It’s not a coincidence that makeup brand Reina Rebelde sounds kind of like the title of a novela. Its Mexican founder, Regina Merson, first fell in love with makeup through watching the telenovela Rosa Salvaje as well as her mom’s beauty routine.
“Latinas are sophisticated, discerning, and authentically rooted in their culture, and much of how beauty brands market to us doesn’t talk to us in this way,” she told Refinery 29 about the impetus for starting her own line. “I wanted to create makeup that would honor, celebrate, and give life to our many dualities, with products full of provocative shades that deliver the boldness and passion we bring to the rituals of applying them.” With product names like ‘Azteca’ and ‘Oaxaca,’ it’s evident that her brand draws directly from her Mexican heritage as inspiration. “A lot of my line was inspired by my travels, my childhood in Mexico, and my experience as a Latina woman growing up in different roles,” she shared with Dallas Magazine.
Today, Regina is a thriving entrepreneur – one whose line was picked up by Target stores in April of 2018 – but getting there took years of dedication and hard work. Merson actually began her career as a chapter 11 bankruptcy attorney, and spent years juggling her day job in the corporate law world with her after-hours work trying to get her beauty business off the ground. Running a start-up left her so busy, that some days she only had time to eat a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos. Luckily, the hard work paid off and today she is one of the leading indie beauty businesses connecting with the Latina market, which is a huge and underserved community. One need look no further than the outpouring of enthusiasm from Latinas when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a bold red lip to her Congressional inauguration to see how eager Latinas are for beauty that speaks to their experiences and identity.
Below, check out some Reina Rebelde products you definitely need to try.