We Spoke To Glow Up’s Craig Hamilton About All Things Beauty

If you’ve been obsessing over season three of Glow Up, prepare for your obsession to grow. From creating killer looks to getting the Val Garland ‘ding dong’ seal of approval, Craig Hamilton is the MUA who inspired us all to up our makeup game after retiring our tools during the pandemic. 

We spoke to runner-up Craig about all things beauty, Glow Up, and goals for the future. Keeping scrolling to find out all the insider goss…

Tell us about your experience on Glow Up.

“My experience on Glow Up was a real journey. I knew that I had talent and I wanted to share it, but I also applied for the competition to learn, take on feedback, and become better a makeup artist. I think as an MUA, we evolve all the time and have to understand the past, present and, the future. The show really pushed me to become better and think about make up differently. 

“However, I did not know my journey would start off by being in the bottom two. I managed to beat the seat and not end up in the face off in the first episode and throughout the series. I took on everyone’s feedback, asked questions, gained knowledge and showcased work I was really proud of. I won two challenges, received a ‘ding dong’ from Val and now have my work on the TV show Pose.”

What is the application process like?

“The process is very straight forward, and the team looked after all applicants from the first interview. Super friendly, engaged, and contactable. I’d highly recommend applying.” 

What did you learn from your time on the show?

“The show taught me lots of different things. It helped me understand how to take different approaches to makeup when designing and creating a look. It also opened up my eyes to working in industry; you learn how to adapt your visions to link with a client’s vision, understand their brief and know when to stop, or when you haven’t done enough.”

What is your first beauty memory?

“My earliest memory is throwing it back a few years ago. I was probably 14/15. Me and my best friend did my little sister’s hair and makeup for a ‘garden photo shoot.’ Oh god, thinking about it now is actually making me laugh. I just remember doing white and purple eyeshadow thinking it was unreal. We have grown a lot since then.”

When did you start experimenting with makeup?

“It wasn’t until I was in college that I started to take makeup really seriously. During my time there, I realised makeup is what I wanted to do for my career. It was freeing to me and thinking I could actually get paid for this was amazing.”

What was the product that started your beauty obsession?

“I can’t exactly pinpoint one product, but I can tell you, my love for SFX makeup came way before beauty. I didn’t think I’d ever be a beauty makeup artist. My friends back home in Northern Ireland kept asking me to do their makeup for different events and it really all grew from there.”

Who is your beauty icon?

“That’s easy, Marilyn Monroe. I’ve been obsessed with her for the longest time, who isn’t? I find it so fascinating that a winged liner and red lip can help identify a person on a global scale. She’s the definition of timeless beauty and I don’t think anyone will ever be the same.”  

What has been your most surreal career moment so far?

“From starting my career in makeup my whole experience has been surreal. While I was studding at university, I was lucky enough to be selected for an opportunity to travel to Taiwan to represent London College of Fashion and teach western style makeup and hair at Hungkuang University. That experience was truly magical and super eye opening. 

“After that it would have to be getting cast in BBC’s Glow Up season three. Honestly, when I got the call to say I was going to be a contestant, I’m pretty sure I passed out. Fun fact: I actually applied for season two but was unsuccessful, so when I had the chance to apply again for season three, I gave it another shot. The pandemic had just hit, and work was slow, so getting cast was such a blessing and really what I needed.”

What’s your ultimate beauty tip?

“I’m a big advocate for skincare and looking after your skin. I feel in the last few years more and more people are starting to become aware of their skin and using more skincare products. If you have a good skincare plan and really stay active on skin products, your make up will always look 10/10. I literally preach it to everyone. Look at skincare like building a house. Before you have a foundation for a house you need a plan, skincare is the plan before your foundation. If your skincare plan is done correctly and you have the right products for your skin type, the foundation will always look amazing.”

What are your career goals for the future?

“I can tell you this is just the beginning; I still have so much more I want to achieve. My main goal is to be a well-rounded makeup artist but I’m still finding my feet in this huge industry. I love to be on set and behind the scenes; the atmosphere and energy make me thrive and makes me excited to keep working. From beauty campaigns or movies/television, I have big goals and I hope to work for the beauty industry for a very long time. As my mum would always tell me: ‘Craig the world is your oyster, but don’t forget you have to walk before you can run.’” 

What are some of your favourite beauty products?

“Ahh where do I start? Well obviously, By BEAUTY BAY’s Micro Sketch Brow Pencil and By BEAUTY BAY’s Powder Bronzers are huge favourites of mine. I have also been loving the Youtopia Collection; they’re my latest products from BEAUTY BAY and the pigment and colour payoff is out of this world! Finally, some must haves for your makeup kit that I can’t live without are By BEAUTY BAY’s Butter Cup Cleansing Balm, The Facial Cleansing Pads, and the 18 Piece Eye & Face Brush Set. These products have changed my kit and I can’t stop using them!”