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“I feel like I can do anything now.” After six weeks of stunning looks and incredible transformations, Ella Freer, final-year BA (Hons) Prosthetics and Special Effects Design student at Solent University, Southampton has come joint-second in BBC Three’s much-loved series, Glow Up.

16th May 2024
Art and designHomepage - News - Standard

As a Prosthetics and Special Effects Design student at Solent, Ella has been encouraged to unleash her creativity to create incredible looks using the latest techniques. Appearing on Glow Up, Ella – who is the youngest ever contestant to get to the final – had the opportunity to showcase her early-career skill as she looks set to carve out an impressive career in the creative industries.

Highlights for Ella during her time on the show include the Roblox challenge – which she won alongside fellow contestant, Connor – and visiting London’s West End for a collaboration with Six The Musical. How has Solent helped? Ella says: “After experimenting with special effects and using Solent’s studio spaces, university has really shown me how I can express myself creatively.

“I’ve had some really good teachers who have pushed me to enhance my skills. We’ve got eight studio spaces which is insane.”

Glow Up is known for launching the careers of burgeoning MUAs, and as she heads for graduation at Solent, Ella now aims to carve out a career in film and TV. After tackling a series of intense tasks – from working with Lady Gaga’s make-up brand Haus Labs to glimpsing the world of TV on Casualty – Ella utilised her practical learning at university to wow the judges each week.

After a whirlwind adventure during the filming and airing of the show, Ella says:

“Being able to work with other creatives at Solent really helped me prepare to go onto Glow Up. I’ve learned different skills at university, so going onto the show I had lots of experience to bring with me.

“I didn’t think I’d get that far. I’ve gained so much confidence during university, and I’ve learned to believe in myself.”

Now, as a second-place finalist on Glow Up, and with graduation around the corner, Ella has an incredible foundation for success underpinning her future.

Brent Meheux, Head of Art and Music at Solent, says:

“At Solent, we are rightly incredibly proud of our students' creative and academic work, but it’s success in competitions like the BBC’s Glow Up where we really see the difference a Solent degree makes, the proof that our students are ‘Work Ready, World Ready and Future Ready’.”

The entire series of Glow Up is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.