A flick of a makeup brush is all it takes for Manchester student Beth Gallagher to become a dead ringer for anyone from Boris Johnson to Joe Exotic.
Preferring a fresh-faced look herself, Beth, 25, has set social media platform TikTok alight with her amazing collection of celebrity looks, which she creates on her own face – like an artist painting a canvas – in less than an hour, using the contents of her makeup bag.
“I've always loved having fun with makeup, and using myself as a canvas, but I only started doing the celebrity transformations during the nationwide lockdown."
“I never expected them to do as well as they have, but people seem to love them, especially on TikTok. Some of my videos have about 120,000 views on there," she added.
“I've only done one woman so far – The Queen. I prefer to do male celebrities, as it is such a contrast to how I normally look. You want that wow factor of before and after so people stop scrolling and take a closer look."
Beth, who is studying special effects at Manchester UCE and hopes to work in TV, has loved art all her life and began making a name for herself as a body painter when she left school.
Beth in her everyday makeup (PA Real Life/Collect)
Starting out five years ago, she was drawn to quirky designs, or characters from her favorite TV shows and, in 2017, won a competition to paint a design live as part of a window display in a swanky department store.
Using her dad, Michael Gallagher, 52, as her canvas, she spent three-and-a-half hours transforming him into a White Walker from the hit series Game of Thrones.
Invited to enter the contest again the following year, this time she turned her pal into a clown on the shop floor.
The Game of Thrones design Beth did on her dad for a competition (PA Real Life/Collect)
“The body painting can take a long time, as it's really detailed," she explained. “I use a special water-based paint from a company called Diamond FX."
“I've also just got myself a little airbrushing machine, which is amazing. It makes everything look much more polished and helps even out the colors."
Over the years, Beth has posted several amazing designs to her social media pages, invariably receiving a great reception from her followers.
Beth as Gordon Ramsay (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I love doing quirky designs – clowns, butterflies, comic book characters."
But it was not until the UK entered lockdown in March that she started aping celebrities using makeup – starting off with Joe Exotic, star of Tiger King, the Netflix series examining the weird and wonderful world of big cat breeders, which had just become a viral hit.
“I think everybody watched it at the same time because we were all at home with nothing to do," laughed Beth. “I kept seeing people posting online about it, and some had even dressed up as Joe Exotic – one of the main characters – as a joke."
Beth as Joe Exotic (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I thought, 'Why don't I see if I can try and make myself look like him for real?'"
“It was a mini-challenge to myself of how lifelike I could make the transformation."
In just an hour, using eyeshadow, highlighter and foundation, Beth contoured her face to ape Joe's, painting on frown-lines and a false mustache, before completing the look by styling a blonde wig to resemble his famous mullet.
Beth as Boris Johnson (PA Real Life/Collect)
“It was all just normal makeup like eyeshadow and concealer to do the lines and sculpting," she explained.
“I had a photo of him in front of me the whole time, too, so I could keep checking I was on track."
Unlike traditional makeup artists, who blend and shade, Beth prefers to think of her work as painting.
Beth in her everyday makeup (PA Real Life/Collect)
Building layers, like an abstract artist, it is only towards the end of the transformation that she begins to resemble her muse.
“At first, it was just lots of foundation and eyeshadow on my face, but then I suddenly started to look like Joe," she said. “Once I'd finished, I took a few photos, then went on TikTok, where a song about Joe Exotic was coincidentally trending.
“I decided to film myself in my Joe Exotic makeup miming along and it got about 25,000 views."
Beth as Liam Gallagher (PA Real Life/Collect)
“People have been so kind about it, saying it's one of the most realistic transformations they have seen."
Since then, Beth has transformed herself into a collection of famous people, including Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, The Queen, Gordon Ramsay, the Gallagher brothers and Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker, from the Oscar-winning film.
Before starting each look, she will study the characters on YouTube, so she can copy their mannerisms.
Beth as Noel Gallagher (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I also get up as many pictures as I can of them with different facial expressions," she said. “I think you get a much better idea of what somebody's face actually looks like that way."
“I'll even pull those faces as I go along, to check and see whether or not I'm doing a good job."
Most of Beth's makeovers take around an hour – although her attempt at foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay took her just 45 minutes.
The clown body painting Beth did on a friend for a competition (PA Real Life/Collect)
After “becoming Gordon" she videoed herself lip-syncing to some of the most withering put-downs he delivered in his TV series Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, posting the results to TikTok.
She also uses makeshift props to perfect her looks, including a pair of shorts draped over her shoulders to form Liam Gallagher's ubiquitous parka coat, and a blusher brush in place of a microphone for his brother Noel to sing into.
She will also either use her own hair – be that in its natural blonde state, or sprayed different colors – or delve into her selection of wigs, to get the right look.
Beth as The Queen (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I used the same blonde wig for Joe Exotic and Donald Trump," she said. “For the Queen, I used my own hair, which is blonde and curly, but sprayed it white. I did the same for the Joker, except colored it green."
As her posts continue to rack up thousands of views, she has even started to combine them with existing social media trends.
“During the lockdown, there has been a trend of people nominating one another to run 5km, and then donate £5 to help the NHS," she continued. “Off the back of that, people started doing silly things like nominating people to down drinks and donate, so for The Queen, I decided to down a cup of Earl Grey – I think that's what she'd drink!"
Beth as The Joker (PA Real Life/Collect)
Next, Beth hopes to either transform herself into journalist Louis Theroux or music legend Elvis.
But, for now, she is 'all shook up' by her success and delighted that her makeup skills have brought a smile to the faces of thousands of strangers during a difficult time.