Am I Alexa Chung Yet?


If you believe in pseudo-theories and the supernatural, then you already know about the doppelgänger: a personal lookalike who roves the earth and is the harbinger of death and bad luck. Perhaps, then, you may also know the term for the person who—with a name so similar to your own—is the bane of your Google existence. Such a term doesn’t exist yet, you say? Damn.

My name is Alexis Cheung.

If you misread that as Alexa Chung, you wouldn’t be the first. As you can easily see, our names—give or take a few vowels and consonants—are practically the same. Only a Google search in her name will yield 5,810,000 results. And mine? Up until very recently: “Showing results for Alexa Chung,” instead.

The story behind my moniker is rather boring: my dad’s name is Alan, my mom’s is Alyson and their children, they figured, should also have “Al” names. (Though basic, I should note that it is far better than my Mom’s initial desire to name me Paris for a reason too mortifying to mention on the internet and just, NO.)

For most of my life, my name elicited very little from people, perhaps only a mispronunciation of my last name. Correctly, it goes something like CHEE-ung.

That brings us to 2008, and the emergence of super cool model/TV presenter/it-girl Alexa Chung. Suddenly, my name becomes the best ice-breaker in my arsenal: “Omg, do you know your name is almost like Alexa Chung’s?” I could only praise them for stating the obvious. People would mistakenly call me Alexa so often that I wondered if:

1) My mumbling had worsened

2) Creating a twitter handle, @dontcallmealexa would remedy the problem

3) I was making a continual Freudian slip of the tongue confirming that I truly do want to be Alexa Ch(e)ung

The answer to question 1) is yes; 2) no; and 3) well, read below.

When the Alexa Chung Eyeko collaboration came out a couple of weeks ago, I asked myself: can Alexis Cheung finally become Alexa Chung? Or, at least look like her a little bit...slightly? Which brings me to the Alexa Chung Beauty Review, a trial of her Eyeko products and Top Shelf tips by yours truly. Because similar names and shared ethnicity aside, who doesn’t want to look like Alexa Chung?

“My skin is drier than the Sahara desert,” Chung proclaims. “It’s like sandpaper and the outside of a cactus had sex and made my skin. So, whereas some people are like, ‘I hate oily things because I get breakouts!’ I’m like, ‘No, give me a vat of oil that I can dunk my head into, please.”

Strike one: my skin produces enough oil to fill the vat Alexa wants to dunk her head into. So while Chung and Cheung’s God-given skin will never be the same, I use her favorites—YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Illuminating Foundation + Chanel Sublimage Cream—in hopes of recreating her heart-wrenchingly flawless skin.

"I choose between doing my eyes or mouth because I don’t want to look like a beauty pageant child, I’ve got quite a strong face—if it’s got too much on, I just look like a man in drag,” Chung says when it comes to makeup. Also, "I am an avid wearer of eyeliner—I would say I’m wearing it 90 percent of the time."

Because I want to look like Alexa Chung 90 percent of the time, not 10, and a beauty pageant child/man in drag never, I begin with the eyes and eyes only.

I use the Alexa technique and “flick” some Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner at the corners of my eyes. Initially, this proves painful. So, vigorously run the pen along your hand or paper towel to draw the pigment out before use. (Rookie mistake, I know.) As a long time Nars Eyeliner Stylo user, the Skinny Liquid Eyeliner stiff tip is great since it makes accidentally screwing up hard. And, with some layering/applied pressure, you can fluidly create a thicker line. It also dries in a matte, I’m-not-wearing-liquid-eyeliner way, which I like.

After, I apply the Me & My Shadow Waterproof Liners. TOTAL GAME CHANGERS. Why? 1) They’re unfussy. Layer as sparsely or heavily as you want and then use the brush to blend. 2) They’re perfect for people whose eyes don’t hold product. Instead of mutating into a greasy, creasy end-of-night lid, they naturally fade. Chocolate is a perfect brown color for every day (and is the only one I’m wearing in the photos). Taupe is too metallic for my liking BUT looks great on people with light eyes. And Charcoal is excellent for a smoky effect.

The Eye Do Mascara comes with a guitar pick, but I’m more interested in that the mascara wand is as voluminous as a spinning scrubber in a car wash. Knowing the results a scrubber has on a car makes me very excited for what this mascara can potentially do for my lashes. Which is indeed waxed and shiny: my lashes were both feathery and full.

“I’m mixed race—I’ve got half Chinese hair, half Caucasian hair—so it's very fine and naturally bends as it dries.”

Yes—don’t even need to try on this one. Still, I spray some of Chung’s beloved Wella Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Hairspray. Smells good, doesn’t dry out my hair, but, if I’m paying for salty water, the packaging better be pretty and this one is not. Since only an intensely sweaty workout gives my hair volume, L’Oréal Professionnel True Grip works for those who want ‘I-am-from-the-'60s-and-just-had-sex-or-something’ hair, but also want to shower on a daily basis.

Still, that’s not enough. “You need bangs,” Tom, ITG’s resident photographer proclaims. I pin my hair behind my ears for some faux-fringe and bat my Birkin-esque eyes at him.

All in all, trying to look like looking like Alexa Chung takes less than 20 minutes. Which is the perk of the mindless conformity of following a celebrity’s beauty routine. The downside? Could be seriously expensive. For the most part, Alexa seems low maintenance. The Chanel Sublimage, though, is $390!!! In Alexis think: that’s hundreds of Two-Buck Chucks or dollar pizzas or Benny’s burritos. The Chanel does totally make your skin glow while the other three…don’t.

BUT the real question: do I look like Alexa Chung? That, dear readers, is for you to decide.

For now, I leave you with this: My name is Alexis Cheung, not Alexa Chung—don’t get it twisted. (Feel free to tell me you see the resemblance, though).*

*my twitter bio written freshman year of college

—Alexis Cheung

Photos by Tom Newton.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Rosemary Mac Cabe

    Whether you look like her or not (you don't, much, bar the hair), rest assured that you write approximately 753 times as well as she does.

    • Alexis Cheung

      i'll take it!

  • Emma Hager

    First, off Alexis -- I mean, Alexa, I mean Alexis -- this was such a great post. I've seen a handful of comments from the duration of your time here at ITG where people are kinda like: "whoa, dude, you guys have a writer named Alexis Cheung.....haha, trippyyyyyyyyy!" (I'm exaggerating, but, you know, that's the general gist.)

    I am sure the constant comparison gets so annoying, as you've acquired this problem later in your life of having to differentiate yourself from this other image, this other force. No matter how many funny little statements people make about the obvious, you are your own person....BUT: Ms. Alexa Chung isn't a bad person to have to differentiate yourself from. She's hot, she's beautiful. It could be a lot worse.

    While I have to admit you and Alexa Chung don't look alike, I must say you look beautiful with and without her prescribed products. Enviable hair, enviable skin and facial structure. Maybe after this post people will be asking Alexa if she knows there's an ITG named Alexis Cheung.....?

    P.S. I appreciate your appreciation of a good burrito. There's nothing better than a good burrito. When my dad retires within however many years/next decade, we are gonna write a dumb little book on the best burritos in California, as we have traveled to every inch of this state and eaten countless burritos from questionable, dilapidated shacks. True gems, kind like a good eyeliner.

    • Alexis Cheung

      I would like to request, then read, then uncontrollably salivate all over this wonderful little book.

    • bluesky557

      The best burritos in California come from Pedro's Tacos, obviously.

  • V

    ... So there were clip-in bangs that didn't get photodocumented?

    • Alexis Cheung

      sadly, no clip-ins. Rather make shift bangs made by tucking hair behind my ears and bobby pinning. Not very effective method.

  • Marleen Golightly

    Don't worry. A guy in my building is called "Alex Chung". Doubt he wants to look like Alexa though.

    • Alexis Cheung

      now I can't stop wondering what we would name our children

      • Emma Hager

        You'd pile two little people, Alexia and Alexi, into a Lexus

  • Jolanda

    I think you are very pretty pretending to be Alexa does that count also? But serieus, you are drop dead gorgeous and Alexa Chung should be honored that you (almost) share a name!

  • Emem

    Everyone go watch the Lisa Eldridge video starring Alexa right this instant.

    • Emma Hager

      Oh my god. Just watched. Thanks for the tip.

  • Bella

    You don't look like her, you are your very own brand of very pretty and stylish! And I love your writing style.

  • Leandra Guillet

    Oh man, this made me laugh so hard. I feel you, girl, we all secretly want to be her

  • Cate

    I hope that after doing all of this, band members fell all over themselves to get to you too. (Unless you live in Brooklyn, in which case I imagine that could become quite hazardous due to the sheer number of band members per square block.)

    • Alexis Cheung

      No band members have fallen over themselves yet. But I also don't live in Brooklyn, which may be the problem.

  • Blobby

    Didnt like the book, for a book mainly abt references, it s quite poor.

  • Badedasforever

    Actually, I think proclaiming oneself a follower of Alexis Cheung could become the shibboleth of coolness. When people misunderstand and say, "Oh, I really like Alexa, too!", one could cut in, "No, no, no, don't get me wrong, she's nice, but I meant Alexis Cheung. I remember way back when I first discovered her on ITG..." and feel smugly in the know. Alexis Cheung could become the symbol of the elusive, shifting requirements of hipsterdom. In fact, anticipating an upcoming social trend, to any junior high girls reading, do not socially isolate the new girl and not let her sit at your cafeteria table just because on her first day she reveals that she is not familiar with all the likes and habits of the oh-so cool Alexis Cheung: Alexis Cheung would probably invite the new girl to sit at HER table, part of why she deserves her burgeoning status as It Girl Squared.
    By the way, I already liked your writing and genuinely thought of you without thinking of the similarly named lady on the strength of your writing.

    • Alexis Cheung

      I would like to sit at your lunch table pls <3

  • Haiku Jew

    Such similar names
    equally lovely ladies
    you have unique chic!

    • Alexis Cheung

      printing and saving forever

  • Amy Mills

    God I've been waiting for this post for forever -- I'm sorry but I'm one of those people that immediately think Alexa Chung is a guest writer for ITG whenever I see a post by Alexis Cheung. Nicely handled, Alexa/Alexis.

  • Wesley Chang

    Beautifully written, Alexis*. <3

  • Mika M

    Loved it.

  • Sterls

    I don't think you necessarily LOOK like Alexa Chung, but your style, at least in the pics, evoke that same kind of Alexa air. Like effortless beauty, minimal but still stylish.

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    Well you do look amazing! I wonder if there is a Sublimage dupe out there!

    • Alexis Cheung

      There must be. Beginning the hunt now!

  • Luna

    You remind me a little bit of Olivia Munn :) Really kind warm eyes!

    • Julie

      You beat me to it - I was thinking the exact same thing! Alexis - you are beautiful and could be Olivia Munn's doppelgänger.

  • kifferthegreat

    Lovely post! You should consider the bangs- they look quite charming on you.

  • QuitePossiblyChinese

    Alexis you are very pretty! And I love this post! you don't really look like Alexa, but you don't have to!

  • bluesky557

    SoCal represent!

    • Emma Hager

      Heheh I'm all about the #NorCal life. But #CA represent through and through.

  • Aubrey Green

    You look more like, Olivia Munn, who is also gorgeous.

  • Shannah

    Goodness gracious, girl, your skin is stunning.

    • Alexis Cheung

      the chanel + ysl foundation worked wonders. also, Tom's flash!

  • Guest

    I think you look great just as you are. And your writing is terrific, which is not exactly what I would say about Ms. Chung's. What's with everyone wanting to look like someone just because they're in a magazine or on TV, anyway? I think it was Cindy Crawford who once said that even SHE doesn't look like "Cindy Crawford" until the retouchers get hold of her pictures.

    In any case, because a little change is good from time to time, I would recommend the bangs if you want to do something different. Real ones, not the faux variety. And I would skip the eyes and do lipstick (in a real color, none of this "nude" business,) instead. But that's just a thought. You really don't need to change a thing.

  • Kris Ong

    You are very pretty too!

  • Alexis Cheung

    hm, diy version: water, glycerin, vanilla extract?

  • coffeetoo

    no offense to Ms. Chung (and all other Alexa's in the world) but Alexis is a way cooler name I think - not to get cheesy but your name sounds so sexy and modern

  • debra

    You're beautiful & funny!

  • reem

    This is very funny, and ok I will go buy this stuff...

  • TillaTequila72

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your funny post and I sympathize with you. My name is Tilla (pronounced Tee-la) and when I turned 16 (in 1988) my parents decided to move and I had to switch school. A boy in my class used to make fun of me all the time and one day he called me Tilla Tequila. Tequila was his dad's favorite drink and he thought it rhymed nicely with my name. I, of course, hated it and begged him not to call me that. But it got caught on like wildfire and before I could spell my new moniker the entire school was calling me Tilla Tequila. There was nothing I could do other than to accept my new moniker and live with it. Over the years I got used to my nickname and I even used it to create an email account. The fun ended the day someone told me that a celebrity wanna-be porn star shares my name and my nickname. You cannot imagine what a simple google search of my name will yield. I always wonder why this chick couldn't be a scientist or a mathematician, or even a chef? Why oh God oh why does she have to be a porn star? I work in IT and when I introduce myself to new people the first thing I hear is: "your name is Tila? Like Tila Tequila?" and I say "Not like Tila Tequila!!! I AM Tilla Tequila".


Yves Saint Laurent Beauty
Le Teint Touche Éclat Illuminating Foundation
Chanel Sublimage Cream
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner
Eyeko Me & My Shadow Waterproof Life
Eyeko Eye Do Lash Enhancing Mascara
Wella Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Hairspray
L’Oréal Professionnel True Grip