Art of illusion: Face paint transforms Serbian makeup pro

SMEDEREVO, Serbia — It took Mirjana Milosevic less than an hour to transform into a zombie. The Serbian makeup artist also can turn into a skeleton or a genie and make body parts disappear.

Milosevic, 36, has attracted fans around the world for the illusions she creates on and with her own body. She records the whole process and posts videos on YouTube and social networks under the professional name Kika.

Milosevic creates her videos, which have gotten millions of views, in a studio in her home in the central Serbian town of Smederevo. There, in front of a dressing table and surrounded by mirrors, she picks the tools that will immerse her in a new role.

With makeup pencils, brushes and face paints, Milosevic slowly creates an image that completely changes her appearance. Flawless black lines appear as contours, then symbols resembling neck tattoos. An outline colored in with white becomes a mask that reveals hollowed-out and sharp teeth.

A zombie is born.

Her signature skin illusions take longer, Milosevic says. She puts in days of contemplation and planning, followed by hours and hours of work, to put a hollow in her stomach or to appear without a head.

The artist says she always liked to draw, but never on paper. As a young girl, Milosevic drew on walls, tables and her legs and arms.

"My parents say I learned to draw before I could walk," Milosevic said.

Milosevic says her favorite self-imposed illusion is the 'Wooden Puppet Doll' — a blue-haired doll with a string for a stomach and wood body parts — that in 2016 won her an award sponsored by makeup brand NYX and opened doors.

"The wooden puppet changed my life," she said.

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