Krystel Nicole Ong finds clarity in beauty
By Deneb Batucan
SPUNKY, adventurous and always with a thirst for life, Krystel Nicole Ong is a woman who cannot be contained. She lives her life by her own rules and works hard for her dreams.
After studying psychology in De La Salle University, Krystel moved to Milan, Italy and studied fashion design for shoes and bags. She lived there for two years as she studied fashion, which is what she has always dreamed of. Psychology was her back-up plan just in case being a designer didn’t pan out for her.
Aside from being a fashion designer, Krystel now heads their family business, Ayana Beauty Basics, a company that centers on rediscovering one’s beauty. She and her brothers, Paul Jansen and Paolo, decided to open the beauty company since it has always been their mother’s dream. Their mom is the renowned dermatologist, Dr. Marilou Ong.
“Ayana has always been our mom’s dream. And I also wanted to be like Belo’s daughter, Cristalle, who has the same name as me!” she said with a laugh.
Growing up, Krystel has always been fascinated by her mother’s passion for skin care. “I remember when I was little, I would wake up and find her in the kitchen, which was also her lab at home, making her own beauty concoctions,” she said.
All in the family
She and her brothers work hand in hand to make their mother’s dream come true. Krystel works as the managing director and the spokesperson of Ayana Beauty Basics, while Patrick works as the president and CEO, and Paolo is the chief operating officer. Together they manage and run the business, making their mother’s dream a reality.
“Our sets are a one-stop bag. Everything you need is already there and you just have to religiously use it. It’s basically maintenance.
Discipline yourself to maintain and you’ll really get the results that you want,” Krystel said. “The secret to beauty is maintenance. Because if you don’t maintain every day, it’s useless. There’s no shortcut to beauty, no magic to beauty.”
Currently, Ayana Beauty Basics has three sets: Ayana Smooth for blemishes, Ayana White for fairer skin and Ayana Luxe for anti-ageing.
Even when growing up, her fashion choices have always been something she was adamant about.
“I remember when I was in grade school and my mom took me shopping. She would decide what I would get, but I would say, ‘No, I don’t want that. I know what I want to wear,’” she recalled fondly. “But now my mom and I have the same taste in clothes. We’re the same size, so we borrow from each other a lot.”
Now with just a year into the fashion industry, Krystel’s luxurious handbags have been sold to different parts of the world.
As a designer, Krystel uses three elements: wood, leather and metal. Her first collection, Prism, was made and manufactured in Cebu but used imported products like salmon skin leather. Her designs are unique with a lot of European influences.
Krystel doesn’t want to mass produce her handbags because she wants every client to have something one of a kind.
Love for travel
Outside her businesses, Krystel is a fitness buff. She makes it a point to exercise twice a day, five times a week and do her runs on weekend. “I’m addicted to exercising,” she said.
Krystel also loves to travel. “I love going on adventurous tours. I don’t care if I don’t know anyone. That’s how much I love to travel,” she said. She recently went to Bali for five days and has climbed Mt. Pulag in Luzon for 10 hours with a group of people she just met there.
“The hike was 10 hours! I was just hiking up the mountain in silence, alone with my thoughts, thinking about what’s happening in my life,” she recalled. It was an experience that Krystel would never forget.
Unstoppable — that is what Krystel is. Her love for living life to the fullest makes her a well-rounded person who collects experiences and memories. With so many dreams coming to a reality, Krystel is definitely one woman to look out for.
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Make-up Artist: Carlo Damolo
Hair Stylist: Jerwin BastatasLocale: The Pig and Palm, MSY Tower, Cebu Business Park (For reservations call 09294814668)