Make up is powerful. It can make you feel, it can show you a total different side of yourself, it can push your creativity, embrace your beauty given to you by nature, it can make you feel strong, but it can also wear you down.

Make up is powerful. All the listed aspects of make up, mentioned in my quote above, I’ve experienced over the past year. Before I get into those aspects, I’d like to start off this post with a my-kind-of-short personal background story. Scroll down, to skip history and get to make up and photoshootings.



I started wearing a bit of make up when I was 16 years old. Before that I never saw any purpose of putting foundation or any other products in my face, because first of all I had no clue what products you use, where they go and what they’re supposed to do to your face. Second of all, I played basketball in a club and make up was not an option at all at practice, because it got all smeary and on my shirt. Why would I even ever wear make up anyways at practice? Well, basketball practice was always directly after school, so I wouldn’t remove it just for it. Ok, I was maybe a bit lazy.

I remember asking my Mom if she could show me how to do make up. Well, YouTube tutorials weren’t really a thing then, besides that we’d still have our internet connected to our phone and it would make fun cracking sounds when I was even allowed to use it for chatting with friends. But I guess that’s a total different story. The only thing my mom used – so I remember – was foundation and a liner for your water line, maybe some rouge and mascara.

When I got older and lived by myself and Myspace and YouTube got bigger and being an Emo, I definitely needed to bring and get up my eyeliner game. Over time I covered my face in make up to feel myself, but didn’t realize I was forgetting the face underneath it all. I had a hard time liking my bare face (sometimes I’m still struggling with it a bit). I wouldn’t go outside without an eyeliner or my brows done.

I felt comfort in, what some people liked to call it ‘my signature look’, which meant covering foundation, full brows and eyeliner. For that time being it was great and I don’t regret it. It makes me who I am today and lead me to how I feel totally different nowadays.

It was the #seaside16 ladies Meetup – a former meetup of the Lost Adventures Ladies Crew. The girls wanted to see me with different, meaning less and natural make up on and I remember it being such a struggle and I was literally scared of not wearing my usual make up. It was the best decision ever! I am so thankful for this change. It opened so many doors – for myself the most. On a personal level. It didn’t come easy though. I was frustrated for a while afterwards, because I felt like I wasn’t really myself. I felt like I wasn’t the old and it felt like I just got to know my new-less-make-up-self. What I needed to realize was, that it both was me – that make up didn’t defines who I am or how others see me. And why can’t I be more than one look? I know I can, because the base stays the same, right? My bare face.

nyx crueltyfree highlighter blush makeup
NYX / Strobe of Genious Illuminating Palette



‘Make up can underline your given natural beauty’ and that’s my relation to make up nowadays. I love make up, because it is a huuuge playground for creativity and expression. For myself I may only play in one corner of this huge playground, because I am not a visagiste or a make up artist – so my knowledge isn’t as professional or widened as the knowledge of professional make up artists.

I know how to do my own make up and I love doing it at times, but for editorial photoshootings I looove to have a make up artist around, who I truly trust with what they do and how strongly they feel for their passion and their work. The magic and the devil lie in the detail, so it is said.

‘Make up can also wear you down’ – unfortunately I also had to make that experience. It wasn’t that I didn’t ‘just feel comfortable’ in my make up – as sometimes it can get super crazy and not wearable on a daily base – but the make up done was done really poorly from a technical perspective. Afterwards I felt super bad and uncomfortable in my own skin and I truly doubted myself for a long time.

toofaced eyeshadow palette cruelty free peach palette
Too Faced / Sweet Peach Eye Palette



A make up artist has to have the skills, the speed and the passion. Him/her need to quickly understand, what the clients wants from them and tranfer that or a certain look on the clients face, according to the clients peculiarities and features. They have to understand a persons skin tone, facial contours and personality in order to create a look that fits perfectly. Especially talking about editorial photoshootings, often a more creative make up is requested. So the MUA  has to be creative, understand the art of texture and be experienced to express certain requirements.

The education every official and professional make up artist has to successfully complete, is said to be a bit different and depends on the country him/her live in. Especially in Austria it is differenced among a visagiste and a make up artist. A fully educated MUA likes to be called one, as the rank of an MUA is higher as it also includes a visagiste education.

eyeshadow blush lindahallberg palette duochrome brushes crueltyfree vegan
Linda Hallberg / Enchanted Secrets Duochrome Palette



This is the most important thing of all! Hygiene is the hot topic I judge the MUAs by. From washing hands before touching my face, to using sanitizer, clean brushes and products as well as ALWAYS having and using cleaning and disinfection solution when necessary. Also a clean and structured workstation is important.

When working with a new MUA on a tfp photoshooting, of course I want to see a portfolio and moods, like a photographer and MUA would like to see of me.

Especially for editorial photoshootings creativity is wanted and asked for. The more creative the MUA is, the more exciting the photoshoot will be.

It’s all about the little things
What personally makes a great MUA memorable to me is, when he/she is cautious on the model’s needs. Meaning, being cautious if my lips are chapped or asking me if I’m allergic to something (or if I have any experience being allergic to some products) before putting any product on my face. Also what matters to me is the type of products used. As a vegan, I personally don’t prefer and appreciate products with an animal testing reputation on my face. I personally wish for cruelty free products (if possible vegan), especially at tfp photoshootings. Unfortunally, this is not always possible, but I know that a lot of professional MUAs are very empathetic and sensitive concerning such wishes and try to avoid those products.



*Cruelty-free means that the product was developed without any animal tests, while vegan means that in addition to never being tested on animals, the product does not include any animal-derived ingredients.

If you follow this link here, you can see lots of cruelty free brands!
Here’s the Animal-Derived Ingredients List if you’re interested.

bodyshop conceiler contour makeup crueltyfree brands
Catrice / Camoflage Conceiler, The Body Shop / Vitamin C instant glow, NYX / Wonderstick in light



… because my standards are super high and they have everything I look for in a MUA (see my list of 4 above). And lets be honest here: They’re pretty badass personalities and do an outstanding work EVERY SINGLE TIME! It is simply so much fun working with them. I literally put all my trust into their hands, their creativity and their intention to work on something incredible together!

model logos makeupartists editorials kerstinbrueller fashion kimono flowers

From left to right:

  1. Yolanda Dohr Make Up Artist (Photo by Bianca Marie Fotografie)
  2. Nadine Hochwieser Hair & Make Up Artist (Photo by Slicpic Fotografie)
  3. Kirschundkern (Photo by Ramona Hackl Photography)
  4. Metallized Make Up (Photo by Pixellicious)

These ladies know their work. They know the materials they use, they know the importance of hygiene and they know people. Every single one of them I can surely recommend working with and booking for an important job. Thanks ladies for being you and for making my experiences with make up colorful, fun and trusting! You’re the best!



Not only did I learn a couple of beauty tips, do’s and don’ts I really thankful for, but what I am most thankful for is that each make up artist taught me something about myself. If it was ‘Your eyebrows are great for make up’ (haha yeah right, what?) or ‘your pale skin is clean and so great to work with’ (C’mon cut the jokes, will you?), ‘you don’t need much, you just need to see your bare face more often and love it’ (… *silence*). They were right. All together, they were. It’s not only about the looks, but this blogpost is about it, that’s why it is leaning that way. Read on though … .

Most important is, that beauty goes beyond any beauty standards and make up hacks and tricks, what some might call natural beauty and the genes some luckily got from their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. But what I’ve learnt along the way is to just love myself more, for how I look, for who I am, but also for whoI am not (because obviously, that wouldn’t be me), and to often just don’t give a f* on what others think about my panda eyes (ohhh and I do have dark circles underneath my eyes, and YES they might be from overworking at times, but also because that’s how my eyes simply are) and to be comfortable with my bare face around my friends and family.

The most important thing is to feel yourself. To love yourself for who you are. To know your characterstics, to bring them forward, but also to critisize the ones you’re not proud of, or you’d like to improve.

And now … swing your make up removal pads and celebrate yourself, because there is no one just like You!

nyx palette vibrant colors vivid crueltyfree
NYX / Ultimate Shadow Palette


Cover Photo by Kirschundkern
All other photos taken by Tin.Eller Design

2 thoughts on “THE POWER OF MAKE UP”

  1. Dear Kerstin, your new blogpost is really powerful and interesting. I really appreciate that you are using and promoting cruelty free make up products ❤️. I like your stories very much – do more of that great stuff! 👌

    1. Thanks so much! 🙂 I am beyond happy reading your comment! Thanks for your interest and for your awareness on cruelty free products as well! <3

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