One facial, one hair colour, one 'juzz' and a threading appointment later (we won't ask) and Sam Bailey, our favourite singing prison officer from this year's X Factor, single handedly proves the power of good hair and make-up.
Far be it from us to underestimate said power, we just had to find the beauty team responsible - because from behind the bars emerged an arresting beauty. Just how did this transformation from prison officer to pop star happen - and was surgery included?
The answer says Julia Carta, X Factor's official make-up artist, is no. But she tells us that Bailey was put on a beauty bootcamp of sorts: "Preparation is key to get Sam's skin ready. To get the look we gave her a facial from Beauty Lab [cheekbones not included] and a Glycopeel to smooth and brighten. She's also been using the range at home."
New skin revealed; and then covered up. Backstage it goes like this: two layers of foundation (airbrushed Airbase foundation and Laura Mercier Cream Smooth Foundation ) one pore-perfecting lotion (by Urban Decay ) and two layers of concealer by Sheer Cover Concealer and Clinique . All set under one layer of Sheer Cover Powder for an HD effect.
And yes, she got a spray tan. Natch.
But from where did those chiselled cheeks come from? "Using Body Bling on the cheekbones," says Carta, "and down the centre of the nose, on the cupids bow and brow bone. I then contoured her cheekbones with a Sleek contour palette in medium . "
Curiously returning as a dark, stealthy version of their former selves, we later had it confirmed that Sam's over zealous plucking was reversed by brow expert Shavata, too. (Once back in shape, her new face framers were filled in backstage by Carta using Benefit Brow Zings Shaping Kit .)
The hair transformation is by stylist Jamie Stevens, who made her locks "darker and richer". The big blow-dry worked with - not against - her curls, "drying it with volume so that the end result was much softer and glamorous with lots of shine for her camera-ready moment," he explains, adding how: "the sexy, side sweeping fringe adds the X Factor to Sam's new look."
Whether you love or hate a makeover that fundamentally changes a face, this one gets our vote for its 'before and after' factor.