Fashionista, Makeup Artist, Style Blogger…
plus mama of two!
Our That Mama this month is none other than Alexa Bui, a mama of two adorable littles and a sought out makeup artist and fashion and style blogger. We’ve been big fans of her insta feed for some time now and love her sense of style as well. We find out more about this Canadian transplant and how she balances her time between makeup jobs and spending time with her kiddos. She also spills on her top beauty products which keeps her glowing and ready to go for the whole day!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born in Canada and grew up between there and Hong Kong. After graduating from university I decided I wanted to pursue a more creative career and started training as a makeup artist while simultaneously teaching English around Hong Kong. I’ve been a freelance makeup artist for over 10 years now!
How did you get into the blogging, fashion and beauty world in Hong Kong?
Well, I have always loved fashion and traveling so one night when I was in Tokyo, I was a bit bored and decided to sign up to a popular blogging platform called, Blogspot. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to write about fashion or food, hence a marriage of both and ‘Cashmere and Candy’ was born.
What’s the most exciting collaboration you’ve worked on in the beauty world?
I’ve been extremely lucky and have had so many good experiences. I am freelance based so any chance to work is exciting!
As a style and beauty blogger, what do you think makes someone stylish/beautiful?
Personality! When I read someone’s blog or follow them on Instagram, I want to get to know them through their photos and their words.
How would you describe your style?
I’m not sure if I always succeed but I aim for simple, elegant and practical.
What’s your go-to outfit for running around with the kids?
In the summer, I’m almost always in shorts and a tank/t-shirt. I save my dressing up for the evening or for when I’m not around the kids.
Where’s your favourite place to shop for clothing for your kiddos?
If money was not an issue, Bonpoint! I love that they use simple materials (cotton, linen, cashmere) and are in beautiful classic cuts. My kids need to be comfortable and their clothes can put up with a surprisingly high amount of wear and tear! I also love supporting local brands that use organic cottons, such as Ganas Kids and Say Cheese Kidswear. My good friend, Christing, has her own line of kids wear called Ever by Christing C. and I think her dresses are super cute and easy to wear.
What would you be your top 5 skincare beauty products?
1. Tatcha Cleansing Oil
2. Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen
3. 111 Skin Y Theorem Repair Serum
4. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Moisturiser
If you only had five minutes to put your make up on… what are your must haves before leaving the house?
On most days I only have five minutes anyway so I usually quickly smooth on my Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen because it’s a good base and sunscreen is always a good idea. On top of that, I’ll put on a thin layer of Tarte Amazonian Clay BB SPF20 and pat on Tarte Amazonian Full Coverage Concealer because I have the worst dark eye-circles! Brows must always be done and the Hourglass Arch Sculpting Pencil is my new favourite. A quick dusting of Charlotte Tilbury blush and I’m ready to go!
How do you balance having a successful career and be a mother who’s present?
I’m very lucky and working freelance allows me to choose how often I want to work so I rarely miss any school activities if I can help it!
How do you save time? Can you share any organisational tips and tricks?
I’m a Virgo so I love making lists and planning waaaaaaay in advance! I try to get my schedule set and figure out how/when I’m going to get from A to B, what I need to pick up, what time I need to be where etc. all the night before so during the day, I just GO! And because life isn’t perfect, when things don’t go as planned I just adapt but don’t kick myself when I can’t do it all.
What do you do to get in that “me” time?
My kids are both in bed by 8pm and I have a wonderful helper during the day so I can always sneak away for a couple hours to get some pampering, or catch up with friends, or have a date night with the hubby!
What do you find to be the most challenging part of parenting?
Patience. I am not the most patient person but I am learning to be more patient with my kids, especially my toddler!
Favourite family holiday spot and why?
Honestly, anywhere that’s hot and sunny that has a beach! We travel a lot with the kids and have been everywhere from Phuket, to Toronto, to Rovaniemi and just this April we took a trip to Tanzania, but I find that beach holidays are best for young kids as it tires them out and there’s minimal traveling once you get there!
What are your favourite spots to eat at with your family in Hong Kong?
For dim sum, Pak Loh Chiu Chow in Times Square is a favourite because they have highchairs and the baby change room is just downstairs.
Can you tell us about how your career was pre-baby as compared to post-baby?
I used to be able to travel at the drop of a hat but now that has obviously changed. Now that I’m no longer nursing, I’m aiming to work more again.
What’s the best advice you’ve received as a parent?
Cherish them because they grow so fast! Even when it’s hard, you will look back and almost miss those long nights… Almost.
The worst advice I’ve received is that my baby should be sleeping through the night by a certain week. My first one never slept. We tried co-sleeping, sleep training, not letting him nap, changing his bed time routine, moving his bed time earlier etc. None of it worked! My second one did a better job than her brother from the beginning. Either way, they are healthy, happy and growing every day and that’s what matters the most!
Something that you wish someone had told you about motherhood?
Not to worry about every little thing. With the first child, everything was so uncertain. I didn’t trust myself enough. We sterilised his bottles until he was past one! With the second, I’m much more relaxed. I think we quit using the steamer by six months or maybe even before!
What has been your most humbling moment as a mum?
I’m learning from them every day so there isn’t a moment that goes by where I think I’ve got it all under control but hey, that’s part of the fun!
How do you keep the romance between you and your husband alive with such a busy work and family life?
We have a helper that allows us to go out at night (kids are asleep by 8PM!), and my wonderful parents and in-laws all help to watch them for us when we take vacations together. I’m currently writing this on dodgey Internet from our room in Florence.
Favourite date spot in Hong Kong?
Depends on the night but Ronin is always a big favourite!
As a mama, I wish I were better at…
Being patient when dealing with tantrums!
I wake up in the middle of night thinking about…
Whether the baby is awake and needs me or if she’s just making her sleeping noises.
Bedtime is always smoother when…
Both the kids have had good naps in the afternoon and my husband and I put the kids to bed together.
My favourite moment of the day is…
This one is tough. Every moment with them is precious to me (even the poopy ones!) but I love watching them wake up after a good nights rest or a good nap. That moment when their eyes open and lock on yours, and that big grin takes over their little faces; that moment is why I love being a mother.
Thanks to the talented Michelle Proctor of Michelle Proctor Photography for all of the beautiful images above! Follow her on Instagram @michellejproctor