I Am Her: Emily S. Koa On Success & Authenticity | Clozette

This month of March, we embark on a new feature series called “I Am Her” – where we feature the female movers and shakers of the industry to learn how femininity and power coincide beautifully and seamlessly together.

First impressions are tricky. More often than not, you can't really tell how a person is after meeting them for the first time. What I've learned from The Body Shop Philippines' Marketing and Store Development Head Emily Sia-Koa, however, is that you don't need to worry about making a good first impression so long as you stay true to yourself.

When I first met Emily, I was amazed by how honestly she spoke about the industry she loves and has been in for 14 years. It was also endearing to hear anecdotes from Doly, TBS's communications supervisor, detailing how much she enjoys working with her and how happy she is to have Emily as her boss. I was intrigued. I wanted to know more. And so as part of our “I am Her” series, I asked Emily if she could let me pick her brain and see life as a career woman from her perspective.

Here are the things she has to say about staying authentic, staying motivated, and her Clozette essentials.


Fill in the blank. I am a marketeer, a woman, and I am ___________.

I am very blunt. I think it's harsh to say that you're blunt, but I think there's no other way to drive yourself to succeed unless you're true to yourself. You know, being blunt isn't always a bad thing. I would want to think that you just have to be as frank, as honest and as true as a person because people will not see through you. People will judge you, people will pull you down, people will say negative things about you, people will speak ill of you. But you just have to be as honest, as straightforward, and as “you” as much as you can. You can't sugarcoat your personality... There's no other way to run the show than by being honest and truthful.

You have accomplished much in your career, but do you have any regrets in pursuing a career in beauty?

There was one time I told myself, “Why did I leave a cosmetic giant when I was already in it?” But then, I looked back a few years after my stint there and realised that it was the best choice I had made in my life simply because it made me look at things more positively. My fear of not being able to move forward was quelled. It made me stronger. It made me see that I can do things beyond what I thought I could do.


What type of woman inspires you?

Mothers inspire me, especially single mothers. They inspire me a lot. I have one staff member in the office who's a single mother. It inspires me every single day seeing her at work when she's very far away from her kids. Knowing the distance between her and her two children and that she's working hard for them... that inspires me to do the best I can and to help them improve on what they can do so that they can learn more and move up to be somebody one day.

You're the definition of looking good while doing what you do. How do you stay inspired and empowered to make that happen every day?

My kids motivate me. There will be days when you just want to snuggle with your children, but you just have to tell yourself to get up, get dressed up and not miss work because one day is too precious to go to waste... I also don't forget to pamper myself. There are days that you will shop for your children,  and there are days that you will shop for your husband. But there are days that I will shop just for myself.


What are five essentials in your Clozette?

My iPad or my cellphone — those are my essentials. Either of them, so long as it has Internet connection. Beauty-wise, I cannot live without my lipstick. I think that is something I will not be caught without — a lipstick and a pocket mirror. Also, a decent citrus-scented hand sanitiser. I wouldn't exchange my PJs for anything else because whenever I'm home, I just like to be in the most relaxing outfit that I can be in because that's where I get to be me, that's where I get to let loose, be happy and carefree. 


Discover more inspiring women featured in the "I Am Her" series here.



(Cover photo from: ssydneyho)

Making a semi-permanent change in your appearance is a major commitment. But unlike a typical haircut where length is your only issue, dyeing your hair in a bold colour is a statement on its own. It can be daunting. Still, if you're reading this now, then you most likely have already decided that you want to take that leap and give yourself a brand new look.

So if you want the know-how in keeping your crown healthy and sleek even when dyed like crazy, go ahead and start reading.


Take time to consult and research

(Photo from: imkimsantiago)

Just like choosing your shade match for foundation and lipstick, choosing your bold hair colour should also work around your skin tone, habits, and makeup routine. Going for 'red hair' isn't as simple as that. It also means considering undertones, streaks, and swatches, not to mention how the hair colour would look in contrast to your skin. So make sure you consult a professional or at least do your research beforehand. 

Do a swatch test

(Photo from: juliaantoinette)

Opting to dye your hair at home? Take a hidden lock of your hair and use it to test if your shade will work out. You can also take this chance to see if you'll have any allergic reactions to the dye because remember: safety first. 


Take note of the post-dye treatment

(Photo from: NicoleYie)

Getting your hair dyed is not easy on both your tresses and your pockets, so having your hair turn brassy or faded a week after the job is a definite no-no. That's why making sure that using the right shampoo for your chosen hair colour is a necessity. You've probably heard of this before, but here's a gentle reminder that purple shampoo is dyed hair's BFF. 

Own the look

(Photo from: SherylAw)

No matter how much effort we put into prepping for this look reinvention, liking it afterward all falls down to our personal judgment. So if you love how it turns out, flaunt that new look for the world to see and slay them with that confidence. After all, bold locks and a vibe that shouts 'I own this' go hand-in-hand.


Loving your new look? Pair your new tresses with these bold lip colours!



(Cover photo from: @milkmakeup)

The days are getting hotter, friends. How do you feel about the coming of spring and summer? We're having mixed feelings because we do miss the cooler breeze, but mostly we're excited about the prospect of going to beaches and doing more outdoor stuff. We're also equally excited about what's been happening in the worlds of beauty and fashion lately.

Share in our excitement as we go through the fun things that happened with the help of this week's Insider Round-up.


A girl faces a bull

Wall Street's famous “Charging Bull” statue now has competition. A $2.5 trillion asset manager put a statue of a defiant girl in front of the bull in time for International Women's Day. The statue's message is simple but bold: There is a need for gender diversity in the workplace, especially in a male-dominated one like Wall Street. 

Milk for everyone

Wall Street is not the only place where gender is being talked about. In the world of beauty, Milk Makeup has made a statement by launching its #BlurTheLines campaign inspired by their Blur Stick.

“We're blurring the lines on the gender spectrum and exploring what individuality truly means today,” the brand said.


Nike for Hijabi

Nike has launched a product for Muslim women. The "Pro Hijab" is an answer to Muslim women athletes' call for hijabs that fit the demands of the sports they play.

Lollipop Lips

The beauty world is constantly evolving, and trends come by the dozen. The latest thing to surface is the lollipop lips trend. Yes, they look just how you pictured them in your head — a messy stained look akin to when you eat lollipop like a kid.


Another one for a Hadid

There's no stopping the Hadid sisters from becoming modelling powerhouses. Bella Hadid has just been named the new face of Dior Beauty.

Beautiful harmonies

From one beauty to another, here's a mesmerising rendition of the classic tune from the Beauty and the Beast by John Legend and Ariana Grande. 


New from Downy

You can ditch the perfume when your clothes smell awesome. In time for International Women's Day, Downy launched its new and improved  Parfum Collection.  We were there to witness the unveiling, which featured Malaysian actress Scha Alyahya, Miss Vietnam 2012 Dang Thu Taho, Thai actress Araya "Chompoo" Hargate, and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach. Make sure to follow us on Instagram so you get to see new product releases with us!


Missed last week's round-up? Get your fix here.