6 Beauty Trends From Latinx Cultures
Plus the products you need to recreate these looks.
With the Latinx diaspora expanding over 20 countries, “Hispanic” isn’t a one-size-fits-all term—especially when it comes to beauty and style. As Hispanic womxn, we’re challenging these narratives by embracing all aspects of our culture and choosing which ones are right for us. This Hispanic Heritage Month, HelloGiggles will be taking a deep dive into the beauty of our culture through Mi Cultura, Mi Belleza. We’ll be featuring essays about hair and identity, giving beauty tips from our abuelitas, highlighting the unique style of the Afro-Latina community, and more.
Beauty trends within the Latinx community go beyond the latest TikTok fad or new lipstick launch. They’re enriched with culture, influenced by history, and are often passed down through generations, from abuelitas to tías to nietas. And with so much richness within the Latinx beauty space, it’s important to highlight the different trends from across the world that are not only shaping our identities but also allowing us to represent our culture in a visible way to the outside world.
Below, we’re showcasing beauty trends found in several Latinx cultures that are worth a try by you or your loved ones, from Frida Kahlo-inspired braids to natural curls from the Dominican Republic. If you’re not Latinx, you can still give them a shot! Just be mindful of how you’re choosing to incorporate the trends into your beauty routine by educating yourself on their histories before trying them out. And if you don’t feel comfortable, that’s okay, too. It’s perfectly fine to celebrate a culture’s beauty from afar.
Mexico: Braids à la Frida Kahlo
As one of the most influential Latinas in the world, Frida Kahlo had an iconic hairstyle that continues to be replicated by thousands of people. The way she adorned her braids with brightly-colored ribbons added a vibrant personal touch and also helped keep her hair away from her face. It was a fuss-free ‘do that was as pretty as it was practical.
Many Mexican women today are proud to have Kahlo as part of their culture, and they continue to celebrate her work and honor her beauty. To channel Kahlo is to honor her art, her resilience, and her unconventional ways. As someone who endured chronic pain throughout her lifetime, the artist is a symbol of strength and determination as well as a celebration of femininity. She’s an inspiration to women everywhere—especially Mexicanas—and she herself was inspired by the Indigenous women of her culture, hence her love for braids and vibrant colors.
How to try this look: All you need is some colorful ribbon of your choice, a few bobby pins to secure any stray hairs, wax or pomade, and a couple of hair elastics. Separate your hair into sections on either side of your head. Then, create a three-strand braid on each side, using the ribbon as though it were one of the strands, and secure them with the elastics at each end. Try to wrap the sections of the hair so that the ribbon falls on the outside of the braid for better visibility.
If you have layers some hairs may stick out, but you can use Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea Control Edge Glaze or Oribe Flash Form Finishing Spray Wax to smooth any hairs or pesky flyaways. Then, grab one of the braids and wrap it across the front section of your head, securing it with a bobby pin. Repeat with the other braid, pinning it down to create the illusion of one full braided crown.
Puerto Rico: Dewy, radiant skin
When we’re not dreaming of being on the island, we’re out here trying to mimic the coveted look often seen in the Caribbean hot spot. Think: radiant, dewy skin. Over the past few seasons, beauty enthusiasts have sought out a fresh-faced, hydrated look that can be achieved with little to no makeup. (Jennifer Lopez is the queen of this timeless look.)
Since Puerto Rico is an island, and humidity abounds, Puerto Ricans are all about expressing their natural beauty, which is why most looks begin with glowing skin. Although there are countless products and primers to help keep makeup from melting down your face, there’s nothing like embracing the natural dewiness that comes with living on an island.
How to try this look: If you are blessed with naturally radiant skin, then kudos to you! But most of us need a little maintenance to keep our skin endlessly glowing. Depending on your skin type, make sure to give it the moisture it needs to avoid dryness and other skin concerns.
Begin with a tinted moisturizer or oil, such as the Kosas Tinted Face Oil that is composed of six natural oils in order to plump, moisturize, and brighten the skin. Pair it with a radiant concealer over other more matte formulas. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer lives up to the hype with its brightening and humidity-proof properties. Add a rosy flush with Poppy Cream Rouge by Bésame Cosmetics and liquid highlighter, such as Ilia Liquid Light Serum highlighter, and you’ve got yourself a killer dewy look. Finish it off with a face mist, such as Elaluz All Day Beauty Water, which contains buriti fruit oil to moisturize and protect.
Dominican Republic: Natural curls
Naturalistas in the Dominican Republic are proof that tight, bouncy curls and loose coils are just as beautiful as sleek manes. Miss Rizos founder Carolina Contreras, Botánika Beauty’s Ada Rojas, and Rizos Curls founder Julissa Prado created their lines of hair products to help keep natural curls shiny and healthy when they couldn’t find any in the mainstream market.
How to try this look: Whether you choose to accessorize your hairstyle with a silky headscarf or a colorful barrette, it’s all about finding the right products to keep your coils looking and feeling soft, defined, and frizz-free. We suggest using the Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo to nourish the scalp and lock in moisture, followed by a deep conditioner to reduce frizz and promote healthy hair growth. Next, finish off with a styler like Oribe Styling Butter Curl Enhancing Crème, a rich formula that deeply moisturizes while giving your style hold and softness. Or, you can go for the Curl Shaping Mousse, a product that will lock in moisture, thus reducing frizz.
A hot tip from a friend’s Dominican grandmother: Keep those curls moisturized by adding a dollop of honey to your conditioner. Honey hydrates and softens hair, and it also helps to prevent breakage and split ends.
Peru/Brazil: Amazonian clay masks
True Amazonian clay masks are made from ingredients found in places near the Amazon, from countries like Peru and Brazil, whose backyard is a lush rainforest. Over the years, these masks have become popular in the U.S., thanks to their ability to unclog pores and detox skin while giving shine-free yet hydrating results. Living in a tropical climate can sometimes lead to enlarged pores due to humidity, which leads skin to be more vulnerable to dirt, oil, and toxins. Clay masks can come to the rescue for people with oily skin as they soak up excess oil without drying out the skin.
How to try this look: If you’re looking to add one of these skin saviors to your beauty arsenal, Kiehl Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque is a favorite for absorbing oil, combating bacteria, and removing dead cells.
Cuba: Avocado hair masks
Since Cuba’s laws and policies have included import restrictions from the U.S. in the past, many people were unable to purchase certain products and instead turned to natural elements for hair and skincare treatments, such as avocado. People in La Habana are already familiar with using particular foods to treat their beauty concerns, as some of those natural tips were passed down from their mothers and grandmothers.
How to try this look: It turns out that avocado isn’t only yummy on toast—it’s good for your hair, too, because it contains biotin. A weekly avocado hair mask can help prevent hair from breaking and keep it looking shiny and feeling smooth. All you need to do is mash up a ripe avocado and mix it with coconut oil, then apply it to your hair. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse out. Follow up with your shampoo and conditioner and enjoy the results of shiny, luscious hair.
Colombia: Bold, vibrant makeup
Like most countries in Latin America, Colombia is rich in color. From sunny yellows to saturated pinks and everything in between, bright hues are synonymous with this lively country. So what better way to channel its dynamic energy than with bold and vivid makeup? Some Colombian makeup artists, such as Paula Galindo, use a statement eyeshadow or an eye-catching lip color (or both) to express themselves. Colombianas are proud to showcase their roots and vibrant culture with equally captivating makeup—and for this trend, the bolder, the better.
How to try this look: The E.l.f. Cosmetics Retro Paradise eyeshadow palette is perfect for creating a sultry end-of-summer look, thanks to a medley of shimmery and matte eyeshadows in bright and neutral hues. Begin by swiping a colorful matte shadow over your lids, and finish the look with a dose of shimmery shadow along the center and on the corner of the eyes for added dimension. If you’re looking to make your lips the center of attention, then Glossier Vinylic lip is an attractive choice for the ultimate glossy statement lip that doesn’t feel sticky. It’s the perfect hybrid between a gloss and a high-pigmented stain to give you an extra pop of color.