This week on Face Off, the nine remaining makeup artists were presented with an interesting challenge. McKenzie Westmore instructed the designers to choose a beautiful, abstract image to inspire the color scheme and texture of their next Spotlight Challenge. Once the screens were assigned, McKenzie revealed the real challenge. The photos zoomed out at a rapid pace until nine colorful insects were revealed. Each contestant had to incorporate the colors and texture from the original photograph into a full body insect-inspired makeup design. But first, the contestants had a fun Foundation Challenge. They had to reinvent fairy tale characters. It was a very short segment on the show, but the contestants clearly had a lot of fun with it. Eric F. won for a disfigured Red Riding Hood and picked up a big prize in a large Makeup Forever kit and immunity for the week.
The Spotlight Challenge excited most of the contestants and resulted in a lot of strong looks. I can only assume the scores were so close that the judges couldn't choose a third top look from the clear top six.
The top looks for the challenge were Kris and Wayne.
Kris had to create a butterfly and went big. He crafted massive wings to make the model's head look proportional to the body. When the anatomy books failed to show the detail on the butterfly's thorax, Kris took the patterns from the macro photo of the head and sculpted an elaborate labyrinth of ridges over the body. It was a very literal design (sans thorax) but a striking design.
Wayne had to create a firefly. He took a more abstract approach than Kris, crafting representational wings as a cape in the back. He used color blocking to define the shape of the insect and even created a glowing tail. The huge glossy eyes were very expressive with the movement in the face. The placement of the nostrils over the model's eyes was the perfect choice.
Unfortunately for Wayne, he didn't actually complete the challenge because he left his reference photo in the workshop before he painted the makeup at last looks. Kris won by default and the judges made that very clear. I would like to applaud Ve Neill for finally getting her way and convincing the judges to reward a contestant who met the challenge rules over a far more innovative design that didn't conform to the challenge. She's made that case a few times before and this was the first time it stuck.
The bottom looks were Alam, Anthony, and Meagan. They all wound up there because of bad time management.
Alam had to create a grasshopper. She tried to tackle way too much by herself. She ran silicone appliances for translucency, crafted wings, legs, and tail out of foam and fabric, and costumed the creature with nontraditional materials. The whole thing was a mess on the stage because it wasn't finished. The concept was great, but the execution wasn't there.
Anthony had to create an army ant. He was immobilized by the challenge. Nothing was particularly inspiring and he wasn't satisfied with anything he sculpted. He went super literal as a last resort and failed to complete his makeup. The biggest issue was uncovered foam antennae right smack in the middle of the face.
Meagan had to create a moth. Her design was great. The sculpt looked really good. She even went risky with an accurate look showing the moth in its true hair-covered form. She just really screwed up the paint job. It looked like she shot paint balls at the model and threw her on the stage. It was a big shame since a better paint job could have given her the win.
Ultimately, it was Alam's inability to explain her design that sent her home. I wonder how much was creative confusion and how much was a matter of translation. She did not performed well when talking to the judges the entire season and I can't tell if it was nerves or genuine misunderstanding. Either way, her look was the least polished on the runway and had major technical flaws in application--rough edges, too much paint on silicone appliances, and unfinished foam accessories.
So what did you think? Like the images? Check out all the SyFy Face Off Galleries. Share all your thoughts below.