Mark Kingson Qua share his best tricks and tips on how to highlight one’s best features as seen on Elisse Joson.
Difficult to define as it is to achieve on-demand, the hardest look to master is one that looks like it’s barely there. And for makeup artists to achieve this on different skin types and faces shapes requires true skill–one that Mark Kingson Qua has. From graduating Technical Theater Arts at the DLSU-College of St. Benilde to working in fashion, it was only when he was tapped to do the makeup during a shoot for a jewelry brand where practicality and passion met. “It just so happens that makeup has provided me well, so I pursued the career. It was a happy and blessed incident,” he describes his beginnings. It’s been 14 years since then, and now his name stands synonymous with his grounded approach of respecting the skin and using makeup on the face to enhance—not mask—the natural beauty beneath.
Qua’s signature style is defined as the perfect canvas: a balanced-out skin tone, a pop of color to bring life to the face, a dewy highlight for healthy complexion, and a touch of warmth to make it radiate from within. “Clean, natural, and iridescent.”
But ask anyone who has spent well over an hour in the glam chair, just as crucial to a make-up artist’s likelihood of being rebooked because of their skills is their attitude.
As translated in his beauty approach, he never lies or shows off, he’s an artist who works humbly behind the scenes to focus solely on his muses. Mark Kingson Qua spends time on small little details and applying his nuanced touch that makes his work celebrate one’s best features as seen frequently on Elisse Joson, Mariel Padilla, and the number of brides that he specifically treasures. “Comfort is key. I always ask my client’s preferences and adjust to their needs,” he shares and admits to even recommending new artists to his clients when he isn’t available. “I have always believed in inspiring and honing the young generation of artists.”
With nothing to hide, even with his reviews online for products that stay unfiltered and unedited, Mark Kingson Qua’s outlook on beauty remains remarkably fresh and genuine as the looks he is known for.
WHAT WAS THE ‘PINCH ME’ MOMENT THAT YOU REALIZED YOU’VE MADE IT?
I think my biggest pinch me moment only started a few years ago and up until now, I’m still getting giggles from it. Being recognized by the new breed of artists really helps boost my confidence in doing my craft well.
CAN YOU TELL US YOU’RE GO-TO MAKEUP PRODUCTS AND SKINCARE THAT ARE WORTH THE INVESTMENT?
To name a few, my makeup and skincare staples are Laura Mercier, La Mer, and NARS but I also support local brands like BLK Cosmetics. I’m a big fan of Korean skincare brands which I always candidly share reviews through my Instagram page.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK APPROACH AND HOW DO YOU BUILD YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MUSES?
Makeup artistry is ever-changing. I take inspiration from young artists like Jelly Eugenio and Anthea Bueno—they are the best in their crafts. There will be times I won’t be able to do their makeup and I’m up for recommending new artists to them so that they can also try new techniques and styles.
WHAT IS THE LESSON THAT YOU PRACTICE UNTIL TODAY FROM YOUR YEARS OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY?
I strongly believe that makeup is in constant motion. It’s always evolving and to keep up, research is your best friend. Study new techniques to stay up to date.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE FAVORITE LOOKS YOU EVER EVER DID?
All my bridal gigs are my favorite looks. One, because it’s generally my aesthetic; the fresh, rolled out of bed natural look. Two, because it’s their special day and it’s touching to become part of those.
WHAT ABOUT THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE AND LIKE BEST?
Misinformation. The rise of social media and influencers in recent years have good and bad effects on consumers. People tend to be dishonest when reviewing PR kits and products sent to them hence, we mislead the market into buying makeup or just because we were sent a freebie. I wish we had more authenticity in posting reviews and recommending products.
ARE THERE ANY BEAUTY MOVEMENTS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE IN THE FUTURE?
I’m looking forward to having more credible local or homegrown makeup and skincare brands release products with honest claims.
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY FOR SUCCESS IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY?
Humility. For me, the key to success and longevity is to stay humble no matter where your career takes you. Learn from your mistakes, move on yet stay grounded.