No cosmetic surgery: Meet Chinese make-up artist who transforms herself into Mona Lisa

CHONGQING (XINHUA) - A Chinese beauty vlogger created a buzz online after she recreated Mona Lisa, the Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece, on her face using only make-up.

Using the pseudonym Yuyamika, the 27-year-old He Yuhong from south-west China's Chongqing municipality uploaded her facial transformation video to social media in May.

To date, the video has received more than 20 million views on Chinese video platforms and has been viewed over 250,000 times on Instagram, a photo and video-sharing social networking service.

"Make-up artists concentrate mostly on trying to recreate the looks of celebrities. Few come up with the idea of transforming into figures from oil paintings. I did it," Ms He said.

In addition to making a person look more beautiful, she considers make-up to have a higher artistic value. The entire process of recreating Mona Lisa adds value to the art.

The video starts with her applying double eyelid tape and dabbing foundation on her face. She then proceeds to apply and blend, contour, and highlight the make-up on her forehead, nose, and chin to create depth. Wearing a wig, she perfectly recreates the look of a life-like Mona Lisa.

As a make-up artist, Ms He had tried recreating looks of many contemporary figures before Mona Lisa, such as the late Hollywood legendary actress Audrey Hepburn and Oscar-winner actress Cate Blanchett.

She usually films her make-up process and uploads the videos online to teach netizens some skills.

"A netizen commented that I looked like Mona Lisa after I shaved off my eyebrows, and tasked me the make-up challenge," said He.

She spent several days examining the structure, colour, and shadow of Mona Lisa's face before starting the project.

"The biggest challenge came from her mysterious smile. It's very difficult to imitate," she said.

As her previous transformation videos of famous actresses and singers failed to wow netizens, she did not expect this clip to go viral.

"If you ever doubted the artistic value of make-up before, Chinese vlogger He Yuhong will change your mind with her stunning recreations of historical works, and oh yeah, Taylor Swift too," commented an article from Bored Panda, a leading art, design and photography community.

"I'm happy to see that people like my recreation work. I'm greatly encouraged by their positive feedback," Ms He said.

Now, she has built up an army of devoted fans at home and abroad who hope she will upload make-up tutorials.

"Some of the fans never made up their faces before, while others are men, but they all show great interest in my videos. They keep me moving forward," she said.

On Wednesday (Aug 1), she uploaded a collection of 30 short videos online in which she transformed herself into various figures, such as renowned military strategist Zhuge Liang during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280).

Even though it takes four to six hours to recreate the face of one figure with make-up, she plans to finish a total of 72 such videos. Many are based on figures from famous oil paintings.

She had replicated the figure in Lady With An Ermine, another of Leonardo da Vinci's great works, which also created an online buzz.

She is preparing for her next project - Johannes Vermeer's world-famous painting Girl With a Pearl Earring.

"Once you see your face as a blank sheet of paper, the opportunities are endless," she said.