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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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…
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.
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.
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?
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…
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. ????
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