Trend Alert: Turning Art into Special Effects Makeup Looks - QC Makeup Academy

Makeup’s a dynamic art form. Every day, artists are picking up their makeup brushes to express their creativity. But what happens when you combine two art forms: drawing and painting with makeup artistry? Well, you get amazing, creative looks.

Ready to learn more about this amazing trend? Keep reading!

What’s the trend?

Makeup artists and fanatics all over social media platforms (like YouTube and Instagram) are transforming drawings and paintings into special effects makeup and body paint looks. It’s pretty incredible stuff. Some of the looks you’ll come across are mind-blowing!

Some MUAs take depictions of popular characters and turn themselves into their characters using body paint. Others, take inspiration from traditional paintings like Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and create new looks from recognizable motifs. Either way, it’s a creative trend that you’ll want to get in on!

Who’s doing it?

Now let’s look at some of the makeup artists who have gotten in on this trend!

@ ____misantropia____

Jessica’s look is a great example of a character recreation. She uses body paints to recreate Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Her use of body paint and some purposefully-patchy application gives her look the same hand-drawn feel of the inspiration image on the right.

Choosing a character from a cartoon or animation can be a great way to bring art to life! There are so many ways you can give yourself, or a model, a cartoon or hand-drawn look.

A post shared by Tiffany (@illumin_arty) on


Tiffany’s look is a great example of using a painting to inspire a look. She recreated The Starry Night on her chest and neck, then coordinated the makeup on her face with the colors from the painting. By using the same bright colors and black contour lines, her face doesn’t distract from the overall effect.

Even though the look’s been done a million times before, Tiffany still created a stunning, show-stopping look. So choose your favorite painting, get your body paints out, and show us what you can do!


Lex is a well-known YouTuber with over 2.5 million subscribers. Starting in March 2018, she sent a call out to her subscribers asking them to send their art. She then recreated their art into incredible, bold body paint looks.

Most of the looks she did for this series were from character drawings. So like Jessica, she turns herself into the character!

This series on her YouTube channel has done extremely well, with nearly (or more than) 1 million views on each video.

A post shared by pamela (@ofthelunareclipse) on


This look by Pamela takes this trend to a whole new level. Instead of recreating a painting on her entire face and body, she does it as her eye makeup! Pretty cool, right?

Pamela has done a few looks like this. Like her Bob Ross eye makeup, Selene Goddess of the Moon look, and David Bowie eye makeup.  Her work is detailed and inspiring. Get practicing those skills with your detail brushes and get painting on the itty-bitty canvas of your eyelid!


Like Pamela, Lexie recreates paintings on one particular part of her face, rather than creating a full-face look. Inspired by concept art by Mary Blair for Disney’s Peter Pan, Lexie paints the artwork on her lips.

As MUAs likely know, the lips are a tricky spot to get details in! So Lexie’s skill is pretty impressive. You could combine a lip look like this with Tiffany’s Starry Night makeup and coordinate your eye makeup with the colors of the painting on your lips!

How can you do it?

Grab your makeup kit and get creative! Find inspiration from some of your favorite cartoons, animations, paintings, or drawings. Maybe you even want to turn a drawing of your own into a viral makeup look!

Don’t fret if you don’t have fancy body paints. Get experimental with cheap face paints or just eye shadows and other products to create detailed looks.

What work of art would you take inspiration from for a makeup look? Let us know in a comment!

You might need to expand your canvas for your SFX makeup look! Learn how to cover your brows with this helpful tutorial.

Author Catherine Hammond

More posts by Catherine Hammond

Leave a Reply