Alex T (aka Alex Tan Wei Fen) has an impressive list of employers who admire her work. From Esquire to Sephora and many more, many major names of fashion enlist this makeup and hairstylist’s talent to perfectly complement the style and artistic presentation of their models. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that has taken Alex across the planet and propelled her status in the industry. Since 2018 she has been increasingly utilized by Singapore based fashion forward brand Charles and Keith. With more than two hundred thirty stores across the planet in locations such as Tokyo, Dubai, Cambodia, the
Philippines, and more; the promotional photographs of Charles and Keith have allowed Alex’s work to be seen in nearly every corner of the world and in the most prestigious cities. It’s obvious why so many famed brands rely on her work with insightful statements form her like, “There are so many different paths that you can direct your career as a makeup artist towards. Whether you’d like to be a red carpet makeup artist, bridal, fashion, film, commercial makeup artist, or even just a really artsy one; what you cannot discount is the environment that your work will be seen in and the people that you work with because everything is a production to some scale and that requires a certain skill set that you cannot do without. Social media and the industry are changing constantly and we each have to adapt in a certain way, updating ourselves. What will never fail you is hard work, sincerity, and a good work ethic because word of mouth and a good recommendation will always take your further.”
It was Alex’s work for publications such as ELLE, Esquire Singapore, and Citta Bella Taiwan (with photographer Shawn Paul Tan) that led to her initial collaboration with Charles and Keith. The Summer 2018 “Just-In-Time” Campaign became the first of numerous projects for Alex with the fashion brand including the Summer 2018 look book, Fall 2018 “Work Smith” shoot, Fall 2018 Campaign, “People” online video campaign, and many others. The variety of these editorials ranges from the conventional romantic beauty of a Spring Summer 2019 Wedding Campaign to the Summer’s Coachella campaign which presented a concert “girl on the go” with neon pink liner detail on the inner corner of her eyes.
Even with a brand as established as Charles and Keith, an awareness and willingness to evolve with the times is essential. Longevity requires both a core identity and flexibility in order to stay relevant. This is an ethos shared by Alex in her work as a makeup artist. She relates, “The makeup looks for Charles and Keith have stayed relatively consistent throughout the time that I have worked with them. It does have more of an editorial style whereby most of the makeup is quite minimalistic; the skin is always kept natural although certain elements such as the eye shadow or lip may vary according to the season and concept of the shoot. I always keep an open mind, even when working with companies that are already well established or have a certain aesthetic in place. Research is essential but you never know when they might want to try something different. I always try to start every project being as prepared as I possibly can but sometimes you do have to be spontaneous and come up with a look that’s entirely different on the spot. Every client and project is different, which is part of the excitement of this industry. You must also understand that every project is an investment that should not be taken lightly. It is always an honour just to be considered.”
Alex is quick to admit that she never began her career with a calculated rise to working with such famous brands but she’s more than appreciative about the way things have worked out. The passion of the creative professionals she’s worked with in the industry has been a constant source of inspiration for her. It’s obvious from her work with the famed brands she works with that this is a mutual sentiment.