Brassey Weddings Masthead

A day in the life of makeup artist Jacqui Scott

Molly McLaughlin

Ever wondered what goes on behind all the glitz and glamour of life as a makeup artist?

According to Canberra’s Jacqui Scott, there’s much more to the job than winged eyeliner and contouring.

“As a makeup artist my profession and passion is to make people look and feel glamorous, beautiful and confident within themselves. A makeup artist must have in-depth knowledge of products, skin types, skin tones, eye and face shapes, colour theory and the ability to create a makeup look to suit each individual client. However, there is even more to it than that. It’s not as simple as just applying makeup.

“Building a good rapport with my client base is important to me, after all, makeup and tanning should be fun and I really embrace that! In a world that moves so fast, being reliable and organised with the administration side of things is a big factor in running a successful small business. Reputation and a strong social media presence are also key to success.”

Jacqui began her career in makeup after she studied a Bachelor of Design majoring in photography at Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT). Through her studies, Jacqui developed a passion for all the behind-the-scenes preparation that went into a photo shoot. Her photography background was influential in developing her philosophy: “Every makeup is a photographic makeup”.

Jacqui on set for HerCanberra. Photo: Tim Bean Photography.

Today, Jacqui has worked as a freelance makeup artist for over a decade and as a Senior Makeup Trainer at CMA Training Group (CMA) for the past eight years.

“No two weeks are the same,” she explains. “Each week is varied between services at my studio in Belconnen including bridal makeup trials, event makeup, one on one and group makeup lessons and spray tanning. Other times I’ll be out and about working with a team of creatives for weddings, photo shoots and commercial work. I could be in a hotel, a client’s house, an office or even working out of the back of a car.”

Jacqui teaching at CMA Training Group. Credit Doug Hall, Studio Vita.

However, Jacqui finds the unpredictable nature of the job suits her perfectly and she thrives in this environment.

“I juggle all that on a weekly basis, and sometimes it could be all three aspects in one day, for example, a makeup in the morning, then training at CMA, followed by a photoshoot or an after-hours spray tan appointment.”

Over her decade-long involvement in makeup, Jacqui has seen the profession transition from an under-appreciated skill into a serious industry. She believes one of the most important qualities a makeup artist can have is the ‘likeability factor’, that allows her to make women feel comfortable—especially important on their wedding day.

Jacqui doing a bride’s makeup. Credit: GM Photography.

“When I started in the industry makeup was considered a hobby, not a profession. It has come a long way. For example, if you were working on a film set, the makeup artist would be known as the person who got the coffee and did all the little jobs. However, because of social media and YouTube and the awareness these mediums have brought to our industry, there is now more of an understanding of the specific skills and training required to be a makeup artist.

“Now, makeup is a career. If something else needs to be done we’ll always jump up and help, but our role has definitely progressed.”

Credit: GM Photography.

Jacqui is a self-confessed perfectionist with an eye for detail, and she sees all aspects of the job as part of her passion.

“Wedding makeup is my main service, but I love it all! I love working with a creative team on a photo shoot and then seeing the images come to life, it’s so rewarding. Seeing your work in print is another really proud moment.”

Of course, she is constantly learning and expanding her skill sets to keep up with ever-changing trends and products, and she is always happy to pass on that knowledge.

Jacqui at her studio. Credit Doug Hall, Studio Vita.

“I am passionate about the education and training side of my work, both at CMA and other classes and workshops. I have hosted beauty workshops at Westfield Woden and I was a key speaker at HerCanberra’s Unveiled bridal event last year, where I shared my tips and tricks of the trade and talked about makeup for the everyday woman.

“Receiving feedback from women of all ages that they find my advice helpful makes me really happy!”

Feature image: Jacqui teaching at CMA Training Group. Credit Doug Hall, Studio Vita.


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author