Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. In 27 Questions, we get up close and personal with notable local personalities, learning their whims & aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes & dreams — all in roughly the same amount of time that it takes to power through a round of speed dating.
This week we had the pleasure of briefly chatting with Alexa Bui — one of Hong Kong’s most eminent, versatile and stylish makeup artists. Despite juggling projects with clients and parenting two young children, Bui never misses the opportunity to put her creative impulses out into the world. A doyenne of Hong Kong’s fashion and beauty set, she’s frequently spotted with her equally stylish partner-in-crime, Mr. Alan See (co-founder of The Armoury) on the arm. Possessed of the belief that makeup is most effective as an enhancer of each individual’s best features (rather than a concealer for their flaws), Bui gleans her creative inspirations from various Anglo-American artists, including Pat McGrath (MBE) and the late Kevyn Aucoin.
The Canadian-born Hongkonger began work as a professional markup artist in earnest some 12 years ago. Initially a graduate of the University of Toronto, in the seemingly unrelated fields of history and sociology, Bui’s affinity for beauty products (and innovative methods by which to apply them) are initially what drew her to the business. It’s a narrative of passion over reason, one which has become increasingly familiar to creatives of her generation, younger Hongkongers who are responsible for putting the city on the map as a serious fashion, art and design destination.
Now a fixture of the city’s cosmetic cognoscenti, when Bui isn’t glamouring models on-location, she spends her time dispensing much-needed wisdom to a who’s who of fashion, beauty and wellness brands running the gamut from Miss Bish to Lane Crawford. In this edition of 27 Questions, we open things up for a hilarious discussion about the artist’s guilty pleasures, musings on motherhood and, as always, what makes a person a “real” Hongkonger.
Name: Alexa Bui
Age: Not as young as you think
Neighbourhood: Wanchai/Sheung Wan
Occupation: Makeup artist & mama to two
My mom’s pho!
Telemarketing. No, seriously.
Tequila, tequila, tequila.
I drive every Sunday — literally a “Sunday driver”.
I can be both — I’m a mom.
Ice cream or sushi.
The pollution, because it makes my kids sick.
No bucket list for me — I just want to travel!
Missing out on a good party. Kidding! All jokes aside, anything that might hurt my kids or make them sick.
A couple of weeks ago, to TST.
Mean Girls. Too many good quotes.
The first time I held my kids.
Texting and carrying a coffee whilst walking without bumping into others.
“Let It Go”
The bathroom, LOL.
Babies. Clean ones.
To quote a friend of mine, “high quantity of tequila shots”.
That depends. Is laughing considered a catchphrase?
I fall in love every time I open my MATCHESFASHION app.
Too many to say.
Also too many to say. I love shoes.
Not enough. Never enough.
I’d rather never be alone — I’m good at blocking people out anyway.