COLLEEN Hobson of Palau wants to give back to her community by sharing beauty tips.

Hobson, 39, said her parents “were strict like most parents in Palau at the time. As strict as they were, they trusted me. I gave them no reason not to trust me. I was a hardworking student, got good grades, and participated in a lot of community activities and groups. I also played sports…and I think sports is really what kept me grounded and focused on my goal to stay in school.”

She said, “I spent all my summers and holidays in Peleliu where my mom is from. Peleliu is where I learned to speak our Palauan language. It’s also where I learned about ‘siukang,’ our customs and traditions.”

Her grandmother, Edil Itei, was a traditional dance teacher in the village.

“She taught us ‘chesols’ (chants) and ‘delal a ngloik’ (traditional dance). My happiest years of life were spent in Peleliu and it will always be a special place to me.”

At a very young age she was already intrigued by makeup.

“I was in awe of its power to transform. I would sneak away with my mom’s mascara and eyeliner just to experiment. As young as I was, I knew our culture did not look favorably upon makeup and [so] I played with it in secret. When I moved to the U.S. mainland for college, I finally felt free to practice more. There was also a wide variety of makeup in America, which blew my mind at the time.”

She eventually became a beauty and make-up YouTuber.

“At first, I thought it was just for fun. However, my YouTube posts started to gain a healthy number of followers and subscribers. Many of them are Palauan girls and women.

“I think this is what I’m most proud of: that I actually inspire women like me, who were raised like me and share my values. A lot of these women have experienced their first childbirth ceremony called ‘omengat.’ I have had my ‘omengat,’ too, and so I created a makeup tutorial inspired by the vibrant colors of that day: the colors of my traditional grass skirt and headdress, the turmeric body oil called ‘reng.’ It was an honor to make that particular video.”

Hobson currently lives in Hawaii with her husband and three kids. In addition to her YouTube channel, she also runs a beauty and lifestyle website with her twin sister Jennifer Mariur.

On their website, they feature beauty and skincare products that they have tried out and enjoyed.

The website has an editorial where you can read about their experiences growing up on a small island and how that has shaped the women they are today.

They both have children so it can be challenging trying to balance work and family life. But they love it and would not change a thing!

They hope to expand their website to include travel, food and physical wellness in the near future.

For the youth of the Micronesian region, Hobson has the following message: “God blesses each one of us with gifts — physical strength, singing talent, outward and inward beauty, smarts, resourcefulness, creativity, artistry, etc. What we choose to do with those gifts to help others is what defines our character and leaves a lasting impression long after we’re gone.”

For more information, go to www.colleenhobson.com

You may also check out her YouTube channel: Colleen Hobson or Instagram page @colzhobsonmakeup

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