Traditional Latina Beauty Trends That Have Gone Mainstream And Been Appropriated

If there’s anything that the debate over cultural appropriation has taught us in the past few years, it’s that oftentimes the mainstream likes to pick and choose what they deem “cool” from a culture they’ve traditionally shunned and claim ownership of it. One could argue that this phenomenon has disproportionately affected Latina beauty trends.

Sure, some of these beauty trends don’t exclusively “belong” to Latinx cultures, but others were born and raised in Latinx countries. So, without further ado, let’s run down the list of traditionally Latina beauty trends that have gone mainstream (whether we like it or not).

1. Baby Hairs

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Although there have been countless articles and think-pieces bemoaning the appropriation of baby hairs, it’s worth repeating here. It’s frustrating that something that has been so traditionally maligned by white America has suddenly shown up on every runway and editorial magazine spread. Although we’re loving this trend because it celebrates something that has been so much a part of Latinx beauty cultures for decades, we can’t help but feel annoyed as well. We guess this trend just needed a Vogue stamp of approval to know what we’ve known all along: slicked down baby hairs are fierce AF.

2. Over-lined Lips

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We put this one squarely on the shoulders of Kylie Jenner. Latinas have been overlining their lips decades before Jenner swooped in. Believe us when we say she didn’t discover MAC’s “Spice” lipliner. We have explicit memories of our mothers applying lip liner in front of the mirror with care before a big night. Like many other Latina beauty trends, there seems to be a general consensus that bigger is better. Which brings us to…

3. Killer Curves

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Look, Latinas didn’t invent big booties. And not all Latinas have the same body shape! But it’s worth noting that traditionally, Latinx folks have celebrated a curvaceous figure instead of viewing it as undesirable. As Jennifer Lopez, the Booty Queen herself, once said: “My generation was very much focused on size 0 models…My mom and my grandmother were the ones who drilled into me, ‘This is how we are, and this is what’s beautiful’…Everybody I grew up with [had bodies like mine], and they were all beautiful to me”. Preach Jen! We’re right there with you.

4. Bold Brows

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It took the advent of Cara Delevigne for the mainstream to finally recognize unruly eyebrows as the thing of beauty that they truly are. The problem is, they’ve always been beautiful to us. One could argue that the most famous pair of eyebrow(s) in history belonged to a Latina. We’re talking about Frida Kahlo, of course. Frida purposefully kept her unibrow intact as a silent protest to anglo-centric beauty standards that she considered oppressive to the Latina body. In addition to that, It’s also worth mentioning that most Latinas haven’t met an eyebrow pencil they didn’t like. There’s power in the brows, ladies.

5. Bold Red Lips

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Okay, okay. This is one of those beauty “secrets” that is claiming it belongs to Latinas is a little controversial. However, there is some merit to the argument. As a very eloquent Refinery 29 article pointed out, Latinas’ relationship to red lipstick spans from Frida Kahlo to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Latinas have used red on their lips to emphasize their confidence, their femininity and their presence in general. As Dominican-American author Junot Díaz once eloquently wrote: “She’s applying her lipstick; I’ve always believed that the universe invented the color red solely for Latinas”. 

6. Bronzed, Glowy Skin

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Let’s be real: long before the #highlightonfleek movement, it was none other than the Latina Icon herself, Jennifer Lopez, who knew how to light up the room with her skin. But Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only one who has been committed to keeping it golden. Latin culture has always valued a sun-kissed look–especially the Latinx communities based in hot, humid places like Miami, Puerto Rico, and The Dominican Republic. Having a healthy glow means you’ve been on the beach, basking in the sun, which is how many Latinas spent their childhood.

Read: 20 Latina Makeup YouTubers Representing Brown Girl Beauty

7. Hoop Earrings

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Latinas have been rocking hoop earrings long before this current wave of hoop-mania swept Instagram. Therefore, it’s slightly irksome that something that was labeled as too “ghetto” or “chola” before is now classified as red-carpet worthy. Like many writers have stated before, it’s not that non-Latinx people aren’t allowed to wear hoop earrings, it’s just that it’s wrong to give the white celebrities credit for a trend that Latinas have been doing for decades. It’s simply another example of how white America admires exoticism as long as it’s not too “other”.

Read: These 20 Latinas Went From Beauty Fans To Makeup Moguls

8. Beauty Marks

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Beauty marks have a long history as an aesthetic trend (just look at old portraits in any art museum). But in recent memory, it’s worth noting that beauty marks have been predominantly acknowledged as beautiful in Latinx cultures. There’s a reason the stereotypical “Chola look” conjures up images of girls with arched eyebrows and a beauty mark painted above their lips. Yes, people from all over the world can be born with cute birthmarks, but it’s inaccurate to give all the credit for their popularity to Cindy Crawford. Latinas have celebrated and emphasized their beauty marks for generations!

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

9. Long Acrylic Nails

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Long acrylic nails really blew up in 2017 when Kylie Jenner began Instagramming her manicures. From that point forward, long acrylics officially hit the mainstream and were dubbed “Kylie Jenner’s Long Nail Trend”. This is frustrating because, for decades, Latinas’ love of long acrylics has been the butt of joke after joke. Not to mention, before the Kylie Jenner made them “cool”, the mainstream consensus was that they were “tacky” or “ghetto”. This just further reiterates the idea that Latinas’ beauty trends are often only accepted by the mainstream when a white celebrity promotes it.

Read: 25 Reasons Why Hialeah Should Be The Nail Acrylic Art Capital Of The World

10. Día de Los Muertos Makeup

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Unsurprisingly, this “beauty trend” falls squarely under the “appropriation” category. It only takes a quick Pinterest search to discover the hundreds of non-Latinx bloggers and aspiring fashionistas who make up their faces in imitation of the traditional Dia de Los Muertos calaveras face painting. It’s understandable that the costumes and the makeup are beautiful–breathtaking, even. But what many non-Latinx people fail to realize is that for many Latinxs, Dia de Los Muertos is a spiritual, personal tradition that shouldn’t be used for views of their blog-posts.

11. Bandanna Headband

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The bandanna headband is a hallmark of Chicana style in the Western states and started as a way for Latinas to reclaim for themselves what was often viewed as a negative image. It coincided with the Chicano Movement of the 1960s when people of largely Mexican descent in the Southwest US decided to demand equality from the government. Although the trend started among manual workers as, obviously, a means to keep the hair out of their face, it evolved into a proud fashion statement that Latinas chose to make–a reclaiming of the roots they had, up until then, been told they should be ashamed of. It’s not become a hallmark of the “Urban Chic” fashion aesthetic.

Read: 30 Ways I’ve Changed My Hair By Age 30 — And What I Learned

12. Long Flowing Hair

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For the most part, hairstyle trends are cyclical. For example, short bobs were all the rage in the 1920s while bouffant-like beehives were popular in the ‘50s. But now we’re in an era where long flowing hair with a loose wave is in. Obviously, not all Latinas look alike nor have the same skin color, facial features, or hair across Latinx countries. But whether we like it or not, most Latinx cultures have traditionally held up long, flowing hair as a standard of beauty. At this moment in time, this beauty trend that was standard in Latinx communities is officially mainstream.

Read: 21 Hairstyles J.Lo Has Rocked Since The ’90s

13. Brown Lipstick

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It’s a truth universally acknowledged that in the 90s, Latinas were about that brown lipstick. Don’t believe us? Google your favorite Latina celeb + “90s” and you’ll probably find a plethora of photos of Latina celebrities on Google images who used to use the plummy-dark lipstick as their favorite shade. Unlike some beauty “trends” (ahem, Dia de Los Muertos), this one was not born and raised in the Latinx community, but it definitely took it by storm. Now, Insta-celebs like Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner have pushed it mainstream again. And we don’t even have to go to Sephora to restock! All it takes is a trip to mom’s old makeup bag.

Read: 21 Lipsticks Made By Latinas For Latinxs

14. Puebla Dresses

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Embroidered Puebla Dresses have roots all the way back to 19th century Mexico. Needless to say, this beautiful piece of clothing has remained a staple for any Mexican woman who likes to celebrate her culture. That’s why we were surprised when we saw a version of it show up on the runways of Alberta Ferretti. It’s always interesting when a fashion designer recognizes the beauty of Latinx culture and re-interprets it with a high-fashion twist.

15. Brazilian Blowouts

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Named after the country where it originated, Brazilian Blowouts are a hair treatment that smooths frizz and tames fly-aways by bonding keratin to the hair’s cuticle. Usually called the escova progressiva (progressive blowout) in Brazil, Brazilians loved it because many of them are mestiças (mixed-race people) with hair that ranges the spectrum from kinky-coily to poker straight. Around 2007, Brazilian Blowout-mania hit the US and it’s been mainstream ever since. We guess it was a secret to groundbreaking to stay quiet.

Read: We Dug Around To Find Out What High Coverage Makeup Celebrities Wear To Withstand The Heat

16. Frida’s Flower Crowns

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Along with her aforementioned unibrow, society remembers Frida Kahlo for always wearing a colorful flower crown. Due to Frida’s rise to mainstream popularity, this flower crown has become the accessory du jour for the hipster-chic Urban Outfitters crowd. Usually accompanied by her signature braided up-do and middle part, this look is popular because it signals that it’s wearer is aware of how awesome Frida was. Which is great, because she was. But let’s not forget that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have been celebrating her memory with this same accessory years before it hit the mainstream.

Read: 20 Designs For Your Baby Hairs That’ll Look Even Better Than When Momma Did It

17. Cross Jewelry

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We’ve come a long way since that infamous Sex and the City episode where Carrie Bradshaw called gold jewelry “ghetto” and that she would only wear it as costume jewelry. Now, celebs are commonly decked out on the red carpet with gold cros earrings, necklaces, and their bracelets–and this trend is being labeled as “new”. In 2016, fashion outlets were labeling it as the latest “cool girl” jewelry trend. But we know better. Latinas have been wearing crosses for decades to celebrate their heritage as well as their relationship to spirituality.

Read: 20 Fruity And Flowery Summer Manicure Looks To Add To Your To-Rock List

18. Chola Style

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We understand why the traditional “Chola Style” of baggy pants, dark lined lips, and buttoned-up plaid shirts has swept runways recently. It’s simple: because it’s cool. The origins of the Chola aesthetic originate in working-class Chicanas circles in the South-Western US. Chicanas created their own style to reject white culture. They utilized hand-me-down menswear and an exaggerated makeup look to blend tough and feminine styles together. Also optional: big gold jewelry, a bandanna as a headband, and a wife-beater tank top. Before Hollywood appropriated the look, the Chola style symbolized femininity, toughness, non-conformity and the history of struggle in the Chicana community.

Read: 21 Things We’ve Learned About Camila Cabello’s “Havana” Makeup Line Since It Dropped

19. The Cat-Eye

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Latinas have always been queens of painting their eyes up with a sultry, cat-like flick at the end that many have seen as “exotic”. There’s a reason why many classic Hollywood movies that depicted Latinas depicted them in bright red, with plump lips and a winged cat eye–it was a look that was coded as “Latin Lover”. But maybe it wasn’t so much “exotic” as it was Latina women choosing not to assimilate to the more mellowed-down makeup preferred by mainstream America. Now, of course, there isn’t a pop star on the red carpet that doesn’t rock the Cat-Eye look.

20. Bejeweled Bustier

Credit: @encantaselena/Instagram. @suam/Instagram.

One of Selena Quintanilla’s signature looks, who doesn’t remember that scene in Selena when Jennifer Lopez puts one on for the first time, much to the dismay of her father? Flash-forward to the mid-2000s, Selena’s jeweled bustier has seen iterations on everyone from Katy Perry to Taylor Swift. It’s the ultimate pop star costume: sexy, glittery, and just as revealing as you want it to be. Let’s not forget to attribute the trend to the woman that started it all, though: Selena Quintanilla.

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Nicole Richie’s Style Evolution Will Leave You With A Serious Case Of Whiplash


Nicole Richie’s Style Evolution Will Leave You With A Serious Case Of Whiplash

Nicole Richie, who is of English, Mexican and Creole African-American ancestry, has had quite the style evolution. This party-girl turned entrepreneur has cycled through trends in a way that would make the average person’s head spin. Richie entered the spotlight around 2004 when she burst onto the scene in the trailblazing reality show “The Simple Life”. After the public recognized how cute, witty, and downright watchable this girl was, she pretty much has never left our screens since.

Throughout Richie’s tenure in the public eye, she’s always brought her own personality to everything she does. Back in her reality days, it was her biting, deadpan humor. Now that she’s older, her personality is reflected not only in her personal style (which is always on point), but her fashion projects as well (she’s the founder and creative director of the House of Harlow 1960 fashion line). Here at FIERCE by mitu, we’ve compiled a list of classic Nicole Richie trends that will make you realize why this Latina entrepreneur is such a force in front of and behind the camera. Take a look below!

1. Two-Toned Hair


When the hit reality-show “The Simple Life” aired in 2003, Nicole Richie was rocking a really on-trend hairstyle at the time: two-toned hair where the “low lights” were much darker than the rest of the hair. We can’t say this is our favorite look of hers.

2. Tube Dresses


In the early aughts, Richie also gravitated towards monochrome tube dresses that looked just as at-home on the red carpet as they did in the club circuit.

3. Bright Orange Faux Tans


Even the naturally darker-complexioned Miss Richie wasn’t immune to the early-2000s allure of a spray tan back in the day. As you can see from the above picture, she may have gone a bit over-board with the trend (we’ve all been there).

4. Blunt Bangs


Richie has never been one to shy away from bold hair experimentation (see her Met Gala look from 2017). We love how she always changed up her tresses, like when switched her usual hair-do to some chic blunt bangs. She really can’t go wrong.

5. Smudged Eyeliner


When Richie first hit the scene in 2004, she had a signature makeup look that always turned heads. She rocked a “grunge-chic” look that included tousled, bedhead hair and a smudged smokey eye that looked like she had been up all night partying.

6. Super-Sized Sunglasses


Once Richie started to transition out of her reality TV days, she really began to come into her own, style-wise. We have a feeling that Richie began donning mega-glasses because it successfully shielded her from the paparazzi, but it also cemented her as a style icon. One could argue that it was Richie who put the over-sized sunglasses on the map for good.

7. Over-Sized Clothing

Pinterest via Amy Joyce

Not only did Richie develop a penchant for over-sized sunglasses, she also started to gravitate towards baggy clothing around the same time as well. This was a massive change from her previous style which consisted of mini-dresses and skin-tight polyester.

8. Side Bangs


If you look through a catalogue of Richie’s past fashion experiments, a common thread will weave through all of it: bangs. Richie has always been a big proponent of a fringe, whether it’s an aforementione blunt cut or her signature side-swept style that she usually opts for. In fact, it’s hard to think of a look as classically Nicole unless the bangs are both prominent and sideswept.

9. Boho-Chic


There may not be a celebrity in all of Hollywood that does Bohemian as well as Nicole Richie does. Not only is she tasteful and fashionable with her choices, but she’s also adventurous and playful. Richie’s bohemian phase was the look that launched a thousand copy-cats–celeb or otherwise.

10. Scarf Headbands


Richie has been a fan of the scarf-as-a-headband since her “Simple Life” days, and her affinity for the accessory doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. These days, however, she sticks to smaller, top-knotted headbands as is evidenced by her most recent Instagram posts.

11. Curly & Natural


Although Richie has opted to straighten her hair since her early days in the spotlight (no judgement from our side), she’s recently gone the au naturel route, leaving her mane to reveal its curly glory. We love how Richie is never afraid to experiment in any aspect of her look

12. Sleek and Simple


Lately, Nicole Richie has been all about simplicity when it comes to her personal style–especially when it comes to her hair. This is a big departure from her bygone days when her mantra seemed to be “the more the merrier” when it came to hair and makeup.

A Definitive Round Up of Hair-Removal Fails We All Experienced During Puberty


A Definitive Round Up of Hair-Removal Fails We All Experienced During Puberty

As Latinas, many of us have an intimate relationship with hair removal. Many of us have memories of watching our madres wrestle with tweezers, razors, and smelly hair-removal creams in front of their bathroom mirrors. Little did we know that we would soon be the ones dealing with what we felt was unruly body hair, never being able to keep up with the never-ending stubble and constant growth. 

Luckily, the culture has progressed in a way as not to punish women who choose not to remove their body hair as part of their beauty routine. As we all know, there are a million ways to be a woman and no right way to perform femininity. We can’t help but chuckle, however, when we look back on the massive fails we experienced when we first dealt with removing our body hair. This, in some ways, can be due to upbringing. While some mothers are upfront about how to groom and look after your body during puberty, some parents are embarrassed to talk about the changes their daughters’ bodies go through. The lack of education about puberty and hair growth can lead to some embarrassing hair-removal horrors stories. 

Here are 10 of the worst hair-removal fails from when you first started removing your hair.

1. Ingrown Hairs


The first years of shaving are, for all intents and purposes, the Wild Wild West. No amount of well-intentioned tías suggesting you only shave “with the grain” will keep you from dragging that razor right against the grain, dammit. It’s your body, after all, you’re entitled to making your own mistakes! But god, there will never be ingrown hairs as bad as there were during your high school years. 

2. Razor Burn


When you first begin shaving, the word that best describes most young women’s practice is “experimental”. We all have to try shaving our legs wet, dry, with shaving cream, without shaving cream, and of course, with a dull and rusty razor. We have to do this all at least once to realize that razor burn is not a joke.

3. Nicks and Cuts


Who doesn’t remember accidentally drawing blood a few times when we were being a little too careless with the razor? It takes practice to nail down the constant vigilance that shaving requires.

4. Patchy Legs


In our teen years, there were definitely times where we went to school with legs that resembled our brother’s measly attempt at a pubescent beard: patchy. It’s a right of passage to miss a spot or two while shaving when you’re first starting out.

5. Red-stache


If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of waxing your mustache, you know the humiliating feeling of getting rid of one ‘stache just to end up with another. We’re talking about the bright-red inflammation that shows up post-waxing your upper lip. Sometimes, it takes up to a full day to disappear.

6. White Heads


So, you do go through the effort of removing your girl-stache, and in the wake of a good wax (or Nair) session, your follicles are irritated enough to become inflamed and decide to clog up. And now, you have an army of white heads where your mustache used to be. Good times.

7. Dry Scaly Skin


When we’re young and naive, we don’t necessarily take any of our mother’s advice seriously. One thing we regret not paying attention to was her advice of lotioning-up our legs after shaving. Shaving acts not only removes hair temporarily, but the blade strips the natural oils your skin produces at the surface. It’s always a good idea to moisturize after to avoid unusually dry skin.

8. Wax-Induced Bleeding 


How many of us have foregone a salon in order to try our hands at hair-removal methods through DIY means? Yeah, we’re talking at-home waxing. The more sensitive your skin is, the more prone it is to breaking easily. Especially in hyper-sensitive areas like your bikini line.

9. Wax-Induced Bruising


Again, if you’re doing at-home hair removal treatments like waxing, it can take a few tries before you become adept at toeing the line between effective and injury-inducing. If you rip out your hair too quickly or forcefully, you can end up with post-wax bruising, especially on areas like your bikini line.

10. Wax-Related Burns


Okay, this is our last wax-related post, we swear! But if you’re the adventurous Latina who has ventured into the unpredictable territory of at-home waxing, then you know that DIY wax kits are subject to getting hot. Piping hot. We’ll admit that we’ve suffered burns from being a bit too enthusiastic with how long we’ve microwaved our wax in the past. Luckily, pre-waxed strips that don’t require heating are much more common now than they were a few years agol