31-year-old Mimi Choi, a makeup artist from Vancouver, spends hours turning her face into mind-boggling optical illusions that look photoshopped at first glance.
A former schoolteacher, Choi got into makeup only three years ago, attending classes at Blanche Macdonald, a local beauty school, to learn the basics of the craft. She’s come a long way since then, though, and today she uses her makeup skills to turn her own face into incredible optical illusions.
Photo: Mimi Choi/Instagram
“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,” Choi told Allure Magazine. “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.”
Mimi Choi’s amazing optical illusions have earned her over 140,000 followers on Instagram and the praise of millions who have seen her works posted online. Still, there are plenty of people who refuse to believe that she can create this kind of effects without the use of digital editing software like Photoshop.
However, the makeup artist has repeatedly stated that she doesn’t rely on Photoshop-like tools. Instead, she spends long hours carefully applying common drug store makeup using an array of brushes. For example, her trippy laced face illusion took so long (5 hours) that she needed to take a nap in the middle of the makeup session.
“I wanted to do something different for October 31, so I had a look on Instagram and found a photo of a woman who looked like her face had cracked,” Choi said about her first makeup illusion. “I’d never tried any kind of crazy make-up on myself, but I just got out my black and white eyeliner and gave it a go. When I showed my mum, she was really freaked out so I posted it online.”
You can check out more of her mind-bending optical illusions on Instagram, but if you’re hoping to find a tutorial for this kind of work, you’ll be disappointed to know that Mimi Choi doesn’t post any. The talented artist said that she never starts out with a plan, choosing to rely on inspiration of the moment instead.
“Most of the time I don’t actually know what I’m trying to achieve or if it’s even going to be successful at all,” she wrote on her Instagram page.
Oh, and just in case you still think these images are photoshopped, here are a couple of videos of Mimi Choi sporting her spectacular makeup illusions. They look just as good as in the photos!