It’s no secret that Latinas love their beauty products. According to an 2018 IRI study, Hispanics accounted for $7.9 billion in all beauty spending over the year-long period. While Latinxs make up a huge portion of beauty buying, they're still often unseen by the market, lacking representation on the shelves and behind-the-scenes. Fortunately, some strides have been made in recent years. We’re seeing more brands being launched by Latinx entrepreneurs, and more inspiring Latinxs in decision-making roles at our favorite beauty brands. And though there’s more work to be done, there are people like Priscilla Ono (Rihanna's makeup artist and longtime collaborator for Fenty Beauty) who give us hope that more and more Latinxs will be leading the beauty conversation as time goes by. In the meantime, meet some of the badass Latinx women behind some of your favorite beauty brands.
Priscilla Ono, Global MUA for Fenty Beauty
A third-generation Mexican-American, celebrity makeup artist Priscilla Ono is the one behind Rihanna’s red carpet makeup looks and also serves as the global MUA for RiRi’s Fenty Beauty line. This means Ono gets to travel the world representing Fenty Beauty, contributes to product development, and educates those working at retailers carrying Fenty (such as Sephora) on product functionality. Over the years, her name and influence has become an important influence to the Fenty Beauty brand; she recently spearheaded the dreamy garden-glam makeup looks worn by models at the Savage x Fenty SS 21 digital runway show.
Gisselle Hernandez, Founder of Glamlite Cosmetics
Glamlite Cosmetics is a foodie beauty lovers dream, because you can have your cake and eat—or rather wear—it, too. A self-proclaimed foodie herself, Dominican-born and NYC-raised Glamlite Cosmetics founder, Gisselle Hernandez, kicked off the brand in November 2017. But it wasn’t until Hernandez decided to create and launch her widely popular pizza-themed palette that the brand began to see success. Since then, Hernandez has gone on to create additional smaller versions of her Pizza Palette, taco-themed palettes, a Cake Palette, and her most recent collection, which includes the gorgeous Ice Cream Dream Palette.
Julissa Prado, Founder of Rizos Curls
Los Angeles native Julissa Prado founded Rizos Curls in hopes that she could help fill a gap in the curly hair care market, creating products that could work on all curl patterns—an aspiration she had ever since she was a little girl. Prado went on to realize this goal in 2017, launching her Rizos Curls Trio first. Fast forward three years later, Rizos Curls has amassed nearly 200k Instagram followers and can be found at Target stores nationwide.
Yris Palmer, Owner of Star Lash Extensions
When it comes to taking your lashes to new lengths, Yris Palmer is the person to call. Born in Los Angeles to Salvadoran parents, Palmer began her eyelash tech journey during a trip to London in 2014. She launched her Star Lash Extensions business soon after, and since has also created her own celeb-loved product line of lashes and tool kits for fellow technicians.
Shaira and Mabel Frias, Founders of Luna Magic Beauty
New York-born Dominican sisters Shaira and Mabel Frías wanted to honor their Latinx heritage and love of beauty—and thus, their beauty and lifestyle brand Luna Magic as born. Shaira, a former journalist and makeup artist, and Mabel, the director of digital merchandising for Savage x Fenty, wanted to create products that all Latinas could wear. As they note, they do it pa la cultura.
Erica Dickerson, Global Beauty Director for beautyblender
As the daughter of beautyblender’s founder Reanne Silva and the brand's Global Beauty Director and CEO-in-training, Erica Dickerson was the one to help the brand really take off on social media (including making sure they had a YouTube channel). You’ll often see Dickerson featured in Instagram tutorials or on HSN showing off beautyblender’s innovative new products.
Gabriella Trujillo, CEO & Founder of Alamar Cosmetics
In 2018, Gabriella “Gaby” Trujillo launched Alamar Cosmetics, an homage to her love of makeup and her hometown in Havana, Cuba, which she left at 3-years-old. Trujillo’s vision for the brand has been to highlight the multitude of cultures and voices within the Latinx community. Her latest collection, Spanglish, is a nod to Latinos born and/or raised in the U.S. The Miami-based founder has taken on various roles in the company, including CEO, lead makeup artist, and creative director.
Athena, Creative Director for Sola Look Cosmetics
Sola Look Cosmetics is nostalgia central. The brand, co-founded by friends David and Yvette, produces collections inspired by some of our old school faves, like Saved by the Bell and Dirty Dancing. A recent announcement shared that Sola Look had now added a creative director to the team: 20-year-old Athena, who also happens to be the daughter of one of the brand’s co-founders. As creative director, the Dominican and Haitian Boston native is involved with all of Sola Look’s creative decisions, as well as all copy for the brand’s website.
Kathleen Fuentes, Founder of LightsLacquer
Following a very public split from her partnership with KL Polish, mega beauty influencer Kathleen Fuentes, better known as KathleenLights, decided to create her own nail polish brand, Lights Lacquer. KathleenLights, who lives in Miami and whose roots lie in Cuba, launched her first Lights Lacquer collection, GRL PWR, in 2019—a tribute to her Cuban heritage and women’s empowerment.
Malena Higuera, General Manager at Urban Decay
Already a member of the L’Oréal family for years, Malena Higuera, was recently appointed the General Manager for Urban Decay. Higuera was previously General Manager of L’Oréal USA’s Dermablend, where she was big on making mentorship in the beauty industry accessible to everyone. In joining the Urban Decay team, Higuera’s mission is to create a new path for expressive beauty.