Makeup Artist Uses Her Own Face As the Canvas For Surrealist Transformations

Makeup Art Illusions by Mimi Choi

We've all come across an optical illusion that has tricked our eyes, but how often has it been on someone's face? Vancouver-based makeup artist Mimi Choi uses her skills to transform her own visage into mind-boggling images that look like Surrealist paintings. Even if you look closely at the photos, it is hard to tell how she manages these visual tricks.

Sometimes humorous, other times whimsical, and occasionally a little scary, Choi's imagination seems to have no limits when it comes to creating new looks. In each one, however, she takes the time to carefully paint over her face in ways that mimic reality and uses the background to help enhance the effect of her illusions. For instance, on Pi Day, Choi posted an image of herself removing the last slice of her brain. The rest of her head is painted to blend into the blue sky wallpaper behind her, which helps the viewer focus on the remaining piece of “pie.”

Many of these makeup looks are based on her experiences living with sleep paralysis: a condition in which the person's mind is conscious, but their body is temporarily unresponsive while waking. “During these bouts, [Choi] experiences vivid and often frightening visions which have inspired many of her more morbid and distorted face looks,” it says on the artist's website. Striking patterns, photoshopped art, and other artists like Salvador Dalí and M.C. Escher are other muses of Choi whose influence can be seen in the dreamy aspects of her work.

Scroll down to see more incredible illusions, and follow the artist on Instagram for even more insight into her process.

Vancouver-based artist Mimi Choi transforms her face into amazing Surrealist paintings with makeup.

Makeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMakeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMakeup Art Illusions by Mimi Choi

As a result, her face becomes an optical illusion.

Makeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMakeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMakeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMakeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMakeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMakeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMakeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMakeup Art Illusions by Mimi ChoiMimi Choi: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Mimi Choi.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.
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