As I was browsing through YouTube videos one day, an incredibly cute Asian girl doing a makeup tutorial caught my eye. Lindy Tsang, who is known as “Bubbi” on YouTube, is originally from Ireland (with a cute accent to boot!), but I immediately connected with her cheerful-yet-sincere personality and easy-to-follow videos. Aside from makeup tutorials, Lindy also tackles the subject of inner beauty. Her goal is to motivate and inspire confidence in other girls—starting with her 250,000 subscribers and the 9.5 million people who have seen her videos. Most recently, she launched a successful clothing line at Bubzbeauty.com. Read on to see how Lindy got to where she is today.
Mochi: What was your childhood like?
Lindy: I was born in Dundonald, Ireland and spent most of my childhood in the small town of Glengormley. I was brought up by my grandparents, who I have the utmost respect for, because my parents had to work so hard. I was a small Asian kid, so I guess I stood out as well being one of the few Asian students at primary and high school.
Mochi: Did being one of few Asian students make a difference?
Lindy: When I was five, a little girl pointed at me and laughed because I’m Chinese. I thought it was my fault and remember feeling extremely ashamed. Starting high school, I was nervous and worried what my skin color might bring me. Needless to say, I did get bullied but what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger. My parents asked me if I wanted to change schools, but I refused to because I realized I am what I am no matter where I go. I am 100 percent proud of my heritage. It is not my skin color that makes me who I am; it is what’s underneath it.
Mochi: How did you start making your YouTube videos?
Lindy: After graduating university with a course I really didn’t care about, I remember struggling to find a job. Five days a week, I would work at my parents’ restaurant. I remember watching some makeup tutorials during university and just thinking, “Wow, these girls are amazing.” The thought of being able to help somebody pick up their confidence motivated and inspired me, so I uploaded my first video in August 2007. I have always been interested in beauty and fashion and sharing my journey with others seemed to be the way to go.
Mochi: I really admire that you have made videos on the importance of inner beauty in addition to your tutorials. What are your opinions on inner beauty?
Lindy: No makeup can cover an ugly heart. Just like helping somebody or being nice, we all have the ability to do it but not all of us will. I think it’s crazy how confidence can take years to build up but seconds to destroy. I used to look at the mirror and just burst out in tears because I felt so ashamed of how I looked. It’s hard not to because we are constantly surrounded by media which promotes a very distorted view on beauty. I gave myself a mission to help people feel more beautiful about themselves, and in return, they ended up making me feel more beautiful than I ever did.
Mochi: What are some of your other interests?
Lindy: I have a comedy channel on YouTube called “Bubbiosity.” I just love making people laugh. As a designer, this means I like to whip out my sketchbook and do little sketches here and there. I love to catch up with my family and friends. Painting is what I do to unwind, and of course, traveling for inspiration.
Mochi: Have you ever dealt with any hardships to get to where you are today, and if so, how did you cope with it?
Lindy: I had to leave the United Kingdom to move to Hong Kong to pursue my clothing range. It was very difficult to leave everything behind, including my family and friends. It took a while to get used to, but I am learning so much in Hong Kong and it has been very exciting. I visit them as often as I can.
Mochi: What advice would you give to young women that want to be successful like you?
Lindy: My best advice would be to always be willing to try and willing to learn. I have lived my entire life trying to please certain people in my life and realized it will never be enough for them. There will always be people in life that will try to slow you down, but you keep moving and let your family and friends be your strength too. Life is too short to ponder and wait for miracles. Make it happen.
Interview has been edited for clarity.