After Yvonne’s confidence boosting win, and Walter champing at the bit for his own win, the gang headed back to the lab where it was transformed into Command Central. McKenzie briefed them on their “mission” disguised as a Focus Challenge. In honour of a new show called Hunters where agents must hunt supernatural terrorists by wearing undetectable disguises, the artists were assigned their own agents and had to create disguises for them. Mr. Westmore was their advisor for this one since he worked on robbers, the L.A.P.D. and Michael Jackson alike to keep them incognito. He stressed that they pay attention to face shape and details like freckles which could make all the difference. Since this was a Focus Challenge on the face, precision and beautiful edges were key, and guest judge Gale Anne Hurd, producer of Hunters, would be on the reveal stage. I must say, this was the toughest challenge in some time. Some of the artists really struggled with the concept of a disguise, as well as skin tones (don’t get me started…).
Njoroge’s agent was a blonde woman and he chose to disguise her as an Asian man. This was risky, but he went for it. Mr. Westmore told him to tweak the eyes. Njoroge was pleased with his work, and lay down hair for a beard and moustache which was way too dense, and looked borderline offensive when he applied it. He realized his appliance edges weren’t great, but was happy with it anyway. Gale still saw a girl under the makeup and a racial stereotype, and the judges hated the edges. the hair was also too stiff, and too many appliances made for too many edges. He was in the bottom looks.
Anna turned her agent from a clean-shaven man into a chubby hipster. It was ok, but the judges thought it was bizarre looking and heavy. Walter took his darker-skinned model and made him a fair-skinned biker. That worked after he fixed the cartoony jaw, and the judges liked his edges. Yvonne turned her agent into a heavy metal musician with a full facial appliance. Johnny created an “African descent” person, which was just terrible, and Mel changed her agent into an elderly old man. She spent a lot of time sculpting, and did a great paint job. These artists were safe.
Katie turned her agent into a darker, older man. Her troubles started with the paint job. It looked like what she called a spray tan, and got progressively worse as she tried to fix it. She ended up with shiny, red-toned finish. The judges thought the eyebrows and moustache were good, but the paint was too plastic looking and too dark. The whole makeup called attention to the agent instead of disguise him. She was in bottom looks.
Rob decided to turn his dark-haired agent into a ginger hillbilly type dude. He used texture stamps to create realistic skin, taking his time. He applied a seamlessly blended baldcap, and impressed the judges with his nondescript character. He fulfilled the challenge by creating a person who blended in. Gale thought it didn’t read as a makeup. He was in top looks.
Robert turned his female agent into a dorky “Bulgarian electronics man”. He was the first in the mold room, and used tape to lay hair on backwards so it would look natural. His makeup looked great, and the judges thought it looked better without glasses. Ve loved the hair, Gale thought it looked like a guy, and this clean makeup put him in top looks.
Kaleb turned his agent into and East Indian woman, and it did not go well. He had trouble with the skin tone and the edges of his appliances. It looked rough. His edges peeled, the paint was too dark, and the judges were unimpressed with the mild racial stereotyping. He was bottom looks.
Melissa turned her young female agent into an older one. She was familiar with disguises since she dresses up as Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. She used plastic sheets to put texture on the skin, and punched in the eyebrows but they were a little wonky. The judges liked the neck, but felt the makeup was confusing overall. She was safe this week.
This winner was Rob for his intelligent approach, smart decisions and ability to change his model’s most prominent features.
Njoroge would be going home. His makeup was flawed technically and creatively. He wasn’t discouraged, and vowed to keep working in makeup.
If you can take anything away from this episode, it’s to learn how to mimic skin tone. It’s so basic and so, so important as a makeup artist. I’ve ranted about this before, so I’ll spare you, but it is really key to have an eye for matching a person’s natural skin tone, and if you’re changing a skin colour completely, watch the undertone or else you’ll end up with a ruddy mess.