10 Afro-Latina-Owned Beauty Brands to Support Always
For decades, beauty brands were created without considering the unique needs of women of color — especially Black women.
But thankfully, many Black women have launched their own brands over the years that don't just meet these needs, but encourage others to embrace their natural curls and beautifully melanated complexions with pride.
However, often times, Afro-Latinas — who are just as much a part of the African diaspora as any other group of Black people — are forgotten. Plus, America's misconceptions and confusions around race and ethnicity often exclude Afro-Latinas from the conversation. Yet, in the past few years alone, we've seen a growing number of brands hitting up retail shelves, owned by Afro-Latina women, who often pride themselves in their love of all things belleza.
These ladies aren't just creating brands that really speak to their own community's beauty and cultural needs, they are also carving out representation that they themselves didn't see for years. But let's be clear, many of these products — if not all of them — are still inclusive of everyone.
So, if you plan on putting your dollars this year towards supporting more Black-owned brands, we recommend checking out these 10 exceptional lines.
Whether you're on the hunt for a clean, but high quality, nail polish or a light-weight hold gel that will leave you with juicy, bouncy curls, there's definitely something here for you!
Rizos Curls founder Julissa Prado — who has Afro-Mexican heritage on her dad's side and is a curly girl herself — launched the brand with the mission to create a clean hair brand "centered around curls, community, and culture that embraces and celebrates the beauty of curls, coils, and waves everywhere."
Known for their Curl Defining Cream that leaves hair super hydrated and defined, Prado recently launched her latest product: the new Light Hold Gel. It's formulated with 95% naturally derived ingredients, including aloe vera, flaxseed, thyme, and arginine. These ingredients work together to provide a flexible hold that leaves curls bouncy, and frizz-free but also super soft to the touch. No crunch, flakes or cast to break here!
"I created the Light Hold Gel because the Rizos Reinas asked me for it. It's the most requested product to date," Prado exclusively shares with InStyle. "I knew I needed to add a styling product that provided stronger hold compared to our Curl Defining Cream. I want anyone who is looking to either embrace their natural texture or looking for high-quality hair care products to know that Rizos Curls is here for their needs. Our goal is to make curl education accessible to all while providing curl tips and tricks in both English and Spanish."
To shop: $24; target.com
In her own journey to self-love and discovering her identity as a Black Latina and Dominican woman, founder of Gloryscent, Rafaela Gonzalez Mendez, found very few brands in the market that really catered to her skincare needs.
"It was great to see the hair care industry booming, but this was not the case for the skincare arena," she says. "We deserve powerful and elevated skincare formulations too, so I devoted myself to creating this brand with women of color in mind also with the heart that all women can reap the benefits of environmental protection."
The Gloryscent Manketti Oil Serum was formulated with that in mind, using ingredients that derive from the motherland of Africa, like rooibos tea, manketti oil, and mongongo seed oil. This quickly absorbing formula leaves skin smooth and hydrated without clogging pores. The beneficial properties actually work to combat anything from acne to eczema, leaving skin super soft, smooth, and radiant.
To shop: $62; gloryscent.com
The brand's founder Adriana Isabel Robinson Rivera, who was born in Panama and is based in Brandon, Florida, created Reina Skincare because of her own skin issues.
"I constantly broke out and had hives using many skincare products found in stores," she tells us. "One day I decided to start using only natural products and I accidentally ordered 10 pounds of shea butter. I started to make things with it and my skin began to clear up. Friends and family convinced me to sell and it's been a crazy ride from there."
Rivera — who is a true lover of coffee — formulated her bestselling coffee scrub using coffee grains, shea butter, rose water, and glycerin that work to increase blood flow, reduce the appearance of cellulite, remove dead skin cells, and leaves skin silky smooth and moisturized.
To shop: $15; reinaskincare.co
Luna Magic Beauty
If there's one thing this eyeshadow palette makes clear, it's that Lung Magic Beauty is a vibe.
Afro-Dominican sisters Mabel and Shaira Frias created this brand with the mission to celebrate their mutual love for their multicultural heritage and music — in living color.
Customers especially love this palette for its vibrant colors that look especially poppin' against brown complexions. Color names like Salud, Dinero Y Amor, really touch on the cultural relevance and nostalgia that resonates with a lot of their Latina customers.
"Our company promises to serve customers like us by offering great quality products that compliment a range of complexions, at prices that are accessible to all," the sisters tell InStyle. "We want folks to know that we are eager to build a community of passionate beauty lovers that love makeup and want to celebrate all the fun elements that makes us all special."
To shop: $26; walmart.com
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Twenty-seven year-old Consy Toribio — who was born in the Dominican Republic and was based in Pompano Beach, Florida — launched natural hair brand, Dominican Curly in 2018 after learning to love and embrace her own natural curls.
"The mission behind Dominican Curly is that 'all hair is good hair.' This is a play on the Spanish phrase 'pelo malo,' which translates to bad hair," Toribio tells us. "This term is often used in the Dominican Republic to describe curly/textured hair. Through haircare I learned that all hair is good hair if you just take care of it and that's what Dominican Curly is all about — falling in love with your natural hair through simple and effective natural hair care."
Her Calendula and Hibiscus Hair Teas are powerful hair rinses formulated with natural herbs to help target everything from hair loss and shedding to promoting hair strength. The Hibiscus Tea Hair Tea consists of a blend of organic herbs including, hibiscus flower, nettle leaf, red clover, burdock root, rosemary, and raspberry leaf that all work to nourish your scalp and promote hair growth.
Wondering how you use this? Simply boil the herbs in water like you would a regular tea. Strain, let it cool, and then rinse your hair with it so it can deposit all that goodness to your strands. Leave on and then apply your favorite conditioner, followed by your usual styling products.
To shop: $15; dominicancurly.com
For TMRW Nail Polish
In 2018, Maia Alejandro, an Afro-Dominican and Puerto Rican entrepreneur from Washington Heights, became pregnant with her twins around the same time her cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a result, the two began teaching themselves about the many harmful and toxic ingredients found in beauty products marketed to women of color.
In an effort to use only clean beauty products and being obsessed with all things nails, Alejandro felt inspired to launch her own non-toxic nail polish line For TMROW in November of 2020. The brand's name is inspired by the idea of making healthier clean beauty decisions for your tomorrow.
"I wanted to share this with people. People shouldn't have to wait until they get cancer or are in a high risk pregnancy to [have access to good and clean products]. Anyone can benefit from this. I wanted to put something out in the world and share this new lifestyle I was experiencing," Alejandro says, who first learned how to nail a manicure (pun intended) when she was just a little girl painting her Dominican tia's nails. "As a Latina woman, my beauty philosophy is that beauty makes life worth living. I think there's a lot of guilt associated with people enjoying beauty and with people enjoying beautifying themselves — that it's not important and of course, there are things that are as or more important. But it makes life fun. It makes you feel good and it gives the harder things in life more ease."
Her red polish in For Tonight is a blue-red that looks fabulous on literally all skin tones whether you're fair, medium, or dark. The customized applicator brush is flat and round at the edges, making it easy to hug at your cuticles and paint around your nail bed edges. It's designed so that anyone can give themselves a bomb mani.
To shop: $18; fortmrw.co
After transitioning to her natural curls and experiencing alopecia, Lulu Cordero decided to lean into the ancestral beauty remedies of her native island, Dominican Republic, in a quest to grow long, healthy hair. Ingredients like organic coffee grounds and herbs like rosemary have been used by Dominican women for centuries.
The Bomba Curls Dominican Forbidden Oil is a lightweight organic blend that can be used as a pre-poo, hot oil treatment, scalp treatment, or smoothing serum that increases blood circulation, stimulates hair follicles that promotes growth, and leaves hair strengthened and nourished.
"At the heart of our brand lies the message that self-love is the best love," Cordero says. "We are helping our communities heal from the generational traumas that are associated with the stigma that is tied to our natural hair — we are helping to break the cycle one curl at a time."
For best results: Massage a small amount onto your scalp and apply the Bomba Curls Forbidden Hair Mask or deep conditioner of your choice, to the mid shaft and ends. Leave on for at least 30 minute before rinsing out with a gentle but foamy shampoo.
To shop: $22; nordstrom.com
Rocio Nuñez, who is an Afro-Latina of Dominican descent, launched makeup brand Midas Cosmetics in 2018, with the mission to create a product that would make everyone feel loved, appreciated, and celebrated.
"I was tired of seeing the same things being released by all of the brands on the market," she tells InStyle. "They weren't listening to their customers and many POC — specifically Black people — were being left out of the community. I wanted to be the change I wanted to see so I created Midas Cosmetics."
The brand's best-selling product is the Esta Co. X Neonmua Palette, which was created in collaboration with Neonmua (Darius McKiver). The palette consists of rich colors like a bronze gold shimmer, a red matte with a bit of orange, a deep matte brown, and a bright lavender blue shimmer, all designed with deep and darker complexions in mind.
To shop: $12; midascosmetics.com
Pink Root founder Mariela Mejia, was inspired to develop a curly hair brand after transitioning from chemically treated and heat damaged hair to healthy natural curls. The Dominican-American beauty lover wanted to create a brand that made women feel confident about their natural textures.
"We don't believe in bad hair — just bad haircare," she says. "Our goal is to nurture all hair textures and hair types from coily to kinks and waves and we're able to do that by listening to what our audience needs are."
Pink Root's best selling product is the Curl Styling Paste, that's a hybrid between a gel and a cream, leaving curls hydrated and super defined with a soft hold.
To shop: $15; pinkrootproducts.com
"The inspiration behind MicMas Remix was my natural hair journey," says brand founder Adassa Ramirez, an Afro-Boricua from the Bronx who grew up using hair relaxers and heat-styling before finally embracing her natural ringlets.
"When I stopped using relaxers and cut off my hair, I went back to using natural ingredients in my hair like my mom would when I was a child, and created MicMas Remix. To carve a niche in an already saturated market, I wanted to focus on what was personally relatable to me: my Caribbean culture and sharing the message of, 'todo pelo es pelo bueno,' while providing cruelty-free organic hair oil products."
The brand's bestseller My Porosity is a specialized lightweight protein oil formula that's designed to strengthen and repair damaged hair while locking in moisture. It's formulated with natural ingredients like grapeseed oil, pure sweet oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, and raw honey and works on both high and low porosity hair.
To shop: $16; micmasremix.com