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Interview with the Latina Owned Brand Vive Cosmetics

Interview with the Latina Owned Brand Vive Cosmetics

One of the reasons I love Instagram so much is because I come across brands and products that I wouldn’t normally run into in my everyday life. When I came across this cosmetic brand it resonated with me. The colors and images caught my eye right away and I felt immediately drawn to learning more about the products and the company. 

I reached out to Johanna Rosario and Leslie Valdivia founders of Vive Cosmetics, whose name itself invites you to feel alive with their products, and they happily agreed to set some time aside for me and Latinista Magazine.  

CR: Can you share with us a little bit about Vive and how it started?

LV: We realized that beauty companies didn’t truly or authentically care about us as the Latinx community, although Latinas outspend all other groups in the beauty category. While our economic power is unparalleled, beauty companies only see us as $$.

We didn’t see models that look like us or sounded like us. Time and time again we see offensive and tone-deaf campaigns that are meant to be inspired by us and other communities of color, but that is problematic in their delivery. We see important people in the industry reject us and our different skin tones and offer no apology or remorse. 

Vive Cosmetics is here to change that. We want Latinas and all Latinx to realize the power of our own community. Vive Cosmetics was created as a way of recognizing our importance. We do not need companies to cater or pander to us. We need companies that celebrate and honor our different stories, skin tones, languages, and origins. We need companies created by us and for us. Vive Cosmetics is about doing just that. 

Interview with the Latina Owned Brand Vive Cosmetics

CR: How do you come up with the names for each product? 

LV: One of the biggest inspirations behind our brand is truly our cultura. The bright brand color palette is directly inspired by the vivid and liveliness of our traditional wardrobe, festivities filled with joy and color. All of our product and shade names are inspired by childhood memories, cultural celebrations and culture. Our names include things like “Spanglish”, “Lupita”, “Chingona”, to “Jangueo” “Cumbia” and so much more.

We work with our lab to see which colors will be trending and which will look great across skin tones, then we finalize color, then match it to a feeling, memory or moment that reminds us of our culture.

CR: Who is the creative force behind your brand? 

LV: Both Joanna and I (Leslie), we touch all aspects of our business/brand

CR: Why is Vive Cosmetics different than other brands out there?

LV: Our inspiration comes from our community. Everyone in our campaigns are friends and other people in our community. Our models are educators, have PhDs, are activists for trans visibility, are moms, sing in a mariachi group, are queer, and we can go on and go. We want to uniquely and authentically represent people in our community, there is so much beauty in that. There are not many brands out there really authentically using real women in their campaigns.

We also want to highlight that we are proud to say we try to work mostly with Latinas/xs and POC owned companies and people who run and meet the needs of our company. This includes makeup artists, photographers, our printing company, designers and more. We believe we’re reinvesting in our community by keeping the dollars within. We want to create a system where economically we can all thrive and benefit from each others’ success. 

Lastly, every year, we have donated .25 from EVERY unit sold to nonprofit and community causes working to uplift and serve those people more unserved in our community – this included giving to immigrant activist groups, LGBTQ youth centers, nonprofits serving immigrant women entrepreneurs and so much more. 

We can guarantee, there is no other Latina brand so with and for our community like us.

CR: I love that your brand is geared towards Latinas! Do you find that a certain age group gravitates towards your brand and aesthetic? If so, what age group? 

LV: Based on our IG audience, mostly women ages 23-35

CR: Is everything Cruelty-Free?  


CR: Where is the makeup made? 


CR: What kinds of products can we find on ViveCosmetics.com

LV: Products, made with safe ingredients. We have matte creamy bullet lipsticks, liquid matte lipsticks, and beauty accessories 

CR: I see that you’ve recently changed things up with Vive Cosmetics. What changed and why? 

LV: Vive Cosmetics, a Latina’s favorite beauty brand, is set to relaunch on Black Friday, with all brand-new packaging. The new packaging allows for more product in the tube for the same price value. In addition to all-new tubes, they will also be launching two new shades, accessories and holiday kits. 

Vive Cosmetics’ new packaging includes an original design true to its brand essence. The tube designs include a vivid pink color injection and lavish gold floral and logo stamping. Both tubes are meant to look beautiful on any vanity and feel luxurious in peoples’ hands. New tubes have been designed for both lipstick collections – Que Matte Liquid Lipsticks and Cremosa Matte Lipstick. The fan-favorite formulas will remain the same. 

Along with the new tube redesign, two new shades will be available. These new shades are part of Vive’s new “Boss Moves” Winter 2019 Collection, with lipstick names like Empresaria and La Patrona

Founders Joanna Rosario and Leslie Valdivia share, “We’re excited and grateful for our beautiful community to join us in this new chapter of Vive Cosmetics. Relaunching with all new packaging is a BIG deal for a small indie brand like us. We’ve been working on this relaunch for over a year and it has taken so much energy, time and resources but this huge change would not have been possible without our amazing brand supporters. They have allowed us to reinvest in the quality of the brand.” 

CR: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for Latinista. And right in the middle of a new launch! Latina a Latina, felicidades con la nueva empresa.

Interview with the Latina Owned Brand Vive Cosmetics

Product Review: Founders Leslie and Joanna were kind enough to send me some lippies to try for myself and I could NOT be more excited about it. Being a lip junkie, I jump at the chance to try new products. Though Vive has been around since 2017, it was new to me and I was really curious about the staying power. Their tagline being “beso-proof”, I’m going to enjoy trying out these girls. 

Primero empeze con la que se llama “Mija”. It’s a traditional bullet style lipstick whose soft brown color reminds me of el caramelo de flan. 

Applying it is a breeze and feels like Blistex. My lips feel smooth and soft like they’re being conditioned. I’m convinced it’s the castor seed oil. “Empresaria” is the next up on my lips. This true blue red is just perfect for the upcoming holidays. Aside from going on smoothly and feeling just as smooth as “Mija”, “Empresaria” is sure to fill you with power and femininity. Imaginate una poinsettia y sabrás el rojo que te digo. Perfect for any time of day or night and any occasion. This may very well be my new favorite lipstick. 

Although these bullet lipsticks do in fact blot off, the amount of color that is left on your lips is astounding. Te digo, estos pigments son bien subidos y el resultado es un pinta labios que te dura toda la noche. Hasta para quitarmelos, tuve que usar mi makeup eraser porque el color se quedaba despues de usar una servilleta. 

Their liquid lipsticks with the cute name “Que Matte!” are clearly no joke. They come with instructions. What?! Yes, instructions. These gems are what Vive Cosmetics boasts are “beso-proof” in 3 easy steps. Since I’m always one to follow directions for anything si es que me lo proveen, asi mismo fue que lo hize. 

Interview with the Latina Owned Brand Vive Cosmetics

Step 1: Prep Lips

Just like you prime your face for foundation, lips should also be prepped for a smooth and long lipstick application. Use your favorite lip scrub to prepare your lips. Then use a lip balm or moisturizer. (Be sure your lip balm is fully absorbed before applying the product). My favorite lip scrub is a combination of honey and sugar with a soft toothbrush. Works wonders! 

Step 2: Apply One Coat

Take any one of our Que Matte lipsticks and apply it to the lips evenly. One application should result in full coverage when dried. Sometimes the product can apply sheer, but make sure it completely dries before adding more products. As per the instructions they discourage smacking lips together or pressing lips together before the product completely dries. Allow a full minute to dry before adding more product layers and keep lips apart.

Step 3: Enjoy the Rest of Your Day

Lista! You’re ready to eat, kiss bae or your babies, drink, workout, sleep and even run your fingers across the lips. Seriously, it will last all day. (caution- SMUDGE-PROOF and BESO-PROOF unless mixed with oil while drinking or eating)

Once I read through the instructions I was sooo ready to try them. After all, it’s technically just two steps. First, I tried “Spanglish”. This one hit home with me, porque como muchas Latinas, asi es que yo hablo. So how cute is it to have a lippy named Spanglish?! 

Well, they weren’t kidding, one swipe across my lips and BAM color. This tan mauve is in a family of nudes and berries that every woman will want in her beauty arsenal. I’m not sure how they pulled this color combination off, but it’s the most flattering shade EVER! To top it off, aside from the intense pigment and easy application, my lips don’t feel tight or dry. They feel like my lips! I’ve tried other long-lasting liquid lipsticks and not one of them se sentia asi. And you know what? I set the timer for one minute, and as promised, NOTHING came off of my lips when I rubbed a white napkin on them. 

I was doing a happy dance in my seat as I opened the final Que Matte liquid lipstick. This boss shade is called La Patrona and for good reason. This bold, stand out color is made to be noticed. La jefa que lleva este color demuestra seguridad en si misma. A woman who doesn’t want to be bothered with touching up as she has empires to rise and competition to crush. At least that’s how I felt. 

Oh and to remove these long-lasting lipsticks, you don’t have a choice but to use an oil or liquid makeup remover, as instructed. Here’s me thinking, I’m sure my makeup eraser will be able to scrub it off. No, no it can’t. I tried and have now doubly exfoliated my lips.

Ya saben que para nosotros Latinos, the kiss on the cheek to greet and say good-bye is our thing. And with Christmas right around the corner, we need to be sure that our puckers will stay put and not on the face of our friends and family. Not to mention, mientras comemos nuestra cena y flan. Asi que parece que the New Years kiss will have met its match con estos pinta labios. 

Si les interesa apoyar una empresa Latina, you can go to www.ViveCosmetics.com and pick up your new favorite addition to your glam bag. Y acuerdate de los regalitos de navidad y Dia De Los Reyes! These are perfect little add ons. 

Interview with the Latina Owned Brand Vive Cosmetics


Vive Cosmetics is a Latina-owned and operated beauty brand created to celebrate our love for all things beauty and cultura in one place. 

Vive Cosmetics started as an idea in 2016 after realizing the lack of representation of the Latinx/Latina community in the beauty industry. Latinas are the number one consumers of beauty products, yet big brands only see us as $$. With zero connections in the beauty industry or retail business background, we took it upon ourselves to create a brand by us and for us. We wanted to create a brand that could offer more than just lipstick by creating a space where we could see our community authentically represented – from models, marketing campaigns to founders. Since launching in 2017, we have organically grown our community and we are so excited to embark on this journey of expanding our brand to our beloved community.

Learn more about Cristina Rivera here.

Cristina Rivera

Cristina is a professional makeup artist with over 20 years of experience. She is also an avid blogger, budding YouTube creator and mom in Upstate NY. Cristina studied Beauty Industry Essentials at Fashion Institute of Technology and studied Merchandising and Design at Academy of Art University. Puerto Rican to the core she uses Spanglish as her form of communication and thrives on the idea of helping others, especially her fellow Latinas in any way she can.

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