Culture

21 Beauty Products Our Latina Moms Forced On Us In The ’90s

Isn’t it so nice to have a couple decades between the range of embarrassing to horrifying things our Latina moms forced on us as kids? Whenever our white friends told us to just speak up for ourselves, that we’re old enough to “Just say ‘No’,” it was a terrifying thought.

Burn your blue eyeshadow, fishtail braided prom photos and just enjoy this blast from the past.

1. The Mole

CREDIT: Nicole Washington / YouTube

If you’re like my tia, you actually got one tattooed on your face, because ain’t nobody got time for that whole dot, right? Well, it was a birthmark that happened to run in the family because all the women in your house had the same one.

2. All the Philosophie Box Subscriptions

CREDIT: “Image.” Digital Image. Hey Do You. 16 May 2018.

Your mom’s shower was like a graveyard for Philosophie products. It smelled amazing, and she didn’t just use one bottle at a time, so you could choose from 20 different half empty bottles. These were the good old days.

3. But you always had to use the horse shampoo

CREDIT: “Mane ‘n Tail Original Shampoo – 32oz – image 1 of 1” Digital Image. Target. 16 May 2018.

The bottle was actually big enough for a horse, but they swear by it for human consumption. Who doesn’t want hair as shiny and manageable as a horse? #GrowingUpHispanic

4. You never got the brands all your non-Latino friends loved.

CREDIT: “Herbal Essences Smooth Collection Shampoo – 33.8 oz – 2 pk” Digital Image. Amazon. 16 May 2018.

If horses don’t use it, or it doesn’t come with a subscription, it can’t be trusted. Just like you could never sleepover someone else’s house unless your fam knew them for generations, same goes for hair products.

5. You never ran out of soap.

CREDIT: @_flo_123 / Twitter

She’ll have all 20 bottles of Philosophie shampoo and conditioner, but will wait as long as possible to replenish your stock.

6. Mayo is for your hair and nothing else.

CREDIT: THEEKARARAE / YouTube

Come home with lice? Your mami will lovingly make you a homemade mayo and egg hair mask to suffocate the lice. Don’t complain about your frizzy hair unless you want mayo up in it for the next hour.

7. No hair mask is complete without cellophane.

CREDIT: “Speed Up Hair Growth With This Natural Oil Treatment” Digital Image. The Hearty Soul. 16 May 2018.

Every month, they’d ask, “Quiere cellophane? Tu pelo es tan frizzy.” We don’t know what exactly they put in our hair, but we know it was cellophane wrapped for an hour to three after. This is what Saturdays are for.

8. Cocoa Butter was the Vick’s of dry skin, hair, nails, etc.

CREDIT: “Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula With Vitamin E 3.5-ounce Lotion” Digital Image. Overstock. 16 May 2018.

Those brutal, awkward days of puberty when your inner thighs had stretch marks and you didn’t even notice until your mami gasped and whipped out the cocoa butter stick from her purse for an emergency application. None of us have body image issues at all.

9. Vaporú also helped with baggy eyes…

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Vicks. 16 May 2018.

Warts, toe fungus, pimples, etc. She also had a travel size in her purse, so you were perpetually aware of every blemish and dark spot on your face.

10. Crunchy, crimped hair.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Cosmopolitan. 16 May 2018.

“You can’t leave the house como así!” If you didn’t dry your hair, you better expect some greasy shit to be scrunched in and to see the final result after you already got to school. You also prayed the whole ride there and couldn’t wait to wash your hair at the end of the day.

11. She probably used this product to make the crunch happen.

CREDIT: “Three Flowers Brilliantine Pomade Solid 3.25oz Image 1 of 4.” Digital Image. Walmart. 15 May 2018.

This can also be used to slick by your hair into a very painfully tight bun or ponytail. My primas and I would “rebel” the only way Latinx kids could: trying to say no, being forced to do it anyway, and harboring a resentment that turns into articles like these. 🙂

12. But first, you’d have to wear this crown jewel.

CREDIT: PerfumeLA / Pinterest

Pull your hair back real tight and then scrunch the rest away. Thankfully, Sabrina the Teenage Witch wore this in one episode, so I felt like a bruja and not a loser.

13. They’d cut off your f*cking ponytails.

CREDIT: “Cutting your own hair” Digital Image. The Loop. 16 May 2018.

True story: My Titi tricked me into this and secretly had my friend videotape it. She just casually asked* me to put my hair in a ponytail, promptly cut it off and said, “Así, now you have layers!”

*Latino “ask” is to ask, persist, guilt and shame the child until they finally agree. I’m still mad about it.

14. Use Sprite or lemon juice to highlight your hair.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Cosmopolitan. 16 May 2018.

All the cool kids had caramel or blonde highlights in their hair, and your mom did, too, but Latino style. Just squeeze lemon juice in your hair and help her pull weeds out in the sun for awhile. If you want red, just add Kool-Aid after.

15. Brown lipstick was the only lipstick worth wearing.

CREDIT: “Brown Lipstick” Digital Image. The Fashion Spot. 16 May 2018.

Obviously, there was also lip liner and a shimmery, bronze tint at the center of the bottom lip. Obviously, you were also 14 years old and hated everything about it.

16. “Hair Tendrils”

CREDIT: “Hair Tendrils” Digital Image. The Fashion Spot. 16 May 2018.

You didn’t go to a hair salon until you moved out of the house because your mom was always the one to cut your hair. I remember feeling drunk with power at the first salon I went to because she actually did what I asked her to do.

17. Mami was always crafty with how she ironed…

CREDIT: @mari_moves / Twitter

Your skull burned every time, but “Why buy a CHI when you can iron more hair at once with this? Let me help you.” It was her way of staying involved with everything you did.

18. She also had you use butter for tanning oil.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. La Prensa. 16 May 2018.

Everyone had all these name brand tanning oils, but your mom sent you to the beach with packets of butter to rub on your body. “It was good enough for me growing up, so it’s good enough for you.”

19. Hoop Earrings Every Day.

CREDIT: Oh-desperado / Tumblr

I miss these days with my whole soul. If Selena rocked it, then the whole familia did, too. Including that extremely high pony.

20. Remember those fruity lip balms at the cash register?

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Cosmopolitan. 16 May 2018.

You could scratch the sticker to smell the flavor and your mom would get you the one she wanted and then never give it back to you.

21. And those Colombian jeans…

latina moms
CREDIT: Shakira / Youtube

You wanted to go to GAP, but instead went to the corner mart and got those low-rise, pocketless jeans with a massive bedazzled belt. There was no way around being “the girl with curves” at school. It was all a set up, and one day, we might do some of the same to our own kids. 😂

‘We’re The Ones Making Wigs Modern’: These Female Entrepreneurs Want You To Support Black-Owned Hair Businesses

Fierce

‘We’re The Ones Making Wigs Modern’: These Female Entrepreneurs Want You To Support Black-Owned Hair Businesses

xoxovirginhair / Instagram

According to research, African-American consumers will spend nearly $2 billion on hair-care products, this year alone. And although a lot of that expenditure goes toward products aimed at caring for natural hair —like shampoo, conditioner and styling products, which are also very important— a lot of $$$ is also being spent on wigs and extensions —of terrible quality, may I add. These black women grew tired of fighting and fussing with wigs and hair extensions of bad quality, so they created their own businesses to fix the problem.

Up until recently, products like wigs and extensions were primarily produced by people outside of the black community. And perhaps that’s why there were so many issues.

Twitter @olaleyepeter6

According to Mintel, between 2015 and 2019, the use of braids and extensions by Black consumers in the U.S. grew 64% and the use of wigs spiked 79%. It’s also Black women who are seen wearing the film lace frontals “Oba wigs” and drawstring ponytails and yet, a lot of companies are white or Asian-owned but Black-presenting. “It’s problematic and needs to be discussed,” says Stephanie Nolan, founder of XOXO Virgin Hair.

Nolan first came up with the idea to start her own hair business after working as a model in the early 200s.

Instagram @xoxovirginhair

Ever noticed how hairstylists spend the majority of prep time fussing and fighting with weaves and wigs  before even being able to put them on? “They would have less-than-desirable experiences working with hair extensions or wigs that just weren’t cooperating,” says Nolan. “And it would end up really dragging out photoshoots.”

She had experimented with weaves in her personal life too, and in more than just a few occasions, the hair she bought just didn’t meet her expectations.

Instagram @xoxovirginhair

“I know that the everyday woman also doesn’t have time to fuss with their hair in the morning because she has to be at work at 8:30 in the morning,” she says. “And spending a lot of time on hair just takes away from being able to eat breakfast, being able to commute, so many things.” So she started her own company in 2014, aiming to release a product that would be convenient, easy to use and most importantly, of high quality.

Heat Free Hair by Ngozi Opara

Instagram @heatfreehair

Ngozi Opara owned a hair salon in Washington D.C. around the time when the natural hair movement started to take off. And she started to see a lot of clients that wanted to grow out their natural hair —which more often than not had been straightened or relaxed. They didn’t want to cut off their hair, so thy opted for sew-ins instead. “At the time, there weren’t any extension products on the market that would blend properly for women with coily hair textures (think 3B and 4C),” Opara says. “Clients were using virgin hair, but the only available options all came in straight, wavy and loose curly textures.”

The textures available meant that Opara had to straighten her clients’ hair in order to get it to blend properly, and she wanted to be able to manipulate their hair without using any heat. “I set myself up to be the first company to [make] virgin hair exclusively for natural hair textures.”

In 2013 Opara moved to China to learn about the manufacturing process.

Instagram @heatfreehair

After six months in China, she learned that not only did the factories have no concept of how the product they were making was being used, but also that a lot of the people producing the wigs didn’t know how to create textured hair without using chemicals. After a lot of tests, roundtable discussions and educating, they eventually got to a place of understanding and were able to create a product all parties were proud of. Now, Opara owns her own factory in China —with more than 50 employees.

Gina Knight, an influencer and wig designer based in the U.K., noticed that the same issue was prevalent in hair extensions across the pond.

instagram @ginaatinukeknight

Just as Opara hadn’t been happy with the texture of virgin hair for wigs, Knight couldn’t find options with hair similar to her own texture. “Having to have more of a Eurocentric wig just wasn’t me,” Knight says.

Black entrepreneurship in the wig and extension space is picking up speed but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

instagram @ginaknightwigdesign

“We are the ones who are utilizing [the product] the most, we’re making it modern, we’re making it so that other races want to get in on it and want to wear wigs,” Knight explains in conversation with Fashionista. “But I think people need to be honest with the fact that, in the supply chain, we don’t have a stronghold,” she says. “Along the line, it does fall out of the hands of Black-owned because we have to source from all over.”

Many companies realized there was a market, and they jumped on it without considering the group they’re marketing to.

twitter @morganjerkins

That’s probably what’s most upsetting about how the industry has evolved since these entrepreneurs first started their businesses. “When I created my brand, I had this customer in mind, I had my clients at the time in mind, I had myself in mind,” Opara says. “I shared the same pain points as the people who would benefit from my product and I didn’t even necessarily know it was going to take off, I just wanted to help solve a problem.” It’s unfortunate, she says, because the companies with more power take opportunities away from black female founders that are creating these products for their community.

It’s important to support Black women and their businesses so even more companies can thrive.

Instagram @ginaknightwigdesign

“I feel like it’s my duty almost to try to encourage people to support Black businesses because I know the value that it has for future entrepreneurs,” explains Opara. “But I also feel like, at least for myself as a consumer, I want to know that the brand I’m buying from is a brand that actually cares about me and not just about the money that they’re making from me.”

Use These Tricks to Keep Your Curls Cute and Healthy During the Winter’s Coldest Weather

Fierce

Use These Tricks to Keep Your Curls Cute and Healthy During the Winter’s Coldest Weather

ebscurlytv / Instagram

Having curly hair comes with an extra responsibility that must be taken seriously. If you’ve got a head full of curls, you can’t just jump out of the shower, put your hair in a chongo and go about your day. No, your luscious locks need extra care to be their absolute best. Moisturizing, braiding, brushing, styling, combing and so on. Whether you keep it curly or flat-ironed it straight, your pelo already needs a lot of regular TLC. That’s just during mild weather; don’t get us started on the extra lengths you have to go to in order to care for it when it gets extra cold. 

Let’s just say three words: dull, dry and brittle. Sadly, this is what your curls could be reduced to thanks to the blistering chill of the winter months. 

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve complied a list of the best ways to keep your curls cute and healthy during the chilliest times of the year. So, check this list out and wear those beautiful curls with pride, mija.

1. Conditioning can be cleansing. 

Twitter / @unwash

If you haven’t ditched your shampoo for co-washing yet, you might want to give it a shot. Most shampoos have harmful sulfates in them and hair that is very wavy, curly or textured can be damaged by this. Instead, try a good co-wash conditioner and use that to replace your shampoo. It will cleanse while providing lots of moisturizer and re-hydration while removing excess oil, dirt and product build up. 

2. Hair masks = weekly TLC

Twitter / @garnierusa

Hair masks are super hydrating conditioning treatments that can be used once a week. These formulas can revitalize your curls and repair any damage done between your treatments. You’ll love how super silky your hair will feel after you wash one of these masks away. There are tons of different formulas with distinct ingredients that all offer varying benefits. Try a few and find your fav!

3. Your hair needs protein, too.

Twitter / @botanika_beauty

Just like our bodies, protein makes our hair strong. So, naturally, our curls could use a little protein boast every once in a while. Try doing a protein treatment at the beginning of winter (every 4 to 6 weeks following that) and you will see an improvement on breakage. Use a deep conditioner afterwards and you’ll be good to go. 

4. A good de-tangling spray will save your life.

Twitter / @cantubeauty

Windy conditions and harsh temperatures are no fun for your curls but that’s no reason for you to punish them. Make upkeep easy by finding a de-tangling spray that will tame tangles and part knots in seconds. Add it into your am and pm routines and you’ll notice a substantial difference and your scalp will appreciate the act of kindness. 

5. Try out hair oils for your curls.

Twitter / @bombacurls

For curl health, hydration is the name of the game. During these cold, dry months, you want to keep you scalp moisturized but you definitely don’t want to over do it and drown your curls. There are various kinds of hair oils and their ingredients offer everything from stress relief to a dandruff-free head of hair. Try a few but be sure to find a light formula that won’t weigh you down. 

6. Give a diffuser a chance. 

Twitter / @conair

There’s a misconception that heat harms hair but that isn’t completely true. In fact, for your curls, a healthy blast of heat is just what they need during these winter months. Whether you have a diffuser or a hooded dryer, feel free to use it daily to revitalize your curls and give them a lively bounce.

7. A leave-in conditioner is mandatory.

Twitter / @cantubeauty 

We know that dryness and breakage is a big issue during the winter so most of the tricks you’ll look to will attempt to add hydration to your hair. A leave-in conditioner is guaranteed to do that. However, it will also add volume to your ‘do and will work through your daily knots and tangles. It will also drastically reduce that breakage issue. Your curls are practically begging for this product.

8. Lay your head down on luxury before you go mimis. 

Twitter / @slipsilkpillowcase

The best way to care for your curly hair is to have a great night’s sleep. If you’re up all night tossing and turning, you’ll be up in the morning with a head full of tangles. Instead, invest in feather pillows that are soft and always feel like they’re on the cool side. Top them off with a set of especially smooth silk pillow cases. You’ll wake up feeling like a Disney Princess.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEMCqOg4Pm0