Fierce

The Jefa Behind The Beauty Blender Empire Had To Watch People Rip Off Her Approach To Make Up Before Starting A Business

Beauty Blenders. If you check your makeup bag right now, you probably have one in there. The same thing goes for your favorite beauty bloggers. They are more than likely using this product in their videos right now. There’s a reason for this. This tool was the one that revolutionized the beauty game and it was created by a Latina entrepreneur.

The original Beauty Blender was created by makeup artist Rea Ann Silva, a Latina with more than 20 years in the makeup and beauty game. She channeled her expertise to create a product that is now used by makeup artists, beauty bloggers, celebrities and average consumers around the world. 

Her invention has inspired numerous copycats and earned even more awards for its innovation and creativity.  

While the Beauty Blender has sold multi-millions since it was first dreamed up back in 2007, a lot went into first creating the tool.

Twitter / @thisisinsider

As a makeup artist, Silva started her career on the set of music videos for Tupac, Dr Dre, Brandi and Eve. Soon, Silva moved up to movies — doing makeup for films like “Set It Off” and “Friday.” It was on these sets that she learned to work with different skin tones and textures. The Mexican-American became especially good at working with darker skin, something that most makeup artists at the time were not specializing in. 

It was this expertise that led her to a role as makeup artist for the UPN series “Girlfriends.” Working with the actresses on the series was challenging because of how television had evolved. TV was now being shot in High-Definition, a format that showed every detail of the actors’ faces — especially the ones they wanted to hide the most. 

 “On ‘Girlfriends’ I had a unique challenge,” Silva explained to INSIDER, “Suddenly, in HD, you were able to see every pore. You were able to see every bump. You saw everything on the skin as opposed to film where you blast a lot of light and you wear 5,000 pounds of makeup.” 

Airbrushing the actresses with makeup was the best option the crew had to combat this HD issue. However, it wasn’t viable when it came to productivity and practicality. 

“It was a very challenging thing to do,” says Silva, “because you have to pull your actors off the set. Pretty soon it’s a whole production wrangling thing. I would airbrush everyone in the morning, but by the end of the day, the makeup looked heavy.”

There had to be a better option and Silva was determined to find it. 

In order to solve this issue and still get flawless coverage, Silva drew from her background with special effects.  

Twitter / @Jezebel

In the course of her makeup career, the Latina had taken a special effects makeup class to enhance her technique. During one of these classes, the instructor explained that cutting sponges can be done in order to give the right shape for the exact job. This was the moment that Silva was struck with inspiration. 

“I was totally enraptured and I thought, oh my God, this could be it,” she explained to ALLURE.

After experimenting with different shapes and materials, Silva settled on the one that we recognize as the classic Beauty Blender shape. Impressively the formula hasn’t changed since. The special hydrophilic sponge is designed to absorb water. Back in 2007, this was an unusual trait for makeup sponges. The understanding at that time was that this would waste product; soaking it up into a porous sponge. So, sponges were designed to repel water instead. 

However, Silva discovered that if the sponge was wet before applying makeup, water would fill those pores and product would apply smooth. She began by cutting the edges off of traditional triangle sponges to get a more rounded tool. This shape offered beautiful coverage for Silva. Originally created to apply liquid concealer, the makeup artist found that it worked wonders with powder as well. Additionally, it can be used to touch up makeup throughout the day. 

These newly created sponges would be tested first hand by the lead actresses of “Girlfriends” but the true proof of their success came from somewhere else. 

Twitter / @SharSaysSo

Silva and the other members of the “Girlfriends” makeup team had to make new blenders every day. Part of the demand came from their actual use on set but it also originated with frequent theft of the blenders. 

“It was like they sprouted legs and walked away off of the set and I realized people were stealing them,” Silva explained to INSIDER. “When I realized people were stealing them, I was like, I have an opportunity here.”

Seeing the demand, Silva came up with a business plan. From here, she developed the sponge for commercial sales, branding it the Beauty Blender and manufacturing it in the lovely pink shade that has now become so recognizable. Since the sponge went to market back in 2009, the Beauty Blender has sold 50 million units worldwide. 

The Beauty Blender has really has become a cultural icon beloved by those who use it. 

Twitter / @originalspin

What started as a bit of problem-solving has turned into a multi-million dollar endeavor. Since the inception of the Beauty Blender, Silva’s company Rea.deeming Beauty Inc, has branched out. She now offers her own line of makeup, setting sprays, different types of blenders and cleaners. No doubt more innovation is in store for this little sponge in the near future.

The story of Rea Ann Silva and her invention is one of ingenuity and creativity. Is there any wonder that such a nifty little invention came from a Latina? As always, seeing a boss entrepreneur who is solution oriented in her passion inspires us to pursue our own dreams.  

 
 
 

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Latinas talk “Imposter Syndrome”

Entertainment

Latinas talk “Imposter Syndrome”

Oli Scarff / Getty

Imposter syndrome. It may happen when you finally got accepted to college and have found yourself overwhelmed by the student body, or when you accepted that dream job, or even while doing your job. It can happen in relationships, in friendships. Basically anywhere and amongst us Latinas too. Even despite our hard work and much-earned credentials.

We wanted to talk about Imposter’s Syndrome and how to deal with it, so we reached out to our FIERCE audience on Instagram for their thoughts.

Latinas got real with their responses about feeling as if they were undeserving.

Check them out below!

Remind yourself that you’ve worked hard and are deserving.

“Thank you for posting this! I actually just got hired on as a school counselor and I’m feeling this intensely right now. I have to keep reminding myself that I worked so hard for this and that I AM WORTH IT!” – adelitafamania

Understand that anything can trigger it.

“It happens to me every single day on so many levels. It’s been holding me back my whole life and I keep pushing against it, some days it gets the better of me but I won’t give up on myself even when I really feel I’m not capable. I get so stressed all the time thinking someone is going to discover that I’m not smart, or fun, or whatever it is at that moment that I shut down. It’s so good to openly discuss it with friends or even professional help.” – pinatapink

And it can lead to social anxiety.

“This is so hard, I feel like this nearly every day. Lately, it’s been getting in the way of my entire purpose and whether or not I want to work hard at all. I tend to think, “Like for what? I don’t deserve to have the things I want because I didn’t work hard enough.” Yet, I did. Probably more than anyone else in my programs, jobs, teams, even my friend group. This is so tough and often it leads to my social anxiety which affects a whole multitude of behavioral patterns like procrastination and chronic lateness.” –curlsofroses

But you can battle it by not shrugging off your achievements.

“Happens to me all the time. And when people give me praise I tend to say “oh it’s not a big deal.” But I’m trying to remember that I’m enough and hell yeah I’m a big deal.” – erika_kiks18

Because it can happen to brain surgeons and Fortune 500 CEOs too.

“Our country and our community has been through a lot since the middle of March. Now more than ever is the time to nourish our goals and inspirations. In my podcast, I bring together some of the highest achieving Latinos that our country has to offer: Dr. Quinoñes-Hinojosa: who went from migrant farm worker to a world-renowned brain surgeon
Hector Ruiz: one of the very few Latinos to be a Fortune 500 CEO of an American Company Louis Barajas: the #1 financial Latino expert in the USA. (He is most likely your favorite Reggaeton artist’s to-go financial guy.)
Cesar Garcia: an actor who has seen. dozens of times in music videos, shows, and movies. He’s known for his roles in Fast and Furious and Breaking Bad. Chef Aarón Sánchez: The most well-known Latin Chef in the country. Find an episode that catches your attention or share an episode to a friend of loved one that would like to hear from other Latinos on how they achieved their dreams and goals.” – trailblazinglatinospodcast

And you can cure it by not reminding yourself to not give weight to other people’s thoughts.

“I cured mine by not giving a fck! The enemy is a LIEEEE.” –stephaniesaraii

And last but not least, know that it can be hard to defeat but you ARE worthy.

“This was me on the first day after I transferred to University. The feeling still follows me sometimes. It hard to defeat.” – dianalajandre

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Latina Beauty Brands Crushing The Makeup Game

Fierce

Latina Beauty Brands Crushing The Makeup Game

besamecosmetics / Instagram

It’s likely that behind every bold lip you’ve ever rocked, there’s a strong Latina beauty who taught you how to do it. Hence, whether it’s been how to pick the right shade or moisturize with Vicks, there’s no doubt by now you’ve got a handle on rocking a mean pout.

With so much advice passed on from the abuelas and tías in our lives, it’s no wonder more and more Latinas and Latinos are leading the charge in the beauty industry. Check out our fave Latina beauty brands below!

1. Bésame Cosmetics 

This is totally your abuelita’s make up brand. (And why not? She taught you all you know about a good red lip anyways.) Bésame’s founder, Gabriela Hernandez, immigrated from Venezuela and became fascinated with the sophistication of beauty while playing with her abuela’s makeup brushes. Each of Hernandez’s long lasting beauty products act as shoutouts to the romance of 1930’s Hollywood. Her Black Cake Mascara will give you major romance vibes.

2. BeautyBlender

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Blend like a boss!

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If Rea Ann Silva’s beauty must-have hasn’t already swept across the foundation on your face, stop what you’re doing and get on board. Seriously, we’ll wait because it’s awesome.

Got it? Cool! Because the Mexican and Portuguese entrepreneur completely uprooted the makeup game back in 2007. The innovative makeup sponge doesn’t hold onto product and evenly distributes formulas into skin with zero lines. Yes and yes.

3. Nuance by Salma Hayek

Don’t believe that just because she’s on the red carpet that your girl Salma hasn’t a clue about drugstore makeup. The Mexican-born actress strongly believes in bringing products with healthy ingredients to all women. Which means yes you can find the line in the isles of CVS. Her Flawless Finish Liquid Foundation is also a complete steal at $14 a pop.

4. Reina Rebelde

Regina Merson’s colorful range of lipsticks, shadows, and blush palettes act as an ode to the zesftful culture of her Mexican heritage. With shades like ROSA SALVAJE and MORETÓN, Merson’s line is equal parts queen and rebel.

5. Gaby Espino

Venezuelan telenovela star Gaby Espino’s beauty line is proof that she has more talent to bring to the table. Her lipstick and nail polish line stem from her love of beauty products and fans are OBSESSED. The extreme-pigment and long-lasting cream-texture of her Buh Bye Baby lipstick is packed with antioxidants and also mint for calm, smooth lips.

6. Breakups to Makeup

You know that saying “some things are better left unsaid”? Puerto Rican and Cuban makeup artist Angelique Velez’s makeup bag line is for anyone who still has some words to say. Velez’s line of makeup bags and clutches are tagged with quotes that evoke major “same” vibes.

Fun Fact: Velez founded Breakups to Makeups after makeup helped her through a bad break up. #makeupsaveslives

7. Melt Cosmetics

This massive cosmetics brand racked up an equally massive fan base in just a matter of 3 years. Lora Arellano is the other founding half of the popping cosmetics line and has been on our radar as a girl boss for a while. Since the launch of her beauty brand, the first-generation Mexican-American has worked with Rihanna and Serena Williams as their go-to makeup artist.

8. Tata Harper

Tata Harper’s 100% nontoxic skincare line has swept up a massive celebrity clientele that includes Gwenyth Paltrow and also Lake Bell. According to Forbes, Harper is Columbian-born with a background in industrial engineering. Gotta love a woman in STEM!

Pro Tip: Go for the super popular Honey Blossom Mask ($65) for girls night in.

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