Her Pageant Passage and Beauty Tips
from a Beauty QueenBy Rigche Ma
Sweet faced and doe-eyed, Catherine Hui, 18, is the winner of the Miss New York Chinese Beauty Pageant and 2nd runner up at the Miss Chinese International Pageant in Hong Kong. This New Hyde Park Memorial High School student chats with Asian Fusion, sharing her thoughts on beauty, and how the pageants marked her passage from girl to womanhood.
AF: Tell us how you came to join the pageants.
CH: It was sheer accident. My mother saw the recruitment ad for Miss NY Chinese Beauty in the papers, and we decided I should join because it was something new to me. And also, so that I could be meaningfully preoccupied that summer. We turned in the application only a day before the deadline. I didn’t expect to win, but after I did, I represented East USA for the Miss Chinese International, which was held in Hong Kong.
AF: How was your pageant experience in Hong Kong and in New York?
CH: The training we were given in Hong Kong was intensive, and compressed into only 10 days. I was able to catch up because I already had solid exposure and practice back in New York. In New York, the contestants underwent two and a half months of training, and were carefully schooled in skills such as grooming, posture, and etiquette.
AF: But the concept of beauty was the same in both places?
CH: I think my idea of beauty had been reinforced after the pageants. I believe beauty is two-fold; there is external beauty, and that comes from internal beauty. Internal beauty stems from a brave and kind heart, and a genuine concern for others. With this intact, external beauty can be enhanced with training.
Of course, I have to thank all the pageant sponsors and organizers for my training. A lot of the credit goes to Everlyn Ho, the pageant beauty consultant, and La Peau Day Spa. She helped me so much along the way, that I would say she is my advisor, confidant and friend. Everlyn taught the contestants the proper way to apply makeup for different occasions, like pinks and oranges for daytime, blues and greys for evenings. We learned how to select eyebrow shapes to suit our faces. Most importantly, I learned a tried and tested system of skin care. La Peau Day Spa sponsored facial treatments and provided us with these products that were very gentle on the skin. My skin definitely improved due to that!
AF: Besides that, how has your life changed post-pageant?
CH: My entire life changed! Previously, I was just a normal high school student with some interest in photography and music. But after the pageant, apart from having made more friends, I now have responsibilities and commitments. I have become a better planner, since I need to be able to balance pageant responsibilities and school.
On a deeper level, the pageants helped me find my true self. I used to have a more limited view of the world, but now I believe that opportunities are unlimited. The pageants helped me find the confidence and courage to pursue that. I would say the pageants turned me from a girl into a grown woman.
AF: Do you have any advice for young ladies who aspire to be like you?
CH: Eat healthy, exercise and stay fit. Cultivate good character, read widely and remember beauty comes from the inside out.