The Face Finale Recap: Whose Face Will Now Be Known As 'The Face?'

By Michelle Collins

Ah, the fun we’ve had this season! The dreams of eight aspiring models have already been crushed as we find ourselves down to a measly four remaining competitors who will duke it out to become the Face of Ulta Cosmetics.

We’re down to Devyn and Ebony from Team Karolina Kurkova, Margaux from Team Coco Rocha, and Zi Lin from Team Naomi Campbell. Given all the strategy that Naomi has used throughout the season to try to rid the other teams of their strongest players, I’d say these are probably the four girls who deserve to be here. 

Zi Lin kicks the episode off with an infuriating question:

Yes, Zi Lin, you’re practically China’s answer to Jessica Tandy with that face. “No, but really, I kind of can see them?” – Me with low self-esteem on a modeling show answering Zi Lin’s question.

Deciding on the winners of the competition are Carrie Lannon, Ulta’s Director of Public Relations, and Molly Slope, Director of Trend Development, who immediately lets us know what’s hot this season:

The girls arrive in their best boyshorts and/or Danny Zuko in Grease outfits –

-- to hear about the final challenge, which will be walking in a Zac Posen runway show!! Then Nigel drops dat bomb: Not all four of them will be making it to the runway. Now, if this were my show, I would have had all four girls hit the runway and then just had a giant wrecking ball take out the ones who didn’t make it. Apparently “Oxygen” is classier than “I.”

When she hears that one girl isn’t making it to the final runway show, Devyn has her own Gone with the Wind Fabulous moment and begins hyperventilating. She ends up spiraling into a full-blown attention...I mean panic attack following Nigel’s painful words. The official The Face medic is called in, his pockets lined with peanut butter, and gives Dev some old-fashioned smelling salts and a few tasting ones to bring her back to life.

But guys, I think we all know what this “panic attack” is really about…

Devyn finally breathing again, the girls head over to Ulta Beauty for a Master Class in makeup. An Ulta expert walks them through the various products for sale. Eyeshadows, mascaras and liners -- oh my. There are lots of them, and you can kind of see the girls’ eyes rolling around in their heads as their brains attempt to remember everything. Their first challenge is to stand around Ulta as though they work there and try to help some “customers” (who may or may not be The Face interns) find what they’re looking for. For a moment, I wondered if this entire competition has just been a ploy to hire new, more attractive Ulta employees? Because that would be genius.

Their first customer is upon them, and she needs some makeup to go to the prom in the tree that she lives in. No, really, could they not find a tinier person to get makeup tips from aspiring models?


I mean these two could redeliver this customer and raise her from birth.

But try to ignore the future movie posters for the Twins sequels and let’s focus on the challenge. Devyn was a natural, and Ebony had a real knack at making girls feel probably worse about themselves just by her sheer height and thinness.

Then another "customer" showed up to get some makeup tips from Margaux!


When she asks Margaux what the Ulta brushes are made of, Margaux stammers. My mother once had a saying: “When in doubt, say squirrel hair.” Margaux doesn’t really say anything, and the "customer" is like “Well, my scripted work here is done.” She leaves, sans brushes.

Now it’s time to actually see how these girls model. And taking their photos today, is That Creepy Guy In The Park!

Margaux is up first. She uses strategy and goes for your classic “Playing Peek-A-Boo With A Hot Man Across A Restaurant” face.

Now Ebony is up. She tells us “This shot is going to be hard for me because it’s just the face shot.” Ummm Ebony, you know the name of the show is The Face right? Liiiiiiike that’s the entiiiiiiire reason you’re there… So just the face shot is sort of a big deal. Ebony smiles even though we know her fate is short lived.

Now, Devyn’s turn. She’s sporting some real Amadeus face in that her makeup: White powder, pink rococo cheeks and a red lip.

Finally, Zi Lin gives the camera her best face with Naomi Campbell only feet away, just casually ordering her to relax in order to get a great shot. Her pics come out close to perfect.

It’s time for the ladies from Ulta convene to decide which girl will be eliminated. When it comes to Margaux, they’re not over the moon. They think she’s gorgeous, but just not versatile enough. This make Coco sad.

The results are in, and it’s Ebony going home, back to her kids and teaching pre-school. Not the worst life to go back to certainly. Ebony tells Naomi,“You brought out a fight in me,” to which Naomi responds: “That’s what Im good at.” Silent side eye.

OK, seriously, this is the FINALE of the FINALE. The final runway show! With clothes made by Zac Posen. No one is more excited about this than Nigel:

The final three ladies, Zi Lin, Margaux and Devyn, will each follow their team leader down the runway in a couture Posen gown. Devyn is given a to die for retro white, while Margaux slicks her bangs back (Ed. Note: Margaux it’s me. Why did you slick your bangs back? You’re like Samson! And the hair? Samson’s hair. As a fellow bang-wearer whose forehead never sees the light of day, we should talk.) while Margaux slicks her bangs back and dons a playful and feminine strapless dress. Coco’s review?

Zi Lin is given a very Asian-inspired look.


The Team Leaders hit the stage and redefine perfection. Coco in high-end Grey Gardens chicness:

And Naomi just Naoming all over the place.

Honestly, this final moment of the show feels less like a challenge and more like a celebration of the three teams. It feels like Devyn pretty much already had won The Face competition earlier on, and all this other stuff is just haute couture cake. I mean, I’m not complaining, but really all three teams did so well, there’s just really nothing to critique here.

Still, I’m certainly not going to rain on Naomi’s parade:

Backstage, all the girls hug and cry and it’s like the last day of super tall girl skinny camp. (You guys didn’t go to that camp? Oh.) But a decision must be made… who would walk away with a contract with Ulta Beauty worth $100,000??

Laura Dern’s Ulta Twin Begins: “The contestant we chose is warm, engaging, big smile… she’s also got an exotic quality to her.” Uh OH.


Margaux’s heart must have sank. She’s plenty of things… but I don’t think too many people are bringing up her “exotic qualities.”

Nigel gets to the point. The winner is Team Karolina’s Devyn!!

Zi Lin and Marg take the news well.

But really, I think we can all agree, the real winner of The Face?

Congrats to Devyn!! What did you guys think about her win? And the season? Check yo lipstick before commenting here please. 

We leave you with Karolina's final thoughts.

If you love me and miss me, be sure to follow me on Twitter at @Michcoll.


Read our winner's interview with Devyn!

Read all the Exit Interviews

Check out all the Fill-in-the-Blanks fun from Coco, Naomi and Nigel

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