We all have our favorite beauty brands. But we rarely think about those who made them possible. Although many beauty brands are owned by large corporations, many of the most successful ones were founded by Latina entrepreneurs. These women left their day jobs to follow their dreams, while others started a business out of necessity. We all know the stories of Kat Von D, a Mexican-Argentinean makeup artist, and Jessica Alba’s wildly successful Honest Company. But, there are many other inspiring stories about business-savvy women that are just as inspirational and empowering. These women also show that anyone can achieve what they want if they are passionate and work hard.
Continue reading to find out six beauty brands that were founded by Latina entrepreneurs.
Rea Ann Silva, a makeup artist for more than 20 years, is the creator of one of the most beloved beauty products, the Beautyblender. The Beautyblender was created out of necessity by a Mexican and Portuguese pro in 2002 when HD television changed the way that makeup artists applied their makeup. She didn’t know that she had a multimillion-dollar idea.
Racked told her that she thought she would be able make some extra income by selling a few sponges and helping out my child’s college fund. Silva created the famed makeup sponge in 2003. It revolutionized how everyone applied makeup, from artists to home-based women. Since then Silva has developed other tools to simplify cosmetics such as the Blotterazzi Pro ($20), and Line.Designer Pro ($16), and different sizes of Beautyblender.
Katia Beauchamp, a native of Texas, co-founded Birchbox online beauty subscription service and online retailer Birchbox. Harvard Business School graduate and CEO, Katia Beauchamp, revolutionized the way women shop online for beauty products. She provided personalized samples and editorial content that helped them make informed decisions when they were shopping for cosmetics and body products. This Mexican-American entrepreneur, whose background is in finance and commercial real estate, led her to beauty business and helped her grow the now international business in just six years. She is passionate about the business and has recently shared her passion with Byrdie that “Trying to build a remarkable company is supposed be extremely hard–that is what we signed up to do.”
Red lips are timeless and classic. Gabriela Hernandez, founder of Besame Cosmetics, has a particular affinity for them. You can get a better idea of the Argentine’s vintage-inspired collection, named after the Spanish 1940s hit song. Bueno Aires’ native immigrated to America at the age of 12 and began Besame in 2004 as a side-project.
Fox News Latino’s She said that she had collected many of her grandmother’s antique makeup. “There was something magical about them that made me feel special. They have a lasting quality. They have a lasting quality to them. I wanted to make them look modern for today.”
The brand’s packaging was inspired by luxurious cosmetics from the ’20s to 50s. It has a loyal following of Sephora shoppers to Cate Blanchett to Kate Winslet. Their best-selling lipstick has received over 20K “loves” as well as a solid 4.8 star rating. Hernandez also published a book on all things beauty in 2011, titled Classic Beauty, The History of Makeup ($38).
Eva Mendes grew up using drugstore products for beauty. In 2015, she launched Circa Beauty at Walgreens. She was the creative director and helped bring quality cosmetics to the masses at an affordable price. Yahoo Beauty spoke to the actress saying, “I was very excited to create a quality, prestige item at Walgreens that is so accessible, with beautiful packaging that offers a variety of shades–that’s very important for me as a Latina woman.” The Cuban actress was also very involved in the packaging design and wanted something vintage-inspired and elegant. Circa launched a new line of makeup brushes for under $13 that is a departure from cosmetics. We’re hoping to see more.
Lora Arellano, who was working at Nordstrom’s makeup counter two years ago, decided to launch her own makeup line. Melt was her co-founder and Lora Arellano was working on it with her cofounder. Rihanna called Los Angeles to request that she do Rihanna’s makeup while on tour. It was a wonderful coincidence. She quit her job and began jet-setting around the world with RiRi. Melt was a huge success. Despite her young age, the brand has a strong following and almost one million Instagram followers.
We don’t ever clock out, but Melt is such an important part of our lives. The brand was literally all we saved. It took us a little more than a year to create the first five lipsticks before we launched the line. It was a small Etsy shop that we thought would be enough. We didn’t realize that Melt would change our lives.
Today, the first-generation Mexican American claims Iggy Zalea, Serena Williams and Rihanna as her clients. Her love for art is evident in the content she shares with her followers. Arellano considers Gwen Stefani her style icon. Her bold and fearless approach to makeup is truly inspiring.
Tata Harper’s toxin-free skincare line is loved by everyone, from beauty editors to real ladies and celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow or Christy Turlington. Her home is in Vermont’s Champlain Valley. Every product she makes is made on her 1200-acre farm, Julius Kingdom. Tata is an engineer by training, but she decided to make a lifestyle change after her stepfather was diagnosed. She started producing premium skincare products using only the best ingredients and no synthetic chemicals. Although it took her four years to create the brand, the benefits of her formulas and undeniable results made it worth the effort. Tata oversees the business on-site, where she lives alongside her husband, their three children, and many pets.