by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

Cissylia Stefani-van Leeuwen Shares Her Beauty Rules & Style Secrets

We have been a big fan of Cissylia Stefani-van Leeuwen ever since we discovered her on Instagram. Stylish, smart and inspirational are just some of the many words that come to mind when you scroll through her feed. The Jakarta-based working mother was previously the Vice President of Marketing at Gojek Indonesia and the Senior Brand Lead of Tokopedia before landing her current position—as the Brand Director of beauty startup Base.

“I’m at this stage of my life where I have to juggle different roles in the family, workplace, and my passion projects,” Cissylia tells BEAUBIT. “I think working full-time and having a life beyond a family and children gives me a bigger sense of purpose, self-accomplishment, and personal fulfilment.”

While her Instagram page features mostly vibrant and edgy fashion inspiration, we caught up with the style icon instead to delve deeper into her style, how she balances work and life and her tried-and-true beauty rules.

What would someone never guess about you?

I had a pretty rough time growing up as a teenager, with my parents struggling with money and their relationship. There was a time when my parents had to sell our house and assets and move around from one house to another. I started working and earning my own money since I was 18 to pay for college. It was difficult juggling between classes, exams, and doing part-time jobs. I didn’t grow up living a privileged life as many people would assume. I am who I am today partly because of my parents’ but most of all, because of my hard work.

What keeps you busy every day?

On a daily basis, I’m working from home due to the pandemic and very occupied with managing a team and other work-related things. As part of my contribution to preparing the next generation of female leaders, sometimes I will spend time after working hours mentoring young girls in the early stage of their careers.

On top of that, I’m working on some of my own personal projects mostly in the fashion industry, whether it’s content creation for a collaboration with a local fashion brand, or working on my own clothing label KANVAS. Not to mention, keeping up with my role as a wife, as well as a mother to my energetic two-year-old son.

How would you describe your style?

I think my style is playful and experimental. It really depends on my mood and it changes all the time, but it’s still me. Sometimes I want to look playful with bright colours and clashing patterns and sometimes I want to be a bit more subdued, ladylike, minimal and casual chic. I don’t stick to one specific style, but one thing is for sure, I love keeping my outfits vibrant and colourful; even if I’m wearing black, I try to add something with a pop of colour to make it more of my style.

Has your relationship with fashion or clothes shifted at all over the years?

I used to dress up to impress other people and I would think a lot about what other people would say when they saw my outfit. Honestly, it made dressing up so hard and sometimes uncomfortable. I would buy trending fashion pieces from fast fashion brands just for the sake of being seen as “trendy”. But as I got older and my style started to evolve, I learned what type of clothes suits me best and most importantly, which one really gave me confidence and made me feel good about myself. Now I try to be honest to myself when I dress up — I’ll wear whatever I feel like wearing. My style represents who I am and my personality; following trends just takes the “me” from me, if that makes sense.

Which beauty rules do you adhere to and why?

Never skip your nighttime skincare routine, even if you’re exhausted! I hate waking up to dull and lacklustre skin. Also, wear sunscreen every day, come rain or shine. Trust me, just do a Google search on how damaging and harmful UV rays are to your skin!

What’s your skincare regimen like?

The older I get, the more committed I am to my skincare regime. I do the same routine morning and night, from cleansing my face with a gentle face wash, toner or essence, serum, and moisturizer. The only difference is that I apply sunscreen in the morning.

I also do a weekly de-stress routine, where I exfoliate my skin and put on a mask afterwards. Not only does it help to get rid of dead skin cells, but it also feels so satisfying to see the immediate improvements in my skin texture!

If you had to limit your makeup routine to three products, what would they be?

Eyebrow gel, eyeshadow, and normally I would say lipstick, but since we’re wearing masks, I’ll switch to mascara instead.

What do you look for when picking beauty products?

First and foremost is what the product promises to deliver or the main benefits — right now I’m using a product that can give me maximum hydration and anti-ageing results. I also take stock in reviews from my friends, trusted beauty influencers and the reviews on the web page itself. Other considerations are probably how aesthetic the packaging is (laughs) and if the price works for my wallet!

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I see myself still hustling between my different responsibilities. Perhaps managing more people within the workspace, hopefully being a mom of two then! I’d also love to have a deeper involvement and make a bigger impact in the community, paving the way for future female leaders. I hope I’ll still be doing what I love the most in relation to fashion, and be able to expand my clothing brand. Even with all the changes in life and my responsibilities, I see myself becoming more mindful and feeling more content with what I have in life.

Cissylia’s Beauty Picks

Chanel Les Beiges Stick Blush, SGD75
Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist, SGD114
Chanel Hydra Beauty Camellia Repair Mask, SGD102
Chanel N°5 The Body Lotion, SGD105
Chanel Les Chaînes de Chanel Illuminating Blush Powder, SGD103