When it comes to makeup, celebrity makeup artist Elke Von Freudenberg doesn’t take any shortcuts. For Elke, photography makeup is all about perfection. She has worked with Kate Moss, Angelica Huston and Jamie Fox and wouldn’t trade her passion for makeup for anything. In this interview Elke talks about her fascination with makeup, her blog: The Beauty Blog Network, and her hometown Munich.

When did your fascination with makeup begin?
You could say when I was six years old. My mom remembers me applying watercolor paint to my face while trying to copy the makeup from her Vogue and Bazaar magazines when I was six. She knew before I did really. But it didn’t hit me until high school when I started doing friends faces for high school dances and proms, and realizing I had way more fun doing their makeup than my own. So I went to modeling school and started doing makeup for the weekend photo shoots we would do and that was it. A photographer there said I could do really well at it and that’s how it all started. I didn’t even think I could make a living from it until then.

How did you get your first big break as a makeup artist?
My first photo shoot ever was headshots for an actress that was on All My Children, with a photographer from that modeling school. I made $30, which at the time, was a lot of money to me. And that was the start. I worked on my portfolio and started working with better photographers and better models and just kept at it.

What is your makeup philosophy?
To me, makeup, or what I do, photography makeup, is all about perfection. Creating the perfect skin, the perfect lip, etc. Because I see photography as an art form, like painting, sculpting. Great photos of their time record the style and image of that time. So I try to make my work as perfect as possible. But for everyday life? My philosophy is perfection but quick!

“So if you want major lashes, take any two mascaras, and apply 1 coat of each. You’ll find that you’ll get the perfect lashes that you were looking for.”

What facial feature do you love to makeup most?
It changes. Sometimes it’s the lips, other times, and right now actually is the skin. I love playing with the skin texture, bone structure. Almost sculpting the face in some way. Not something you see much of anymore in photography. And I love to create a perfect lip line.

What have been some of your most memorable celebrity collaborations?
Jamie Fox, because his makeup was the quickest in the history of makeup and because he was really nice. Alexandra Paul, because she knows what she likes and we have a lot of fun during the process. Angelica Houston, just because I was so honored to be working on her. And Kate Moss, who was the first supermodel I ever worked on.

What is your number one beauty secret?
Oh, I have way too many… only one??? My favorite (because it does work!) is getting the perfect mascara. It’s the hardest product to find and we truly ask a lot of our mascara’s. So if you want major lashes, take any two mascaras, and apply 1 coat of each. You’ll find that you’ll get the perfect lashes that you were looking for.

When did you decide to blog and what is The Beauty Blog Network’s mission?
I started blogging a few years ago, when doing my monthly website newsletter/ezine became too much work. I’d be on a plane traveling to a location and I would have a deadline. With blogging, there really is no deadline. I can post whenever I can and it’s shorter and quicker. It just fit into my crazy lifestyle better. You could say that The Beauty Blog Network’s mission is to bring beauty into the obvious. Everywhere I go it seems that the focus is on fashion, or in the industry, hair and skin care. What happened to beauty? To makeup? Cosmetics? Application? Even magazines seem to writing about it less and less. I don’t want beauty to fall on the wayside and I felt that by joining the best beauty blogs out there together, we form a stronger voice for those to find us that are also ‘beauty fanatics’, like us. I’m always thrilled at how supportive and helpful our network members are towards each other, and the great posts that they do. And yes, I read every single one of them. We have a lot of great things in store for the network coming soon.

What is the best aspect of being a beauty blogger?
I would say getting my beauty knowledge out there. I’m still surprised when I get an email from someone saying this makeup trick or tip helped them. It’s great to know that other beauty fans are reading and learning and having as much fun with it as I am. Also, I’m seeing that the blogging industry is getting taken more seriously, so as a voice in the beauty blogging niche, I’m honored when others refer me or recommend me. It is a lot of work and it’s truly appreciated.

What can we find in your makeup bag?
Personally or in my makeup kit? My makeup kit has everything, from MAC, to Wet & Wild, Tarte, Lancome.. goes on and on. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Bare Escentuals mineral makeup, Maybelline’s Lash Discovery Mascara, Laura Geller Blush, Wet & Wild and Black Opal’s eyeshadows (their pigment is amazing…) and lip gloss. Tons of lip gloss (Wet & Wild is the shiniest, love Lancome’s and Mac’s…)

What is the most enjoyable part of being a makeup artist?
Creating something new. A new face, a new look. A new color. Just getting the chance (if they let me) to be truly creative… And then of course, seeing it in a magazine, or on TV. Makes me proud of course. And off course, working on that certain celebrity or model and finding out that they are truly nice and a dream to work on. When that happens of course!

Which city in the world would you want to visit more often?
Probably Munich, Germany since I have family there, was born there and haven’t been back since I was sixteen. But I would probably have to say Hawaii, because I truly need a vacation and soon!

What other passions do you have besides your work?
My family, first and foremost. My parents mean the world to me…… We’re a very close family. And my friends. They truly know my crazy schedule and still manage to drag me out for coffee or dinner when I’m in town….. They keep my life happy and sane… But truly, I’m very lucky to say that my work is my passion. I couldn’t possible do anything else. I wouldn’t want to.

It was a pleasure to interview Elke you can find out more about her blog and portfolio at her website: www.elkevonfreudenberg.com

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