Monday, May 20, 2024

Latina Founders Share How Often Overlooked Latinx Beauty Consumers Inspire Their Brands

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During Hispanic Heritage Month, we can’t help but recognize the profound impact of Latina-led beauty brands. These visionary entrepreneurs are not only reshaping the industry but also redefining standards by tapping into the unique insights they possess about the dynamic Latinx beauty consumer base. As the Latinx population continues to expand and exert significant economic influence, it’s worth noting that according to Nielsen, Hispanic women were the sole non-white group responsible for driving makeup and nail care purchases during the pandemic, spending 13 percent more than the average buyer on personal care. 

Historically, the beauty industry has often neglected the diverse tapestry of Latinx beauty consumers. However, it comes as no surprise that many brands are now paying close attention to the preferences and needs of this demographic. Here, Latina founders delve into the vital role their heritage has played in their brand history and how the Latinx beauty community continues to inspire and influence their brand identity and strategic product development.

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Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company

“Growing up, I struggled to find examples of diverse beauty icons, and that experience has profoundly shaped how we approach Honest Beauty today. I was always determined to pave a path for those who didn’t fit the typical beauty mold of Anglo/Caucasian. I remember feeling like I never saw myself or my heritage reflected in what the world was promoting as beautiful. As a Latina, from our very inception, I’ve worked to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are the cornerstones of our company culture, our product innovation process, and our marketing here at Honest. I’m proud that we now have the first Afro-Latina CEO of a publicly traded company and a diverse board of directors and leadership team. Together, we are working to establish new beauty standards and ensure that all people, especially the Latin community, are represented in everything we do.”

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Rea Ann Silva, founder of Beautyblender

“My Latina heritage was always top of mind while working as a professional makeup artist. When I was starting out as a brand founder, I noticed that retailers and marketers weren’t paying attention to people of color. I’ve always had goals to make Beautyblender an inclusive brand that caters to everyone. It was one of my top priorities to focus on providing a range of shades that would be suitable for Latinx skin tones and undertones when formatting my complexion products. I believe the Latinx community has always been ahead of its time in terms of using makeup in brave and fearless ways.”

Latinx Beauty

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Desi Perkins, founder of Dezi Skin

“As a child I didn’t see myself in beauty campaigns. I always wanted to be what I saw on TV because that’s what society told me was beautiful—and it was never me. Now, I create products for skin issues that I have struggled with, that WE struggle with. I want people to feel seen like I longed to feel when I was a child. Representation to me means seeing myself in spaces that historically I have not seen myself.”

Latinx Beauty

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Carolyn Aronson, CEO and founder of It’s a 10 Haircare

“As a Latina woman, I approach product development and marketing with a profound sense of authenticity and inclusivity. I understand the importance of ensuring that my products cater to a wide spectrum of hair types and hold myself to the standard of never releasing any product that wouldn’t meet the needs of my own hair.”

Latinx Beauty

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Ere Perez, founder of Ere Perez natural skin-care and makeup brand

“One important consideration when developing and marketing products for the Latina/Latinx market is our diverse range of skin tones. We prioritize creating diverse shades and skin care for skin types that cater to these specific needs. What sets our brand apart is our commitment to embracing our Latin culture in all that we do. We offer a colorful array of choices that reflect the rich tapestry of our Hispanic roots and incorporate cherished heritage ingredients, connecting us to our origins.”

Latinx Beauty

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Sonsoles Gonzalez, founder of Better Not Younger 

“The Latinx population in the United States is one of the largest and fastest-growing demographic groups. Any brand seeking growth must consider ways to attract this vital consumer base. Latinx culture significantly shapes beauty trends and preferences, with many individuals taking pride in their heritage and cultural traditions, including specific beauty rituals. When marketing to our community, it’s essential to acknowledge their diversity—varying countries of origin, skin tones, hair types, and styles—requiring a wide range of products to meet their needs. In return, this market rewards brands with above-average spending and strong brand loyalty.”

Latinx Beauty

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Isabel Alvarez, founder of Albisa Candles

“Latin consumers are crucial to Albisa Candles because they are at the core of our target audience. Our brand celebrates Latin heritage through scents that tug at emotions and memories, connecting with Latin consumers on a deep level. We were founded on the very basis of nostalgic Cuban cultural roots and the celebration of Latin heritage, which make our products culturally relevant and tug at the emotions and memories of Latin consumers. Our scents like “Cafe Con Leche,” “Cuban Bread,” “Maravilloso,” and “Arroz Con Leche,” are among the many ways our products reflect the beautiful melting pots that are diverse Latin traditions, fostering a strong connection and enhancing their cultural pride.”

Latinx Beauty

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Kathleen Fuentes, founder of Lights Lacquer

“As a first-generation Cuban American from Miami, my Cuban culture and the 305 area code have both played pivotal roles in the development of my brand, Lights Lacquer. I believe that beauty is an industry that transcends cultures and is truly universal. Specifically, beauty holds significant cultural importance in many Latinx cultures; it’s not solely about appearance but also about self-expression, pride, and family tradition. Beauty resonates profoundly within the Latinx community, where well-manicured nails symbolize self-care, femininity, and pride. Salon visits are occasions for multiple generations to bond over nail care, sharing tips, trends and stories.”

Latinx Beauty

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Aviva Jansen Perea, founder of Day Rate Beauty

“I am dedicated to enhancing diversity within the beauty industry and aspire to be an inspiration for future Latinx entrepreneurs. I named my company Day Rate Beauty as a nod to my past experiences, where I often felt hesitant to advocate for my day rate as a hairstylist. I frequently found myself as the only brown woman hairstylist in the room. We are currently in the process of developing a program that will educate underrepresented individuals on negotiating fair pay.”

Latinx Beauty

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Shan Berries, founder of Shades by Shan

“We share a universal aspiration: to look and feel our best, a timeless value instilled in us from the very beginning. Our love for vibrant colors knows no boundaries, and our commitment to quality is unwavering. While we appreciate luxury, we are equally passionate about affordability because we believe that self-care should be accessible to everyone in today’s society.”

Latinx Beauty

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Valentina, Victoria and Camila Marmol, founders of Vavica

“The Latin and Hispanic demographic is the fastest-growing segment in the beauty and self-care industry, yet, they remain underrepresented, and their needs are often overlooked. We consider all the factors that Latin beauty consumers consider when choosing a brand or product, which helps build trust. Our community lacks a strong connection with a beauty brand, so emphasizing cultural familiarity is our way of achieving that. We incorporate Spanish into our product names and raise awareness about Latin rituals, traditions, and ingredients.”

Latinx Beauty

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Patricia Gallardo, cofounder of EpicLight Beauty 

“As a Latina and consumer, bottom line is we can’t get enough of our beauty products. Latina consumers spend a whopping 30 percent more on beauty products compared to other women in the US. And this is even of greater importance since 20 percent of the female population in the US is Latina. This really shows how influential and dynamic this community is in the beauty world. We are deeply committed to creating products that celebrate the diverse range of skin tones in the Latina/Latinx community. Inclusivity is at the heart of what we do, ensuring that our products are a perfect fit for every Latina, regardless of her unique complexion.”

Latinx Beauty

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