From makeup to jewelry, here’s a list of five brands owned by Afro-Latinas that you can support.
Founded by Afro-Dominican sisters Mabel and Shaira Frías, Luna Magic was created as an expression of love for their Latin roots and all the rich complexions that encompass it. The beginning of this makeup line runs back to 2019 in Los Angeles, where the Frías sisters brainstormed about a brand that represented the diverse beauty of their heritage. With vibrant pigments reminiscent of the Caribbean and Latin America, this sister duo definitely worked their magic to bring a radiant touch to every product.
One of the essentials from this brand is their Desnuda Eyeshadow Palette, a combination of nine colors with nude, smokey and glittery shades that are perfect for your day-to-day makeup look. This product recently won accolades in 2021 from the POPSUGAR Beauty Awards, in which fans voted Desnuda as the Best Eyeshadow in the category of Latinx Makeup.
For beauty entrepreneur Adriana Isabel Robinson Rivera, convenient drugstore products didn’t work for her sensitive skin. Unsatisfied with the quality, she decided to create her own natural remedies, and she noticed improvements in the health of her skin. Thus Adriana began building her own beauty line, Reina Skincare, which opened as an Etsy shop in 2018. As a Panamanian native raised in Florida, Adriana wanted her culture to be embedded into the identity of her brand. The lush greenery and tropical fruits of Central America, with the use of Spanglish for her business’s name, mixed in with inspiration from Latin icons such as Celia Cruz, Adriana creatively wraps her lineage into the rich fabric of Reina Skincare.
Loved by POPSUGAR Latina and other outlets, this brand pampers and nourishes your skin like royalty. A blend of various butters, oils, and other plant-based components can be found in each product. With handmade body butters that will give you a radiant glow and a delectable scent, this indie business creates a luxurious experience for everyone to enjoy.
Bronx native Mariel A. Mejia was on the search for new hair products after making the decision to go natural. With freedom from relaxers and chemical straighteners, she sought out products from beauty supply stores to target her concerns for dry and dull hair. But the products available on the market did nothing to revitalize her curls from root to end. In 2015, during the time when Mariel was a college student, she began formulating her own products at home in her mother’s kitchen. She gleefully created hair concoctions with beneficial ingredients like shea butter and castor oil.
Mariel’s passion project launched into a business known today as Pink Root Products, which aims to assist curly- and kinky-haired women with a healthy hair routine. Leave-in conditioners, curl-enhancing lotions and more, Pink Root Products have the essentials to help style your hair after wash day. From waves to coils, each product contains ingredients to effectively moisturize textured hair. Mariel firmly proclaims, “We don’t believe in bad hair, just bad hair care.” Boldly challenging the “Pelo Malo” mindset in Latino communities, she reminds us all to embrace our unique crowns in whichever texture it grows.
4. Jam + rico
Throughout Lisette Scott’s childhood, she was always surrounded by Caribbean culture in her household. Raised in Brooklyn with Jamaican and Puerto Rican heritage, Lisette grew up celebrating traditions from her immigrant grandparents. With roots from St. Ann, Jamaica to Yauco, Puerto Rico, family is very important for Lisette. Bold colors, tropical beaches, festive holidays and warm people from both of these islands have all inspired Lisette to design jewelry that captures the essence of her culture.
In June 2016, Lisette launched her brand Jam + Rico to connect with her lineage in-depth and allow other people to connect to the Caribbean too. From childhood memories to vacation trips, Lisette creates fashion jewelry collections based on tropical places. Her fine jewelry line, “Plantanos,” was designed after traveling to Puerto Rico and observing the natural landscape there. Cute adornments embody Boricua culture such as the Plantanos Earrings or Monfongo Ring. Jam + Rico’s new collection titled “Santiago” recently debuted, inspired by the island and Lisette’s grandfather, Santiago Pelliccia. More than accessories, all these pieces thoughtfully reflects the histories and identities that many people are connected to by land and by heart.
5. VELA NEGRA
Dr. Aisha Z. Cort pours her heart and culture into each soy candle she makes by hand. Both the founder and maker of VELA NEGRA, a luxurious candle brand, she conceptualizes special fragrances that highlight her Afro-Cuban and Guyanese background. Her products are touched by the places she’s visited and the people close in her life. Dr. Cort has candles in sizes from 4oz to 22oz for collections like Caribeña, Isla, Raíces and Herencia, a new and limited collection for Hispanic Heritage Month this year. Whether it’s the sweet cocoa scent of Morena or the fruity papaya from Wepa, this brand has alluring fragrances that can transform the atmosphere of your home into a calm relaxing space.
Each candle is created with a vegan and coconut soy material in black wax, included with a wooden wick, giving the product a distinctive look. This brand effortlessly blends culture and craft that produces an elegant and eco-conscious fragrance for homebodies to delight in. Since the launch of VELA NEGRA in July 2020, Dr. Cort individually makes her products in Washington, DC, where she also works as a full-time Spanish professor at Howard University and runs another business as a language coach.