Illusion Makeup Artist Jodie Hulme Shares Her Secrets

Manchester-based MUA Jodie Hulme proves that SFX makeup isn’t just for Halloween… As a self-trained makeup artist who enjoys experimentation, her feed is full of optical illusions, special effects, and crazy, colourful looks – all year round. More than 134,000 people follow her on Instagram to see what mind-blowing look she comes up with next.  

We caught up with Jodie to find out how long it takes her to create her looks and her top tips for getting creative with SFX.

Name: Jodie Hulme


Instagram handle: @jodiehulme


Age: 23


Location: Manchester


Favourite Beauty Bay product: ZOEVA brushes – couldn’t live without them! 


Average time it takes to do your makeup in the morning vs how long it takes to do an SFX/illusion look: Most days it takes me around 40 minutes in the morning, whereas alook for Instagram can take me 2-5 hours. I think I’m a slow artist, but I’d always rather take my time and enjoy the process. 


Top beauty tip: Whenever I do my eyeliner I always tightline my upper water line – it’s super uncomfortable at first but I find it makes it look more seamless and a little more dramatic.

You’re a really talented makeup artist, but what inspired you to first start experimenting with SFX/illusion makeup?

I think it was a slow progress to be honest! From the very beginning of me doing makeup on Instagram I was doing creative looks, as I wanted to practice my skills as much as possible – it was around Halloween so I was super inspired by all the crazy looks I was seeing. Then it just grew over time as I realised the more creative looks were what I enjoyed the most. 


What are your top tips for those who want to start experimenting with SFX/illusion makeup?

Start off by using reference pictures – it’s so much easier to figure out techniques when you have an image to learn from. Take your time, use a magnifying mirror to help you, and use small detail brushes to really fine-tune the details. 


What skills are important to learn?

I think understanding shading is a huge part in more artistic makeup looks – knowing where shadows should go can really elevate the look. Otherwise I feel that creative looks are all up to your individual style and preferences – do whatever you want in the way that’s easiest for you.

What are your most-used products?

I use Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Dipbrow Pomade almost every day. Jouer’s Powder Highlighter in Citrine is my favourite highlighter to use for Instagram looks, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette is a current everyday must-have.  

It must take forever to remove your looks! What are your tips/favourite products for removal?

If you’re using prosthetics, or have used adhesive to stick things to your face and body, a proper adhesive remover is a must, especially if you’ve used products like latex and spirit gum. If you’ve used glitter or gems, a good tip for removal is using sellotape to tape the area and pull off! Oil-based cleaners can help with grease paints or creams, and I always use a toner to finish off any remaining bits – I find this can really help if there’s been any staining on the skin. 

Where do you find inspiration for each individual look?

Most of the time I find my inspiration comes from music – I’ll hear a lyric and almost visualise in my head a makeup look that relates to the lyric! It can be so difficult to be creative 24/7 and be constantly thinking of ideas, so I try not to pressure myself to think of new concepts – I find it works much better when I don’t force it! 

What’s your process – how much practice and preparation do you do?

I never practice a look beforehand – I just start creating! I take my time and work in small sections or use a very light hand to trace shapes and lines before I’m sure of what I want to do. Sometimes looks don’t work out the way I visualise them which can be frustrating, but I’ll look at what I’ve done and take note of what needs to change, and then come back to it another time to try again.


Do you do much editing on your photos?

Yes, I feel like everyone edits their pictures now! It depends on the look as to how much I do – for example Halloween looks will always include more editing than normal day to day looks. I edit all my photos in the same way to keep the theme of my Instagram consistent, and I have my own pre-set photo edits on VSCOcam (an iPhone photo editing app) to enhance the contrast and colour of my photos. 


What’s your favourite look you’ve created so far?

It’s hard to choose and it changes over time, but at the moment I think my favourite is the burn book look – or my all time favourite is probably the Instagram inspired look (above). I have a few Halloween looks that are yet to be seen that might top the list though… 


What about the most challenging look?

Probably the music notes look or the Fendi look that I recently posted – it’s always the ones with small, intricate details that take the most time and patience – and require a very steady hand! 

Jodie's Top Products