Face Off: All Stars ‘Snow Queens’ – Snowflakes (Review)

Face Off - Season 11

This week’s challenge borrows from “Narnia” and “Once Upon a Time” to present a theme of Snow Queens. The Face Off All Stars come to the lab to find that while it may not rain in Southern California, it can snow. At least with the aid of McKenzie Westmore and the magic of Hollywood.

The group are pretty excited by the snow, some of them, like Emily Serpico have never seen the white stuff in real life so feelings were pretty amped even before McKenzie dropped the challenge on the group. She explained how each queen would be based upon a snowflake hidden in the snow and that they only had two days to create their frozen masterpiece.

Before the design phase though a spirited snowball fight was in order and Keaghlan Ashely almost lost her trousers after an attack. One contestant who did not want to get involved with the cold wet stuff was Gage Hubbard who made threats if any snowball came in contact with him.

After the over exuberant battle the design work began with each team coming up with a cross section of creations that included, dark, evil and one vision “under ice.”

It was then time to shift into the sculpting phase. Ben and Evan have issues as it seems that each team member is sculpting to a different design. Ben is worried. This “disconnect” has caused both men to question their approach.

Michael Westmore comes in and dispenses advice. Telling one team beware of using too much ice cracking for fear of making the model look like a jigsaw puzzle. Michael tells another team to leave out the teeth and yet another to be careful of the weight of their cowl.

The teams move on to the molding phase. Gage and Rachael opt for a lighted icicles feature. Niko and Cat have their work cut out for them as they both are not overly skilled in fabrication. And Emily admits that she has never seen “The Breakfast Club” much to the amusement of her fellow All Stars. This prompts everyone to try and find out just how many “iconic” films she has not seen.

She finally snaps, “No. Shut up,”  when asked about “The Lost Boys.”

Face Off - Season 11
Emily Serpico

One new technique used a lot in this challenge was the vacu-form process.  This went toward making icicles and a snow queen scepter. Logan and Adam have a molding crisis when their cowl cracks in the back. Despite the chance of leakage, the two opt for silicone for that translucent look.

Cat realizes that the quick turnaround time of the challenge is making her start to second guess her decisions.

On application day the models arrive and Keaghlan is pleased with the work that she and Melissa have done so far. Stig and Evan have to work overtime to get the paint sorted before applying that translucent silicone face piece.

Ben is still worried about their creation though and when the time has ended for application Evan is concerned that they have not done any of the required makeup. This means that their work in last looks will be intensified.

At the end, Niko is worried that their creation may not work as well as he and Cat anticipated.

Face Off - Season 11
Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, Neville Page

After the judges had a closer look at the creations Logan and Adam, Keaghlan and Melissa, Cat and Niko and Emily and Tyler were the best and the worst this week. Everyone else went backstage as the four teams were questioned by the judges.

All three judges loved what Adam and Logan did with there creation and the stencil effects. Cat and Niko did not fare well at all in their cross examination while Emily and Tyler blew the judges away with their design and its execution.

Keaghlan and Melissa’s creation sent mixed signals to the judges who felt it looked too masculine. The judges then went on to discuss their findings. Clearly Adam and Logan as fell as Emily and Tyler were neck and neck favorites.

At the end of the debate, Emily and Tyler were the clear winners with a makeup and design that reached heights of the sublime. As Ve Neill said earlier the creation could have walked right on to a film set.

Sadly, Cat and Niko let the side down with their “uninspired” choice of using the Statue of Liberty as their template. Although Glenn mentioned that their work is usually much better this time around their decision got them sent home.

Emily and Tyler now have immunity for the next challenge.

Face Off - Season 11
McKenzie Westmore

Face Off: All Stars airs Tuesdays on SyFy.






Face Off: All Stars ‘Monster High’ – Mattel (Review)

 Face Off - Season 11

Face Off: All Stars this week is all about Mattel and their doll based animation franchise “Monster High.” The game’s company is thinking of expanding the universe into life action and the contestants on the show will have the challenge of creating life versions of the dolls.

This week the series judges; Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill and Neville Page were conspicuous in their absence.  Due to the challenge and the uniqueness of the application, the creations were rated instead by a focus group. These uber fans of “Monster High” all critiqued the final designs.

McKenzie Westmore was joined by Natasha Berling (vice president for “High” designs) who briefed the contestants on the challenge. Later Natasha helped present the winning team with a round up of what they had won.

Design Phase:

Two designers stop by and help out the teams. They provide some insight on the character’s portrayed by each doll. George and Cig are at a huge disadvantage as they know nothing about Monster High.

Adam and Logan have some difficulties with their choice, the abominable snowman’s daughter, and immediately have issues. A lack of conceptualization is the first problem they encounter, despite a helping hand from the designer.

Sculpting Phase:

Adam and Logan are still having real issues with their choice. Both men decide to add simian features, which results in the design losing its cute factor. Logan says that he is really looking forward to any advice that Michael Westmore can send their way.

Unfortunately, Michael’s guidance shakes the team’s confidence and Logan considers redoing the sculpt from scratch. This is what he ends up doing and while it sets the two men back in terms of time they do not do that badly.

Application Phase:

Keaghlan Ashley and Melissa Ebbe have to take off the face mold that they developed for their character. It is a last minute decision that means the team have to rush and use paint and makeup to create their doll’s face.


All of the contestants are stunned to find that a focus group will be judging their creations.  On the plus side, each team watch the process from  backstage. The group looks at their work, up close, and then sit down and discuss with McKenzie and Natasha what they did and did not like.

At the end of the episode, the two men who admitted that they had no idea about the franchise or any of the dolls that make up “Monster High” actually won the challenge. George Troester III and Cig Neutron also managed to pull of beauty makeup on their design. This was something else that they knew little to nothing about.

Amusingly they practiced putting eye makeup on one another. Their concept bowled over the focus group and Natasha Berling. The winners of this week’s competition got a special prize. This bonus include dolls from the “High” franchise.

George looked into the camera and stated emphatically that he would be playing with the toys that he and Cig won in this competition.

Emily Serpico, easily the most excited of all the contestants about this challenge, and her team partner did well and it was fun to see her enthusiasm Keaghlan and Melissa were also quite pleased with this week’s contest despite their last minute decision to remove the face piece.

George and Cig now have immunity for the next challenge.

Face Off: All Stars airs Tuesdays on SyFy.

Face Off All Stars: The Devil Is in the Details (Review)

Face Off - Season 11

The second episode of Face Off All Stars “The Devil Is in the Detail” saw the first team sent home and a different winner this week. There were some stunning examples of work by two different teams, Niko and Cat were neck and neck with Ben and Evan in this competition while Stella and Jasmine along with Logan and Adam were at the bottom of the spectrum.

Face Off All Stars feels a lot more streamlined this year. We see much less of McKenzie, she no longer accompanies her father during the sculpting phase of the competition, and Michael spends less time with the All Star competitors. (This may well be because they are former contestants.)

Everything seems to move faster, the processes themselves and the judging go much quicker, again it may well be down to the nature of the competitor’s themselves. All have been on the show before in various seasons and all know how things work.

Face Off - Season 11

The show this week focussed on devils and angels. A concept meant to reflect the teams’ foibles and strengths. The twist being that these were to be shown on the same model.

As usual there were issues for some of the team members. Stella and Jasmine could not get their act together enough to develop a cohesive plan. This put them behind and consequently a dodgy mold insured they spent more time rushing than creating.

Ben and Adam got off to a poor start when the cowl ended up looking like a “devil hoodie.” The two, who make an excellent team, wasted no time ripping off the offending bit of work and starting over. (They did so well that they almost won the competition. As it was, their effort took them out of the bottom spot they found themselves in last week.

Logan and Adam just missed the mark with their interpretation of the challenge and narrowly missed being sent home.

The winning team, Niko and Cat, were interesting to watch as they worked through each phase. As they passed sculpting. molding and application, Cat insisted that Niko focus all his attention to the wings. This, and the brilliant paintwork done on the face of their model, sold their creation and it was, as Ve Neill pointed out, beautiful.

Face Off - Season 11
Niko applying those exquisite veins

Emily and Tyler also finished in the top three this week with their creation.     Once again, the entire process in the second episode of Face Off All Stars with the judges seemingly only reacting to the efforts of the worst and best in this challenge.

They did all agree, however, that Emily and her teammate Tyler did a breathtaking job on the filigree corrosion of their character and it is clear that Niko and Cat will face their stiffest competition in the area of paintwork from these two.

Face Off - Season 11
Emily Serpico painting that marvelously detailed corrosion.

By the end of the episode, Cat and Niko won as much for their enormous wings as they did for the beautiful painting done on their model. Stella and Jasmine were the first team to be sent home. The two women were not overly pleased to be the first but as Jasmine pointed out, they were happy to have competed with the group of All Stars on the show.

Going into the next competition, Niko and Cat now have immunity while Logan and Adam have one “fail” to their credit. This series continues to show the creative process behind the magical makeup used to invent characters that fall outside the realms of reality.

Face Off All Stars airs Tuesdays on SyFy. If you love cinema and makeup do not miss this series.

Face Off - Season 11 SyFy (Photo by: Jordin Althaus
(l-r) George Troester III, Cig Neutron, Rachel Wagner, Gage Hubbard, Keaghlan Ashley, Melissa Ebbe, Jasmine Ringo, Stella Sensel,Emily Serpico, Tyler Green, Cat Paschen, Niko Gonzalez, Adam Milicevic, Logan Long, Evan Hedges, Benjamin “Ben” Ploughman



‘Face Off’ Season 11: Abstract Aliens – All Stars Team Work (Review)

Face Off - Season 11

Season 11 of SyFy’s Face Off changed things about with a spin on their usual formula. “Abstract Alien” spelled out the new rules as former contestants from prior seasons returns to make up teams. These familiar faces now work in teams of two and as McKenzie tells the contestants, each duo will live and die together.

Another change, apart from the team concept this year, is that the judges will see two examples of each team’s work. There will not be a “send off” each week. One team will have immunity and then a team will be sent home the next week.

The first spotlight challenge is also that bit different. As McKenzie explains, each of these contestants are “all stars” who have been on the show before. As such, the competition has been altered to reflect their prior experience on the show. For the first time ever the hopefuls are having green screen technology as part of their makeup challenges.

As usual the teams separate to work on their designs. Throughout the start of the episode, each team explains who they are and what season they competed in.  The  first contest that the group face are aliens influenced by  creature feature films like The Abyss and War of the Worlds.

Surreal is the name of the game and the aliens created in this first episode are to be based upon inhabitants from under the sea. As they enter the lab and begin work on their projects, disaster strikes. Evan’s clay sculpture and the figure it is attached to, falls to the ground.

Michael Westmore comes on set to dispense advice and this season he is alone.  McKenzie is not accompanying her father which is another change this time around.

Day two is taken up with finalizing the sculptures and then moving onto the molding process. The green screen process is a brilliant addition and at least one team test out the new technology.

Cat and Niko have a cowl mold that refuses to open. As usual, other competitors, like Keaghlan Ashley,  step in to help out their compatriots. With help the team finally get the mold broken apart. The cowl has been damaged but it can be repaired.

Face Off - Season 11
Keaghlan Ashley, Melissa Ebbe

This is the part of the show where the designs and all the hard work start to come together. The models arrive to be fitted with the prosthetics and made up. Niko and Cat speed up their process to make up for the broken cowl.

Last Looks start with everyone rushing to put everything together. The teams take their creations out for the judges to inspect.

Face Off - Season 11
Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, Neville Page

Ben and Evan, Jasmine and Stella, Keaghlan and Marissa,  as well as Rachael and Gage score the best and the worst. At the end of the in-depth breakdown of each creation Keaghlan and Marissa were the winners in the first episode’s spotlight challenge.

This gave them immunity for next week’s spotlight challenge and the rest of the teams were all reminded to up their game for the next test.

Face Off airs Tuesdays on SyFy. This newest season looks impressive and the move to bring back former contestants has upped the stakes. Personal favorite Keaghlan Ashley and her teammate Marissa Ebbe were the clear winners this week.

Tune in next week to see who will win the next challenge.

Face Off - Season 11
McKenzie Westmore


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