Green skincare guru Tata Harper is not the only “jeta”. Along with Birchbox’s Katia Beauchamp, the Colombian company based at her Julius Kingdom farm in Vermont has inspired other central and south American-inspired and owned beauty brands.
L could be liners and lash. As in Ukash.
L could be L’Oriel, Lancome, Lush or Laura Mercier.
But L must be for Latin and South American beauty.
Latin America, long seen as the cradle of body worship, accounts for $ 8 billion’s worth of annual world beauty product sales. Buenos Aires was a magnet for French cosmetic and perfume houses before the First World War. Revlon opened a factory in Mexico in 1948. Germany’s Wella opened one in Chile in 1952 and Avon set up in Costa Rica two years later.
Colombian doctor Jorge Pineros Corpas founded Labfervre in 1971. Bolivian Manual Krigsvor launched “O Botanico” in 1977 and Sao Paolo’s Luiz Seabra’s “Natura”, founded in 1969, was the first South American brand featuring the continent’s biodiversity. With the rosacea flower as its symbol and promoting the economic development of Brazil’s poor regions, its “Ekos” brand has become a template for a new generation of socially and environmentally progressive South American cosmetic and skincare companies.
Latin America has the fastest-growing beauty sector. Although individual Americans and Europeans spend more, Latin Americans spend more than Thais and South Africans. The Russians spend well under half the amount of Argentines, Brazilians, and Chileans. The Chinese spend three-quarters less.
Companies, big and small – like Jessica Alba’s “Honest”, Francisco Costa’s “Costa Brazil”, “ Bum Bum”, “Surya Brazil”, ex-department store clerk Lora Arellano’s “Melt” (with her ultra matte neon lipstick and magnetic eyeshadow stacks), “Camilla Coelho’s “Elaluz”, “Quem Disse, Berenice ?”, LA’s “Yaocihutal” and Vanessa Enriquez and Marivelle Navarette’s “Nevermind” are singing the praises of the central American and Latin beauty ethic as well as Venezuelan avocados, yerba mate, Pelo suelto hair spritz, Ecuadoran healing clay, horchata body butter, fruity face serums, Amazonic Cupuacu butter, and Castanha nut oil.
As well as Latin American ingenuity, like Rea Ann Silva’s teardrop sponge “Beauty Blender”. She was born in LA. “ My roots are Mexican, Portuguese, Spanish, and Irish. My children are black “My career has been centered around women of color, and I became known in Hollywood, and really around the world, as one of the first makeup artists that really understood ethnic skins, learned how to really match those skins, be creative in ways to create the colors that just didn’t exist.”
Gabriella Hernandez founded Besame.“If you’re not used to wearing a bold lip, it can be intimidating. That’s one of the joys of using Bésame products: they are informed and inspired by decades of experience and passion-fuelled expertise in this industry. I’ve taken timeless, iconic makeup looks and translated them into purposeful, premium beauty products for today’s women. Using our meticulously curated line for lips, eyes, and face, you can feel empowered to build a look that is classic – but never boring – and confident as you face each day.
Here’s to creating beauty with confidence and confidence with beauty,”
Based in Argentina, Ayers is faithful to its local culture. The names of their products make references to Tango and the Argentine countryside (“Pampas Sunrise!”)
Latin American beauty products and techniques are globalizing rapidly. Priscilla Ono is a global MUA for “RiRi’s” Fenty Beauty line, Malena Higuera became GM of “Urban Decay” after holding the same position at L’Oréal USA.
“Rizos Curls” was founded by Julissa Prado. Yris Palame has Salvadoran roots. New York-born Dominican sisters Shair and Mabel Frias honored their Latinx heritage by founding the beauty and lifestyle brand, “Luna Magic”, selling amongst many other things high-quality 100% faux mink eyelashes.
Gabriella Trujillo’s “Spanglish Collection” is “dedicated to all the multi-cultural Reinas.” Her “Alamar Cosmetics” sells blushes as well as ojitos brushes and Desnuedas lip liner. Cosmetologist Adassa’s “MicMax Re-Mix” is a haircare specialist while the Puerto-Rican led “Kleure” offers products aimed “to cultivate the self-esteem, essence, and leadership of all women”
In 2020, Mexican Katherine von Drachenberg sold her brand to Kendo Brands, a subsidiary of LVM. KVD, originally launched in 2008, became well-known for its “Lolita” liquid lipsticks, vegan volumizing mascara, and tattoo liner. It also makes Sinner Eau du Parfum. The company is now called “KVD Vegan Beauty” – standing for Kindness, Vegan, and Dignity (or Doing Good); but its Latin roots remain.
One of the most interesting backstories of any Latin wellness and beauty brand is former yoga studio owner Allison Weldon Vancouver-based “Sangre De Fruita”. It was inspired by her mentor Elena Orrego who fled a coup in Chile in the 70s to set up a naturopathic community on the West Coast. It makes a “heart-opening” Rose No 1 Nourishing Cream as well as it’s Garden of Earthly Delights” range.
Mexico’s Regine Merson’s “Reina Rebelde” features “La Dona” brow paint, “Zapatista” eyeliner, and “La Jefa” mauvy nude bold lip. It has donated a portion of sales to L.O.V.E. (Latinas On the Verge of Excellence) Mentoring Program in support of the next generation of Latina beauty jefas.
Says Rea Ann Silva: “We are very colorful people. We aren’t afraid of color. We celebrate color.”