Fashion & Beauty

Ophelia Liu

Ophelia Liu’s career as a freelance make-up artist and content creator has taken an upward trajectory since winning season 2 of BBC and Netflix’s Glow Up


At just 27, Ophelia Liu is making a powerful name for herself in the beauty community. With over half a million followers on Instagram (@in.templum.ophelia), her looks delight—and occasionally frighten—daily. Her signature complex looks take inspiration from unearthly creatures and edgy editorial concepts, but always include an element of glamour.

But it hasn’t always been a smooth journey for her. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Liu understands the struggle of managing parental expectations while wanting to enter a creative field. “[Make-up artistry] is important to me because it’s not just about talent. I earned all of my skills through perseverance, patience and going against the grain,” she says.

It took joining the cast of—and subsequently winning—the second season of BBC and Netflix’s Glow Up, a reality show that finds new make-up artists, for Liu’s parents to understand her unconventional path. Now, the most special moments for her are when fans and followers reach out to share their situations and inability to do what they are passionate about. “It’s seeing how I have fought my way through similar obstacles and finally being able to do what I wanted to do that gives them hope,” she says.

Liu’s portfolio includes projects with Le Défilé L’Oréal Paris with Val Garland, the English National Ballet, Benefit, Amazon Prime and Illamasqua. She has also conducted an online masterclass with Vanessa Davis (@the_wigs_and_makeup_manager), which will soon be available to purchase.

This year, she’s branching out beyond make-up and building her clothing label 18 Levels Of. All the pieces will be made and printed in her London studio, and will reflect her alternative tastes on a tangible level.

“My friends are intrigued about how I have so much energy to dance till morning, but all I really need is good company, a nice outfit, an energy drink and some hard music.”  

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Did you know?

“My all-time favourite product to use is liquid lipsticks in various colours, because they are so versatile and long-wearing,” Ophelia Liu says.  

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