Senior Artist Elke Willemen learned the ropes working the door at clubs and parties to earn money while she studied economics and languages. After that she became a teacher and M·A·C makeup artist at the Pro Store in Antwerp, Belgium. “I first discovered M·A·C during a makeup course in Paris,” she explains, “it was a few years before it arrived in Antwerp. I knew from that moment that I would love to be on the M·A·C team and work for the brand as a makeup artist myself.” Since making the leap, Willemen has enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers in the business. Here she tells us more.
“I’ve had so many great moments in my career. One that I will never forget is working on my first fashion show in Milan with makeup artist Gordon Espinet. The look was a gorgeous, glossy red lip. I was also thrilled to work on the Vivienne Westwood Anglomania show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, creating these very ‘punk’ looks, as well as hosting a Pro Workshop alongside fellow makeup artist Dean Rudd. It was held in Cyprus and the theme was ‘Circus’. But there are so many moments to choose from!”
“I love transforming people, making them consider themselves in a whole new way. I believe that makeup is the signature of how you are feeling on any given day. I like to play with colours and different textures, creating an individual look and showing people how they can transform an everyday beauty look into a high fashion, evening look. When I can play with brushes and colour, mix and match, I’m a very happy person. A good base is key and I love products like Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye, Prep + Prime Higlighter and Clear Brow Set, but I can’t resist an injection of colour and also love VIVA GLAM Lipstick!”
“I love to travel and it’s a great source of inspiration for my work. I like to visit different cultures, wandering around in unknown cities, and being in nature, feeling free, clear in my mind and able to expose my senses to new impulses. Alternatively, I get ideas from just hanging out in a coffee bar near the library while skimming through the beautiful pictures in books.”