Celebrity lookalikes is a lucrative business, with successful impersonators like Camilla Shadbolt (aka Victoria Beckham) reportedly making up to £10,000 for a single job.
Sarah Mhlanga, 36, from Manchester, who is the UK’s leading Meghan Markle lookalike, reportedly earns around £400 for just a few hours impersonating the Duchess.
So, can anyone become a celebrity lookalike, with the help of make-up and a savvy wardrobe? Or do you have to be blessed with a natural resemblance?
Here, four willing FEMAIL volunteers undergo an A-list transformation courtesy of Blow LTD’s make-up artist Rowhan Guest, before getting a verdict from Adam Hanington, Commercial Director of lookalikes agency AbooDoey Entertainment.
FEMAIL challenged make-up artist Rowhan Guest of Blow LTD to transform four volunteers into celebrity lookalikes. Jessica Rach (pictured centre) became Nicole Scherzinger (right)
JESSICA RACH – NICOLE SCHERZINGER
Rowhan, 26, who completed a BA Hons in hair and make-up for film and TV at London College of Fashion and has eight years of experience, transformed FEMAIL’s Jessica Rach into Nicole Sherzinger.
The US singer found fame in girl group The Pussycat Dolls and has since starred in a number of films in addition to judging TV’s The X Factor.
Jessica has had comments in the past that she has a natural resemblance to the singer.
Rowhan styled Jessica’s hair into Nicole’s signature high ponytail, before using contouring techniques and false lashes to achieve the singer’s face structure.
Revealing her thoughts on the look, Jessica said: ‘I don’t think I looked overly like Nicole Scherzinger following the makeover – perhaps I should have had my hair in a more sleek style and more natural make-up.
Jessica (pictured before her makeover) had her hair styled into Nicole’s signature high ponytail and was given a full face of make-up including false lashes
Rowhan used contouring techniques to give Jessica (pictured left) a slimmer nose and similar face shape to Nicole (pictured right)
‘When we went outside to take pictures, quite a lot of people were staring – but I think that they were more stares of horror at this semi-clad woman prancing around in the sub-zero temperatures. I don’t think anyone thought I was going to break out into ‘Don’t cha’.
‘I’ve had quite a few comments from colleagues and a few from strangers comparing me to Nicole Scherzinger before, but I think perhaps this photoshoot proves this isn’t quite the case! I don’t think I’ll be quitting my day job to work as a lookalike just yet – or ever at this rate!’
JESSICA’S VERDICT: 4/10
Nicole Scherzinger (pictured) stunned with a high ponytail and pink lipstick while attending the 8th annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Will Rogers State Historic Park in California
HAYLEY RICHARDSON – LAUREN CONRAD
Rowhan altered Hayley’s appearance with soft curls and glossy pink lips to transform her into Lauren Conrad – a US-based TV personality best known for The Hills and Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.
She used thick foundation to give Hayley a more narrow nose and built up her brows, as Lauren’s are bolder and darker.
Rowhan transformed Hayley (pictured left) into Lauren Conrad (pictured right in 2015) who is best known for Laguna Beach and The Hills
Hayley said: ‘I have to admit I hadn’t heard of my celebrity prior to my makeover – I’ve never seen The Hills, though it was flattering to be likened to Lauren Conrad (once I’d googled her).
‘No one has ever said I look like her before – I have had comments in the past that I resemble Ashley Jenson from The Office (which I personally don’t see!) and Patsy Kensit (a younger version, I hope!).
‘I was very impressed by how Rowhan managed to change the shape of my face using contouring and foundation tricks. I got a bit of a shock when I looked in the mirror afterwards!
Lauren Conrad (pictured attending the 2018 Baby2Baby Gala in California) has bolder brows than Hayley (right after the makeover) and beach waves, which Rowhan tried to recreate
‘The bridge of my nose appeared narrower and my lips gave the impression they’d been surgically enhanced.
‘Her hair is quite similar to mine naturally, though I normally go for a loose curl over beach waves, so it was a nice change. To be honest I felt like I looked as if I’d had some sort of cosmetic surgery. Perhaps it’s because I was wearing so much more make-up than I usually do.
‘I tried to keep my head down as I walked around the office – I felt more drag queen than Hollywood celebrity.
‘Naturally transforming me into someone else did require some heavy duty slap, but I think it wasn’t entirely suitable for Lauren as she usually has a relatively natural look.
Hayley (pictured left with Rowhan) said she was impressed by the make-up artist’s ability to change the shape of her face and that her lips looked like they had been surgically enhanced
‘I was expecting some pretty bold brows, as hers a little more prominent and darker than my own, but I did feel mine were a bit over the top. I think a finer, more feathered effect in a dark shade may have been more suitable.’
‘When I stepped outside I did feel like I was on display, as a lot of people turned to look at me – probably wondering why on earth I was wearing a red carpet dress on the street on a damp winter afternoon! But one lady did shout out that I looked beautiful, which was nice to hear!
‘I don’t think I could earn a living as this celebrity’s lookalike – to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered spending an hour and a half getting the make-up right every day.’
HAYLEY’S VERDICT: 5/10
Hayley (pictured centre) said a lot of people turned to look while she was walking Kensington High Street and she was complimented by a woman passing by
LUKE ANDREWS – DAVE FRANCO
Rowhan was tasked with giving Luke the illusion of being Dave Franco, who is an American actor best known for Now You See Me, Neighbors and Superbad.
She said that turning Luke into Dave was the easiest transformation because he already looked a lot like the star.
Luke managed to impress a few people with his impersonation of Dave Franco as he walked around the office and down Kensington High Street.
Rowhan overhauled Luke’s (pictured left) appearance to turn him into a lookalike of Dave Franco (pictured right) who is best known for Now You See Me, Neighbors and Superbad
Luke (pictured before) was given light make-up for an even complexion and had his hair styled the same as Dave’s red carpet look
Luke said: I don’t want to sound too pompous but everyone said it did make me look more like him.
‘I got some people staring and two teenage girls stopped and started fiddling with their phone cameras – I was wondering if they were going to ask for my autograph.’
He admitted he would love the opportunity to earn some money as a lookalike of the actor.
Luke revealed that people have previously compared him to Dave Franco, adding: ‘It started at school where girls said I had his likeness, and then carried on at university (although to a lesser extent). I think I smile a bit too much to always have his likeness!’
LUKE’S VERDICT: 8/10
Dave Franco (pictured) is from a family of actors, his brother James is known for Pineapple Express and This Is The End. Pictured right: Luke was told by many that he looks like Dave Franco and said that he would be interested in being his professional lookalike
BRIDIE PEARSON-JONES – CHLOE GRACE MORETZ
Lastly Rowhan was challenged to turn Bridie into Chloe Grace Moretz, who is an American actress that has starred in Kick-Ass, The Addams Family and Greta.
Rowhan said this look was one of the most challenging to achieve as the two women don’t have as much of a natural resemblance.
She focused on achieving the same eyebrows as Chloe to alter Bridie’s bone structure.
Rowhan transformed Bridie (pictured left) into Chloe Grace Mortez (pictured right) using contouring to change her face shape
Bridie (pictured before) was given fuller brows and loose curls to achieve Chloe’s usual look
Chloe (pictured) styled her hair in loose waves paired with minimal make-up when she attended a meeting of the Clark County Young Dems in Las Vegas
Rowhan said: ‘I think even when they don’t have a real similarity, go for a reference photo and focus on the look the celebrity had, such as with Bridie and the Chloe transformation.
THE EXPERT VERDICT
Lookalikes is a kind of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” type business, where it could be that one person may see something in someone that no-one else sees,’ said Adam Hanington, Commercial Director of lookalikes agency AbooDoey Entertainment.
However if someone tells you that you look like someone famous then there’s a good chance someone else will see that too, but there is a limit.
With regards to these lookalikes I would say that they clearly aren’t absolute dead ringers, like our Kate Moss, Megan Markle or Harry Potter lookalikes, whose everyday lives are spent avoiding fans thinking they are the real deal!
But having said that lookalikes don’t have to be dead ringers they just have that something, a similarity, that the clients imagination can work with, if you like. We would need to see more headshots from the lookalikes portfolio before making a decision.
If we felt there was enough similarity there then would keep them on our books, in case we had a client looking for their lookalike. We’d then offer them to the client to chose.
Clients have a wide range of budgets so it’s good to have a range of lookalikes to cater for all eventualities. Lookalikes who aren’t absolute dead ringers could earn £250-£450 a booking, fee’s very much depend on accuracy of the lookalike and the current popularity of their celebrity double.
‘I really focused on the fluffy brows and soft smokey eye to really give her that similar look that Chloe seems to wear on the red carpet.’
Bridie admitted she wasn’t convinced by her makeover and said the make-up gave the illusion she had a fuller face.
‘I definitely didn’t look like myself,’ she said. ‘I was completely transformed and felt like a drag queen (which is by no means a bad thing).
‘I don’t think I looked much like Chloe, but it was without a doubt a valiant effort to change my face.
‘Although Chloe has a very small face and I think the contouring made mine look bigger.
‘The make-up wasn’t flattering at all, and somehow got rid of my chin, gave me an extra one, and made my face look a lot plumper than usual!
‘Chloe has a smaller face and a pointy chin whereas my look was a lot heavier than my usual no-make up look.
‘I don’t think it was something I could get used to – a lot darker as well, and I think it definitely aged me!
‘Chloe is three years younger than me but this look made me look a decade older.
‘I can definitely see how the make-up artist was very talented and how she could make someone over to look like a different person, but it felt more like cosplay than a realistic lookalike.
‘I think if I’d opted for someone who’s more recognisable and had more iconic looks it would have been more convincing!’
Bridie (pictured centre) received stares from strangers but doesn’t think that anyone realised that was she’s supposed to be Chloe
Speaking about her time walking the High Street, Bridie continued: ‘People were definitely stopping and looking, but I don’t think that was because I looked like Chloe, but more because I was posing in the middle of a busy street and getting in people’s way.
‘People were turning as if I was famous and trying to figure out who I was, but I don’t think anyone thought I was Chloe.’
Bridie believes she wouldn’t be able to earn an income as Chloe’s lookalike, despite having been told they have similarities in the past.
She added: ‘I don’t see it at all. I think it’s just that I have green eyes and sometimes have blonde hair, which I also think is why I’ve been told I look like Dannii Minogue and Amanda Seyfried – but I don’t see either!’
BRIDIE’S VERDICT: 3/10
Rowhan’s transformational make-up tips
Rowhan said she chose between powder and liquid contours to achieve each look, depending on depth the changes to the face needed to be.
‘You have to check if a celebrity has a certain look that they are quite known for and if it’s one they’ve worn a lot I think that will be the first step, understanding that look and how achievable it is for your own skin, hair etc.
‘Try to contour and highlight in the same way – your face might not be the same shape but you might be able to achieve the same make-up look.
‘However with make-up you’re not guaranteed to look anything like them and the same goes for hair as well – what colour hair and texture, can you change it and manipulate it.
‘I love being a make-up artist and I find coming from an art background, instead of just studying beauty, I’ve studied color and texture. Coming from an art background is worthwhile, it’s artwork on the face.
‘I’d advise those looking to get into it to be confident with the work you create and make sure you have a proper understanding before you go into it so you’re not just winging and worrying about it.
‘For each person I used different kinds of contouring so some of them I used cream product for stronger changes to the facial features, however sometimes it was just powder contouring depending on how in depth we needed to change the face shape or features on the face.
‘We also used lashes to change the eye shape on the women, a full face of makeup for the transformation but the key points were highlighting and contouring to really change the bone structure or the appearance of the bone structure,’ Rowhan said.
Professional UK lookalikes:
Sarah Mhlanga, 36, (pictured left) from Manchester, striking similarity to the duchess, 38, was first remarked on when Meghan (pictured right) was engaged to Prince Harry in 2017
Suzie Kennedy, 40, (pictured left) became a Marilyn Monroe (pictured right) lookalike after a man noticed their likeness 15 years ago. As a full-time impersonator she has worked with Naomi Campbell and Stephen Fry
Iffy Onwuachu (pictured left) who has often been stopped by strangers thinking that he’s Anthony Joshua (pictured right) recently starred in the Lynx ‘deliver the chill’ commercial