These Afro-Latinx-Owned Beauty Brands Have Transformed My Routine
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I didn't grow up seeing women who looked like me in the films or TV shows I consumed, in the telenovelas my mother watched, in any of the magazines I read, or even in any of the marketing for the beauty products I bought. But that didn't keep me or any of the women in my Dominican family from committing ourselves completely to our beauty regimens and rituals. If we couldn't find conditioners or products that worked for our naturally curly hair, we resorted to natural remedies. If we couldn't find serums or facial creams that helped even out hyperpigmentation, we looked to natural oils like rosa mosqueta. It's statistically proven that Latina women are some of the biggest consumers of beauty products in the United States. In fact, the average Latina beauty shopper outspends their peers by nearly 30 percent, and yet for decades, mainstream beauty brands didn't consider our unique beauty needs in any of their offerings. This was especially the case for Afro-Latinas like me, who are often erased from conversations pertaining to Latinidad, even though Afro-Latinxs exist across the States and in countries all over Latin America. And even though we are just as much a part of the African diaspora, we are also excluded from dialogues surrounding Blackness and beauty.
Latinidad in the US is often associated with mestizaje and steeped in colonial standards of beauty. But if there's one thing Afro-Latinas all have in common, it's our strength, resistance, and commitment to embracing our beauty regardless of the Eurocentric markers of beauty that have been pushed on us since the days of Spanish colonization. While the message of whiteness continues to permeate and overwhelm our culture, this generation of young Afro-Latinas is not adhering to the oppressive "pelo malo" or "mejorar la raza" ideologies we were raised with. Instead, they are creating and building their own beauty brands that speak to our very specific beauty and cultural needs while reclaiming and celebrating our roots with orgullo. There's something special about putting our dollars toward brands that were made for us by women like us. Here are 12 exceptional Afro-Latinx-owned beauty brands worth shopping and a look at the founders behind them who are shaking up the beauty industry one launch at a time!