Meet make-up artist Alexa Bui. She works with top magazines, is among the best dressed at the hottest parties and is a mother of two.
How did you get started in make-up?
I’ve always really loved fashion, but I couldn’t figure out how to get into it. I went to the University of Toronto and I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history, social studies and sociology; far from what I’m doing now. I came back to Hong Kong and tried to get a job. My parents told me I couldn’t just stay in bed and party or do whatever it is that twenty-something-year-olds do. I took a make-up course and because I was one of the first few people working in the industry that was trilingual, I got a lot of jobs. From there it kind of snowballed.
What do you love about doing make-up?
I’m not a great artist. I cannot draw well. But when it comes to colours, I love it. I don’t wear a lot of make-up myself, but I love textures and playing with it. And I love the immediate satisfaction of doing someone’s make-up and watching their faces be completely transformed and having them go “Whoa”. It just makes someone’s day go so much better.
One skincare product girls should not go without in Hong Kong?
Broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF35, rain or shine.
What makes you feel most beautiful?
I don’t consider myself beautiful, but my husband likes to tell me I am, so that’s nice.
What’s one of your wardrobe staples?
A good pair of jeans. It doesn’t matter where I’m going or what the weather is like, I never travel without a pair.
The most inspirational city in the world?
It’s so hard to choose just one. I love Florence, Italy. I was recently in New York and adored every moment of it, too. I love living in Hong Kong, where the fast-paced city life and bright lights clash brilliantly with the culture.
Who are the top three Instagrammers you follow?
My sister (@melissabuiatelier) has her own label and I find her feed very sweet and pretty – just like her. I feel like I have a special connection with Hawaii and there are a lot of great accounts from there but I like @Sammy808’s a lot.
Fellow mummy IG-er, Erin (@ejmaxwell), has a phenomenal feed. We share a similar aesthetic. She’s good at responding to comments and I love it when people interact with each other.
Would you choose good skin or a good figure?
Skin, because trends for a good figure are always changing. At the moment it’s not-so-busty with a big booty. A few years ago, implants were everywhere. Good skin is a constant.
What is one cosmetic brand that encapsulates your essence?
The closest would be Hourglass. I’m all about skin looking like skin and having a few really good products that work for everything. Tom Ford, however, represents my darker side.
What is your favourite family pastime?
Going to the beach and eating. I think all our weekends revolve around food and playing in the sand.
What’s your favourite book to read to the kids?
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney for the older one and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle for the little one.
What is one thing you would teach your son about how to treat a lady when he grows up?
No means no. No ifs, buts or maybes about this. On a lighter note, my husband was taught to never leave a lady by herself at the table.
I remember this from our first date together, and I’d like him to pass that on to our son, too.
What’s the most valuable item that you own?
What’s your favourite colour?
When in doubt, I always go for red.
Who’s your legend?
Can I name two? My parents. They gave the four of us happy childhoods and always let us know that we were supported and loved by them. When you have those elements in your life anything is possible.