- September 1, 2021
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Every item on this page was chosen by an ELLE editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
By Latinx people, for Latinx people.
Representation is crucial. Full stop. For many in the Latinx community, that much-needed representation doesn’t exist within the beauty industry. And while according to a Nielsen 2019 consumer report, “the Latinx consumer outspends any other group in beauty product sales by close to 30%,” that same shopper— particularly 69% of older Latinx people (age 5o+)— agree with the sentiment that the industry sees them as just an afterthought. Below, a few Latinx leaders took matters into their own hands (and labs) to create brands founded by Latinx people for Latinx people. On the list, you’ll find everything from super-soft makeup brushes (the company has more than 60 patents on their designs!) to experimental functional fragrances and the one-and-only OG beauty blender. So shop today, tomorrow, and the next below.
When Brazilian-born fashion designer Francisco Costa (Calvin Klein, Gucci) retired from designing, he returned to his homeland—and visited the rainforest for the first time in his life. There, he met with the Yawanawá tribe, which planted the seed for Costa Brazil, a skincare brand inspired by the natural beauty and strength of the rainforest.
Our pick: The secret ingredient in this fast-absorbing body oil is kaya—it’s rich in selenium, vitamin E, and magnesium to not only hydrate skin, but help even tone and texture.
ELLE’s September cover queen Selena Gomez has her own makeup line, Rare Beauty, and we’re fans. Focused on shattering the unrealistic standards that surround the beauty industry, Gomez established the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council and the Rare Impact Fund, which has set a goal of raising $100 million over the next 10 years to help address the gaps in mental health services for underserved communities.
Our pick: Featherlight but richly pigmented, this whipped air cream comes in 12 pretty shades with equally pretty names.
Celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas knows not everybody can visit her Manhattan salon for a skin-changing facial, so she created a equally efficacious products for you to try at home.
Our pick: This is your post-party all night, about to walk down the aisle skin savior. These bamboo sheet masks are mega-hydrating to give you glowing skin in just 15 minutes. (Bonus: There’s enough potent goop inside to use at least twice!)
Mexican-American Sandra Velasquez found inspiration in the universality of the nopal cactus (it’s edible, super-hydrating, and can even be woven into fabrics), which grew in her backyard growing up. Nopalera’s products (hand soaps, scrubs, and moisture bars) are all palm oil-free, vegan, and gorgeously giftable.
Our pick: Jasmine oil gives this baby-pink soap a gorgeous, tropical scent. And the fluffy lather will leave your skin feeling clean but not stripped.
Diagnosed with traction alopecia, Lulu Cordero sought refuge and a solution in the Afro-Dominicana beauty secrets of her family. Her curls and edges bounced back, and she founded Bomba Curls to share the love.
Our pick: It’s “forbidden” because Cordero can’t tell you the secret potion that makes this oil so amazing for hair. What we can tell you: pure coffee seed and castor oil hydrates the scalp and adds shine to all hair types.
Jessica Alba’s company, Honest, has democratized “clean” everything—cleaning supplies, baby diapers, and beauty products—for the masses. The Honest Beauty collection is filled with efficacious products for those who are cautious about what’s on an ingredient list (the brand’s No List has more than 2,500 chemicals and materials on it).
Our pick: This mascara works just like your tried-and-true department store favorite: holding inky-black lashes at attention until bedtime. It washes off easy, too.
Beauty brand veteran Sonsoles Gonzalez’s 25-year career revealed a major white space in the industry: a haircare brand that addressed the changes that come with aging. She (along with a team whose resumes include MIT and Procter & Gamble) developed each Better Not Younger product to treat the signs of aging so women can feel empowered.
Our pick: Not only does is shield strands from from damage (up to 450 degrees!) but this spray also tames frizz and adds in moisture.
Babba Rivera is creating a movement toward thoughtful hair practices with her totally-irresistible haircare line Ceremonia. Each of the products draws inspiration from Rivera’s own Latin heritage, and is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial colorants.
Our pick: Smells amazing, looks cool on our bathroom counter, and instantly makes our hair shiny: The Guava Rescue Spray really has it all.
Whom among us hasn’t thought at least once (or, perhaps daily): “I want to glow like Jennifer Lopez.” Now, you’re one step (or if you get the whole skincare regime, four) to that wish. The Puerto Rican multi-hyphenate launched her own skincare line last year with hero ingredients like olive and squalane.
Our pick: This minis kit where you can try out the cleanser, serum, complexion booster, and hydrating cream.
Colombian-born Tata Harper now lives on a beyond-idyllic farm in upstate Vermont. There, she and her team hand-craft the beauty potions that go into the gorgeous vivid green bottles that are a staple of any clean beauty routine.
Our pick: It was so hard to choose just one thing. Acne-prone skin will appreciate this gentle foaming cleanser filled with both chemical and physical exfoliants.
As a little girl, Los Angeles-based Julissa Prado spent all her money trying to find curl products that actually nourished her hair type. Feeling disillusioned, she started saving her money around 15 and mixing her own products at home—and Rizos Curls was born.
Our pick: This leave-in blended with aloe vera, shea, and coconut oil (and without sulfates, silicones, and parabens).
Almost 20 years ago, Mexican makeup artist Rea Ann Silva changed the makeup industry when she invented the beautyblender: an edgeless makeup sponge that seamlessly blends makeup into skin.
Our pick: Often imitated, never duplicated, the OG beautyblender, of course.
The five functional fragrance blends from perfumist Juan Felipe Rendon’s (he/they) Shocks of Love go beyond perfume—each one is about aromatherapy and ritual.
Our pick: Envelop yourself in a cloud of Dew Me’s uplifting blend of geranium, cypress, and vetiver anytime you’re feeling that 2 p.m. slump.
It’s been 15 years since Puerto Rican hairstylist Carolyn Aronson founded it’s a 10 because she was frustrated with single-purpose haircare products. Since then, she’s turned it into a multi-million dollar haircare empire—and it’s one of the only female-owned professional haircare brands in the world.
Our pick: It’s saved our strands at the beach, post-bleach, and many other times over. This leave-in isn’t filled with magic, but a blend of amino acids, aloe vera, green tea extract, and sunflower seed extract, to save damaged hair and return silkiness.
Named for the city in Cuba where founder Gabriela Trujillo was born, this cosmetic line pays homage to Latinx culture with each and every launch. Inclusion and fair price points are the founding principles of the brand.
Our pick: We love the formula (super glossy with just the right amount of color) but it’s the two sided applicator that’s genius—one side is a silicone scoop so you can get the right amount of product, and the other side is your classic doe food applicator for spreading.
Cuban-born celebrity hairstylist Orlando Pita (Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyoncé) channeled his 30 years of experience into an eponymous haircare line: Orlando Pita Play.
Our pick: Giant shampoos and conditioners in the shower are super chic. This color-coordinated Smoothing duo makes hair soft, shiny, and bouncy without weighing it down.
Former fashion editor Giovanna Campagna named her skincare line after her great-great-grandmother, who opened one of the first apothecaries in Cali, Colombia in 1875. All of the products are inspired by Colombian beauty traditions and use Latin American ingredients.
Our pick: The Hydrating Glow oil, which has 12 nourishing botanicals and gives you “spa skin” instantly.
Founder Priscilla Jiminian created Skinergy because she couldn’t find skincare products on the market that catered to Latinx skin—ones that fought hyperpigmentation and dark spots but were also hydrating and brightening.
Our pick: A super-concentrated multitasking essence that makes your skin look alive. It has a little bit of every buzzy ingredient—salicylic acid, retinol, niacinamide, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid—to fight blemishes and tone.
Each grid-worthy product from Camila Coelho’s clean beauty and makeup brand Elaluz is spiked with Brazilian superfood ingredients like camu camu and acai berry.
Our pick: Everything you need to fake a glow just like Coelho’s can be found in this four pan palette—bronzer, highlighter, and blush—that’s made with ethically sourced mica and squalane.
Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar first drop in 2013—5 shades of super-saturated matte lipsticks—sold out in one minute. Ever since, the duo have focused on super pigmented products: highlighters that reflect back like foil and liquid lips in any and every color imaginable, to name a few.
Our pick: This 8-shade palette has everything you need for a subtle daytime eye to to go all out smokey.
Makeup artist Desi Perkins understands the importance of good skincare, which is is the foundation for perfect makeup.
Our pick: The fragrance-free vitamin C serum is supercharged with ingredients inspired by her Mexican heritage: plum, avocado, mango, and guava.
Beauty historian Gabriela Hernandez launched Bésame Cosmetics to pay homage to beauty shades and formulas that are no longer found on the market. Each product is thoroughly researched and comes in true-to-era packaging.
Our pick: Did your husband just come back from war? Then paint your fingers and toes this alluring, glossy shade of orange-red, inspired by a shade from 1931. The formula has been updated to be 12-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Brazilian power couple Dr. Simone Xavier and Rene Xavier Filho (a molecular bacteriologist and civil engineer by trade) have more than 60 patents on the designs behind their high-performing Sigma makeup brushes. Now, they employ a team of over 90% women and are consistently listening to customer feedback to figure out new way to innovate.
Our pick: A brush for every occasion. The full-size synthetic set comes with 12 different face and eye brushes.
Dominican-American blogger Farah Vargas turned a job layoff into an opportunity to focus on launching her own beauty brand, Pinkness. The clean and cruelty-free brand has focused on a single, hero SKU for years, but has big things coming this year.
Our pick: Twelve oils combine into a super-hydrating, super-brightening oil that’s sold out… a lot. We’re currently on the wait list for a new bottle.
Afro-Latina & Dominican-American sisters Mabel and Shaira Frías founded Luna Magic to celebrate the color of Latinx culture.
Our pick: Bright and beautiful blush (which is available in 3 shades) and comes with a mirror for touch-ups on the go.
Co-founders Christina Kelmon (a serial beauty entrepreneur who also founded Belle en Argent) and Ann Murray-Dunning created a super clean skincare line inspired by their families Latinx roots (Mexico and Chile, respectively).
Our pick: Ingredients like prickly pear, jojoba, and chia seed oil brighten and cleanse at the same time.
Founding Vive Cosmetics was a dream come true for Joanna Rosario and Leslie Valdivia, who felt like Latinx shoppers were both under-represented in the beauty community and powerful consumers.
Our pick: This velvety, full coverage formula comes in every shade from a bright berry (Selena Forever) to this subtle dusty rose named Spanglish.
Serial beauty entrepreneur Christina Kelmon (she also co-founded Vamigas) and Lauren Young didn’t understand why clean beauty had to be so expensive—so the duo helped create an accessible clean beauty brand with an artsy vibe.
Our pick: A rosy-pink moisturizing lipstick that’ll give you major main character energy.
Founders Angela Ubias and Cary Lin were disillusioned with all the plastic used in high-performance skincare, so they formulated an environmentally-friendly version of everybody’s favorite serum.
Our pick: Vitamin C is clinically proven to give your brighter, more even skin—but it’s hard to keep potent to the last drop. This genius packaging system puts daily doses into biodegradable, vegan capsules so your serum is always effective.
Chemical engineer Aisha Ceballos-Crump worked for 16 years developing beauty products before she founded Botanika Beauty.
Our pick: Egg protein and oregano? These aren’t just Gin Fizz ingredients, but also Botanika Beauty’s secret to restoring damaged hair back to its original form.
Regina Merson’s beauty obsession started with watching the telenovela “Rosa Salvaje” while her mom got dressed for the evening. The entire collection is filled with bold formulas and hues for the queens and rebels.
Our pick: Is there anything more empowering than a red lip? Reina Rebelde is known for this chubby lip stick, which has a satin finish.
Marisa Quintanilla Griffeth created Wildland Organics while spending living in a tiny house in Topanga. Inspired by the Latina and Native American founder’s love of nature, the formulas are simple and effective.
Our pick: A multipurpose balm that smells amazing and is safe for the entire family.
Tired of CBD products filled with a bunch of fluff but not a lot of, well, CBD, Brenda Sandoval Zorkin set out to develop her own line. Along the way she found inspiration from her Mexican heritage and love of fashion.
Our pick: The Bath and Body oil—add it to the bath for an aromatic treat or smooth over skin to hydrate.
Rocio Nuñez founded her brand in 2018 with a focus on digital influencers—giving them a platform and products to express themselves. Since then, the brand has collaborated with influencers like Nyma Tang, to create palettes with super-inclusive shade ranges.
Our pick: The Cool Nudes palette, which has a mix of mattes and shimmers for a chilly look.
Each of the products Sweet Street Cosmetics founders Natalia Durazo and LaLa Romero create were inspired by women in their own neighborhood.
Our pick: Double the fun with this duo of super-sharp brush tip liquid liners in black and brown.
Patricia Fonseca felt disconnected from from nature while living in San Francisco—so she founded a beauty brand inspired by her childhood in Costa Rica. The entire line is zero-waste: everything from the packaging to the mailer you receive the product in is reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
Our pick: Smooth this thick body butter (which smells comes in three scents: Rose, Lavender, and Natural) onto skin and it leaves you super gleamy.
Singer and actress Becky G. started doing glam for friends and family at the humble age of 13—and she was also Covergirl’s youngest spokesperson at 15—so it only makes sense that she has her own beauty line. Treslúce Beauty honors Latinx artists and ingredients in both the formulas and the packaging, as well as cruelty free.
Our pick: All of the shadows in the 18 shade palette are infused with Mexican blue agave, and it comes with three brushes to create any look imaginable.
The idea for Brujita Skincare first came to founder Leah Guerrero during her Saturn return. The products are inspired by Mexican mercado staples, with a dash of pop culture (and maybe a tarot reading to two, too).
Our pick: Argan and mango butter combine with jasmine into a beautifully textured, thick cream for normal to dry skin.
Makeup artist and influencer Angel Merino (aka Mac Daddy) founded Artist Couture on the basis of self expression—and having fun with makeup. In the seven years since, the brand has exploded into a celebration of all beauty looks, including over-the-top colorful glam and subtle natural no-makeup makeup.
Our pick: Three creamy pink lipstick shades (July, A Moment, and Highly Favored) in a moisturizing formula that’s weightless.