Owner of Make-up the College, Jacqui Bannerman, is clearly one of the most passionate and knowledgeable people when it comes to makeup artistry in Durban. Having had her students create the makeup of the 25 girls walking in the Phase Four Fashion Extravaganza on Sunday at the SMG Rocks Mini showroom, it is also clear that her passion and skill has rubbed off on her students with each of the models looking stunning having had their specific features highlighted. We got to know this industry-expert a little better.
Lee Folkard Photography: Who is Jacqui Bannerman?
Jacqui: I’m from Durban and I have been a makeup artist for a number of years now giving me extensive experience in this industry. I have also headed makeup and hair departments on both local and international commercials; like Vodafone, Orange, and Coca-Cola, as well as on various films, documentaries, and drama series for both locally and internationally. Also, I’ve worked on both local and international still shoots and have done a lot of SFX and prosthetics for various movies – which is an area of makeup that I totally love! Bottom line – I love what I do and I believe it shows in the passion I have for my craft!
LFP: What was your inspiration to become a makeup artist and how did you start in the business?
Jacqui: Honestly, I did not put a lot of thought into it. It was something I just thought I would enjoy. I am a Libran, so I love beautiful things! I have an all-or-nothing personality, so when I do something, I give it 100%. It’s in my nature to achieve and I bring that to my makeup! I did not know that it would be as life-changing for me as it has been. I have never looked back! I do think I was lucky when I started out though, as I did a commercial straight away. I was just given an opportunity and I have worked ever since! All we need is an opportunity in life and it can change life completely. Film was not a planned goal either; it was something that just happened. I love SFX and prosthetics in makeup and by embracing film; I found a perfect fit for me, allowing me to dabble in all aspects and avenues of makeup. Film together with television commercials is like heaven for me now! I quickly built a reputation, but I also never forget that we are only as good as our last job!
LFP: How did you become involved in #ProjectScouted and what motivated you to be a part of it?
Jacqui: A mutual photographer friend asked if my college, Make-up the College, would be keen to get involved with the makeup of the Project. I am always looking for opportunities to grow my students and am also trying to create a platform for them to showcase their work, so this was absolutely a win-win scenario. Doing makeup, actually being involved in makeup on set, is totally different to doing makeup at college. Projects like this are very beneficial to students and makeup artists who are starting out. True learning comes from actually “doing”, embracing different visions, and being thrown into the deep end. I am all about helping my students grow!
LFP: Do you have a favourite type of makeup or occasion to do makeup for?
Jacqui: My personal belief of a true makeup artist is to embrace all areas of makeup! I absolutely love all aspects of makeup! I love the variety of the work, where one never gets tired of anything and each job is so different. This is what has kept my passion alive over the years. We never stop learning and new products are always coming out. I absolutely love the challenge of SFX and Prosthetics, because with everything in makeup, the makeup is just an illusion. I also have a love applying makeup to people who haven’t had their makeup done before and they are blown away when they see themselves in a new light. The power of makeup can even be life-changing; this is a beautiful thing to give someone, even if it is just for a moment. Makeup never ceases to amaze me, even after all these years!
LFP: What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt in your career as a makeup artist?
Jacqui: Many years ago a good friend of mine, an art-director, said to me, “Jax, it is not how you start a job, but how you end a job that will make you be remembered and go out with a bang every time!” Other words that have also left their mark with me are, “This is how you make your money; it is not who you are!” Balance is key and this is not always easy as a freelance worker, as you want to ride every wave. Balancing family and work is something I still find difficult!
LFP: Starting Make-up the College was certainly a huge step for you. How did it begin? What were some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Jacqui: It definitely came with challenges! I have a reputation within the industry, but am merely a name to potential students! I had to basically start from scratch and build up my reputation as a reputable college! Of course it was a hard decision, going from having your diary run by agents, never having to look for jobs myself, to now taking a step backwards and hoping potential students would have me mentor them. I take what I do very seriously and it shows! My college has only been going for 3 years and I am getting amazing results. Makeup artists who have been through my facility are working successfully within the industry; I have a few in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and even one working abroad! Word of mouth is always the best, and my reputation and credibility as a college is growing and moving progressively forward. I cannot even believe it sometimes! I approach my college exactly the same as I did when I was a freelancer – do not take anything for granted, keep the passion, and give 100%!
LFP: What’s an average day like for Jacqui?
Jacqui: I get up at 4:30am and sort my kids out for the day. I drop my daughter off at school then open up my college. I also do all of the lecturing at my facility. I am at college till about 2:30pm on weekdays, however, on a Tuesday and Thursday I am at work until about 8:30pm as I have my part-time classes. On weekends, I may have Supersport and I also take on half-day shoots on days that suit me. I do try and do a few commercials wherever possible, then I make up the lost time with my students, but my focus is always going forward with the college. I allow nothing to get in the way of this!
LFP: If you could have done the makeup for any big budget film released recently or even in the past, which would it have been and why?
Jacqui: There would be so many for completely different reasons; like The Grinch with Jim Carrey. Yes, it is a suit where the face is moulded, but despite the exaggerated proportions, REAL EMOTION still manages to come through! This is exceptionally difficult to get right and a huge challenge to overcome. One does not quite realise the difficulty of this. Makeup on such a large scale can also easily cross the line to looking “ridiculous”. The Lord of the Rings is another standout for me. Huge amounts of prosthetic rubber foam were used. The “Orcs” were incredibly well done! A very current movie that has just been released, Maleficent, with Angelina Jolie, is also intriguing me at the moment. Her makeup, the beauty makeup, is just perfection in every way; the highlighting and contouring is beautiful! What is unbelievable is the cheekbones, which are tiny prosthetics made by the master himself, Rick Baker. This makeup was mind-blowing! I would have loved to have been involved in this makeup, where there is just no room for mistakes, as mistakes in such specific makeup could just not have been hidden. It was flawless!
LFP: For anyone aspiring to be a full-time makeup artist, what advice would you give? Is there a secret ingredient for a successful and long career in the industry?
Jacqui: To be successful in this industry requires more than just simply being able to do makeup! It is truly a package deal. It is personality, taste, listening skills, organization skills, work ethic, and above all attitude and patience! People want to be around workers with a good attitude, especially when you are working on a 4 week shoot, involving long hours! But never give up; be determined and believe in yourself! An eye for detail is also crucial, an artistic flair is beneficial, being able to work as part of a team is vital, and keeping an eye on current fashion trends is good too. Also keep growing your portfolio, which in turn will showcase your diversity and skill as an artist.
LFP: What do you think is the biggest makeup faux pas made by young girls?
Jacqui: Just as with fashion, NOT taking their individual features and colouring into account and following “trends” whether it suits them or not! If you do not have, for example, beautiful lips; stay clear of bright colours! I also think that young girls wear too much makeup! They apply too dark eyeshadow and, before they know it, they look like panda bears, or alternatively someone who has just been punched in the eyes! Makeup must be age-appropriate. Looking older than one is, is not the point of makeup. If your eyes are small, you should not wear black eyeliner all around the eye. Eyebrows should also be well-defined and not too dark or hard. Teenage workshops, where teenagers learn a few skills of applying makeup to their individual features, will go a long way and is something I would strongly recommend even if it is just for fun!
Only 15 of the 25 girls who walked in the fashion show will be chosen to proceed to Phase Five; so be sure to check out their individual pics on the ramp taken by Kevin Hsu and Jessica Van Goeverden that they will be judged on. With makeup as beautiful as Jacqui’s and her students’ paired with these beauties, it’s going to be a difficult task making the cut.