alumna wins BBC’s Glow Up Series 2

Wednesday July 8, 2020

For the past two months, Concord alumna, Ophelia Liu has appeared on BBC’s popular television show Glow Up, Series 2, battling it out against other contestants to become Britain’s next make-up star – and that she’s done! The television series hosted by renowned English TV presenter, Stacey Dooley saw ten aspiring makeup artists (MUAs) compete in a range of real-world and creative professional assignments. And Ophelia, who left Concord in 2013, impressed two of the most notorious individuals in the industry: London-based MUA, Val Garland and MAC Cosmetics Global Senior Artist, Dominic Skinner, winning the show in a ‘nail-biting’ final to take home the prize of a professional contract, assisting some of the worlds top makeup artists. Her pieces each week ranged in inspiration to meet the themes, such as her love for the Chinese Opera and her home, Hong Kong, to incredibly ghastly makeup focussing on phobias. Judges described Ophelia as ‘a true and confident artist’, and complimented her ‘imagination, artistry and incredible technical talent’, making her a worthy winner of the show. For the final week, Ophelia also had to overcome her biggest professional assignment to date: leading a makeup masterclass to other industry experts in one of the world’s most famous department stores – Harrods. This included Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics. Reflecting on her time in the competition, Ophelia, a former art student at Concord who studied Fashion Design at Ravensbourne in London said: “The process definitely helped me grow as an artist as the competition and other contestants pushed me to experiment with new mediums, go out of my comfort zone and try new things. “My focus was on creating amazing work, having an impact and leaving my imprints in people’s minds – I was focussing on that, instead of on winning. “Even in the last challenge, I didn’t expect anything. It keeps me grounded and humbled. It still feels surreal!” She added: “Covid-19 has affected a lot in the industry, so it will all be outside and remote working for me for the time being, but I cannot wait to receive my three-month contract with an agency and kick-start my stable career in makeup. “I don’t know what’s to come, but I’m hoping for the best and working hard to achieve as much as I can.” Since the show, Ophelia has gained tens of thousands of new followers on her social media, with no sign of slowing down, as she seeks to continue developing her career in the makeup industry. Concord’s Head of Art, Mr Anthony Hudson who was a keen viewer each week said: “I think it’s safe to say that we have always known Ophelia would do something extraordinary with her art. “She has always been bold and brave with her ideas and it was so good to watch Glow Up and see that she has continued to work hard, stay creative and push her ideas forward – regardless of what others may think. “To see a former student achieve this level of success with their art is wonderful, but to also read the comments on social media and understand the impact she is having on other creative young people now, and going forward, is even more satisfying. “A great artist and fantastic young person, we are proud beyond words and look forward to seeing what she’ll do next.” Principal, Mr Neil Hawkins added: “It was an amazingly impressive performance throughout the series where Ophelia embodied creativity, determination and ultimately talent. “She was the stand-out contestant  in our eyes and we are very proud that she has found the courage to follow her dreams. “Her story is truly inspirational and everyone at Concord wishes her every success in her future career.” Catch up on the whole series on BBC iPlayer by clicking here and view more of Ophelia’s work on her Instagram. Pictured below: Ophelia’s final piece of the series, inspired by evolution and her own transformation throughout the competition. In the words of judge Val Garland, 'DING DONG' Ophelia!