We’ve come a long way since the shocking makeup of the 90s- blue eyeliner, white eyeshadow and neon lips bowing out and exiting the fashion realm (thank god). These days, we’re blessed to have makeup tutorials on Youtube for when you get stuck for inspiration or need a little hand getting the perfect contour. We’ve also got the largest array of makeup brands to ever exist, from celebrity built empires to vegan makeups and brushes in between, the makeup industry is the best it’s ever been.

But causing a stir and disrupting this scene are a handful of makeup artists who literally put the word ‘art’ in artist. These gurus specialise in creating illusions, breaking down barriers and experimenting to the max.

Dain Yoon

A Seoul-born artist, Dain Yoon specialises in using makeup to create her mind-boggling works on her face and body. As a graduate of the Korea National University of Arts, her incredible talent features lifelike replications of facial features to create an inhumane look. Don’t be fooled, there is absolutely no photoshop used in any of Dain Yoon’s works. She has mastered her techniques of creating shadows and highlights to draw realistic features onto her own body. Dain Yoon is the perfect example of an artist who is breaking down the barriers of the makeup industry, and has featured her work all across the world to inspire new generations of makeup aficionados.

Vanessa Davis

Known commonly as her artistic alter ego, ‘The Skullstress’, Vanessa Davis uses her makeup techniques to create unworldly skull inspired looks. The inspiration to specialise in skull makeup came from her Mexican heritage, which saw Vanessa first dabble in the art form. These days, her cosmetic displays set her apart from others by using mixed materials like rhinestones, beads and jewels to create her look. Vanessa uses a theme for inspiration, be it koi fish, disco or style icon Alexander McQueen, and will use these as the base of her creative looks.

Rebecca Swift

Makeup illusionist Rebecca Swift has a great talent indeed, being that she can pretty much turn into anybody she wants to with the use of a colourful palette and a few brushes. Rebecca recently became viral when a video of her transforming herself into multiple famous characters and celebrities was doing the rounds on the internet. She has turned herself into celebrities including Ellen Degeneres, Sofia Vergara, Donald Trump and Khloe Kardashian (who became quite offended by the makeup look… oh well).

James Charles

U.S. teen James Charles made waves when he became the first ever male to feature on the front page of Covergirl magazine. James has broken down gender stereotypes by experimenting and altering his looks, with his skills gaining much popularity as he now has nearly 8 million followers on Instagram. Apart from being an amazing spokesperson for Covergirl and inspiring other men who love cosmetics, James also runs his own YouTube channel where he posts tutorials on how to create his iconic looks. James Charles is living proof that the human race can be chameleons when it comes to appearance, all you need is great makeup and a handy eye to pull off any look you desire.


RJ, who goes by her Instagram handle ‘Cakeface RJ’, creates incredible unique looks using highly pigmented cosmetics which allow her to morph and alter the way we see her face. RJ is an up and coming makeup artist who enjoys experimenting with her physical look. Some of her most famed works include pop art references and horror themed makeup like a levitating face. It’s a fantastic optical illusion to witness.