Stella von Senger is a talented Make-up Artist, a young mother and a good friend. We met her in her beautiful apartment in Berlin.
I had been aware of Stella on Instagram (@stella_vonsenger) for a while. Luckily, we eventually met in real life too and fell ad hoc in love with each other. A shared dinner (at which her boyfriend and baby were also in tow) marked the start of a special friendship, one that has since definitely provided a highlight or two.
Stella actually comes from Berlin and is a gifted make-up artist. She also spent some time in Los Angeles, where she was primarily involved in special effects and conjured up lacerations and cyclops eyes on actor’s faces. Then she got pregnant and decided to return to the German capital with her small family. In order to bring these two new lives together, when it comes to choosing jobs, she focuses on projects close to her heart. So at the moment she’s working with photographer and long-time friend Elizaveta Porodina, and in the best case with model Lou Schoof as well.
We visited our new favorite “exceptional woman” at home and asked her a few questions.
How did you end up working as a make-up artist?
After completing my IB, I moved to Paris and New York to experience these cities – that I otherwise only knew and adored from films – for myself. It was terrific year and I felt like the whole world was open to me – without worries or any responsibilities. After an internship at the Bayreuther Festspielen, I went on to study make-up artistry in Munich; it was there I got to know my friend, the amazing photographer Elizaveta Porodina. It was through her that I came to understand that make-up for high fashion shoots can also be really fun.
After a short pit stop in Berlin, I went directly back to L.A. where I did a masters in special effects. It was my dream city up until the moment that I got pregnant. I love how nature meets urbanity there. When the baby arrived, however, I missed Europe for the first time. Just going out for a walk – that’s not part of L.A. Berlin was always my hometown, my family and friends are here
What’s the most fun thing about your job?
I love constantly developing new concepts and working with my hands. I like getting involved with new teams all the time and always getting to know new places and people. What I don’t like so much is the hierarchy as a make-up artist. Often I’m still not even mentioned on the first editorial page!
I love colors, shapes, and fashion, but also interiors and objects. Maybe I should start moving more in the art director direction. My path isn’t over by a long shot. The destination isn’t so much my goal; I’d rather enjoy the journey. It would be a shame to someday just be stuck standing still.
What’s changed for you since you became a mother?
I enjoy peace and nature a lot more. I treasure the little moments I have just for myself and my family. There’s less time for everything – but everything makes a lot more sense for it! I’m so happy to be a young mother. I still have the strength to do everything at once and want to succeed. And I don’t see everything so narrowly. We tote our kid around everywhere. We like to integrate Antonino into our lives rather than completely redefine it.
What does a normal day look like for you?
My son Antonino wakes me up somewhere between six and seven in the morning. First thing is making coffee – I’m useless before it. My boyfriend and I share an office. Since we’re both self-employed, it was a great decision. On days when we don’t have photo shoots, we divide the “office and stay at home parent” days. It’s hard to concentrate at home and even a simple email can be a challenge. What that means, simply said: either I’m sitting at 9am in the office or I’m walking around with Antonino in Gleisdreieck Park, which is almost directly in front of our house. Basically, every day is an act of multi-tasking.
What roll do beauty products play in your personal life?
I love beauty products. I’m fascinated by the packaging, the consistency, and ultimately of course the quality of the product. Personally, I can’t test or own enough creams, oils, or shampoos. Professionally, of course every form of make-up plays an important roll.
What’s your favorite beauty product at the moment and why?
Easy: cream blush in Precious by Kjaer Weis. I find it incredibly natural and it applies really well. The brand is so charming. Just the name and packaging are enough for me, but the products are simply really good. I’ve been hooked on the brand Glossier for a while. The Haloscope Highlighter is great – it’s a combination of a care product and make-up and, compared to the highlighter by rms Beauty that I treasure in my professional work, extremely wearable. It gives the skin a healthy glow that shines rather than glitters. Also, it comes in a very handy stick. You can apply everywhere and even without fingers or a mirror. Prtty Peaushun can’t be left out. The body lotion is impressive because you can also buy it, if you choose, with a light, wash-off tint. I’m hopelessly pale and will simply never tan. That means: I’ve tried self-tanners countless times. Somehow, though, we just never became friends. I don’t like the smell, too often my bed sheets were stained with brown the next morning, and it’s just not my thing to walk around naked in my apartment for hours in the hope that the tanner doesn’t get streaky. Last but not least, I never want to be without my Konjac Sponge again. I use this fine-pored sponge every evening and morning and feel totally clean straightaway.
What beauty product have you used the longest?
My products change a lot, because I’m just too curious. Coco Mademoiselle has been a signature, and Weleda shower gels and Dr. Hauschka’s Waschlotion.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Living in the country, another child, my own business. With a lot of travel stories in my suitcase and good friends at my side.
What are your three favorite Instagram accounts?
I love accounts like Chiara Nonino (@chiaranonino), Love.watts (@love.watts), Mansur Gavriel (@mansurgavriel) in the Posternak sisters hands, and Leandra Medine (@leandramedine) from Manrepeller. If there’s too much advertising, I’m out. I understand that collaborations are a part of Instagram reality, but it has to be at least halfway enjoyably done.
1 / 14
all photos were taken by JESSICA BARTHEL.
Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.
Updates about her next professional steps can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliaknolle/.