Mimi Choi is a 31-year-old makeup artist from Vancouver, Canada who creates completely stunning hyperreal optical illusions on herself. She’s transformed her hand into a realistic piece of sushi and added multiple eyes and lips to her face for a super trippy effect — and recently, her work has been going viral on Instagram.
Speaking to Allure, Choi explained her process and where she finds inspo. “When I do illusions now, I draw my inspiration mostly from my surroundings, photography, paintings, and emotions. I try not to look at other makeup artists’s work too much and challenge myself to produce original, unique work,” she says. “My main goal each time I do a new look is to beat myself from yesterday because I’m the biggest critic and competition to myself. It’s gotten really hard to impress myself these days but it motivates me to keep trying and doing better.”
As a former school teacher, Choi has been doing makeup for three years now and uses paint brushes to achieve detail. She attended classes at Blanche Macdonald, a local beauty school to learn her craft, but really pushes things to the limits by creating makeup that’s so extreme it looks Photoshoped at first glance. Some of the looks she creates, such as one she calls “shoelace quadruple eye” (above), take up to five hours to complete.
Though she uses a paint brush, she also uses every day makeup that may be in your stash. For the most part, she’s not using special effects products. For some of her recent looks, in which she transformed her hands into sushi, she used a combination of Kryolan Aquacolors, Suva Beauty Hydra liners, and Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners. “My sushi looks were inspired by a sushi dinner that I had,” she says. “I’ve seen people paint animals on their hands before but I thought why not food?:
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For her dramatic “shoelace quadruple eye,” Mimi Choi used Suva Beauty Hydra liners, NYX Cosmetics Liquid Liners, Make Up For Ever Artist Eye Shadows, and House of Lashes Knockout Lashes. And in case you’ve been looking for a new way to highlight, she also uses extreme contouring and highlighting to make some of her most surreal creations, like her Shifted Face look, come to life.
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If that’s not highlight goals, I don’t know what is.
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