Exclusive: 'Glow Up' Season 4 Winner Yong-chin Breslin Reveals … – TheThings

TheThings spoke with Britain’s Next Makeup Star about her fashion-led journey toward makeup artistry.
The 4th season of Netflix's Glow Up aired in May of 2022, showcasing 8 new makeup artists (MUAs) seeking the title of "Britain's Next Makeup Star." Each episode, contestants are challenged to test their skill and creativity as they fulfill various tasks and creative briefs set by the show's main judges, Val Garland and Dominic Skinner. While all participating artists prove to be exceptional in their work, only one individual can walk away with the crowning title.
For season 4, that someone was 25-year-old Scot, Yong-chin Breslin. TheThings sat down with Yong-chin to catch a glimpse into the before, during, and after of her Glow Up journey.
The world of makeup artistry is an interesting one. While you might assume all professional MUAs dream of a chance at making it in the field from a young age, that's proven to not always be the case. For Yong-chin, pursuing makeup professionally wasn't in the cards until she hit university.
"It was something I fell into, it happened quite naturally…from 10-years-old I wanted to be a fashion designer. I went to uni for fashion design. Whilst studying, you would do photo shoots, so I was always doing makeup for people."
Though dabbling in makeup, Yong-chin continued to pursue fashion. Come her final year, of school, however, it was clear that makeup was her destined path. Moreover, the outbreak of COVID-19 put the fashion industry on pause, smoothing her transition into the world of makeup.
"As soon as I could out of lockdown I started doing test shoots and editorial submissions…I worked in a café for income and would still do 4 or 5 shoots a week, buying makeup for each…I didn't have a kit or a mentor."
Luckily, the power of practice and the Internet – specifically YouTube – allowed Yong-chin to learn more about the craft. While refining her skills, she often found herself throwing on Glow Up in the background.
"It was the first reality tv show I watched where I thought, 'I could go on there.' It gave me a direction of how to get into makeup as well…I followed people who were on the show, it's a platform for amateur artists."
After familiarizing herself with Glow Up and its reach, Yong-chin applied for Season 3 to no avail. Downtrodden, she decided not to go through with the agony of applying again with potential rejection still looming. But, as fate would have it, the Glow Up team tapped her on the shoulder to re-submit for Season 4.
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On the show, Yong-chin created a plethora of looks that had audience members awestruck by the sheer innovation. She noted the nebula, Scottish warrior, and queen looks as her favorites from her Glow Up portfolio. Having grown significantly as an artist over the last year, however, she admits to cringing at the permanence of those looks on a stream-able television show.
Since taking the title of winner, Yong-chin has had the pleasure of working with brands like NYX cosmetics. Though her eye is on brands like Pat McGrath and YSL, she shared,
"I like drug store makeup…[NYX] are really forward-thinking and creative and fun to work with. Very inclusive as well. I want to be representative of brands I use in my own makeup kit."
Her appearance on Glow Up has also allowed her opportunities akin to those she hopes to pursue as her career progresses.
"I now do makeup full time. I've given master classes, done educational practices, talked about beauty and history and the future of makeup…I want to be a panelist talking about what's trending now… I want to write about makeup as well."
Despite knowing little about the world of makeup, I, for one, would relish the opportunity to be privy to one of her panels. Speaking of the history and future of makeup, we had to know – what are some of Yong-chin's favorite makeup trends?
"I really like out there, alien, futuristic makeup. Face lace, embellishments on the face…I love gluing stuff on my face!…I've always been inspired by the '90s fashion movement…it's bold, punchy, and strong."
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As always, we wanted to glean a tidbit of guidance from Yong-chin to aid aspiring MUAs in their journeys.
"Do test shoots. Get yourself on a set as soon as you possibly can. Even if it's ridiculous to do 4-5 shoots a week, even if it's unpaid, view it was your training and way of progressing. That's where I learned everything…Assist people, constantly reach out, use social media…Keep yourself in contact and ,ake sure that you are knowledgeable about what's happening within the industry."
She's absolutely right; it's true what they say – knowledge is power.
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A Boston native, Sydney is an avid writer with an affinity for pop culture and reality tv. She graduated from Lehigh University in 2018 with a B.S. in Business Information Systems and a minor in Political Science. As student of GrubStreet’s Short Story Incubator, Sydney enjoys creating works of creative fiction. In her downtime, you can find Sydney traveling, going to concerts, or watching her favorite movies and shows.