You may not have heard much of her yet but Seoul-born artist MLMA, aka @melovemealot on social media, has been described as a boundary-pushing beauty icon. As you’ll discover once you scroll through her Instagram feed, the visual artist and rapper, whose songs include Save Me or Kill Me, Give Me That Shit, Do You Love Me and the quite aptly titled Viral, is far from your everyday social media influencer or blogger.
What draws her over one million followers is her unique perspective of the world – where anything can be art, where imagery is not always beautiful and what you create can evoke a sense of discomfort. Her appeal is in her fierce attitude and the way in which that translates to her various forms of art, including her music and the photos she shares on her multiple accounts, @melovemealot, @melovemealotmakeup, @mlma_art, and the upcoming @thisissnorkeling. While some may find it difficult to digest and interpret, especially in the traditional Korean culture, her artistic expression is eye-opening and a departure from the over-polished, over-filtered social media images so commonly seen today. The artist, who is also a fashion designer for Korean streetwear brand Skoot, takes pride in pushing the envelope, in straddling the line between beauty and unsightliness, and in creating discomfort. This in turn inspires her followers to stay true to themselves, regardless of what main stream art of media has to say. Using her face as part of her canvas, it comes as no surprise that the multihyphenate artist, who has yet to share her real name, is soon to launch her own makeup line, under the name MLMA Makeup with a dedicated account, @melovemealotmakeup.
A sneak peek of the upcoming collection shows MLMA with various shapes, spikes, flame-looking figures, anime characters and graphics drawn on her face. It’s certainly a big deviation from our everyday casual makeup and traditional applications of blush, lipstick, and eyeliner, among others, that are used to enhance facial features. This is especially so in the Korean culture, well-known for their K-Beauty brands.
One image shows what looks to be grey lightning strikes coming down from her forehead, going across her face and into her lips. Another image has a sketch of Pikachu on her cheek to match her gold and yellow Pikachu necklace. In yet another, she has a red sinister looking snake slithering down her forehead, crawling over her eye and hissing with its tongue out close to her mouth. A third eye, stars, striking lines and faint dots made to look like freckles, are just among her makeup applications. She further amplifies these with crystals and bold contact lenses, among other beauty accessories, creating makeup looks unlike any other. While artistic makeup is widely used to enhance one’s face, in MLMA’s case, her face enhances her artistic makeup.
It’s clear that MLMA is not at all afraid to express herself through her art, which elevates her confidence. We’re certain her followers are eagerly anticipating the launch of her new makeup collection so they can tap into her creative energy and push their own boundaries as well.