Latinx consumers wield a whopping $1.7 billion in buying power in the United States, according to a University of Georgia study — and for Latinx business owners (44 percent of which are women), that's a whole lot of money for a community that was largely ignored. That is, until an increasing number of Latinx entrepreneurs started tapping into industries where they saw underrepresentation. Now a powerhouse class of Latinx-owned beauty brands is redefining the space with authentic products that celebrate a sense of individual beauty and reinforce the importance of recognizing one's heritage and respecting others.
And while several of these brands pay homage to their founders' heritage simply via colorful packaging and cheekily named cosmetic shades (think eyeshadows named "Mambo" and "Mojito" and glosses dubbed "Gostosa," or "sexy woman"), they also go further to differentiate themselves and celebrate an increasingly diverse beauty industry. Miami-based Alamar, for one, is focused on developing inclusive hues suited for a variety of skin tones, and Dominicana-founded Bomba Curls created a product formulated for curly and coily hair but can be used by all. The brands ahead are all about reaching Latinx users by making them feel seen, but they want everyone else to join in on the fun, too. Keep scrolling to get a head start.
Between Mabel's retail and e-commerce background and Shaira's broadcast journalism and beauty school experience, the Caribbean-Latinx Frias sisters knew there was significant white space in the beauty world.
"We know from industry data that the multicultural customer (especially Latinas and African-Americans) spend a sizable amount of money on makeup and beauty products, but there needs to be a better way for beauty companies to speak to this consumer base in an authentic way," the Frias sisters tell The Zoe Report. So, they struck out on their own with Luna Magic Beauty.
The first collection, fittingly called UNO, features eyeshadow, liquid lipstick, and faux lashes that are inspired by the importance of beauty, family, and music in their culture. Each have names that harken to the Frias' Dominican heritage, from eyeshadow shades "Salud" and "Reggeaton" to lashes named for telenovela stars.
Founded by Afro-Dominicana Lulu Cordero, Bomba Curls is all about celebrating — you guessed it — gorgeous, bouncy curls in all their glory. Cordero wanted to create a product that would care for and enhance the texture of curly and coily hair by bottling up some of the best-kept beauty secrets that Dominican women have relied on for generations.
"As a Dominicana, I grew up surrounded by women who used the natural ingredients of our island to create homemade haircare treatments that left them with some of the most incredible results you could have ever seen," Cordero tells The Zoe Report. "We’re trying to broaden society’s spectrum of what is considered beautiful and my hope is that we’re able to accomplish our mission, so that the next generation grows up feeling beautiful in the skin they are in!"
Thus, the Dominican Forbidden Oil was born. It may be the only product in the range (for now), but it packs a seriously effective punch by way of the Caribbean island's most famous natural ingredients — including a dose of coffee to wake up your waves and hydrating oils for healthy strength and shine. Snag this oil as a stocking stuffer for your sister, and scoop up a bottle for yourself, too. Aside from curl care, it works wonders on processed hair that's in need of deep-conditioning.
Mia del Mar is inspired by two major things: the colorful art-deco melting pot that is Miami, and the powerful force of femininity that comes from Latinx beauty regimes. Venezuelan founder Diana Briceno and her female-led team focused on science-backed formulas with a foundation in multi-generational makeup and skin care secrets with a mission to make the L-Beauty movement blow up like never before.
Shop the brand for clean, vegan, and cruelty-free takes on skin care and color cosmetic essentials, in bright, tropically inspired packaging reminiscent of Miami's famed architecture. The idea behind the bold brand image? To empower you to embrace a sense of glamour and enjoyment in your everyday routine — and Mia del Mar's Rosé Bubble Face Mask is a perfect example.
"In the same way that a glass of champagne signifies a celebration or happy moment in life, we created this effervescent mask as a celebration for skin!" Briceno told Bustle about the bubbly skin treatment, "We wanted a formula that was not only fun to use, but also effective and beneficial for skin."
Botánika Beauty wants to recognize and celebrate the fact that daily or weekly hair rituals aren't simply a chore — they're part of the cultural fabric of Latinx heritage. So Dominican founder Ada Rojas focused on naturally-sourced ingredients commonly found in botánika stores (spiritual stores prevalent in Latin communities), like sage and bay leaf, which actually have hair-enhancing benefits on top of long-purported spiritual properties; sage stimulates healthy hair growth, while bay leaf can enhance shine.
The resulting line of simply and thoughtfully-brewed products is a seamless union between spiritual and physical self-care.Instead of a task to be checked of your list, Botánika Beauty wants its users to indulge in the hair care process as a way to honor your strands (and your whole self). On top of that, Rojas hope it helps users celebrate the long-held beauty traditions within her culture. Like the idea of flipping your weekly lather-rinse-repeat on its head? Look no further for a more meaningful, effective approach.
It-aesthetician Joanna Vargas' mission is simple: To make it known that everyone is capable of having beautiful, glowing skin. And it's through this message that she's become one of the most in-demand facialists and skin care gurus for celebrities and beyond, opening constantly-booked signature salons in Los Angeles and New York City and coming out with her own range of glowy skin essentials made with cutting edge innovation and natural formulations.
Vargas has been dubbed “Queen of the naturopathic facial” thanks to her dedication to giving clients glowing skin by way of pure, non-toxic ingredients (think chlorophyll and vitamin C) that coax out an individual's naturally radiant complexion, but she's also focused on reinforcing the idea that healthy skin is accessible for everyone — no matter their age, ethnicity, or skin type.
"I developed my skincare collection because I wanted good nutrition for the skin and products that multitask when I use them," Vargas tells The Zoe Report in an email, "All the products in my line do a variety of things and are made for everyone – they are the foundation for healthy skin!"
The story Eviel Taveras, founder of Eva's Garden, probably rings familiar to many: After trying to calm her acne-prone skin with everything from drugstore steals to high-end splurges, she kept coming up short with few results and seriously irritated skin. So the native Dominican decided to do something about it by seeking out natural alternatives.
Eva Garden's product range is referred to as "pócimas" which means "potions" in Spanish — and basically, they are. Taveras spent two years mixing and perfecting the products to ensure they provided glowy, healthy results before bringing them to market. Now, the line includes an array of items for various skin concerns, from breakouts to dryness to uneven tone, all at astonishingly accessible prices.
Build a custom body care box for your friend for $28, and snag a bar of the brand's Activated Charcoal and Tea Tree Cleansing Bar for yourself. But be forewarned: the results-driven range sells out fast so stock up while you can.
Yamira Vanegas' inspiration for Loquita Bath + Body came when she realized she couldn't find bath products that felt personal and authentic to her.
"That's when the idea of a Concha [the traditional Mexican sweet bread roll] bath bomb popped into my head, and then I just tapped into all my heritage as someone with Mexican and Guatemalan heritage and all the ideas started flowing," Vanegas tells The Zoe Report. "Loquita strives to create products that speak to people like me but can also be enjoyed by everyone, because I mean who doesn't love Horchata?!"
Her playful, colorful product range includes more than just pastry-shaped bath bombs (that look shockingly similar to the real thing, by the way) — you'll also find shimmery-scented body oils, soaps shaped like Lotería cards, and sweet shop-inspired body scrubs. And naturally, all speak to Loquita's foundation in Latin heritage. "I have always loved to create things inspired by my culture, moreso as an adult when I really started to appreciate the beauty of my culture, and how it should be celebrated."
Loquita restocks its site regularly but sells out quickly due to high demand, so stay tuned to the brand's Instagram to get in on its goodies before they're gone.
If you've ever logged onto YouTube to watch a beauty tutorial, there's a strong change you've heard of KathleenLights, aka Kathleen Fuentes. After parting ways with her first nail venture, KL Polish, she's back in the saddle with Lights Lacquer — and this time she's in charge. Fuentes' inaugural collection is fittingly called GRL PWR, and it's full of bold, unexpected polish shades you won't find anywhere else.
Adding to the vegan lacquers brand's charm are the clever and often meaningful names of Lights Lacquer polishes, some of which harken to Fuentes' Cuban-American heritage. Jefa, a creamy sage green, is a nod to all female bosses out there, and rose-gold Rosie is named after the founder's biggest girl power inspiration: her mom. Gift a shade to all your girlfriends with perfectly polished nails.
Founder Gabriela Trujillo stays close to her Cuban roots. So close, in fact, that the namesake of her beauty brand comes from her birthplace in Alamar, Cuba. The name itself means "stay close to the sea," and one look at Trujillo's colorful, tropical, sun-kissed line of makeup is proof enough that the moniker is more than fitting.
Working from the belief that the best beauty is inspired by an individual's roots, Alamar's range of brightly-colored eyeshadow palettes, lip products, blushes, and more is a diverse and inclusive selection for all skin tones and beauty sensibilities.
"I want my products to inspire others to celebrate their culture, their roots – regardless of whether they’re Latinx or not," Trujillo tells The Zoe Report, "I want my Latinx-owned brand to resonate with other audiences outside of Latinx; I feel like that’s the only way we will make an impact in the beauty industry when I see other women of color wearing my line."
Twin sisters Adriana and Liz Hernandez founded La'Glamour Lashes in Anaheim, California in June 2018 to give shoppers a high-quality vegan and cruelty-free alternative in the faux lash category. The reusable, hypoallergenic lashes are crafted from silk, for soft, fluttery lashes that will make you feel as good as you look — no matter your personal brand of beauty.
"We encourage everyone (regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality) to express their unique selves through our products," the sisters state in their mission statement. And clearly, their own heritage is not forgotten by the boss-lady duo; in fact, the brand's debut collection (which has since sold out) was dedicated the the women who grew up with them, "our hermanas who have been by our side through thick and thin."
You can shop La'Glamour Lashes' latest collection online now, a collaboration with Eileen Padilla aka BBYEileen (star of her own Awesomeness TV show). But don't wait too long because styles are going fast.