If you’re stuck for Halloween inspiration, one look at Vancouver-based makeup artist Mimi Choi’s Instagram will change that.
An expert in the mastery of illusion, Choi continues to impress her 1.2 million followers, big players in the makeup industry, and of course, celebrities.
Since our last interview, the talented artist has worked on some huge projects, one of which is a show (keep an eye on her Instagram for more information about that), and working with Ezra Miller to create his fascinating look for this year’s Met Gala.
Miller’s publicist introduced him to Choi’s work and he reached out to her with an idea in mind. “We scheduled a trial the day before the event, but due to his incredibly busy schedule, it never happened so we just winged it at 4 am on the morning of the gala,” Choi tells Daily Hive.
The look took five hours to complete, and Choi says, although it was early in the day, Miller’s energy and conversation fuelled her throughout the process. Since the gala wasn’t taking place until that evening, Choi did minor touchups throughout the day leading up to the pink carpet.
“I am so glad to have used the products that I did as the makeup wouldn’t have survived otherwise,” she says.
All of Choi’s creative posts on Instagram feature her own original work, which she says is inspired by digital and surreal artists, patterns, shapes, and sounds. Makeup is almost a form of therapy for the artist who suffers from sleep paralysis, and some of her more morbid looks are inspired by vivid hallucinations.
Most recently, Choi created a skull illusion inspired by the paintings of Mexican artist, Octavio Ocampo. “I love the creativity that’s involved with painting things that make up a larger picture. In this look, I painted a couple sitting at a table, which in turn, makes up the features of a skull.”
Choi has also created some looks in partnership with Warner Bros this year, to promote horror movies like IT Chapter 2. “I really enjoy these types of collaborations because they give me the freedom to interpret the films my own way,” she says.
The makeup artist personally enjoys Halloween because it gives her the chance to work on a variety of different faces. “Throughout the year, I’ll typically paint on myself but it’s always fun to work on different canvases and give my skin a break.”
When it comes to working on your own makeup for Halloween, she says, “Be creative and have fun with the process.” Sure, you can always use the internet as a resource, but Choi recommends putting your own spin on what you do.
“I would suggest doing a trial run with the makeup leading up to Halloween, particularly if it will be a large component of your look. This will significantly reduce the stress on Halloween and make the night that much more enjoyable.”
You don’t need to spend a fortune on costumes for Halloween — Choi urges people to be creative with what they have. “Accessorizing with pieces that you own is a great way to level-up a look. For example, I used a bunch of silver hair clips to give a metallic look to a robot look that I did last year.”
Going for a more gory theme? The makeup artist suggests making your own blood by mixing cornstarch and food colouring.
Choi explains that a Halloween makeup look doesn’t necessarily need to be paired with a costume. “It doesn’t hurt to have a costume, but some makeup looks actually work better with regular clothing. When you spend hours on the makeup and you’re proud of how it turned out, you might want to highlight that by wearing less distracting clothing.”
The makeup artist and Blanche Macdonald graduate doesn’t have a favourite Halloween look — she prefers something she’s never seen before over what’s trendy. She feels that the best looks are those in which the person is comfortable and has the personality to compliment their costume.
“In my opinion, in order to pull off a great Halloween look, the performance is just as important as the makeup and costume,” Choi concludes.