AFTER seven long weeks and countless layers of expert contouring, the grand finale of RTÉ’s Glow Up Ireland will take place tonight.
The judges will choose the first ever winner of the glamorous show hosted by reality star Maura Higgins with a dramatic showdown.
The three finalists battling it out for the title are Niall Casey (19), a fashion student at Limerick LSAD; Dublin baker Glen Edward McGuinness (28); and Michael Ryan (31), from Urlingford, Co Kilkenny.
The pressure is really on for the big showdown as the three are tasked with presenting a masterclass on a make-up style they feel best represents them.
Guest judges for tonight’s final will be Cork-born magazine editor Samantha Barry alongside top make-up artist Maria Malone Guerbaa and Aidan Keogh, a Dublin-born make-up artist who is based in New York and has a client list that includes Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber.
The show will also feature beauty expert and influencer Keilidh MUA as she sees how much the finalists have learnt over the course of the series.
Finalist Michael said he found it so inspirational that the last three contestants remaining on the show were all queer people who had taken completely different paths on their journey.
“I think that being on the show has really opened up people’s perspective, so especially for the final three of us, that we are three queer people and we all come from a different perspective on that,” he said.
Michael added that he has learnt so much from being on the show and meeting his fellow contestants.
All three also said they loved working with Love Island star Higgins and that she brought a great energy to the show, which is her first major presenting gig for RTÉ.
“I was a major fangirl. I would just tell her, ‘I’m obsessed with you’. It was really nice getting close to her, but I didn’t envy her job on the show,” Niall said.
“A lot of the time she would come in to talk to us and we’d just finished a really traumatic, stressful challenge. We’d all be sitting there just shell-shocked.
“But she’s so personable, she would draw the emotions back out of you again.”
Fans of the show will see the three finalists also take on a creative brief with the theme of “My Pinch-me Moment” as they look to draw inspiration from a pivotal moment in their own lives.
Tonight’s show is on RTÉ2 at 9.30pm.