Masterpiece theater: Chinese make-up artist brings paintings to life

CHONGQING, China (Reuters) - Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Cristiano Ronaldo are just a few of the famous faces that Chinese make-up artist He Yuhong can transform her features into, but now she’s turning to famous artworks.

The 27-year-old has gone viral on Chinese social media for her videos of her make-up transformations, drawing a million followers on popular video and music platform TikTok.

“It’s more difficult to do this kind of make-up, because it’s more like drawing,” said He, who is based in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

“I need to draw other people’s faces onto my own, with a lot of details added, and I need to change my facial features.”

He has even taken on characters from paintings, such as the “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by 17th-century Dutchman Johannes Vermeer.

It took her more than six hours to recreate, carefully adding layers of foundation to her face to replicate shadows, and wearing a headscarf to match the one on the canvas.

In May, He kicked off her video series, unexpectedly bringing to life Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” in a recreation that captured attention on social media.

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Before she became a blogger on the transformative use of make-up, she had her own studio, applying cosmetics in preparation for weddings and advertisement shoots.

Now she estimates her monthly spend on make-up is up to 10,000 yuan ($1,452). She is backed by corporate sponsors.

“I like to try new things,” He said, adding that characters from the “Lion King” and princesses in Disney animated films are next in her lineup for imitation.

($1=6.8873 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Thomas Suen; Writing by Karishma Singh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez