Makeup and confidence — the long, drawn-out fight that many of us have grappled with personally. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has considered where makeup and beauty products fit into the concept of self-love. It doesn’t help that the beauty industry was foundationally built on emphasising flaws to sell more products. How many times have we found products claiming to mask problems we never knew was a concern in the first place? But (thankfully) the market and its consumers have shifted towards a climate that sees beauty products as a way to accentuate the self rather than conceal it — and we couldn’t be happier!
Liht Organics is one such brand empowering women through their eclectic range of makeup. They believe that their products should be tools that help express the multiple roles women take on — career woman, homemaker, daughter, mother. With multi-functional products that are organic and formulations so safe that they can double up as skincare, Liht Organics aims to bring you the tools that make you most comfortable in your own skin.
The philosophy Liht Organics has towards makeup stems from their founder, Nerissa Low, who has had her own struggle with acne and navigating the fine line between makeup and self-confidence. We caught up with her on Liht Organics’ beauty ethos, how her perception of makeup has evolved, and the self-love tips we all could use in our lives:
1. Could you please share with us how you founded Liht Organics and what were your biggest learning points in setting up this brand?
It all started off with a very simple dream of wanting to have access to authentic, organic makeup that I could personally curate to ensure that all the ingredients are safe and beneficial for my skin. I have always wanted to debunk the myth that makeup is bad for your skin by creating a line that heals while it conceals. Along the way, I realised that there are so many women like me who share the same need, and the demand for safe makeup is actually much bigger than I initially thought.
My journey has been a steep learning curve which ranged from equipping myself with a lot of technical knowledge around the products and their formulations as well as the ingredients and their functions, to business knowledge pertaining to corporate structures, marketing and business management. I didn’t have any background with business when I started, so it has been a lot of on-the-job training for me. However, setting up Liht has shown me that business is so multifaceted and it spans way beyond just theory, so I would say the biggest learning point for me is cultivating the skill to find equilibrium between the business, my team, and my time.
2. What do you hope to achieve with Liht Organics?
To be known as THE leading organic makeup brand globally. Beyond the business aspects, I hope to inspire women to lead a more conscious lifestyle by making better, healthier choices not just in beauty but in every area of their lives. We aim to educate consumers about the effects that our individual choices can have on our own well being and the well being of the earth collectively.
Liht also advocates strongly for women empowerment and we want to use (safe) makeup as a tool to get the ball rolling for women to start expressing themselves and, from there, find their inner confidence. We firmly believe that empowering a woman with the confidence to radiate their inner light can change the world not just in her time, but also in the time of her generations to come.
3. Why should Singaporean women love Liht Organics?
It’s guilt-free performance makeup! I know how challenging it is to find makeup that WORKS yet is beneficial for the skin. Liht Organics combines the benefits of skincare with makeup to produce delectable formulas (yes take a moment to take a whiff of our foundation, mascara and liners and enjoy the lovely scents made from natural ingredients) that provide intense and long-lasting effects! The best part is how your skin IMPROVES with regular use of our makeup!
4. What was your relationship with makeup and beauty standards ten years ago, and how has it changed since then (especially after the formation of Liht Organics)? Is there anything you wished you could have told your younger self?
I used to use all kinds of chemical makeup, damaging my skin from a very young age. I was complacent then thinking that it could do no harm to my skin, only to learn a very hard lesson that the damage it did would take years for recovery. My skin is so sensitive now that even a single application of certain chemical products would give me severe outbreaks and cause my skin to peel. This keeps me on my toes to be extra prudent about every single product that I use.
Knowing what I know now, I would tell my younger self to start with clean beauty from the start. Of course, back then there weren’t as many options as there are now, but it would have helped to take note of the ingredients label and be conscious of the types of chemicals that go into these beauty products and how it can harm the skin.
5. As a person who used to struggle with covering up acne, could you please share how you transformed your use of makeup from one of reliance to one that instead amplifies your confidence?
It was all about education. During that time, I wished for makeup that would heal my pimples while it concealed because every time I removed my makeup, I would notice that the coverage for the day had made the acne worse. It was a never-ending cycle of concealing and worsening, worsening and concealing.
Although I didn’t find a cure then, through my intensive research I found out the cause – chemicals in skincare and makeup that trigger skin sensitivity, cause pore enlargement, hormonal disruptions and other skin aggravations – and so I actively went on a mission to eliminate them completely in my daily skincare routine. My skin cleared up from then and I no longer needed to conceal any blemishes on my face. Makeup to me now is a form of art to express the many different facets of ourselves, the mood we are in that particular day, and can also be a way to conjure up an inner-confidence (something we all could use a little help with)!
6. “I’m using makeup for no one but myself” — when do we know we actually mean it? How did you embrace your skin and take charge of it?
When I use makeup at home when I am alone as a form of skincare! I found that when I stopped using makeup during this circuit breaker period, my skin started becoming less supple so I actually started using our foundation at home as part of my day-time skincare routine. It also helps in protecting our skin from dirt, dust and other environmental damage with our antioxidant-rich formulas.
Ultimately I think the ability to embrace our skin and take charge comes from our confidence in ourselves… The awareness and acceptance of the fact that the “ideal” type of skin is just a figment of society’s unrealistic standards cast upon women. Of course, it helps to eat clean and get ample sleep – all the usual to-do’s to get healthy looking skin – but that also means that it’s more about inner beauty and health. I firmly believe that once we are balanced in our mind, body and soul, our beauty will radiate naturally, no matter what type of skin we have!
7. Do you have any tips on how to treat ourselves kindly even when our self-esteem refuses to listen?
I’ve always believed that in order to attract love from others, we must first love ourselves. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you need to work on in order to create that space to let others in. That is why I named my brand Liht — to encourage women to let love emanate from the inside out and to shine at their brightest.
On Nerissa —
A big thank you to Nerissa for sharing with us her thoughtful insights and giving us the full scoop on her makeup routine! For more on Liht Organics, check out our Comprehensive Guide to Vegan Beauty and Local Beauty Edit.