Beauty Comes in All Shades and Sizes: How Hispanic Consumers are Driving the Inclusive Beauty Movement

They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and consumers have never been more confident and vocal about supporting brands that are redefining what it means to be beautiful. From product formulas and packaging to the assortment carried in retail stores and models featured in ads, consumers gravitate towards brands offering personalized products that recognize and celebrate them…ALL of them, regardless of skin color, hair type, age, gender, or body size. 

All eyes were on Rihanna when she first launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, with an unprecedented 40 different foundation shades that “sparked a shift in the makeup industry,” according to Maya Allen, former editor at Byrdie. Beauty is no longer a monolith, but a reflection of the increasingly diverse range of consumers beyond those the industry has traditionally targeted. 

At BODEN Agency, an award-winning communications powerhouse making an impact for brands embracing the changing face of culture, we recognize how inclusive beauty has become more important than ever, driving companies to prioritize and give their diversity and inclusion practices a major glow-up.  

When it comes to beauty enthusiasts seeking products that are more tailored to them, there’s no denying that Hispanics lead the pack. Their spending power coupled with cultural influence make them integral to defining the future of inclusive beauty. 

As one of the fastest-growing segments in the U.S. with a projected $2.4 trillion in buying power by 2024, Latinos across all segment subgroups represent a significant market opportunity for beauty brands looking to attract new loyalists from underserved markets: 

  • Latina Beauty Trends Go Mainstream: Latinas spend 19% more on beauty products than their non-Hispanic counterparts and over-index in the use of blush, mascara, face powder, lipstick/lip gloss, foundation and bronzer by more than 20%, compared to White Non-Hispanic female counterparts. Beyond purchasing power, young Latinas, whose beauty routines are often influenced by cultural traditions passed down through generations, have proven themselves to be trendsetters. They’re bringing back looks inspired by their moms and abuelas currently being flaunted by general market stylemakers (cue Hailey Bieber’s “Brownie Glazed Lip” and the rulos comeback made popular by content creators like Yesenia Hipólito). 

  • Latinas Consider Authenticity Supernatural Beauty: Aside from serving fierce looks, it’s interesting to see how Latinas also strive for authenticity versus perfection:
    • When Selena Gomez founded Rare Beauty, she set out on a mission to reinforce that makeup is for everyone. Relatability and accessibility are in the brand’s DNA and are reflected across all aspects of the business, from its extensive shade ranges to its unique approach to influencer engagement. Authenticity is a key driver of success for the brand, which was expected to exceed $300 million in sales in 2023, according to Fast Company
    • Last fall, Dove delivered a powerful campaign, #MyHairAMiModo, to tackle pervasive societal pressures on women to conform to certain hair standards. The TV spot featured Lianna “Li” Saumet of Colombian electro-tropical group Bomba Estéreo, who released a remix of the band’s popular self-love anthem, “Soy Yo” to serve as a rallying cry for Latinas to be their authentic selves and celebrate all hair types. 

  • Afro-Latinas Share How Black is Beautiful: Given the unique beauty and personal care needs of Afro-Latina consumers who identify as both Latino and Black and the lack of representation, there has been an increase in beauty brands created by and for Afro-Latinas to meet those unmet needs. And much like beloved beauty icon Celia Cruz embraced her African heritage and invited listeners to celebrate the richness of their own cultural identities through her song “Bemba Colora”, many Afro-Latina entrepreneurs and influencers are curating their own spaces on social to represent the diversity of Black beauty within our community including:
    • Afro-Dominican and CEO of Bomba Curls, Lulu Cordero, who wasn’t always proud of her natural hair, one day decided to let go of her insecurities and embrace its natural texture. Tapping into tightly kept Dominican beauty secrets used by generations of women, she built her brand using natural premium and organic ingredients (think rosemary and cafecito!) to meet the needs of curly-haired queens.   
    • Monet McMichael is an O.G. beauty, fashion and lifestyle influencer with a massive following that landed her at #47 on Forbes Top Creator List. A nursing student turned bonafide TikTok star, she blended her Black and Puerto Rican beauty influence and nursing school hacks into a $4 million dollar business, securing coveted partnerships with top brands including Google, MAC Cosmetics, L’Oréal Paris and Pat McGrath.

  • Beauty Defies Gender: Historically, beauty has been a tool to break through society’s expectations of masculinity and femininity but, today, gender roles and beauty norms are more fluid. Latino men are considered “ultra groomers”, increasingly investing in their appearance and outspending non-Hispanic counterparts in many personal care categories including moisturizers, hair and nail care. And it doesn’t stop there. Younger consumers, particularly those in urban areas, are breaking down traditional ideas about masculinity, rejecting negative views toward beauty and priding themselves on self-expression. From nail art to wearing makeup and sporting colorful hair, Latino men are taking a page out of Bad Bunny’s playbook and embracing beauty practices historically reserved for women. Brands have also stepped out of the box, tapping Latino male celebrities to promote female-focused brands, while male beauty influencers are taking social media by storm:
    • E.l.f. Cosmetics recently partnered with Colombian singer Manuel Turizo to launch the “Ojos. Labios. Cara.” campaign celebrating women and encouraging them to embrace their boldness, confidence and cultural roots. This is a perfect example of what we call Hispanic+—a general market brand capitalizing on a trend and tapping Latino talent to reach new audiences.
    • Manny Gutierrez Jr., best known as MannyMUA, began making his mark on the industry 10 years ago, after launching a Youtube channel leveraging his experience working as a makeup artist at MAC and Sephora. His rise to fame on social led him to become Maybelline’s first male brand ambassador and create his own brand, Lunar Beauty, conceived with the explicit intention of celebrating all genders.

  • Beauty Has No Expiration Date: Salma Hayek, Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Lopez are just a handful of Latinas defying stereotypes and proving that beauty and allure have nothing to do with age…let’s face it, who isn’t after that iconic JLo glow? The 50+ Latino segment represents a significant opportunity for BPC brands given they spend an average of $46 per month on these products compared to a significantly lower $25 for the general population, adding clean, anti-aging and dermatologist-recommended tools to their already robust beauty arsenal. And while many still see it as a youth-obsessed industry that lacks representation of older generations, there are notable Latinas changing the game and embracing a culture of skin health vs. anti-aging.
    • Known as the “Queen of the Green Skincare Movement”, Colombian skincare founder Tata Harper, was inspired to create her eponymous luxury brand focused on skin health. From using glass bottles and sugarcane-made resin packaging to sourcing ingredients directly from her family-owned farm in Vermont, there’s a reason this brand has captured cult status among clean beauty goers of all ages.
    • In the midst of a sea of predominantly Gen Z and millennial beauty influencers, stands Claudia Fabian, proudly embracing her silver hair and signs of aging. Her devoted followers credit her for empowering them to embrace the aging process and feel worthy in their own bodies.

While some brands are embracing the changing face of beauty and adding to their customer base, a trust deficit still exists, with 1 in 5 women of color, including Latinas, expressing low trust in brands. Catering to the needs of diverse consumers is no longer a nice to have, it’s a must have if brands are going to increase and strengthen consumer purchase intent and capitalize on the vibrant growth opportunity that inclusive beauty represents. Latinas are leading the way.