This Beauty CEO in Her 20s Is Using Digital Activism to Usher in Change
Meet Colourette and Fresh Formula’s Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera
The unprecedented pandemic has introduced individuals willing to go above and beyond for their kababayan (fellowmen). Look for the helpers, and you’ll find Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera, founder of local beauty brands Colourette Cosmetics and Fresh Formula.
The young CEO and mother of two made headlines in November of 2020 for being outspoken towards the government’s incompetence amid a national crisis. She details, “I was just being my usual opinionated self. I have always been vocal and socially aware (or so I think) and I felt like staying mum in times of oppression is almost a sin knowing that I am blessed to have a following on social media.”
Her efforts to draw accountability from the administration didn’t end with a rousing series of TikTok videos or tweets. She pledged sales of Colourette’s bestselling Colourtints raising a total of P1.6M for Typhoon Ulysses relief. She admits, “It wasn’t really easy, you know. It also took a toll on me, but I’m glad I overcame it. Now I know I’m stronger than ever and nothing can make me back down if I know what I’m fighting for is right.”
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She adds, “It also made me realize that my brands (Colourette and Fresh Formula) are [some] of [the] few politically and socially aware brands in the country, and I’d like to nurture that even more. Not for the monetary gains but for the impact and the influence it can have on our audience.”
In an exclusive one-on-one, we caught up with the Colourette founder and got her thoughts on the local beauty industry as a whole, her #BossBabe tips for aspiring entrepreneurs and her 2021 health & wellness resolutions.
Wonder: You made your start selling soap scraps in your early 20s, which eventually evolved to Colourette and Fresh Formula. Can you tell us more about how you got started in the beauty industry?
Nina: I started Fairness and Flawless last 2013. That wasn’t planned at all. I just ventured into selling scrap soaps then I eventually went on and sold my own formula. Soon, I was able to get dealers and resellers and I expanded my product offerings with lotions, facial sets and a lot more. Come 2015, I thought of adding cosmetics to my line and so I started Colourette by Fairness and Flawless. It was only supposed to be a sub-brand and everything happened so fast.
W: What are your personal top three products from your brand that you’d recommend to a new customer?
N: The Colourtints are really phenomenal. They’re the first (if I’m not mistaken) oil-based 3-way tints from a local brand. Second, I would say the Shimmertints! They’re our latest release and we worked so hard [on] this new addition. They’re your go-to multipurpose liquid highlighters that won’t break the bank! Last but not least, the Easy Mattes. They’re everything you want in a matte lipstick and more. *wink*
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W: Do you have practical beauty and wellness resolutions you’re eyeing to usher in the new year?
N: Personally, I am trying to get back on track with my fitness journey. This pandemic has not been easy for me, but I’m happy to say I’m coping and doing better. Business-wise, we are more focused [on] creating products that Filipinas yearn for. There are a lot of surprises in store and I don’t wanna spoil them!
W: Given the current state of the local beauty industry, what do you think is missing or could be improved?
N: To this day, it’s still inclusivity. While we’ve improved so much in the past few years, I feel like there’s still more that needs to be done.
W: As a young CEO in her early 20s, what are the greatest lessons you’d like to impart to aspiring young entrepreneurs?
N: Just go for it and STAND YOUR GROUND. It’s not gonna be easy. In fact, it’s going to be hell but you can do it. Take baby steps towards your goal and don’t be afraid to make mistakes—they’re part of the journey.
Digital activism and beauty? For this young entrepreneur and boss lady, she’s accessing the power of social media and a good hero product to pave way for change.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver