Face Off Season 9 Finale

We’re going to talk about this briefly, because y’all know my feelings on finales.

In Movie Magic part 2, the artists had to make a third make-up for a third character in their short films.  For Nora’s “The Prey,” the hunter becomes the hunted as she devises a larger predator character.  For Evan’s “Quarantine Zone,” a third, fully infected character is needed, thus forcing him to tone down his secondary character to show less of the virus taking hold.  For Ben’s “Resurrection,” a sacrifice is needed and Ben needs to pull out a beauty make-up.

Ricky, Libby, and Jason all return to help and are claimed by Nora, Evan, and Ben, respectively.

Nora seems the most solid throughout.  Her screen tests went nearly perfectly and her filming seemed about the same.  Evan truly impressed me with his rework of the make-ups, and I loved the captive character’s new look with one side of his face overtaken by the virus.  I liked his film the best too.  Ben struggled with the beauty make-up and it might have been his undoing.

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Nora took home the win!  I can’t say I’m surprised.  What did you all think?

A new season starts in January.  I’ll be watching!  Will you?!

Face Off: Movie Magic

I’m not going to lie, you guys.  I like the challenges in reality TV, but I’m never truly interested enough to see who wins.  This is my struggling with blogging shows like Face Off.  I want to report who wins, but the finale challenges are so drawn out and, well, there’s nothing after it!

Regardless, let’s talk about Movie Magic part 1.  I can’t quite recall if I’ve ever seen a Face Off finale (see above) despite loving this show.  The final three– Nora, Ben, and Evan– are two make two movie characters, see them on film and adjust accordingly.  Patrick Tatopoulos has written little scripts and provided the frame work.  Former contestants will help them with these make-ups.

  • Nora’s film is called “The Prey” and she has the dream team of Jasmine and Meg to help her.
  • Ben has “Resurrection” and Jordan and Scott to help him out.
  • Evan get “Quarantine Zone” and has the aid of Kevon and Stevie.

Here’s what they come up with:


Nora’s predator (top left) and prey (bottom left); Ben’s alien priest (top center) and resurrected character (bottom center); Evan’s newly infection (top right) and severely infected (bottom right)

We see them on film somewhat, but I can’t wait to see them tweaked and come to life next week.  Who’s on the right track?  Who’s going to win?  I’m going Nora!

Face Off: Death Becomes Them

Face Off this week was maybe my favorite episode of the season, but definitely my favorite episode in a long time… so let’s jump on in!

McKenzie meets the artists at a backlot this week to a house ruined recently utilized by Desperate Housewives but made famous for being 1313 Mockingbird Lane, aka the home of the Munsters!  This week’s challenge was to create a quirky and macabre character inspired by the likes of the Munsters and the Addams family.

They each pick a gravestone representing the family member they are to create:

  • Nora selects the Blacksheep Cousin
  • Evan selects the Bully Older Brother
  • Ben selects the Inappropriate Uncle
  • Jordan selects the Spinster Aunt
  • Scott selects the Stern Father

Everyone did a pretty phenomenal job:


Evan’s Bully Brother is the only one I really couldn’t get behind.  I like the bull aspect and the actor played it well, but the paint job is… pug-like.

I love Scott’s Stern Dad.  He looks like Zombie Frasier Crane.

Ben’s Inappropriate Uncle has his deceased spouse in tow and has Ve sufficiently creeped out.  This is the clear winner for me.  Hilarious and successful!

I’m a fan of Nora’s Black Sheep Cousin too.  She’s the Marilyn Munster of the group, expect she looks like her sheep-demon family, but she’s totally positive and not satanic.  Hilarious!

Scott’s cartoonish Spinster Aunt is definitely interesting, but so different than the rest of the characters.  Too much for the challenge?  The judges think maybe not enough, if that’s the direction he was going.

The surprise of the episode is that two people will be eliminated and the final three will be chosen right then and there.  The first in the finale is Ben!  So happy.  Loved his make-up.  The second will be Nora!  While she was not my favorite throughout the season, she’s definitely had some stand-out make-ups and I loved her concept so much here, I think she deserved it.  The remaining three have an hour to revise their make-ups based on the judges’ critiques to fight for that final spot.  In the end, it’s Evan who’s selected.

True life: I wanted Scott based on his awesome dad make-up.  Jordan would’ve been my second choice for that third place.  Evan… just didn’t have it for me.  But let’s see what these three do next week!

Face Off: Evolution

Bad news, guys: the xfinity app is still not updated with “Beyond the Expanse,” this week’s episode of Face Off.  My sinus headache might be back, but I’m back in the world of the living enough to actually have watched this episode in my living room.

On to the episode: McKenzie met the now top 6 artists in front of six cautionary disaster signs.

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It’s a Focus Challenge this week.  Creators of Syfy’s newest show, The Expanse, come to explain the concept of the show.  Humans have colonized the entire solar system and evolved to adapt to their surroundings.  I totally want to watch this now!

I’m not a make-up artist, but whenever these challenges are presented, I try to think of how I would tackle them.  This week’s straight-up freaked me out in that it seemed hard!  Luckily, the artists were inspired by the challenge and not stumped like me.  They each selected their apocalyptic event from natural disasters to nuclear fallout, and they were off!


  • Jordan’s make-up is a human who’s adapted to live during an ice age.  He finds himself in top looks this week.
  • Evan’s make-up is a human who’s adapted to survive severe drought.  He too finds himself in top looks!
  • Scott selected nuclear fallout and his make-up is safe.  McKenzie and Michael Westmore intervened in Scott’s cockroach-inspired make-up.  Making it more human as they suggested ended up helping him out!
  • Nora’s make-up is a human who’s adapted to toxic pollution.  She struggled and at one point tore her entire clay sculpt off to start over, but ended up safe.
  • Ben ended up in bottom looks for his human who’s adapted to a volcanic disaster.  The judges were pretty incredulous that she had hair still.
  • Stevie painted her aquatic human who’s adapted to polar melting wrong.  This put her in bottom looks.

Jordan takes the win!

Stevie is sent home.

I actually like Ben, so I’m glad he’s still here, but losing Meg and Stevie back to back has been ROUGH.  They’ve been my two favorites for a while.  The girls really aren’t holding their own this season.  Maybe Nora can hold it down!  Thoughts?

Face Off: Freak Show

This week’s Face Off started with a fun Foundation Challenge.  The artists was into the room to find McKenzie standing with seven models with seven tribal weapons in front of them.  They are each to pick a model and design a tribal make-up based on their weapon.

The results were super cool but the clear top two for me and the judges were Meg, who basically finger-painted everything to give an authentic primitive look, and Scott, who mixed clay in with his paint to give a cracked mud effect.  Scott won, and rightly so for that idea!

For the Spotlight Challenge, the artists spin a wheel of Freak Show characters.  Nora gets Lobster Larry, Scott lands on Twisted Tom, Ben gets the Human Peacock, Stevie gets Icicle Irma, Jordan gets the Elephant Lady, Meg lands on Inside Out Oscar, and Evan is given Moon Girl.  While Freak Shows may have been exaggerated scams, the artists are to imagine fantasy versions of these characters that would really wow the audience.

Here’s what they come up with:


  • Scott’s Twisted Tom is effective and he looks like a hunchback to me… in a good way, if that makes sense.
  • Nora’s Lobster Larry is a mobster with super realistic claws.  Ve Neill cracks me up because she decides that she must go home and eat lobster claws for dinner after seeing it.
  • Ben’s avian-faced Human Peacock man blurs the line between fantasy and reality.
  • Stevie’s Icicle Irma could’ve used luminescent paint on her face, but the icicles are cool and the beauty make-up nice.
  • Ve says Jordan’s Elephant Lady will give her nightmares and Neville agrees.
  • Meg’s Inside Out Oscar comes out like Missing Skin Oscar instead.
  • Evan’s Moon Girl concept is funny— she got hit in the head by a meteor.  The execution is confusing and poorly done, though.

Nora and Ben both made characters their erred on the side of human and they were both the most successful, landing in top looks.  Ben won for complete redemption from last week!

Evan and Meg found themselves in bottom looks.  I’m sad to say, Meg was sent packing.  I loved her and am so sad to see her go.  Plus, I think Evan was less successful.  Thoughts?!

Face Off: Apocalypse, We’ve All Been There

Sorry I’m not sorry for using a Once More with Feeling lyric as the title.

This week’s Face Off was perhaps the first true horror challenge void of whimsy we’ve seen this season.  For that reason, you might notice I’m not featuring pictures of each make-up.  Check out for these, because they were not pretty enough for the blog.  Sorry I’m not sorry again.

Instead, here's a picture of my actual favorite moment of the episode.  You'll see later; keep reading.

Instead, here’s a picture of my actual favorite moment of the episode. You’ll see later; keep reading.

The concept for the episode was actually really cool.  The Spotlight Challenge of “Judgement” is all about harbingers of death, the four horsemen of the apocalypse: Famine, War, Pestilence, and Death.  The eight remaining artists grab one of these themes and form loose teams of four– it’s an individual challenge, but the make-ups are to be presented together as all four horsemen.

The presentation is very dramatic and has a neat effect.  Meg is certainly pleasantly surprised to see them seemingly teleport in through smoke.  Does this remind anyone else of old school Power Rangers?!  The best part of this is that Ve Neill seems to sincerely appreciate and enjoy this.  She even claps enthusiastically at the effect.  Hence, the above.  So freakin’ cute, Ms. Neill!

Safe looks are Meg’s voodoo-like Pestilence, Jordan’s War, Scott’s Death, and Stevie’s Famine.

Top looks are Nora’s Famine and Evan’s Death.  Evan’s Death takes the win!

Bottom looks are Ben’s War, which he knew was not good, and Kevon’s bizarre Pestilence, which he was proud of but totally knew was out of the box.  Kevon goes home for making these odd choices.

The group gets smaller as we head into next week’s freak show!  American Horror Story vibes are getting me excited for this one.  Thoughts?!

Face Off: The Gauntlet

This is an angel.  Find out who made him below!

This is an angel. Find out who made him below!

McKenzie lays it out for the artists: she’s throwing them the toughest challenge that Face Off has ever seen.  This is the Gauntlet: three rounds of competition with rankings at the end of each, each round is weighted more heavily than the last.  The winner will have the combined highest ranking and the loser will be eliminated.

Round 1 is all about exposure to the elements.  Models walk in dressed either from the extreme heat of the desert or extreme cold.  The artists pick a model and build an exposure make-up from their clothing cues.  Most of them accomplish this pretty well.  Honestly, frostbite and sunburn make-ups are both so disgusting.  Jasmine doesn’t really get the memo and makes some sort of desert poison make-up.  The rankings for the first round are:

  1. Nora
  2. Jordan
  3. Scott
  4. Meg
  5. Ben
  6. Jasmine
  7. Evan
  8. Stevie
  9. Kevon

Round 2 starts right away with a bunch of new costumed models with prosthetics already applied.  This challenge is all about painting!  Again, some beautiful work is done.  There are a few missed opportunities here and there, but here are the rankings for round 2: (more…)

Face Off: Shakespeare Style

This week’s Face Off featured another focus challenge.  The theme of this one warms this little former-lit-major’s heart: Shakespeare!  You all know that these plays were originally performed with all male casts.  For this challenge, the artists will have to pull off a gender-swap turning men into iconic female Shakespeare characters.

The characters were assigned.  Since this was the only challenge they did, let’s just jump right into the results, shall we?


The top looks were my girls Meg and Stevie.  Poor Meg has been called out so frequently, but thankfully it’s for top looks this time… and she won!  She and Stevie are both proving to be powerhouses.  Meg’s is my favorite look this time.  This face is gorgeous and certainly feminine.  The make-up color made me a little nervous for Stevie’s girl, but the judges enjoyed the red tones.  She looks nice and feminine too!


The bottom two looks out of the group were Ricky’s creepy Ophelia and Evan’s drag queen Hecate.  Shout out to Jasmine for scrapping her prosthetic and doing one hell of a beauty make-up on her model!  (This is what Ru Paul’s drag queens would call beating their faces.  I love it.)

Ricky is sent home, rightfully.


Updated Aliens

I was surprised to see another Foundation Challenge to start this week’s Face Off. Man, these Foundation Challenges have been so cool, though! Harkening back to iconic sci fi shows of the 60’s and 70’s, the artists are challenged to create a retro alien. They each pick a backdrop to inspire their design. Their guest judge, whose Star Trek work is very relevant to this challenge, is their mentor, Michael Westmore.

Results are FUN. There is a lot of color and pattern. The top two looks are Evan and Jordan, but Evan wins it for his avatar-inspired alien (below). He gets immunity in the Spotlight Challenge.

The Spotlight Challenge further expands upon this. The artists are now tasked with rebooting their aliens– modernizing them for today. Luckily, two more of their judges also have such Star Trek experience– Ve Neill and Neville Page. Guest judge Michael Dorn even visits the artists in progress with Mr. Westmore.

Here’s what they come up with:

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Top looks were Stevie, Scott, and Ben. Ben ended up winning, even though he hated his original alien! Way to rise to the challenge.

Bottom looks were Jasmine, Jason, and Jordan. Jason was eliminated.

I’m glad Jasmine’s still here, because she’s done such nice work so far! I’m also fond of Stevie and Meg, but Scott was my favorite make-up this week. Thoughts?!

Face Off: Gates to Other Worlds

This week’s episode of Face Off featured not one, but two very cool challenges!  It all started with a Foundation Challenge.  The artists walked in to find McKenzie seemingly about to start a therapy session.  Actually, she announces that all the artists will have to inspire them for the challenge is the rorschach test.  You know those ink blots?  Each artist uses one to create a character and results are amazing.

Jasmine and Meg come out on top of this and Meg ends up taking the win for her dirty river mermaid.  She wins immunity for the Spotlight Challenge!


Speaking of switch, the next day the artists find McKenzie standing in front of six unique gateways.  The challenge is to create two characters: the gatekeeper and what they are guarding.  The artists work in pairs chosen at random by selecting keys to the gates from a bag held by McKenzie.  The pairs are: Jason & Ricky, Meg & Libby, Ben & Jordan, Evan & Stevie, Scott & Kevon, and Nora & Jasmine.  Here’s what they come up with:

L to R, T to B: Jason & Ricky, Meg & Libby, Ben & Jordan, Evan & Stevie, Scott & Kevon, Nora & Jasmine.

L to R, T to B: Jason & Ricky, Meg & Libby, Ben & Jordan, Evan & Stevie, Scott & Kevon, Nora & Jasmine.

Top Looks this week are Nora & Jasmine and Ben & Jordan.  Jordan is declared the winner!

Scott, Kevon, Evan, and Stevie are all safe.

Bottom Looks are Jason & Ricky and Meg & Libby.  Since Meg has immunity, we knew she wasn’t going anywhere.  Libby goes home for her lack of grip on the anatomy of the hyena character.

Jasmine’s on fire, huh?  Her painting will get her far in this competition.  Do you have any favorites yet?