Mimi Choi Illusionist + Makeup Educator
We're thrilled to feature Mimi Choi for our next Q+A. Read along and find about Mimi's journey in the makeup industry along with some amazing eyelash application tips.
Mimi is a Vancouver-based professional makeup artist renowned for her unique artistic style. Since graduating from the Blanche Macdonald Centre in 2014, her pioneering illusionary work has garnered international attention and a large following on social media (@mimles).
KL: HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE MAKEUP INDUSTRY?
MC: After graduating from university, I was a preschool teacher for a few years. While I love children, I had to dress and act in a certain way which made me feel suppressed particularly since I've always been a creative person. With the support of my family, I decided to pursue my passions and enrolled at Blanche Macdonald (a makeup and beauty school here in Vancouver, Canada). While I was taking classes, I decided to explore the makeup illusion genre and tried out my first look for Halloween, which was a cracked face look. My Instagram post went viral and I've continued to explore creatives and illusions since then.
KL: HOW DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FOR YOUR MAKEUP LOOKS?
MC: I draw inspiration from just about anything in my environment including patterns, sounds, shapes, and textures. These things evoke emotions in me and I try to translate them into my artwork. I am also inspired by digital artwork and the surreal paintings of artists like Dali. I have put my own twist on their work, which can be a challenge as I don't use Photoshop to alter my images. Another source of my inspiration is the sleep paralysis that I suffer from in which I experience vivid hallucinations right before I wake up. These can be frightening at times but I choose to use these episodes it to fuel my creativity.
KL: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THE MAKEUP INDUSTRY?
MC: I would say that it's important to discover your own style. Move out of your comfort zone and constantly challenge yourself. Instead of following trends, create your own! I know that it's easier said than done, but having the courage to try something new and to create from within will only make you a better artist and a more fulfilled artist. Finally, this is a difficult industry to succeed in so it is important to work hard, be kind, and stay positive and true to your vision and passion. Don't compare yourself to others, as the universe will provide you a path that is unique and good for you.
KL: WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE JOB YOU'VE DONE?
MC: One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is bringing joy to people's lives and making my clients feel beautiful and confident. My most memorable job happened when I worked on a client who was battling cancer at the time and understandably had neglected to pamper herself which is something that all girls need once in a while. It made me so happy to see her smile and have her forget about her health issues even for just a few minutes.
KL: CAN YOU GIVE US SOME LASH TIPS AND BEST WAYS TO APPLY LASHES?
MC: An important tip to remember is to measure the lashes on your eyes beforehand to ensure that they aren't too long, which can cause discomfort. A little extra length isn't worth the eye watering that they will cause. I like to relax the lash band back and forth before applying so that the band curves comfortably onto the lash line. I also prefer attaching the lashes from the outer corner of the eye towards the inside corner - I find that I make fewer mistakes doing it this way.
KL: WHICH KASHA STYLES DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST AND WHY?
MC: I love the Eye Candy style the most, at the moment, because of its wispiness. They are so versatile and can be worn day or night!
Make sure to check out Mimi's work here.