Beauty That Gives Back: Embracing Your Inner Jefa With a Chic New Lipstick Shade

Regina Merson BELatina La Jefa
Photo IG @reinaRebelde

Finding the perfect shade of lip color can really change your entire look, but it’s more than just a style boost — the right lip color can change your entire attitude. And if you’re looking to feel instantly empowered and ready to conquer the world, then we have the perfect, gorgeous, hot new beauty product for you. Meet LA JEFA, a brand new lip color stick in a powerful new hue that will help you embrace your inner girl boss with flair and fashion. 

We kid you not, this color stick is the perfect shade of nude. As in, looks good on everyone, blends perfectly with any skin tone, gives just the right amount of “wow” factor and glides on with effortless glamor. Which should come as no surprise, considering this bold lip product comes from Reina Rebelde, a Latina-owned and operated makeup brand that is dedicated to creating beauty products that celebrate the unique cultural duality and fierceness of Latina women. This lip color is for anyone who wants to own her power, who wants to flaunt her lady boss ways with the world, and who has pride in her heritage. It’s a must-have tool to add to your beauty toolbox, especially for those days when you want to command a room and feel a lasting sense of “I got this.”

But there’s more to this lip color than just beauty. Sure, it’s pretty perfect on that front. But while this product works hard to make your lips shine, it also works hard behind the scenes to support Latina entrepreneurs. To celebrate the launch of this hot new product, the brand surprised 50 Latina-owned businesses nationwide with LA JEFA as a way to celebrate the power of being a Latina entrepreneur. 

The Beauty and Brains Behind Reina Rebelde

It’s not surprising that the beautiful talent and brains behind this brand is an inspirational Latina queen herself. Mexican-American entrepreneur Regina Merson grew up obsessed with makeup, a passion that began while watching the telenovela Rosa Salvaje and followed her through her younger years in Mexico to her adult years as a successful Latina business owner in the beauty industry. Her collection of beauty products can be described as equal parts “wild and unpredictable, bold and impractical, feminine and luxurious, sexy and severe,” which Merson explains is a reflection of her complicated identity as a Mexican woman embracing an American life.

And that’s an important point of distinction; not only are her products designed for Latina women, but they are also inspired by Latinas and the many unique traits that set them apart. Bold and passionate. Fierce and feminine. Proud and spirited. Beautiful inside and out. And most importantly, unapologetically authentic. 

LA JEFA Is the Lip Shade You Need Right Now

And that’s what LA JEFA is all about. It’s a new shade designed to celebrate what sets Latinas apart and what makes Latina entrepreneurs so powerful. Consider LA JEFA as the nude lip color stick that you’ve been looking for forever; the perfect go-to shade that looks good on everyone, and with everything you own. This shade delivers a full-coverage, high-density mauvy nude that is puro poder y confianza. And the best part is you can feel extra good wearing it because this product is all about celebrating and empowering YOU. 

During the product launch, Reina Rebelde donated a portion of sales to the L.O.V.E. (Latinas On the Verge of Excellence) Mentoring Program in support of the next generation of Latina Jefas! And all beauties are encouraged to flaunt their glamor and confidence with the hashtag #LaJefaRising, celebrating every woman’s inner boss lady, and supporting the future generation of Latina entrepreneurs.

We sat down to chat with Regina Merson, the Latina powerhouse behind Reina Rebelde — a boss lady herself — to discuss her inspiration for the brand, her latest LA JEFA product, and the importance of supporting other Latina entrepreneurs and future generations of Latina boss ladies.

Inner beauty, outer beauty, and cultural pride are all deeply connected; how does your cultural identity inspire your brand and your products?

In every single way! Each touchpoint of Reina Rebelde is inspired by my personal story and my experience of other Latinas that I know and admire. In my opinion, Latinas of all backgrounds share one thing in common — their love of beauty, their unapologetic sense of how beauty rituals inform our sense of self much on any given day, and an inner fire. Reina Rebelde is all about cultivating and celebrating that attitude and pride that is so specific to our community.

What is your process when coming up with new shades and color inspirations for your cosmetics?

There actually is no process, believe it or not, ideas for new shades come about in a very organic way. I am an intense observer of all things related to color and other sensory experiences. Most of the ideas come when I am traveling or exploring new places, and I find a visual or sensory experience that really resonates with the Reina Rebelde in me — that always gets my attention, and then I explore that mood and try to figure out how to capture that feeling in a new shade. It sounds abstract because it is. So many of the ideas I have don’t ever get explored past that, but I always keep coming back to ones that continue to feel relevant and take it from there. As those ideas are floating around, I try to take care to listen to what customers tell me they want, to gauge if anything floating around in my head might be a match.

Tell us how you first came up with the idea for La Jefa, and how you hope this new shade of Lip Color Stick will empower and inspire other Latinas to be bold, fearless, and proud of their heritage. 

I always intended to introduce nude lip colors into the collection, but I was stumped because I had never found a nude that I thought really worked for me. I had worked on a couple of nudes prior to launch but set them aside because they weren’t quite right. After I launched Reina Rebelde, I was on the road quite a lot, interacting with other female business owners and entrepreneurs and started formulating what the mood of actually being a JEFA is all about. It’s a confident but focused mood. I thought that mood also reflected what we see happening around us as Latinas rising up — there is so much going on behind the scenes that we never know about and so much that we hear about — La Jefa had to make a statement about inner confidence and strength.  

#LaJefaRising isn’t just a hashtag to announce a product launch, it’s a movement and a call to action for Latina entrepreneurs and women everywhere. How do you hope this campaign and this product will inspire current and future Latina leaders?

 The campaign hashtag was very deliberate. It speaks to the journey and the momentum in the community — not the arrival. So many Latinas have made incredible strides and perhaps some feel they have arrived, but in my opinion, this can’t be just about the individual journey, it also has to be about our obligation to lift up the community with us as we move forward. It’s better to move 1,000 people forward one step, it’s the only way.  The campaign is about celebrating those on that journey, encouraging those starting the journey, and trying to make sure that everyone sees each other as an ally in the endeavor. There are so many Latina Jefas in our midst that might be overlooked, which is why we decided to surprise 50 Latina business owners as a gesture to communicate that we see them and we are cheering them on too.

As an ambitious and successful Latina businesswoman, what advice would you give to other Latinx entrepreneurs? What is the most valuable lesson you have learned through your journey in the beauty industry?

 You really can’t understand what the whole experience of any business is, until you actually do it—– for some reason, entrepreneurship doesn’t lend itself to conceptual exercises. Sometimes you have to get into it before you know whether it is right or wrong. It requires quite a bit of blind faith.

What inspired you to create Reina Rebelde, and why do you think it is so important to help support and celebrate future generations of Latina entrepreneurs?

I specifically saw a gap for beauty products for Latina women and how brands relate to us culturally, which is what inspired me to start Reina Rebelde. It’s so important to celebrate and support future generations of Latina entrepreneurs because we are truly on the rise. According to a recent report from the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, Vice-Chair Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Latinos are taking the lead in small business start-ups. In general, Latinos are 1.7 times more likely to start businesses, and in 2017 there were four million Latino-owned businesses in the U.S.  Of these four million businesses, Latina-owned businesses have the highest growth rate. That’s huge!