The beauty industry overlooks rising Latina demand

Mark A. Carlson

Latinas are a growing segment in the beauty and self-care industries, outspending non-Hispanic buyers in the past few years.

Why it matters: Many companies have yet to market to them, while brands aimed at Latinas or have Latina founders struggle to attract investors.

Between the lines: Some companies have begun to diversify their products for people of color, thanks to brands like Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. But experts say the shade ranges and offerings from most brands still fall short of the variances in Latina skin and hair.

  • This, despite the fact that Latina buyers represent 18.5% of the U.S. beauty industry’s revenue, per Nielsen data.
  • In 2016, a MAC makeup line inspired by the late Tejana singer Selena, with shades complimentary of the artist’s brown skin, sold out within hours when it was first introduced and remains one of the brand’s best-selling collections.

By the numbers: Hispanic women were the only non-white group who drove make-up and nail care purchases during the pandemic in 2020, spending 13% more than the average buyer on personal care, according to Nielsen.

  • Since 2015, Latinas of all age groups have spent on average $35-50 more per year on personal care items, such as lipstick and hair care products, than their peers.
  • They have also shown the most interest in buying personal care products that are natural and environmentally friendly, opening up the opportunity for a huge new market, according to Nielsen.

The intrigue: Several Latinas have set out to establish personal care brands that offer a wider range of shades and other options.

  • They include make-up brands like artist Becky G’s Treslúce and Luna Magic, which was founded by two Afrolatina sisters, as well as hair care product brands such as Botánika Beauty or Bomba Curls, both from Dominican Americans.
  • But similar companies say one of the biggest stumbling blocks remains access to capital, Bloomberg reports. The Frías sisters behind Luna Magic, for example, had to depend on financing through the TV show “Shark Tank” in order to launch earlier this year.
  • “This is why we have to train other women to be entrepreneurs, show them the ropes,” Melanie Jovanovic, the Venezuelan founder of her own cosmetics line and owner of beauty care salons in the Miami area, tells Noticias Telemundo.

Of note: A handful of Latina beauty vloggers and bloggers have acquired followings based on their reviews of certain products and their tips on mixing custom shades.

  • They include Mexican American military veteran turned influencer Dulce Candy and Dominican American YouTuber Alba Ramos.
  • Brands have also begun diversifying their spokespeople, by tapping the likes of Latina artists Camila Cabello, Melissa Barrera and Eva Longoria.

Editor’s note: This story was first published on Nov. 16.

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