2 mins


Yong-chin Breslin, winner of Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-up Star series four tells Lollie Hancock how the show developed her skills and what’s next in her career

How did you first get into make-up artistry?

“I studied fashion design at Kingston and was really focused on that.

Make-up was something I did in my free time and as a favour. I was always painting and illustrating, so would get booked for face painting and Halloween jobs by people I know and then, after my degree, I started to do make-up properly. That was just under two years ago. For the first year, none of it was paid and I don’t think I took a day off.”

What made you apply for Glow Up?

“I loved reality and talent shows – Iwas always watching Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model – but there was never a show I thought I could do until I saw Glow Up. I watched the first two seasons in lockdown and actually applied for season three, got to the final 15 and then didn’t make it. They contacted me to reapply for season four and I submitted my application on the last day. Luckily it worked out.”

How did your skills develop on the show?

“Before the show, I’d never used prosthetics or applied them, never worked with bald caps or anything like that. My skills developed massively. The tips and tricks you get from [pro MUA judges] Val Garland and Dom Skinner in the critiques are so valuable. Watching the show, you only get a snippet but in reality they spend 15 minutes going through your work in depth.

They really want you to improve.”

Were there any points when you thought you were going home?

“I came into the competition quite strong in week one and am a competitive person, so being in the bottom two twice in a row in weeks three and four definitely put me in a weird headspace. It’s hard when something knocks your confidence like that and you can really start to doubt yourself.”

How did it feel to win?

“My instant feeling was that I didn’t deserve it – Iwasn’t happy with my final creative brief so I went into the final phase thinking ‘I’m not going to win this. I’m just going to do the make-up and have fun with it’ and I really enjoyed the final round.

After filming, when I could tell my friends and family, I started to think ‘Yeah, I do deserve to win’. It was a lot of mixed emotions.”

What’s your advice to aspiring MUAs?

“Practise, practise all the time. I know everybody says that. And when you don’t feel like practising, watch YouTube tutorials, find the style of make-up that you really like – whether that’s drag, SFX or celebrity.

“Constantly reach out to people. It’s always good to put yourself out there rather than assume that people will come to you because it’s such a saturated industry now that if you’re not messaging people, they don’t really know who you are.”

What’s next for you?

“I’m working a lot more with musicians doing album covers and videos, which is really exciting, and I like to talk so I want to start doing a YouTube channel where I can talk people through the different looks I did on the show and more classic and editorial looks too. I think in the next few months there will be some masterclasses from me and more teaching, which is something I really enjoy.”

This article appears in August 2022

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August 2022
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