“MAKEUP IS MEANT TO BE USED AS AN AVENUE FOR INDIVIDUALS TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES AND SHOWCASE THEIR CREATIVITY, NOT TO HIDE WHO THEY REALLY ARE.” – NERISSA LOW
Beauty entrepreneur, Nerissa Low, founder of Liht Organics Pte Ltd which had won the Green Brand Award shares her inspiring stories to empower women to see the Liht with her.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Outgoing city girl on the outside, introverted nature lover who LIVES for animals on the inside! Most people I’ve met tell me that they are surprised to find that I have a very different personality from how I look. To me, how we appear on the outside is an expression of our inner creativity and mood, which is dynamic and ever-evolving. I believe everyone is multifaceted and I love getting to know people beyond the external façade.
Q: How did the idea of Liht come about?
I used to battle with adult acne and sensitive skin in my 20s which caused a huge dent in my self esteem. Apart from the aesthetic problems of trying to hide my acne by piling on makeup (which made it worse), I was put on daily doses of Oratane pills and had to go for monthly steroid injections individually into my pimples, both of which caused side effects like depression and potential organ failure. After 2-3 years of being on the medication, I realised that merely staving it was not a solution. Through my research, I ended up finding the root causes of skin conditions such as mine, and this kick-started my belief in going organic. In doing so, I eliminated all the harmful chemicals found in my daily skincare products such as mercury that causes skin sensitivity, talc that causes pore enlargements, and a cocktail of chemicals that cause hormone disruptions – and my skin cleared up significantly!
Soon, it became tug of war between using organic skincare, but piling on a layer of chemical makeup. While my skin condition had improved, it still wasn’t quite the outcome I was hoping to get as the makeup I was using would always aggravate my skin. During that time, while organic skincare was readily available, organic makeup was not and that was when I decided to start my own line with the exact criteria of safety and efficiency that I wanted in my makeup that was unavailable in the market.
Coming up with the name was exciting because I wanted our brand to not just be about quality products, I wanted it to embody positivity and empowerment for our customers. Hence the name Liht (which is the old English spelling for “light”) which stands for “Living in Her Time” to remind women to live her life by her own rules, shining at her brightest potential and being present and grateful for every moment in her life!
Q: How do you think the beauty industry has evolved to be more inclusive?
There is definitely a lot more emphasis on shade range for both base makeup and color cosmetics now to include women of all skin tones, with a strong market opening for Asian Brands (thanks to the Korean wave) and an appreciation of the USPs of brands from countries outside of the West. There is also added emphasis and effort put towards creating products to meet very specific needs of the customers as opposed to a cookie cutter approach when it comes to product development. Lastly, makeup is no longer just for women. I believe it has truly become a tool of expression of inner self for women and men alike – and there’s nothing more beautiful to witness than that!
Q: What are some misconceptions about organic beauty products?
There are misconceptions that organic products don’t perform like regular makeup (are not as pigmented and long lasting for example) and that they have a shorter shelf life. That is why we focus a lot on product performance as well as shade variety when creating our formulas, to ensure that users get what they are looking for in makeup while enjoying the peace of mind that is safe to use as well. We also use natural preservatives to ensure that the shelf life of the products are as long as regular chemical based makeup.
Q: What are your thoughts on Love, Fioyo’s philosophy of empowering women to be confident and to “be their own label”?
Absolutely agree! Every woman should be their own brand, their own advocate. Makeup, like fashion, to me is meant to be used as an avenue for individuals to express themselves and showcase their creativity, not to hide who they really are. As Oscar Wilde says “Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken”
Q: You too are a firm advocate for women’s empowerment. How do you think like-minded business owners can come together to make a difference?
I believe that women are extremely powerful beings, and even more so when we band together. But we first need to see it for ourselves and understand that no woman is an island. Strength comes from unity and I believe every like-minded business owner with a mission dreams of leaving a legacy and making a difference to the planet. This is not an easy feat, and if it is a collective dream, then why not leverage on our strengths for a unified effort to build something bigger, better and get there faster? As a start, if we come together with the intention of collaboration instead of competition, then there is very little we cannot do!
Q: What is your advice to women struggling with self-acceptance and self-love?
A really good friend of mine once told me, while I was trapped and not able to extricate myself from a toxic relationship, that if I don’t love myself enough to do what’s needed for ME, then I don’t deserve love from others. That hit me hard, and I garnered the courage to walk away from that relationship. If we rely on others to make us feel accepted or loved, we will never get what we need. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own thoughts and feelings – you already have all the love you need within you, and when you learn to embrace that, then acceptance and love from others will flow too. Societal standards of beauty and what’s acceptable have also made it almost impossible for a woman to feel good enough these days. So my advice is to take whatever you see on social media, movies, magazines etc with a handful of salt (haha!) and spend more time getting to know yourself, and surround yourself with people who lift you up.
Come. Join # ilovefioyo women community for more interesting and engaging content from inspirational women around us. Love, Fioyo is on a mission to help women realize their self-worth. We are here to support each other in this journey to stand with confidence and be our own labels.
Credits: Photography by Love, Fioyo Photo Moments
Senior Content Writer of Love, Fioyo