Last October, celebrity make-up artist, Tanya Rex left Dubai where she had been working for two years and returned home to Cape Town for a holiday.
But the lure of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, has kept her in South Africa since and she is enjoying being back.
When Tanya finished school, she studied law but soon realised that it wasn’t the route for her and left the firm she was working at and became a waitress.
Her father was horrified but came to terms with the whole idea.
Tanya ended up managing a hotel in London and then travelled the world training staff for an international restaurant chain.
While living in London she studied make-up but didn’t really use it.
After returning to South Africa in 1998 she decided that make-up was what she wanted to do.
She did another course in Cape Town and then was given $10 000 by a very generous donor to go and study prosthetics and special effects in Los Angeles.
While there, Tanya was offered a job by Warner Brothers. She stayed in LA for a year and then decided to come home.
Since being back in SA she has shot about 300 international television commercials, worked for some of the best magazines and had the opportunity to travel and meet some of her favourite celebrities.
She spoke to gsport about cycling, celebrity, and travelling.
You recently came back from Dubai where you worked for two years, what was that experience like?
When I first got to Dubai, I had only planned to be there a few weeks for work. I was a little overwhelmed by the whole experience as things in Dubai seemed to run completely differently to anywhere else I had lived.
The fashion industry infrastructure was still in its beginning stages, but with a little more effort, the job seemed to get done. It was really exciting having all the top designer brands at your finger tips for every shoot and it was great to feel like part of a team again.
What made you return home?
October 2006, I decided I needed to come back down to earth for a while, so planned a holiday in Cape Town for a month.
I had started training for the Argus Tour on a spinning bike in a gym in Dubai. My main reason for coming back to Cape Town was to train on the road for the time I was here.
Once I started training here, I couldn’t face going back to Dubai and only seeing desert for the next 6 months.
What do you love most about your job?
The thing I love most about my job is that no 2 days are ever the same. Even if I am working with the same client for a week or two, there is usually a new location or model every day.
Favourite makeup products?
My favourite make-up products are any MAC eye shadows(or most other MAC products) and Touch Eclat from Yves Saint Laurent.
How would you define beauty?
Beauty is definitely something that comes from within. I don’t think that it can be defined by any specific feature as,for me, individuality is the main source of beauty.
How do you find time for cycling?
I find it really difficult to find time to train. Many days of the month I work from 5am and get home around 8pm.
When I have the time it is often too dark to train on the road, so I have bought a wind trainer that I put my bike onto and train at home.
Most days after work I am really exhausted and I find that motivation is my main problem. Whenever I have a day off I am up at 5.30am and out the door by 6am to train for about 4 hours.
Where is your favourite spot to cycle?
My favourite place to cycle is along the coast,around Cape point and over Chapmans’ Peak.
What is your advice for first timers cycling the Argus?
For anyone cycling the Argus for the first time, all I can say is good luck. When you feel like you can’t get to the top of the hill, just remember that you have to get up in order to go down, and we all know that speeding downhill is the best part of the ride.
Will you be taking part in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Challenge this year?
I will be taking part in the Argus Tour this year. My training didn’t start off too well because I was working way too much.
Now that I have started to manage my time a little better, I have been able to put in a lot more hours for training.
I don’t think this will be my best time ever, but I just want to finish in around 4 hours and feel like I have accomplished something.
When did you take up cycling?
I started cycling when I was 14 years old. I actually did my first 2 Argus Tours on a tandem bicycle with my father. That was great fun, and taught me a lot about team work.
I have to admit that my dad was probably putting in much more effort than I was though. I had two operations on my right shoulder when I was 18, and so didn’t really cycle after that.
My shoulder still dislocates, but with a lot of strapping for long rides it seems to stay in place.
What does cycling do for you?
For a long time I didn’t exercise much, and I seemed to be depressed most of the time. Cycling has given me a form of release and allowed me to take pride in myself again.
My mood is definitely better and I have a greater appreciation for nature. I also love the sense of freedom that I get from being on my bike.
The only thig I haven’t bothered to learn yet is how to fix a puncture. I guess I will soon be able to add that to my list of accomplishments.
How often do you cycle?
I try to cycle 3 times a week on the wind trainer. If I am not working over the weekend, I usually train with my club on Saturdays and then do a race on Sundays.
What would your ideal job be?
I really love my job. Most of the people I work with are creative and loads of fun. I have started doing photography for a couple of magazines in Dubai.
At the moment it is still a hobby, but maybe one day it will become a career. No rush though.