Fall is officially here, which means the Halloween tutorials are on the way. But there's one makeup artist who kills it with her looks all year 'round. Mimi Choi's optical illusion makeup creations look so realistic that they'll make you second-guess tour vision. And now, she's sharing some of her best tips to get you ready for the upcoming holiday.
If the term makeup magician isn't coined yet, I'd like to pass the title to Choi. The pre-school teacher turned makeup artist has the ability to make parts of her body completely disappear with the flick of a makeup brush. She's created dripping face designs and even faceless makeup art — yes, you read that right. They take anywhere from one to six hours to create.
Becoming this talented didn't just happen overnight though. After some schooling and a lot of practice, Choi's stress reliever turned into a career.
"I have always been into doing art and makeup but I never thought it could ever become a career," she says. "I used to paint, do intricate nail art and doodle on my face as a way to relieve stress. But when my previous career as a preschool teacher wasn't giving me enough satisfaction, I decided to take a leap and pursue a career in makeup.
"That decision has turned my life around and opened up a part of my brain that I didn't even know existed before," she continues. Just take a look for yourself.
It's incredible to think that Choi hasn't been doing this her entire life. In fact, she didn't even know that she had the talent in her until she created her first Halloween tutorial back in 2013. Using just two items — "one white kohl liner and one black eyeliner" — Choi created a cracked face look that went viral.
After that, she decided to test her hand at some more intricate looks. To say that it paid off is an understatement.
"I realized illusion makeup requires a special kind of precision and skill and is the most challenging style I ever tried," Choi says. "So I wanted to keep exploring this style as a way to improve my skill set and lines. I figured if I could do a successful illusion on a face, I would be able to do a smokey eye and winged eyeliner for a glam look."
Choi hasn't traded in her glam tutorials for optical illusions just yet. The makeup artist still does more conventional looks and even does her own "swatches." She just does them in her own way. Take for example her "Jenga" optical illusion. According to the caption, it was just her way of testing out the Make Up For Ever foundation shades.
But even if she's playing around with the same products as the pros, you won't see her looking to other makeup artists for inspiration.
"I take a lot of inspiration from painters, photography and digital visual artists, and I try my best not to look at other makeup artists' work for inspiration," Choi says. "I want to create unique makeup looks that have shock value — that people have not seen and do not expect."
Her talent doesn't stop at doing makeup, either. Choi created a limited edition Artist Face Palette with Make Up For Ever and the brands creams and shadows, plus Kryolan Aquacolors and Mehron face and body paints as her favorite makeup products to use.
To answer your burning question; no, she does not have a YouTube channel. Trust me, I'm just as gutted.
Between her stunning designs and creativity, it's safe to say that Choi goes above and beyond the talent of a typical makeup artist. If this doesn't inspire you to grab your makeup bag and get to creating, then I don't know what will.