Face Off 4.4: Sweet and Twisted Like a Licorice Stick

This week on Face Off, the 11 remaining makeup artists were actually shown doing two challenges again. I have to wonder if they even make them do Foundation Challenges in each episode shooting cycle anymore. Other shows occasionally cut these challenges when they don't have an impact on the overall narrative, but Face Off is cutting them more often than not the past two seasons. Face Off 4.04: Laying BeardsThe Foundation Challenge was a funny one. Inspired by mustache and beard competitions, the contestants had to lay a full beards on their models. The twist? They would create original bearded ladies using hair, makeup, and wardrobe. The winner was Eric Z. for applying the most realistic beard, though a few of the fantasy designs received strong praise. Eric Z. earned immunity for the Spotlight Challenge.

The Spotlight Challenge might be the best so far in the history of Face Off. The contestants returned to the workroom and found an elaborate display of candy. MacKenzie Westmore informed them they had to create candy/creature or human hybrids using actual candy. They were supposed to take inspiration from the ironic punishments of Willy Wonka and reflect how consuming too much candy would transform their character.

There are so many ways the artists could go with this challenge. They weren't required to go after a certain aesthetic. They just had to reflect the candy they chose in their designs. Some candy is sweet and some candy is sour. Not every hybrid creature is a total monstrosity and not every contestant on this show is a blood and guts special effects makeup artist.

The top looks were Alam, House, and Kris.

Alam created a living doll in the stereotypical anime style. She used a variety of rainbow-hued candy to create an original wig and costume. Her facial sculpt gave her doll a tiny upturned nose, high cheekbones, and pointy little chin that looked like a cartoon come to life. The beauty makeup was very well done, especially the the large manga eyes painted over the top half of the face.

Face Off 4.04: Alam

House went in the opposite direction completely. His character was a deranged young woman with an extra large sweet tooth. Make that sweet teeth. He sculpted a flexible mouth of rotting candy in the stomach of the model. The candy was all over the place in this design, most notably with gummy hair and rolled up sour candy strip eyes.

Face Off 4.04 House

Kris, out of all the contestants, took the challenge to heart. He actually sculpted with the candy pieces, giving him plenty of places to glue down actual candy in the design once the appliances were cured. His design was not the most striking by any stretch of the imagination. He was simply the contestant who really got into the inclusion of candy in the prosthetics and he did it very well.

Face Off 4.04 Kris

The winner of the challenge was Kris. The judges loved how much candy he incorporated into the design and how polished the overall look was. Oh, so now actually having clean edges and a solid concept is enough to win on Face Off? Where was that kind of judging when Sam from Season 2 routinely had the best finishing of any contestant in the competition and couldn't even get into the top 3 on a challenge?

The bottom three looks for the candy challenge were Alex, Autumn, and Jenna.

Alex's biggest problem was concept. She created a blood-thirsty pageant queen who ate too much rock candy. What eating too much rock candy has to do with child pageants, let alone stabbing people with scissors, is a mystery. Then the judges walked up to her design and saw that the facial prosthetics weren't actually glued down properly. They could literally stick their fingers under the bottom flap of her prosthetics.

Face Off 4.04 Alex

Autumn's biggest problem was her sculpt and she knew it. Her concept was cool, a man turned into a gummy bear, but her execution was really off. No matter what she did, she could not get the bear nose right. The end result looked like a cartoon cat with really rough edges. I think if she settled on the sculpt sooner, she would have had the time to worry more about polish on the hand and feet prosthetics.

Face Off 4.04 Autumn

Jenna's biggest problem was herself. Her hand is still bothering her a lot and she didn't have the sensitivity of touch to actually bring her sculpture alive. She could have saved it with the paint job, but she couldn't actually regulate the pressure on her airbrush because of her hand. She couldn't even properly glue down the prosthetic on the face, which slid and then buckled before the judges did their closer look.

Face Off 4.04 Jenna

Ultimately, Alex was sent home for not knowing how to work with silicone prosthetics. The judges seemed shocked when she admitted that she did not know she had to seal the edge of a silicone prosthetic to get it to stay on. The wacky concept didn't help.

How about this for a twist? Face Off has a new web series to go with season 4. The first four eliminated contestants competed in a Foundation Challenge for the chance to earn a spot on Season 5. The winner moved on to compete with the next batch of eliminated contestants. The losers actually went home (or into sequester, but they ain't getting on Season 5 without a fight). You can watch the episode here. It's really well done.

Like the images? Check out the SyFy Face Off galleries for all the great shots from the episode.

So what did you think? I loved the challenge and think the contestants, overall, did a great job with it.

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