Reina Rebelde #GirlBoss

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Regina Merson is the founder and creator of Reina Rebelde, a new emerging cosmetics line taking the beauty world by storm, whose mission is all about celebrating the fierce cultural dualities of today’s Latinas. We at #VixenArmy are obsessed with Regina’s unapologetic love for her culture while owning her passion for all things beauty so much that she left a stable law career to launch the makeup line.

Check out Regina’s story below and be ready to meet your new #girlboss crush!

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  1. Who is Regina Merson?

“This is a tough one to answer, lol…I’m a proud Mexicana, born in Guadalajara, but immigrated to the United States when I was 9 years old. The transition from Mexico to the U.S. was tough for me, so I used school and education as my outlet. I became a certified bookworm. I took a liking to law and made it my goal to become a lawyer. I graduated from Yale University for undergrad and received my law degree from the University of Chicago. I spent nearly six years as a bankruptcy attorney, and although I’m beyond grateful for the experience and the incredible people that were part of the journey, I felt that my passion lived in makeup. I would spend parts of my day dreaming of lipsticks, but when I would tell the people closest to me of my idea to start a makeup line, they thought I was absolutely crazy. How could I leave a stable career I worked so hard for, for something unsure in an already saturated market? But I personally felt that no makeup brand understood me as a bilingual, bicultural Latina and the beautiful cultural relationship that Latinas have with makeup. So after an unfortunate round of layoffs at the law firm I was working at, I took it as a sign that it was time to dive head first to bring Reina Rebelde to life! 

  1. What motivates you to succeed and just keep pushing forward?

My motivation right now is simply to not disappoint myself.  In my past career, so much of my success was to make other people happy, often at the expense of my own aspirations. Now, my sheer motivation is creating a brand that I feel is an extension of myself, my passions and what I authentically share with other women. When I hear that other women and Latinas connect with Reina Rebelde and the products, that’s all the motivation I need. 

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  1. Why did you feel like you needed to start a makeup line, and specifically, one for the Latina consumer?

I felt like there was a gap in the beauty industry, specifically with how beauty brands address Latinas, which is what inspired me. You always see beauty brands address Latinas or show Latinas in a very one-dimensional way, which is the complete opposite of who Latinas are. There are so many layers/dualities to Latinas. Even with the brand name “Reina Rebelde,” which translates to “Rebel Queen,” I wanted to capture the unique dualities Latinas have to manage in their lives here in the United States (and elsewhere). Reina/Queen is a term of endearment for us, but it’s also accurate to our sense of self and relationship to our beauty. At the same time, there is a lot of fire inside of us, breaking barriers/trailblazing, which is where the Rebelde/Rebel comes from. A Reina Rebelde is many things at all times, but above all, she is always stunning and fierce in her pursuit of life. For us, it is never a decision of whether we will be a Reina/Queen or Rebelde/Rebel, we are always both.

  1. What was the transition from corporate bankruptcy attorney to entrepreneur?

The transition was exciting and energizing, but also terrifying and full of highs and lows. Like any new beginning, I believe there is a lot of blind faith one has to have in believing in yourself and trusting your ability to figure things out that are foreign and new. But there was so much positive energy that naturally comes with any new beginning, especially one you’re really passionate about, and I think it’s so important to use that energy to your benefit.

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  1. What advice do you have for women trying to start their own businesses?

Make sure you have a true passion for what it is you want to do. Having your own business is very hard. The journey is paved with so many roadblocks and obstacles along the way, and it is that fire in your gut that will help keep you going in the harder moments. And really important is to try to connect with other female entrepreneurs and get their support as a mentor. It is great to talk to people who have been through the process because, no matter the industry, the road is very similar.

  1. What’s your favorite quote?

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell

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Client Spotlight: The Jesse Diaz Love Story

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Jessie Diaz aka @curveswithmoves

Jessie Diaz has had an amazing couple of years.  As a member of the #vixenarmy, you could catch her front row in our Manhattan classes slaying every single move. She then took the leap and became a Certified Vixen Workout Instructor, taking her love of dance and using it to inspire others.  She’s an huge advocate for body positivity and letting others know that healthy comes in all shapes and sizes.  If life wasn’t grand already, she then makes the most beautiful baby with the love of her life, gets married, then lands a national Lane Bryant campaign and lives happily ever after.  Thank you Jessie for sharing your story with us and giving the rest of us hope.  (Patiently waiting for price charming in our DM’s like…)

Describe each moment:

When did you meet? We met about 3 years ago because he messaged me on Instagram after recognizing me from an old blog post featuring curvy women.

How did you meet? We flirting on Instagram for a bit and decided to meet for coffee.

What was your first impression of him? He was tall! He is a whole foot taller than me, maybe more. We actually didn’t get it off in person. It was weird. The date felt forced. We left feeling ok about it but decided to continue talking over the phone and texting and had a much better 2nd date at a Mexican bar!

How did he win your heart? 
He was always a gentlemen. And passionate about God and his career goals.

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Where was your first date? Well I’ll go with my second bc our coffee date was awkward. But he took me to this hole in the wall Mexican joint that to this day has the best guacamole I’ve ever tasted! They had a karaoke machine and so he proceeded to turn it on and serenade me. He has an amazing voice.

Where was your first kiss? After our second date before going home.

When did you realize you were in love? Around the holidays, about 3 months in. Something about the holidays that make you fall in love.

Who first said, “I love you”? I don’t remember! Haha I think him?

Most romantic moment since you’ve met. 
One of my favorite dates was going to have spiked coffee and watch live jazz, then to the IFC theater to watch the Oscar-nominated foreign short film nominees. It was a cultural and romantic experience!


Most awkward or embarrassing moment since you’ve met. 
Omg, I totally fell down a flight of stairs 4 months into dating and he had to pick me up and bring me to his place to have him and his mother bandage me up. That was my second time meeting his mom!

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3 things you have in common
Our love for 80s synth pop bands like Wham and Culture Club.
Our love for travel
Our love for Christ

3 things you don’t have in common
Certain political views
Olives, yuck
He doesn’t like ratchet music so that’s my escape when I’m alone in the car!

Top 3 wedding moments 
Our first dance because it was amazing and choreographed and we spent a couple days working on it.
Me and my dad’s first dance because I get my dancing skills from him and we just laughed the whole time.
Our midnight countdown into confetti blast since our wedding was this past NYE.

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I got 99 problems but ??? Love ain’t one!

How hard was it to write vows? No because we didn’t! Haha we went traditional and were happy with that.

Describe your personal evolution as a woman throughout your relationship. Well I became a mom first before a wife so becoming a mom changes you. You become selfless and nurturing and …a little more stressed. But my maturity level has changed and the fact that my husband is such an amazing father and partner in crime helps me become a better parent and wife

As a woman, what do you think is the key to finding love? Patience! I’ve dated some lame guys, even damaging to my aura. Guys that didn’t suit me but I feared to be lonely. I think it’s ok to be alone and wait to a good guy. Dating casually is fine but don’t commit yourself to someone if you don’t feel right about something.

Top 3 tricks or advice to keep love alive in a relationship regardless of time, ups or downs. Don’t go to bed angry, it’ll be hard to sleep and you don’t wanna wake up upset!
Pray! If you believe in God, I cannot tell you how much that has been essential in our relationship. Keeping God at the center of it all.
Mix things up for date night. Don’t become the couch couple. Try to do something fun once a month. Last month we went to Art Battle NYC and had a blast!

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Cheers to that!

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Client Spotlight: Victoria Zych

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“At this point it is so much more than just a workout, it is my sanctuary, my safe place.”

Name? Victoria Zych

Age? 32

Occupation? Events Manager & Wedding Planner

Kids? A 9-year old adopted Shih Tzu named Luna

Favorite Cheat Meal? Sweet Potato Fries and anything with Chocolate

Favorite Routine? It is tough to just pick one because there are so many amazing routines. I love the “So sophisticated” routine, because I can be a total badass. I also enjoy the newer ones, such as “Fade” and “Starboy”, because they make me feel powerful and sexy!

Favorite lipstick? MAC Ruby Woo

Favorite popstar? Beyonce

If you were a popstar, which would it be? Again, Beyonce!

Life Motto? Never forget your inner child

Your story? I left my country in 2009 and came to Miami with literally my whole world packed in one suitcase. Since then it has been quite a rollercoaster ride, but 6 years later I am here and I made my way so far. Not everybody I met along my way who I trusted has had my best interest, so there was a lot pain. I have learned so many lessons with one of the most important one to really stay strong for myself and not let anyone take control of my life. I have always been very close to my family, so not being able to just hop in the car to go see them when things get rough, is not easy. Luckily, I have also met amazing friends, who became my family away from home for who I am always going to be thankful.

What made you join the Vixen Army? My friend, who is a dancer/instructor introduced me to the Vixen Workout and asked me to join her for a class. I was hooked instantly. I remember my very first class in which I felt like a lost puppy, but I was so inspired by all these fierce women moving as if they were dancers from a music video. I knew I need this in my life. Little did I know how important the Vixen Workout would become to me. At this point it is so much more than just a workout, it is my sanctuary, my safe place. Nothing else matters once I step into the room and the music starts.  When I have a bad day, I always feel better after class. When I have an awesome day, it makes it even better. It is the perfect outlet to just move, let it all out and just be myself.

Vixen Army Spotlight: Victoria Pino

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I remember Janet saying, “Always find a spot in the mirror, because if you can’t look at yourself, how do you expect other people to look at you?” and that was it for me.

What made you join the Vixen Army?

Throughout my entire life, I have struggled to find out who I am. In high school, although I was overweight, I participated in all my school events, was a part of the dance team and had a type of confidence I found myself yearning for in my adulthood. After having my third child, it was difficult to adjust and balance school, wifely duties and motherhood. I turned to food for comfort, and whether I was having a good day or a bad one, food became my go-to. During this time, I took minimal pictures and hated participating in anything that would require me to show myself to the world. In March 2016, a friend of mine told me to give Vixen a try. When I started Vixen, I was hiding in the back of the classroom and would die before I raised my hand as the new girl. As Shanut performed on that stage, she had this glow about her and she sparked the fire inside me once again. I left there unsure if I was going to survive to see another day, but was HOOKED! I found myself going every day! On one of those days, I remember Janet saying, “Always find a spot in the mirror, because if you can’t look at yourself, how do you expect other people to look at you?” and that was it for me.
It has been seven months since I started Vixen, and I have lost a total of 45 pounds. Which is great! But it’s what I have gained that has me devoting my time to Vixen. I found that confidence again. I have found my inner goddess; the one that pushes me to be the best version of myself. I have learned that mistakes will happen, but in life you just can’t stop moving. Slowly, I began to feel comfortable in my own skin, and I’ve stopped thinking that beauty is only what we are supposed to look like. Losing the weight was a plus, but that is not what keeps me going back. As a full time mother, wife, and teacher, I look forward to distressing my life by walking through that door. I look forward to tapping into that long-lost confidence and letting myself show. Thanks to Vixen, I found ME again, and I am forever grateful and changed because of it.

Name: Vicky Pino

Age: 32

Occupation: Teacher (3rd Grade)

Kids: 3 (2 Girls and 1 boy)

Favorite Cheat Meal: Pizza and chocolate

Favorite Routine: Work A$AP Ferg

Favorite Lipstick: Mac Flat Out Fabulous

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Favorite Pop star: Rihanna

If you were a pop star, which one would it be? Beyonce

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Life Motto: Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

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Vixen Army Spotlight: Tiffany Machado

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“These classes are my therapy.”

What made you join the Vixen Army?

I have been attending Vixen for 3 years now; and over the past year and a half I have had the membership. These classes are my therapy. I am not only able to let go of all of my stresses and worries from the day and just feel the music, but I am also able to feel my body and soul come alive. The best part, which I never even expected to happen, was that after class I was able to reflect on all of those feelings. I began to notice that I was not living MY life.

I recently made a few changes because I was feeling so deeply uncomfortable in my life; I knew that I had to do something.  I was living as an empty shell of myself for so long that I didn’t even realize how unhappy I was until I took my first Vixen class after making these changes. That was the best class of my life! I have taken charge of my life and I am living every day in the present and making sure that the daily decisions I make are true to ME and my son.

I am 30 years old and feel as if I have just begun to live my life. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me. I will forever be grateful for Janet Jones, the Vixen Army and Ana with all of her little talks after class. Saying that this workout is inspirational is an understatement. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that I’ve lost 20 pounds and countless inches!

Name? Tiffany Alexandra Machado

Age? 30

Occupation? Administrative Coordinator for the Miami Dade County Office of Intergovernmental Affairs & Owner/ Creator of Wick & Co. Soy Candles

Kids? I have one amazing 6 year old boy who goes by the name of Jerry

Favorite Cheat Meal? I am not going to lie, most of my meals are cheat meals. I work out so I can eat whatever my little heart desires. But if I had to choose, the Chimi- Burrito from Latin House (with Vaca Frita)!

Favorite Routine? That’s a tough one because I love so many of them; but I have to say the new Drunk in Love mix just gets me in the zone! I also LOVE LOVE LOVED the Dirty Diana routine we did for Michael Jackson’s birthday class. Bring that one back Janet!

Favorite lipstick? Kat Von D Liquid Matte in Lolita is my go to

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Favorite popstar? I would have to say Michael Jackson, his music is timeless.

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If you were a popstar, which would it be? I honestly cannot think of one pop star that I would be. I have eclectic taste in music and I like certain things about all of them but none of them can fit the complexities that make up me. However, I can say that when I dance at Vixen I am a little bit Rihanna, with a dash of Bey a pinch of Nicki and a smidgeon of Iggy(…and somedays you’ll get a splash of Rick Ross too)

Life Motto? “It is well with my soul” This phrase is calming, inspiring and spiritual all at the same time. And it has brought me much needed peace.

 

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Vixen Army Spotlight: Vanessa Baez

 

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I didn’t really come to Vixen with a purpose, but I found one anyway.

What made you join the Vixen Army?

I can probably sit here and tell you everything I’ve been through but it’s easier to just tell you that I’m like a cat… I have 9 lives–not sure how many I have left though.                       In 2016 my life drastically changed at the beginning of the year,  and my whole world was upside down. I knew it was time for me to take back control of so many things, my health included. I came to the Vixen Workout one day just “for fun” and I literally have not stopped coming back since.  I really didn’t come to Vixen with a purpose, but I found one anyway. It’s become my little daily escape and in some ways my therapy. Once the music turns on and the lights are going, you have no choice but to keep up and focus on the moves.  For that one hour you really just forget about everything else that’s going on in your life.

Name: Vanessa Baez

Age: 33

Kids? One furry little terrier named Lucky

Favorite Cheat Meal? Cheese Fries or Ham Croquetas from Islas Canarias 

Favorite Routine? “Ah Leke” and “So Sophisticated” 

Favorite Lipstick? MAC Candy Yum Yum 

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 Favorite Popstar? Britney Spears 

 If you were a Popstar, who would you be? A perfect combination of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj

 Life Motto? Keep your head high and your middle finger higher. 

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