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Who I am and who I’ll be
Bob Scott started exploring makeup early on, using their own face as a canvas before working as a professional makeup artist. They share their experience assisting artists like Pat McGrath and Francois Nars, and their perspective on makeup as expression.


19/99      How did you get into makeup? 

Bob Scott       I remember from a very young age being attracted to, and interested in, the makeup that my sisters got for birthdays or Christmas. I really jumped into it around 2007, at the end of high school. I found YouTube tutorials, when they were at the very beginning stages. I started learning the language of makeup, it was very new to me and I started to practice. It wasn’t something I had intellectualized till then, or knew was something that could be more than something people do for themselves. But I learned about makeup, and it as an art form through these videos. I watched Pixiwoo religiously, and now those girls have Real Techniques and it is this huge thing. I would watch every one of their videos in the beginning. They would talk about everything; they would create runway looks and talk about the brushes they were using, everything. I absorbed as much as I could at the time. Then I went to school but left because I wasn’t convinced it was for me. In 2011 I moved to New York to try to assist and get into the world of fashion, and it went from there. So I’ve been working in New York for about 10 years now. 


19/99      What artists did you assist when you were first starting out? 

BS      I assisted Pat McGrath on fashion shows, KabukiLucia PieroniJames KaliardosFrancois Nars. So many artists who I respect, and whose work I had admired before I knew who they were. When I discovered fashion as an art medium and I was pouring over editorials and magazines, I didn’t know that it was any one artist creating these looks I was admiring, working with a team consistently. So when I got to New York and started assisting I got to see what it was and luckily I got to meet all these people who I had been studying. 


19/99      What are you current and past major influences as an artist? 

BS      Colour. The need for colour anywhere and everywhere. I look to nature a lot for inspiration because you will never get a more expected colour combination, as you will in a coral reef, or in the amazon. I look at people who are experimenting with their look, who are very sure in their look and sure in their experimentation, for creative ideas and for different feelings. I look to music to try to fill in the scope of what I am looking to creating. With any look it is so much more than just the eye shadow shape I’m looking to create; it is about who I am creating, who I am trying to translate or communication through this makeup. 


19/99      You mentioned you look to a lot of people who are sure of themselves and their style, how they wear colour or express colour. Do you have advice for people who are trying to figure out how they want to experiment and express themselves?

BS      The first step is to try in whatever setting makes you most comfortable. If you are going to do something you haven’t done before, try it out at home and wear it for a little while, get used to seeing yourself that way, or wear it on a day where there is no pressure when you do go out. If you want to wear to it a party or work, then go for it, and trust that if it doesn’t end up feeling great, you can take it off and try again another time. Makeup comes off. Part of my philosophy with makeup is that it is going to come off; it is temporary. So try it out because even if you don’t like it you know that it is something you don’t want to do so you can try something else after that. By trying it out not only do you gain certainty but you also gain technical skills and it helps you gain a better understanding of your face, and how to really make yourself feel beautiful in a technical way, which gives you more room to play in a creative way. 


19/99      In your interview with Paper you said, “A red lip is a red lip and anyone can wear a red lip”. Can you speak to this and how you approach working with colour with different clients?

BS      Makeup is universal because expression is universal. Art is universal, music is universal. Any form of art is something that an individual can apply to themselves. So if you want to wear a red lip on any given day, you have that available to you as long as you have a lipstick. I genuinely don’t see any restrictions of who can wear it, or where you can wear it. It is seen as such a classic thing for women to wear culturally, but you just have to remove it from that rigidity of being something only for women to wear or only for young women, or only for glamorous women, it is art. Do it when you want to do it. 


19/99      We love your use of colour. Are there any rules you follow when it comes to working with colour? 

BS      Yes and no. The rules are never the loudest thing in my head when I am creating a look. Because the rules are really just guidelines, because not every face is the same, not every situation is the same and not every product works the same for every person. So you have to figure out what works for you in all those ways. There are general technical rules if you want to keep the colour pure; you want to make sure you aren’t going over product that is going to dilute or change the colour but emphasizes that colour and help it to last longer. But I can’t really say that there are universal rules for how you use colour. Use it in such a way that makes you happy. That sounds really vague; it should match how you feel. Remember the makeup that you are doing is for you first and foremost and practice so you get more comfortable. 

Images via @bobscott200 Image via @bobscott200

Makeup is universal because expression is universal. Art is universal, music is universal.

Images via @bobscott200 Images via @bobscott200

19/99      Can you take us through your daily beauty routine, morning and night? 

BS      In the morning I typically just splash water on my face. It is pretty warm in New York, and because I am quarantining I’m not that worried about my morning routine. At night I will always double cleanse, I use Biossance Cleansing Gel in the shower. Then I use Image Salicylic Clarifying toner to clean away bacteria and keep my pH balanced. Then I will apply the Drunk Elephant's vitamin C serum or The Ordinary’s Retinol and Squalane. I haven’t been able to get a facial through all of quarantine, and the retinol helps keep my blemishes at bay. I’m prone to cystic acne, and thankfully it hasn’t been acting up this summer. These days I’m trying to be more minimal with my routine and only treat exactly what needs to be treated exactly when it needs to be treated. I’m not moisturizing morning and night because it is so humid…so it has gotten very short and pointed.


19/99      Do you wear makeup often? 

BS      If there is the occasion for it I will, or if there is a look I have in my mind I want to experiment with, or I get a new product I want to test, and just not be rusty. My relationship with makeup and my personal routine is growing and I’m finding more opportunities to wear it and experiment with it. In the past I was always the clean-faced person because I was always on the go, and I never wanted to think about makeup on myself because it was going onto somebody else. There are plenty of makeup artists who arrive to work with a full face and full look and I love those people; I wake up an hour before I need to be somewhere, so it’s not part of my morning routine. When I go out and want to turn the volume up on my look, or when I was going to meet friends out somewhere I would definitely put a little gold on my eye, or line my eyes with a colour that will accentuate my eyes, whatever felt good…some glitter, some sparkle. These days it is just when I am looking at the product that I have and creating the look that I have in mind that I will try on a product and wear it to see how it feels. 


19/99      Do you feel pressure to look a certain way? 

BS      No


19/99      Does the term age appropriate mean anything to you? And does this ever come up with clients? 

BS      Personally, no. In work, yes. Most of my clients have forward facing, media personalities and their image has to be cleared through many more channels than just how they feel that day. I have clients who host TV shows, who have a visual brand that has to be translated through so many different channels. Thankfully, it is not super restrictive but it is a question. That idea fits itself into the question: does that idea we have for the makeup fit itself into the setting we are going intoIt’s also an unspoken question more often than not – the age appropriateness. I think that that question can be dispelled a little bit more easily these days as we allow people and women to make those decisions for themselves. As people feel less like they have to serve their public, and they can just appear how they envision themselves. So there are definitely times that we need to consider it but thankfully it has been very easy to move past that question. 


19/99      Do you think your clients are becoming more confident in making that decision for themselves? 

BS      My clients are very confident. I never really ask myself that question for them, so I never make it part of my process. If they ask it or are thinking it then I definitely don’t dwell on it because it is limiting to my process, and it is limiting to their being. If they have felt insecure in that way, or wondered about it, I don’t ignore it but I try to focus on other things; make them feel beautiful despite that worry and make them feel empowered despite that question. 


19/99      If you could share advice with your younger self, what would that be? 

BS      Your instincts are most likely correct. Trust that first impulse a little more. I tend to think about things a lot, and will think about it like six times before I act on it. There is so much value on being sure on the first go of what you want to do. I am learning that and I wish I had started learning that a little earlier on. 


19/99      Do you think there is appoint where we stop growing and learning? 

BS      No. I mean, yes, if you want to. I am definitely of the frame of thought that there is something to learn every day, every week and in every phase of our lives. And if it is not something you’ve heard for the first time, maybe it is a lesson you need to relearn, or learn to apply differently. Every day if you are making that effort there will be something to learn. 

Follow Bob on Instagram @bobscott200

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Who I am and who I’ll be