La Reina Rebelde: Regina Merson
Reina Rebelde has been wooing makeup lovers from the moment it sprung up on the beauty scene, no doubt due in part to its beautifully bold products.
We were lucky enough to chat with founder Regina Merson, who, as it turns out, is pretty damn incredible.
How did you decide upon the name "Reina Rebelde”?
“Reina Rebelde” translates to “Rebel Queen” and I wanted a name that really captured the unique duality that Latinas live through in the United States.
Reina/Queen is a term of endearment among Latin women, but it’s also accurate to our sense of self and relationship to our beauty. Yet, at the same time, there is a lot of fire within us, pushing of boundaries, breaking barriers and trailblazing, which is where the Rebelde/Rebel comes from.
A Reina Rebelde is many things at all times, but above all, she is always regal, stunning and fierce in her pursuit of life. Culturally, we have a lot of power, but there is a lot of oppression as well and it is critical for us to know how to harness both sides to navigate our lives. For us, it is never a decision of whether we will be one or the other, we are always both.
Your professional portfolio even before you launched Reina Rebelde is quite impressive! What motivates you to succeed?
My life, like everyone else’s, has had many uncomfortable and challenging transitions, and yet, I am so grateful for all of them, because they usually came with an opportunity tucked inside.
Starting with moving to the United States as a young girl from Mexico (which I did not want to do) and after I recovered from the initial shock, I realized life had handed me a tremendous opportunity and privilege to be educated in the United States. I did not want to waste it. I loved school, I loved to study, so the opportunity suited me and I made the best of it.
I stay motivated now, because I simply do not want to disappoint myself. In my past career, so much of my success was to make other people happy, often at the expense of my own aspirations. Now, my sheer motivation is creating a brand that I feel is an extension of myself, my passions and what I authentically share with other women. When I hear that they connect with the brand and the products, that’s all the motivation I need.
Are there any current makeup trends that you just cannot get onboard with?
This is a tough one to answer because even though a trend may not go with my own personal look, I love seeing women get creative with makeup. Even in the wildest of looks, I can find a way to make it wearable.
Trends that are hard for me to personally wear would be anything that prevents me from speaking. I am naturally very chatty and a big proponent that makeup should perform and make incredible statements, but don’t make it so I can’t use my lips in the process like extra glittery lips. Beyond that, there is nothing I cannot get on board with; I absolutely love how makeup lovers express inner-creativity through their makeup.
What is your most beloved makeup-related memory or experience?
I have so many! I always link memories in my life to what stage of my makeup hoarding and beauty routine evolution I was in. But I most definitely will always recall when I lived in Guadalajara and my mother was recently-divorced.
I have this powerful memory of me as a little girl sitting and watching her beauty routine as she got ready to go out with her other single or divorced girlfriends at night. I was so taken by her beauty, but more importantly, I was captivated by her makeup/beauty routine. It was so divine and self-respecting. Plus, there was always some amazing 80s jam playing in the background. Clearly, the apple never falls far from the tree, because that is how I get ready today—80s music included.
Do you typically opt for "daring" or "classic" hair and makeup looks?
I usually go for a classic look in the hair department, because regrettably, my hair is not that conducive to crazy/trendy looks and I would rather spend the time on my makeup.
For makeup, it completely depends on my mood and my obligations, which change several times a day. Even if I am working alone all day, I will often change my lipstick to suit my mood.
Most of the time, even if I am opting for a classic look, there is always some daring twist going on. One day, I may be feeling more rebel-like so I’ll rock a muted eye look, but put a severe focus on my lips with the Bold Lip Color Stick in “Moretón,” which is a deep purple shade.
Then, the next day I’ll want to go with a classic look with a stunning winged liner, softly contoured face and then a classic red lip with the Bold Lip Color Stick in “Brava,” which is equal parts Reina and Rebelde. I rarely, if ever, repeat the same combination.
Anything else you would like to add?
I want every woman to find the Rebel Queen inside of her! Even though Reina Rebelde was inspired by Latinas and the unique experiences we feel in the United States, I think a lot of other women can relate to being an exquisite and ambitious woman who embodies her powerful cultural duality by showing her grand beauty to the world.
She is blessed with many choices: she speaks English and Spanish. She loves being Latina and American. She equally celebrates the beauty of her Reina and fierceness and grit of her Rebelde. She embraces her duality and has always understood the force that the perfect shade of lipstick provides to her already-dynamic life and how it powerfully transforms her mysterious beauty.
Inspired by our collective experience as Reinas Rebeldes, I created this collection of products with built-in versatility to give life to our many dualities, full of provocative shades that deliver the boldness and passion that we bring to the rituals of applying them and that will take us from glamorous to fierce, aspirational to trailblazing, messy to polished, and allow us to unapologetically and authentically share our Reina Rebelde essence with the world.
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