These 7 Beauty Products Help Me Feel More Connected to My Culture
Finding the best beauty products has never been easier thanks to this weekly curated list—Pia's Picks. As the Senior Beauty Editor at HelloGiggles, I test and examine the latest skincare, makeup, hair, and nail products, so I can confidently recommend the best ones to you.
As a Mexican woman, I always love discovering Latinx-owned beauty brands and trying out their products. For me, it's important to support my community by using my buying power to fuel its businesses and boost its owners. And thankfully, that's easy to do when there's such a good variety of items to choose from. (According to a 2019 study, Latinx-owned brands jumped 46 percent in the last year!) From makeup brands that represent Latinx culture through their designs to the clean skincare loved by Hollywood's A-listers, the spirit and talent of the Hispanic community can truly be seen everywhere. Here are a few of my favorite beauty products from Latinx-owned companies—I hope you love them, too.
1. Beautyblender Wave Shapeshifter Makeup Sponge
Founded in 2003 by Rea Ann Silva, a Mexican and Portuguese citizen, Beautyblender has gained cult status for its makeup application sponges that help make your foundation look bouncy and glowy. The brand has launched dozens of limited-edition sponges in different shades and sizes, but my favorite is the 2020 Beauty Crush Award-winning Wave Shapeshifter Makeup Sponge. It's the company's first color-changing Beautyblender, which I like because in order to get the full benefits of the makeup sponge it has to be wet (a critical step many people miss), and this one changes color to let you know when it's sufficiently wet and ready for use. Next I apply my foundation to the sponge and blend in seamlessly.
2. Reina Rebelde Rebel Eye Definer Liquid Zapatista
This brand's name translates to "Rebel Queen" in English, and it's that embodiment of the fierce, Latina woman that initially drew me to it. The company's founder, Regina Merson, has an eye for detail that can be found in every one of her products—from a lipstick shade called "Rosa Salvaje" that pays homage to the telenovela that first got Merson interested in beauty, to a brow pomade named "Frida," that pays respect to the iconic Mexican painter to a liquid eyeliner named "Zapatista," inspired by the revolutionary Mexican army that fought for the rights of women and indigeneous people. This eyeliner is my current favorite from the brand, as its water-resistant formula stays on until it's wiped off with makeup remover. Also, the pointed felt tip applicator allows me to draw on the sharpest cat-eye I've ever achieved.
3. Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Crème
When I first discovered Tata Harper's products, I was unaware of the founder's Colombian roots. All the items are Sephora-certified clean, and all the ingredients are free of synthetic chemicals. Honestly, it's hard to pick a favorite when I've gone through bottles of the brand's skincare, but the Illuminating Eye Cream reigns supreme. It uses micro-pearls that instantly reflect light away from your undereye circles to make it seem like you got a full eight hours of sleep even when you got less than half that.
4. Elaluz Lip & Cheek Stain
If you're one of Camila Coelho's 8.8 million Instagram followers, then you're aware that the Brazilian influencer recently launched her own beauty brand: Elaluz, which in Portuguese, translates to "she is light." Its lip and cheek stain is the perfect two-in-one product, giving your face a flush of natural color that goes on and stays on–a claim I find most similar products can't make. It'll make you feel like a million bucks, trust me.
5. Lights Lacquer Cherry Jelly Nail Polish
This brand was founded by another social media star, Kathleen Fuentes, or as she's known online, KathleenLights. Since its launch in 2019, the company has already released several collections that range from polished nudes to loud and proud metallics. Personally, I'm a sucker for this red, which is just as shiny as a gel polish. The formula is 7-free, chip-resistant, and lasts up to a week.
6. Melt Cosmetics Rust Eyeshadow Palette
Lora Arellano is a first generation Mexican-American entrepreneur whose makeup brand claims A-listers such as Rihanna and Iggy Azalea as clients. The brand started off as a small Etsy shop but is now sold at Sephora. Melt Cosmetics' highly pigmented products deliver on their long-wear claims which for me, a self-proclaimed lazy girl, is a must. (Hey, I only want to do my makeup once in the morning, sue me.) My favorite is this eyeshadow palette that boasts 10 warm shades that can easily take you from day to night.
7. Mia del Mar Night Cream
There's nothing quite like a rich, deeply hydrating night cream. Founded in 2017 by the Venezuelan entrepreneur, Diana Briceno, Mia del Mar launched with this night cream and has since expanded into more skincare and makeup products. While I love many of the items (you need to try the eyeshadows), this night cream has earned a spot on my must-have list for its hydrating and anti-aging properties. It's formulated with squalane, jojoba seed oil, retinol, and hyaluronic acid, and you can feel the results almost immediately as the skin-friendly ingredients seep into your skin.
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.