Ever dreamed of having your face immortalized in expensive lipstick? No, well, you can, thanks to Singapore-based artist May Sum, who has made a name for himself by carving expensive lipsticks from top brands in the makeup industry into detailed busts of various celebrities, from Lady Gaga to Audrey Hepburn.
May Sum uses tiny tools to create 3D portraiture of fashion’s most influential figures and sells them on her ‘wahahafactory’ Etsy shop for £280 to £420 each. She uses colour ranging from purple to crimson, pink, nude, brown and orange to create her tiny masterpieces.
The fine detail signifies tiny and precise tools are used during the carving process. Although the sculptures aren’t exact replicas of the characters depicted, the Chinese artist nails the details that define her muses.
Lady Gaga is instantly recognisable by her round glasses and hair bow, while Coco Chanel sports her signature hat and pearls. She even captures Twiggy’s individual eyelashes and Anna Wintour’s iconic bob.
Some women would kill for a lipstick from an established brand but May doesn’t think twice before butchering them into popular fashion icons.
She works with the following brands only: Nars, MAC, Estée Lauder, YSL and Max Factor.
Her lipstick sculptures are famous in Asia and are now making waves in the UK and America. She carves tailor made sculptures, too, for those hoping to have their face immortalised in expensive lipstick. She also sculpts clothing and pets.
Custom designs are achieved by sending May a high resolution front and side view picture of the object to be sculpted before placing your order. The artwork will then take two weeks to make.
Too thin and too detailed subjects are ‘impossible to sculpt’, according to her Etsy page.
She advises customers do not expect perfection from a handmade artwork. Fragile lipstick sculptures must be kept somewhere dry, with good ventilation, within the temperature of 17-25℃. This will not make the lipstick deform or melt. If you put it in the fridge it may split or crack.