If your skin care or makeup routine is feeling lackluster lately, it might be time to reboot and tap into Latin America’s underrated beauty gold mine. Let me explain. On a trip to Ecuador a few years back, I discovered a Holy Grail product that I never wanted to part with. It was lipstick from Colombian brand Vogue, and it was amazing in every sense of the word as far as its bold pigmentation, wearability, and quality. I’ve never found anything quite like it in the States, and it peaked my curiosity about what other treasures could be hidden in Latin America’s underrepresented beauty market.
International beauty trends are nothing new in the United States. It’s no secret that earlier this year, Korean beauty (a.k.a. K-Beauty) swept America off of its feet. However, Latin American beauty products stand in a league of their own. With products that rival some of America’s best brands like MAC and Urban Decay, Latin American beauty products have the potential to leave their mark on the market. Whether your upcoming travel plans for the holidays include a trip overseas or you’re simply looking to try something new, be on the lookout for these cult beauty favorites and the ingredients that are taking Latin American countries by storm.
Jolie de Vogue Professional Eyeshadow, Mexico and Colombia
Fiorella Santana, a professional makeup artist based in Ecuador, says that she relies on Jolie de Vogue for her makeover needs. The brand frequently gets imported into Ecuador from manufacturers in Mexico and Colombia and has gained a strong following. “Jolie de Vogue is a great brand for eyeshadows. The best part is that you can customize the palette to your liking and choose what eyeshadows you want to include, whether it’s matte or satin finishes,” says Santana.
Jolie de Vogue Professional Eyeshadow Palette, $133; Siemprebellacosmeticos.com
Yanbal Fragrances, Peru
Peru’s Yanbal is a go-to brand for beauty fans in Latin America. “Yanbal is an all-around amazing brand, the majority of their products are of an excellent quality. Their makeup comes with detailed application instructions and pamphlets for their products, making them super easy for beginners to use,” says Santana. Aside from their makeup line, Yanbal also creates popular signature fragrances. The brand’s best-selling perfumes, Temptation and Gaia, have their own unique profiles. Santana points out, “Temptation has strong spicy notes that make it both feminine and masculine, while Gaia is more on the feminine side.”
Yanbal Gaia Perfume, Yanbal.com
Vogue Cosmetics Rice Compact Powder, Colombia
Vogue Cosmetics leads the beauty game with its beautifully opaque nail polishes, but is best known for its amazing foundation and finishing powders. If you’re into a natural look and don’t have tons of time to spare, its Rice Compact Powder (Polvo Compacto de Arroz) is the product for you. The product promises a matte finish that combats oily skin plus protection against the sun’s damaging rays. Best of all, its fine pigments don’t clog pores and is meant for all skin types.
Vogue Cosmetics Rice Compact Powder, Cosmeticosvogue.com
Mirta de Perales Keratin Hair Treatment, Cuba
One of Cuba’s longest-standing beauty brands, Mirta de Perales specializes in hair care. Founded by famous hairdresser Mirta de Perales in the '50s, the brand has an amazing legacy. It’s even made its way to the United States and can be found in beauty supply stores. The brand recently launched a series of innovative collections, including a Keratin line that protects hair against heat styling while smoothing and improving elasticity. Silky, smooth hair on a budget? Yes, please! Bueno, bonito, y barrato.
Mirta de Perales Keratin Conditioner, $18; Mirtadeperales.com
Kryolan HD Micro Foundation Smoothing Fluid, Ecuador
Kryolan is found in parts of Latin America like Ecuador. The real superstar of the brand is its HD Micro Foundation Smoothing Fluid, which is employed by makeup artists all over the country. “For any aging concerns or expression lines, this is my go-to foundation. It makes the skin look beautifully flawless and is extremely full-coverage. My only qualm with this product is that it’s not an ideal long-wear foundation because it can cause an allergic reaction if worn for more than a few hours,” says Santana. Due to anti-aging ingredients found in the product, it’s best to do a spot test before application and see how your skin reacts. “It’s perfect if you’re having photos taken or have an important event to go to, but I wouldn’t use this as a daily foundation.”
Kryolan HD Micro Foundation Smoothing Fluid, $50; Kryolan.com
Natura Cacau Body Butter Scrub, Brazil
If skin care is what you’re after, Brazilian brand Natura is the answer. With products ranging from cleansers and moisturizer to hydrating lotions, Natura slays in the skin-care department. One of its most popular products, the Ekos Cacau Body Butter Scrub promises smooth and glowing skin with cocoa beans extracted from trees in Bahia to create a luxe exfoliating treatment. You can feel good about using this brand, too, thanks its all-natural, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free ingredients.