do. I’m still processing it!”

With regular eliminations, the show presented by Stacey, hard-hitting BBC investigative journalist and winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2018, will see Steph and the other hopefuls live and work together to prove their potential to industry professionals from a multitude of worlds, from fashion to film.

The challenges will not only test their skills under pressure, but also give them the opportunity to unleash their creative vision with jaw-dropping results, the top prize a contract assisting some of the world’s top talents in the field.

Judges on the show are Val Garland, Global Make-Up Director for L’Oreal Paris, and Dominic Skinner, Global Senior Artist for MAC. Garland has worked with several big name stars, including Lady Gaga, Kate Moss and Kendall Jenner, while Skinner has a plethora of experience in make-up for ballet, TV and dance.

Dream come true

It’s a dream come true for Steph, who grew up “a rebel and eccentric”, although it isn’t her TV debut, appearing in Channel 4’s Extreme Makeovers: On Fleek in 2016.

Starting at UCB as a Level 3 Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up student and now studying a third year of her degree to turn her FdA into a full BA Honours, she has also won an impressive haul of awards in the past few years.

She won first prize for high fashion and was named editorial student make-up artist of the year at the National Make Up Awards 2016, winning her a place on the make-up team at the Miss England finals and a ticket to Lan Nguyen-Grealis' seminar in London.

With a body art design incorporating LED lights, UV paint and funky foam, she then won the Warpaint Make-up Championships at Professional Beauty London, the UK’s biggest beauty show. Entering her first prosthetics competition at the National Make Up Awards last year, Steph walked away with second and third prize for an impressive WW2 Dunkirk soldier and Marvel character Groot.

Alongside her degree studies, which have seen her complete many placements including working on Britain’s Got Talent at the Birmingham Hippodrome, she works as a freelance artist on photo shoots for publications and websites.

Following on from her work on independent zombie film ‘Chloe’, Steph is also credited for full special effects make-up in the new DVD feature film The Exorcism of Karen Walker starring Rula Lenska, first released in the US as ‘Aura’.

Assistant Dean of Specialist Hair and Media Make-up (Creative Services) Tsai Lovett said: “It’s an extremely competitive industry, but Steph is determined, and fiercely passionate. She also knows that while we have amazing industry contacts and can help set up fantastic placements here at UCB, it’s also up to her to make her own opportunities.

“She’s definitely done that and we are very excited to see how she gets on!”

You can see Steph in Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star at 10am on BBC Three and repeated at 10.35pm on BBC One on Wednesdays from March 6.

Find out more about the series here.

See some of Steph’s incredible work on Instagram @the_craft_mua

We caught up with Steph Since the show aired and did a Glow Up Q&A. Find out what her experience was like in the video below:

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