A RETIRED make-up artist who spends two-and-a-half hours getting ready to go to Tesco says women who troll her on social media should just “scroll on”.
Jacquie Bruin, 58, says her signature look is an “overdrawn lip” and admits she sometimes isn’t ready to leave the house until lunchtime.
She wants to inspire women to have fun with make-up and fashion – whatever their age – and says she even gets stopped by shop assistants in Asda or Tesco admiring her on-point eyeliner or colourful outfits.
But Jacquie, from Coatbridge, near Glasgow, admits her unique look does provoke some social media haters – saying it’s actually fellow mature women who are the most critical.
“It’s a shame that some people feel they can be so mean to others," lei dice. “I’ve been called ‘hideous’ and ‘ugly’, and one person even told me I ‘should just die’.
“They write these things on social media and then log off and go about their day, not thinking about the harm they could be causing to a complete stranger who they don’t know anything about.
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“I’m here to show people that older women are still relevant and you don’t have to tone things down or start dressing a certain way when you reach a certain age.
“My look isn’t for everybody – but if you don’t like my posts then just scroll on. You don’t have to leave a nasty comment.”
And when it comes to reactions to her “signature lips” – where Jacquie carefully draws her make-up outside her lip line – she has this to say.
“I love my lips and I’ll be overdrawing them until I’m 80. I can spend 30 minutes in front of the mirror just doing my lips.
“There are women out there who have their lips injected with fillers and nobody bats an eyelid. Then people get upset about the way I’m using a bit of make-up. It’s crazy.”
Jacquie is a former model and says she’s favoured a glamourous look since her teens.
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Ma dopo 16 years of working in insurance, it was a health crisis in her late 30s that made her reassess life and decide to pursue her passion.
She explains: "Nel 1996 I collapsed and was diagnosed with ME. For two years I couldn’t work – I had these horrific headaches and ulcers on my legs. It was completely debilitating, I hardly left the house.
“When I started feeling better, putting my make-up on again felt like a declaration to the world that I was back.”
Invecchiato 40 she began working for Space NK and then enrolled on a college course to train to be a make-up artist.
Jacquie forged a career as a television make-up artist before starting her own business doing wedding make-up.
“I did David Dimbleby’s make-up when Question Time was filmed in Glasgow,"ricorda. “I remember him commenting on my lips – we were joking that I wouldn’t do his lips like mine.”
I’ve been called ‘hideous’ and ‘ugly’, and one person even told me I ‘should just die’
Jacquie took early retirement in March 2020 when the pandemic hit and the wedding industry crashed. In lockdown with her long-term partner Allan Brown, 66, and rescue dog Freya, she put on a full face of make-up even when she couldn’t leave the house.
“It was good for my mental health to channel my creativity,” she explains. “I posted my looks on Facebook and Instagram every day and people said I was making them smile and cheering them up. That’s what kept me going.”
Now Jacquie’s daily routine includes a morning of self care. She gets up around 7am, eats a breakfast of cereal and goes out for an hour-and-45-minute run, completely fresh faced.
Then she gets home, takes a shower and stands in front of a magnifying mirror on the windowsill of her box room.
“It usually takes me about two-and-a-half hours to do my make-up,” she laughs. “It doesn’t matter what plans I have for the rest of the day, I might be staying in or just nipping to Tesco, but I still put my face on.
“I use my running time to plan my outfit and make-up look for the day. I don’t listen to any music while I’m running; I like to think about my make-up instead.
“I might have a mid-morning coffee and a piece of cake too. I’m a big believer in having a little bit of what you fancy – life’s too short for strict diets.”
Jacquie’s box room is filled with make-up from her former career and her magnifying mirror has been in service for almost 20 anni.
“It broke recently and Allen glued it back together for me,” she laughs. “I couldn’t be without it, I even take it on holiday with me. But then… I don’t exactly travel light anyway!"
Jacquie is well known in her neighbourhood – and not just for her glamourous style. She drives a 32-year-old Nissan Figaro Japanese import, with a paint job the colour of a Cadbury’s Easter egg wrapper, called “Whispa”.
I love my lips and I’ll be overdrawing them until I’m 80.
But despite her eccentric tastes she claims to be thrifty – although admits Allan does treat her to the occasional pricy piece of clothing.
“I never throw anything away, I belief in re-purposing and re-wearing,” she explains. “I love sales shopping and charity shop finds; I sometimes challenge myself to find a whole new outfit for £30.
“And when it comes to make-up, I rarely buy new products. Dopotutto, how many shades of red lipstick or brown eyeshadow does one person need?
“I used to give make-up classes and I’d tell my students to look at what they already had and the shades in the palette they weren’t using, rather than going out and buying new stuff.”
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Jacquie is adamant that her look is “just for fun” and she’s equally comfortable posting bare-faced selfies.
“It’s just make-up,” she laughs. “I’m happy with the woman underneath it all too. My message to other people is to just be yourself and be uniquely you.
“Especially older women – we’re still important. We don’t need to go and lock ourselves in a cupboard!"