AFTER eight intense and emotional weeks make up artist Glen Edward McGuiness was crowned the winner of Glow up Ireland.
Cork girl Jade Foley, from Knocknaheeny, bowed out of the competition last week - having made it to the semi final. The final three contestants went head to head tonight (Thursday) - Glen Edward, Niall Casey and Michael Ryan.
But it was Glen Edward who wowed the judges and took home the title, as well as a full professional make up kit and €5,000 in prize money to help further his career.
Speaking about the win Glen said: "Being the first ever Glow Up Ireland winner means so much it's hard to explain!
"Being able to excel in something I love so dearly means everything to me and it will hopefully open even more doors and opportunities than it already has! It also means so much to be a little queer boy from the Liberties proving that being different and being working class doesn't mean you are set up to fail but that you can push yourself to become anything you want!"
Ballincollig native and proud Cork woman, Samantha Barry was a guest judge on tonight's show.
Resident judge Cathyanne Mac Allister said of the winner: "Glen seemed to always walk an artistic tightrope, it was nail biting to watch. We never knew if he would finish his work - sometimes he would finalise only in the last couple of minutes.
"The ideas that he brought were completely different and demonstrated magical and unusual colour schemes.
"The other contestants are extremely talented (every single one of them!) The eliminations were a nightmare... extremely talented people have had to leave the show! It has been great to see them all, watch their evolution, their drive, their wish to become better at what they do! Their attitude towards each other and the professionalism they demonstrated are gold for a career that requires great tenacity, talent and teamwork.
"I am in contact with them and remain open to that... I am in the front row, awaiting the path that they will be carving out for themselves. Each of these contestants are an asset to this industry... I will be watching!"
Resident judge Emma O'Byrne added: "Glen Edward was a fantastic competitor. He just kept surprising us and challenging himself.
"I hear he’s just started a new job with Morphe, they are so lucky to have him! We loved all our make up artists (MUAs) and I wish them all the very best in the new jobs and courses. Glen is a truly gifted artist, his line work and attention to tiny detail is astounding."
For the finale, the remaining trio of MUAs - Glen Edward, runner up Niall Casey and Michael Ryan - presented a masterclass on a make up style they felt represented them to Irish industry heavyweights from around the world. The guest judges for the finale included Samantha Barry – Cork-born, New York-based Glamour Editor-in Chief, Maria Malone Guerbaa – Limerick-born, Essex-based Illusion make up artist, Aidan Keogh – Dublin-born, New York-based celebrity make up artist whose clients include Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber and Keilidh MUA who returned to Glow Up Ireland to see how much the finalists have grown over the series.
For the creative brief the theme for the finale was “My Pinch Me Moment”. When presenter Maura Higgins was revealed as presenter of Glow Up Ireland, she described the role as a “pinch me moment’ and for the three finalists the challenge brief given was: Are you making the most of this moment?
Drawing on inspiration from a pivotal moment in your own life, this look should demonstrate to us who you are as an artist and what you’ve learned throughout the competition.
Glow Up Ireland is sponsored by Boots.