Charlie Choo is one of the world’s biggest beauty influencers, but you may have never heard of him. In his native China, he’s a renowned makeup artist who has collaborated with beauty brands like Estée Lauder, Giorgio Armani and Dior. He’s been featured in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and he’s a familiar face on many popular Chinese TV shows. Now his newest project, LINA CHOO—a Chinese-born, global-minded beauty brand—is about to make him a household name among beauty lovers in the Western world. We sat down with Charlie to learn more about his life and career in China and what the future holds for LINA CHOO.
When did you realize that you wanted to become an artist?
I can’t put a finger on precisely when, really. When I was a kid, there was little recreation. Both my parents worked in a factory so they didn’t have time to spend with me. My grandmother gave me a set of watercolor brushes and a beautifully illustrated book of Greek myths. That book accompanied me through my entire childhood, and it opened my eyes to art. I can still remember the names of the gods on Mount Olympus and their stories. It wasn’t until I grew up that I found out she had saved up for half a year to buy those things for me. You asked me when did I know—well, it hadn’t occurred to me when I was a child. I just simply liked drawing. You might say that art integrated itself into my life.
How did you learn to become a makeup artist?
Things were different than today’s internet era. My career choice was influenced by movies I saw when I was a student: Akira Kurosawa’s Ran, Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor and Gone with the Wind. I was in awe of the beautiful costumes and exquisite makeup in the movies. I made a secret pact with myself to produce beautiful work like this. I studied art and design at university before apprenticing for a makeup artist. That was really hard work, and my wage was next to nothing. But I did learn a lot about makeup. I then joined a prestigious cosmetic company where I worked for a long time. It was only with the advent of the internet that I realized just how many people out there needed and wanted to learn about beauty. I loved sharing what I know about cosmetics and beauty online. So, this is how I became who I am today.
Who has the biggest influence on you when it comes to beauty and makeup?
My grandmother. Even into her old age, she wore Max Factor lipstick. She said my grandfather had gotten someone to bring it back for her from the United States when they were married. She would only apply it on very special occasions. During hard times, my grandmother’s clothes might be old, but she still insisted on being clean and tidy. I remember she would even dress up her clothes with a beautiful silk scarf when going out.
Describe your background in art. How did this influence your brand, LINA CHOO?
I studied traditional Chinese art and Western painting from a young age, so I hope that everyone who uses LINA CHOO can sense the joy that art gives me. I hope that everyone can experience the stories behind each LINA CHOO product, whether those stories be about art or the artist.
LINA CHOO’s first product launch is lipstick. Why?
Hasn’t every girl had the experience of secretly applying her mother’s lipstick? Lipstick is often the first cosmetic a girl will own. LINA CHOO wants to accompany these makeup lovers from the very beginning, becoming their friend, guardian, and confidante. This is why I chose to launch LINA CHOO with the Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipstick.
What’s your favorite shade of Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipstick?
That is a really difficult question to answer! If I had to chose one, I would recommend #9 Shakespeare. It’s a very elegant, classic red that suits every skin tone. Believe me, you’ll fall in love with this shade in one swipe!
What do you hope for the future of LINA CHOO?
I hope that LINA CHOO becomes a cult-favorite brand! In the future, LINA CHOO will serve more women across the world who love beauty with more high-quality products through Beautylish! Spoiler alert: LINA CHOO is also releasing skin care. We’ll launch skin care products soon. Don’t miss it!