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As the clean beauty revolution continues to take the world by storm in a world that’s more driven by industrialization than ever before, it's helpful to know that there are some simple ways to get back to nature.
Our mamás and abuelitas have been champions of natural skincare long before it became the trend of the day.
These all-natural beauty alternatives won’t just be easier on your pocket, they’re also environmentally friendly. Whether you're on a quest to ditch your regular drugstore haul or simply in the mood for some DIY beauty experimentation, let's dive right into these super-simple, homemade recipes.
Treat your lashes to an aloe vera mascaraPhoto by Jude Smart on Unsplash
Aloe Vera, a plant indigenous to Mexico, is known for its healing properties and is believed to help reduce fine lines and accelerate wound healing. But did you know it can also encourage lash growth?
Mix 1 teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel, 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal for the dark color, and 1/2 teaspoon of beeswax to give the mixture body. Heat the ingredients until they meld into a smooth blend, then carefully transfer it into a clean mascara tube. Let it cool, and it's ready to use!
Nourish your lips with an avocado lip balmPhoto by Bethany Randall on Unsplash
Packed with vitamins A, D, and E, avocado oil is a highly nourishing moisturizer, making it a great base for a lip balm.
Blend 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon of beeswax in a heatproof container. Melt the mixture over simmering water until smooth, then add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Pour into small containers, let it cool, and voilà, your natural lip balm is ready!
Exfoliate your body with coffee groundsPhoto by Mae Mu on Unsplash
This face mask leverages coffee's antioxidants for a refreshing facial treatment. Plus, it smells delicious!
Mix 2 tablespoons of fresh coffee grounds, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons of milk (for its lactic acid). Apply to the face, avoiding the eye area, and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Ditch the blush for a beetroot lip and cheek stainPhoto by Nick Collins on Unsplash
A vibrant, red beetroot serves as a natural, long-lasting lip and cheek stain. A very popular “hack” in many Latin American cultures for its rich color!
Grate a small beetroot, then squeeze the juice into a small pot. Simmer until the liquid reduces to a concentrated form, then let it cool. Use a cotton swab to apply this DIY stain to your lips or cheeks for a natural rosy flush.
Enhance your glow with a coconut oil highlighterPhoto by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash
Known for its moisturizing properties, coconut oil provides a natural sheen perfect for highlighting. This is a favorite in tropical areas.
Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and mix it with a pinch of mica powder (a natural mineral with a shimmery finish). Pour the mixture into a small container and let it cool. Use your fingers or a brush to apply to your cheekbones, brow bone, or anywhere else you'd like a bit of glow.
Set your makeup with cornstarch translucent powderPhoto by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Translucent powder is essential for setting your makeup, and cornstarch, a staple in many of our kitchens, serves as a natural alternative.
Take 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of green clay powder (for oil control, if you have oily skin), and cocoa powder. Start with a small amount of cocoa powder and gradually add until you reach a color that matches your skin tone. Store this blend in a small container, and use a brush to apply it as needed.
These are just a few ways to harness the power of natural ingredients for beauty products and many do them could help reduce the risk of skin irritation from synthetic chemicals found in commercial makeup. So why not give these Latin American-inspired, all-natural makeup alternatives a try? Tag us if you do @theluzmedia!
“Clean beauty” continues to transform the skincare industry by moving away from products that drench our skin in synthetic chemicals.
VAMIGAS, a Latina-owned, botanicals-focused beauty brand is doing their part to transform the way we care for our skin, naturally. Founded by Ann Murray-Dunning and Christina Kelmon, VAMIGAS uses naturally-derived ingredients in their skincare products inspired by Latin American beauty regimes for Latinx skin texture.
Luz Media caught up with both Ann and Christina to discuss their growing business, the ups and downs of ownership, and the future of their brand. Read on to find out more about these mujeres poderosas and their plans for the future.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and flow.
LM: Where does the VAMIGAS name come from? And what inspired you to start your business?
VAMIGAS: Vamigas is a Latina-led, vegan, ethically sourced, cruelty-free skincare brand created from Latin American botanicals from Chile, Peru, Mexico and more, that’s helping bring clean beauty to Latinas, who have been left out of the clean space until now.
Vamigas is a play on the words amigas, and the initials of our daughters, V and M. Lately it’s also starting to mean, Vamos Amigas!
What inspired us was finding out during my [Ann’s] pregnancy and during Christina’s first year as a mom, that there are no clean beauty brands at mass that specifically target Latinas.
LM: Why is that important?
VAMIGAS: We were looking for clean beauty options because many studies – including a very recent study out last month - found that Latinas, who buy and use more beauty products than non-Latina consumers, have more hormone-disrupting chemicals in our bodies.
We also show higher rates of things like infertility and breast cancer and U.S.-born Latinas are even 3 times more likely to experience preterm birth than non U.S.-born Latinas.
Yet, no one is targeting us with higher-quality ingredients.
Latinos are a growing community in America and our spending power jumped to more than $1.7 trillion in the last few years, according to a report from the University of Georgia. We significantly outspend our peers in beauty by 30%. However, Latinas have remained largely marginalized in skincare and beauty. What’s more, most of the major beauty brands don’t understand how to market to our complexity.
This was more than our inspiration. It felt like a calling.
LM: What makes your products so unique?
VAMIGAS: We are the first to source 8 ingredients from Latin America in one formula and the only brand to source exclusively from Latin America. In fact, we are the only brand to only focus on primarily Mexico AND Chilean ingredients. What’s more, we are an authentic Latina team with the background that’s needed to understand our hermanas who are out there looking for green beauty options, and give them what they are looking for.
LM: What words of wisdom would you share with Latinas looking to enter the beauty market as entrepreneurs?
VAMIGAS: Build key partnerships with vendors early on, find who is the best in the biz, but also who you work well with, and make sure they’re strong partners and can scale with you. It’s all about the relationships at the beginning - and that can make or break you during your journey.
LM: What about Latinas looking to enter any entrepreneurial venture; do you have any words of advice for them?
VAMIGAS: Don’t fall into the “busy trap”. In the beginning you’ll be doing a lot of things to try and move the needle. Within that year at some point, you’ll need to prioritize those tasks. What’s bringing you 80% of your success? Focus on that and forget about the things that barely give you anything in return, and that just have you running around looking busy.
LM: Have you experienced any challenges from being a Latina entrepreneur? What about positives?
VAMIGAS: Yes, sometimes as Latinas, you get the feeling that folks don’t take you as seriously as they would two young Mark Zuckerberg-esque white guys pitching their startup. Even when it comes to vendors or partners. The most random folks sometimes want you to prove yourself or your business to them even though you would be paying them. It’s a weird power imbalance. We have only partnered with folks where we feel we have that mutual respect and support.
LM: Lastly, tell us where we can find you online!
In addition, you will now be able to find VAMIGAS at various JCPenney stores summer 2022 in collaboration with Thirteen June. Check out the cities below to find their products near you and get your skin going with that summer glow.
JCPenney: S 10th Street McAllen, TX
JCPenney: Whittwood Town Center Whittier, CA
JCPenney: Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI
JCPenney: Glenstone Avenue Ste 200 Springfield, MO
JCPenney: W Division St Ste 96 St. Cloud, MN
JCPenney: Greenville Blvd SE Ste 200 Greenville, NC
JCPenney: Youngstown Warren Rd, Niles, OH
JCPenney: Main St Trumbull, CT
JCPenney: Town East Mall Mesquite, TX
Vamigas: Grandview Pkwy Davenport, FL
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