The Latino community drives the beauty industry. In 2015, Nielsen called us the “‘foundation’ for beauty category sales.” But it’s not just our money that’s transforming this business. Behind-the-scenes, plenty of Latinas (and a few Latinos) are creating innovative products (beautyblender, anyone?) and filling in existing gaps. With this in mind, we’re highlighting Latino-owned beauty brands that you should know. Here are 15 brands that beauty junkies will love:
Mexican-American Navil Rico is the woman behind Atomic Makeup, a lipstick brand offering “Rock ‘n’ Roll inspired makeup for all.” Tapping into her DIY skills, she launched the company in 2015. “I felt like other people create their own zines or they create music or they create all these things, why can’t I make my own lipstick?” she told Teen Vogue. “It ties back to that DIY spirit that I’ve always had in me.”
With nearly 60 different lippies and products – priced between $6 and $18 – it won’t be hard to find something you gotta have.
Gabriela Hernandez’s love for cosmetics came from watching the women in her family carry off a face of makeup effortlessly. She began the brand in 2004 at a time when she worked as a photographer, graphic designer, and artist. Visiting estate sales, she’d collect old lipsticks and compact powders, all of which now inform her brand.
Primas Vanessa Enriquez and Marivette Navarrete founded Nevermind Cosmetics together after wanting to stretch their creative muscles. Though the Miami-born Nicoyas have begun to add some clothing into the mix, Nevermind is mostly about the lippies, both in matte and metallic matte finishes. The cruelty-free line company is heavily influenced by the ’90s, so don’t be surprised if you get some Lisa Frank feels.
Melt Cosmetics is hardly an underground brand. It’s a favorite among the Instagram crowd, and with its bold shades, that’s hardly a surprise. Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar began the company in 2012.
The day they launched the brand, they sold out all of its lippies. But even if they hadn’t been successful, they had other plans. “Honestly, we were hustlers,” Arenello told Allure. “We sold makeup for a living, so we figured if we didn’t make our money back online, we’d end up selling it, Mary Kay status: We’d sell it out of our cars, knock door-to-door on our neighbors’ houses. I was willing to do anything to at least make my money back.”
Megan Martínez has created some of the most viral makeup items, including a clear-to-rainbow highlighter and color-changing mood cream. Martínez hand makes the products with two other people in Corpus Christi, Texas. “We had to teach ourselves how to make things. Thank God, I naturally love chemistry and science. I had to learn more chemistry, more science, more biology and I had to learn so much about ingredients, oils and waxes.”
Tired of hair products that didn’t show off the beauty of her curls, Julissa Prado decided to take matters into her own hands. She wanted a product that worked on all types of curl patterns – from 2A to 4C. For four years, she worked with two different labs. “The hardest part of all of this was staying patient and trusting the process, however, I have an incredibly supportive family that made all of this so much easier,” Prado told Naturally Curly.
Rizos Curls is a family effort. Between one of her cousins designing the bottle to another one modeling the merchandise to her uncle donating his garage, which now serves as her warehouse.
Sweet Face by Rocío
Costa Rican Rocío Castillo makes natural products that her family has used for generations.
Established in 2013, Kleurë Cosmetics is a small, natural beauty brand.
Made with organic and vegan products, Yaocihuatl is inspired by ancient natural beauty traditions. With items like the Winter Rescue Face Cream and Glowing Sugar Face Scrub, this shop carries items to give your skin some TLC year round.
MicMas ReMiX’s message is simple: “Todo pelo es pelo bueno.” Afro-Latina entrepreneur Adassa created the line of all-natural ingredients. “Having been raised in a Caribbean culture, she learned very early about natural hair care and the different resources and benefits provided to deliver the best results,” the MicMas website reads. “Inspired by her children and motivated from the great results of her hair recipes, she turned her passion into a business.”
It’s not a coincide that Reina Rebelde sounds kind of like the title of a novela. Regina Merson’s love for makeup started through the telenovela Rosa Salvaje and watching her mom apply her makeup.
“Latinas are sophisticated, discerning, and authentically rooted in their culture, and much of how beauty brands market to us doesn’t talk to us in this way,” she told Refinery 29. “I wanted to create makeup that would honor, celebrate, and give life to our many dualities, with products full of provocative shades that deliver the boldness and passion we bring to the rituals of applying them.”
In 2015, Forbes called Tata Harper the “Queen of the Green Skincare Movement.” With Harper counting celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow as fans, the title isn’t exaggerated. The Colombia native started the brand after her stepfather was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2005 and doctors told her family to take note of the ingredients being used.
“I thought he just used typical guy stuff,” Harper told Forbes. “’But as these doctors talked about synthetic chemicals in things like deodorant and cleaning supplies, I began to realize what an impact they have on our health.”
So she set out to create a nontoxic brand, which has now made waves in the beauty world.
Rea Ann Silva is the woman behind the beautyblender. Working as a makeup artist, she knew makeup application could be approved upon. In 2003, she debuted the tear-shaped sponge, and the product has only become a beauty must-have since then.