As the COVID-19 pandemic ravages Black and Brown communities, Latinx beauty founders are offering virtual encouragement by incorporating details from their personal wellness journeys into their content. Evergreen’s might is fading away as these entrepreneurial beauties are leaning into the rawness of the moment on social media.
By merging their usual beauty content with tales of their personalized approaches to personal care and culturally relevant experiences on their terms, founders are demonstrating examples of the authenticity that has resonated with consumers struggling to connect in the age of social distancing. Using personal anecdotes about the texture of their natural hair, or admiration of their mother’s fast face routine, has helped founders and their teams forge collaborations with one another, standing united in their commitment to amplifying each other’s voices. By coming together to discuss DIY recipes and report on their life as “plant moms,” these business owners are betting on building consumer loyalty.
According to Nielsen, “97% of Latinx households own a smartphone, and Latinx consumers spend over 27 weekly hours using apps and the web on smartphones,” making social media the perfect place for brands who lack the resources of beauty conglomerates to connect to these consumers.
Those tasked with reporting on beauty have been leaning into personalizing their content as well. Cultural journalist Johanna Ferriera shared how her Dominican roots have been helping her heal, confessing to her readers in real time instead of contextualizing her experience to fit cookie-cutter assignments.
Incorporating traditional beauty rituals passed down that speak to their individuality is a strategy that has shown stronger results for founders than “whitewashing” their content. Relying on their instincts, founders like Botanika Beauty’s Ada Rojas, Alamar Cosmetics’ Gabriela Trujillo, and IME cosmetics’ Emi Farai Mwendapole have forged true bonds with their audiences, building the kind of capital that can’t be provided by investment firms.
Why are founders paying so much attention to Latinx consumers and imparting shared authentic experiences? Because according to Women’s Wear Daily, Latinx beauty shoppers outspend their peers by nearly 30 percent. Consequently, the Latinx market has proven to be as worthy of dedicated strategic investment on the part of the biggest names in media as well. According to a study commissioned by Refinery29, “Two-thirds of women of color still feel underrepresented in the media and 40% admit they don’t see images that match their own perception of beauty.” The Vice Media property has attempted to respond to that with the launch of a dedicated Latinx vertical, titled R29 Somos, for founders to speak to the issues of the Latinx community. As with R29 Unbothered for Black/African-Americans, the platform integrates the voice of the community it seeks to connect with using takeovers, live streams, and first person essays to signal their commitment to fostering authentic conversations.
“I think the reason we are seeing launches like Somos and Remezcla for Founders is because we crave that urge for community. Especially during these times, we are looking to connect through humanity and culture. Ancient healing practices have been popular during quarantine as it allows us to look into the past, learn from it and create a better future together,” said Melissa Hago VP, Director of Beauty at Fashion Snoops.