WATCH: Elisse Joson and Mariel Padilla's Makeup Artist Mark Qua Shows Us How To Glow
Meet Mark Kingson Qua, best known as "Qua" to peers in the industry. This young celebrity makeup artist first gained entry into the beauty industry as an associate makeup artist for four years in Shu Uemura, and eventually to his home brand right now, Laura Mercier. Having been with this brand for eight years now, Qua can say he has learned and grown a lot as an artist.
But like many others, Qua did not get to his dream job as easily as he would have wanted. Having graduated with a degree in Technical Theater Arts at the DLSU-College of St. Benilde, Qua found himself dabbling in jobs related to the course, such as face painting, styling, and even designing denimwear, but ended up searching for something more fulfilling both creatively and financially.
Photography by Ronan Capili
He shares with us that it's only been a couple of years that he really found enjoyment in what he does for a living. Finding his beginnings as a professional celebrity makeup artist for Rufa Mae Quinto in his earlier years, Qua eventually found his way to other muses Mariel Padilla and Elisse Joson as his skills and creativity continued to develop. All in all, its been almost 11 years since he first began in this industry, and he hasn't left since. "Pag minahal mo talaga yung ginagawa mo, mage-excel ka talaga", the makeup artist quips.
Being a self-taught makeup artist, Qua prides himself in learning the skill without the help of Instagram tutorials or formal makeup school. Playing around with makeup is the root of his skill today, and we can say that sheer talent really gets you places. Having joined makeup brands, he was then sent to Singapore and Japan for formal training, but other than that, everything was purely gut-driven.
He gushes about how he's so blessed to have a muse like Mariel Padilla who is so open to trying new color combinations and executions for her daily show, It's Showtime. It's not everyday you meet a celebrity who is so open to experimenting with beauty looks, and Qua says it is this very reason that he enjoys his job so much.
When asked about his signature look, he says he really doesn't think there is one single look to define his aesthetic. Every face demands something different, so for Qua, making each woman beautiful is a challenge he likes to take on. But if he were to zero in one one look that has been demanded of him as of late, a look that he's grown to love and one that he's known for, it's glowing skin. Gone are the days when glowing skin used to be called "oily". Today, he rejoices knowing that his favorite look is considered one of the prettiest ones to achieve.
When asked about his best practical beauty tips, Qua is quick to share that moisturizing your skin is top priority, followed by fixing your brows. And in true artist fashion, he says add some color to your face! And when it comes to skincare, he advises everyone to visit their dermatologist regularly, for professional help. He says it's a challenge to apply makeup the way we want to if our skin isn't in good condition, so making sure it's in its healthiest shape is a must. And last but not least, Qua spills about his must-have drug store beauty buys: Wet wipes and cotton buds—couldn't agree more to that!
And to find out how to achieve such glowing looks, check out our exclusive makeup tutorial by the man of the hour:
Can't get enough? Check out some of our favorite makeup looks by the amazing Mark Qua in the gallery below:
Celebrity photos courtesy of Mark Qua. Makeup artist and model portraits by Ronan Capili. Video by Paper Lens. Models: Aya Fernandez (Glowing Skin), and Danielle Daza of I.M. Agency (Evening Glam Glow)