As an experienced makeup artist, Eve Jenkins has recently been seen as a finalist on the second series of Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star with all episodes already streaming on BBC iPlayer and currently showing on BBC Two. During her time on the show, Eve won a challenge to work on Strictly Come Dancing as makeup artist for Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice, and in the semi-final, her work impressed celebrity judge Rankin and had her images published in Hunger Magazine. Eve has been in the industry since the age of fourteen after doing a two-day special effects course, and as a makeup artist, she has worked on campaigns including with Primark. Answering our questions, Eve tells us about her experience on Glow Up, having her work published in Hunger Magazine and being a makeup artist on Strictly Come Dancing.
How did you find the experience on Series 2 of Glow Up?
Very challenging, there is so much more to the show than what you see on TV, you live in this bubble and there are many things that affect you more than the judges’ critique. The whole crew were so supportive, they all wanted you to do well and succeed, everyone, from the producers right down to the runners. I felt like that showed at the Rankin shoot, the whole crew clapped because they had all been on the journey with me, they were proud that I had done well. Same with the cast, even though it was a competition, we didn’t treat each other like competitors but like family. We have all spoken every day since.
How was it meeting the rest of the MUAs for the first time?
Crazy! None of us knew beforehand who was going to be in the house, so it was all very exciting. We arrived over two days, I was one of the first in and I instantly felt at home. We had towels with our names on so we were trying to guess who else was going to be there. It was a bit like having a big slumber party with your friends, we got takeaways, played games… it was so much fun.
Your work in the semi-final got great comments and also got published in Hunger Magazine, how was the experience working with Rankin?
Working with Rankin will always be one of my greatest achievements. It was amazing because this was the first time I had the opportunity to do beauty makeup in Glow Up, so I felt like this was finally my time to show the judges what I’m good at.
I felt intimidated when Rankin first came over and asked me about my look, he was keeping a very good poker face, I thought he wasn’t keen on my idea! Before I poured the pigment into the water, we got some beautiful images, knowing this gave me the confidence to pour in the gold powder. We can’t practice anything beforehand so I had no idea if it would work, it turned out better than I could have ever imagined.
How did you come up with the design for the look you did in the final?
I knew I wanted to do prosthetics, as this was something I had excelled at during the Holby City challenge. I based my look on the peacock flounder fish which camouflages and adapts quickly to new environments, I related to this because of how I have adapted to the different challenges throughout the competition. Unfortunately, we had very limited time to plan for the final and I wasn’t able to order any prosthetics, we also don’t get to use the kit unless we are filming, so I had nothing to practice with. I entered the room with pure faith that I could make it work somehow and I believe I did! People expected me to do a glam look for the final, I like to be unpredictable, I had pushed myself out of my comfort zone every week and this week was no different.
Did you have a favourite episode to film and which did you find most challenging?
Oh, too many to choose from, I loved every single real world assignment!
The creative briefs have always been my greatest struggle, it was very new for me, I had never even planned a look on a face chart before, and they always wanted a story which I could never grasp the hang of.
The semi-final creative look was the most challenging, it was a surprise brief, listen, if I struggle when it’s planned then it’s going to be almost impossible with no planning! The theme was elements, I got fire, I wanted to use fuller’s earth to create a cracked lava effect. I had practiced a little on my arm before starting on my model and it worked great, but when I did it on a bigger scale it wouldn’t dry, I tried six different hairdryers but they all blew out cool air. I made the decision, with twenty minutes left, to remove the whole thing, although my look was unfinished, the judges respected my courage and that’s what helped to get me through to the final! Everything happens for a reason, I suppose.
Can you say more about working on Strictly Come Dancing with Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice after winning the week’s challenge with guest judge Lisa Armstrong?
Well, if there was a challenge I was made for, it would be Strictly! I was incredibly ill, I had caught a bug and lost my voice, filming days are very long, I carried a blanket and took naps in-between shooting but it was so worth it! Standing on the stage and seeing everything backstage was magical! I have never seen so much makeup in my life, it was lovely seeing Michelle again, I think she was surprised to see me!
Was there anything that inspired you to apply for Glow Up?
Honestly, I just applied never really thinking I would ever get on, I always tried not to think about it because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. The next minute, I’m on and then in the finals, I never stopped to think, it was all such a blur!
Can you tell us about some of the campaigns you worked on before filming the series?
I work full-time in a salon, and as well as doing night out makeup and weddings, we also do photoshoots. We regularly shoot with Primark, the makeup is always the ‘no makeup’ look, very natural not to distract away from the clothes and mainly video rather than stills. I felt at ease on the real world challenges, as I was used to being on set, it was familiar meaning I could focus purely on the makeup. It was such a treat having creative control and doing whatever makeup I wanted for a change.
Where does your love of makeup come from?
I’ve never done anything other than makeup. People may be surprised that I haven’t always loved girly glam, I started in special effects and Halloween. I always wanted to be a prosthetic makeup artist, it is much more transformative, the possibilities are endless because you’re not confined to the face. I followed a YouTube tutorial when I was thirteen of this gory zip eye, I didn’t have any of the products, I stuck the zip on with some glue from my dad’s shed and it took so long to dry I had to lie on the floor whilst it dried! I crushed a red blusher and mixed some Vaseline to make a wet blood face paint, it actually turned out great. I posted it to Facebook and I received such an amazing reaction, I just knew that I wanted to be a makeup artist.
How did you start working as a makeup artist?
My dad researched and found me a two-day special effects course when I was fourteen, with a company called So Coco Rouge, and I never left, I’m still here ten years later! They were impressed with my maturity and passion, I would go with them on jobs (mainly photoshoots) until I got my qualifications, then I slowly built up to more regular work and now I’m full time. The best way to learn makeup is on the job, I was very privileged to work on so many different faces and skin tones from such a young age. I was never judged on my age, only ever my skill and professionalism, they always believed in me.
Have you had a design that took longer than usual to perfect?
Working in a salon I have developed a skill for speed, I wish I had made it through to the final face off, I would have been able to do three full faces in forty minutes!
When I do more creative makeup, I’m at home in my makeup room and give myself unlimited time, I love the whole experience, I like to put music on and relax, it’s my happy place. Every creative look takes a few hours but I avoid pressuring myself and don’t look at the time, that’s what makes it so enjoyable. Just me, myself and makeup.
What three makeup products could you not live without?
LIPLINER! Always overdrawn. Always nude. Always matte. My favourite lip combo is, Illamasqua Woo lipliner and MyBeautyBrand Polly Tea Rose liquid lipstick. Lashes, any brand, but they have to be big. Lashes give you a whole new personality, they transform your mind, body and soul, it’s 100% true, I’m not being dramatic.
Do you have a favourite aspect of your career?
What I love most about my job is never dreading a single day’s work, waking up every morning with a smile on my face ready to take on the day.
I love that one day I’m gossiping with clients in the salon, the next working on shoot, teaching makeup students or sometimes sitting in my makeup room getting creative and connecting with my followers.
What advice would you give someone wanting to be a makeup artist?
Stop thinking about doing it and just DO IT. Whether it’s getting on YouTube and following a tutorial or paying for a makeup course, just get started. No matter your circumstances, you can start today but you have got to be the one to make it happen.
Also, makeup is very glamourised on Instagram, it’s hard work and low pay, have realist exceptions.
You have to do makeup for love not money.
What do you enjoy doing away from makeup?
I have a huge passion for upcycling and DIY. My hands need to be busy at all times, so if it isn’t a makeup brush I’m holding, it’s a paint brush.
Almost everything in my house I have made in some way, I feel proud looking around at the unique items I have created. I also love bargains and being savvy, I have a DIY highlight on my Instagram where I share tips with my followers, it’s so much fun!
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