From bold and colorful makeup choices to fruity head wraps that steal the show every time, Latinas have been redefining the fashion industry for generations with their fierce confidence, unique looks, and proud celebration of their heritage. Here are just a few of the fearless women who have changed the beauty world.
Carmen Miranda, the Brazilian Bombshell
Carmen Miranda’s fruity headdresses have become a symbol of Latin flair and vibrancy since she first dropped the colorful look in 1939. The Portuguese-born Brazilian samba singer and movie star quickly became known as the “lady in the tutti-frutti hat” and “The Brazilian Bombshell” for her era-defining look. Global superstars like Cardi B, herself a fashion trendsetter, imitate Miranda’s groundbreaking headpieces on the red carpet to this day. When she wasn't rocking her head-turning turbans, Miranda sported bumper bangs, a classic 1940s 'do that looks totally retro-chic today. She would have appreciated keeping her hair flawlessly in place all day long with Lu's Control Collection.
María Félix, La Doña
While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is known the world over for his raised eyebrow, it’s iconic Mexican actress María Félix who first brought the epic arched eyebrow to the mainstream. Today, you’ll see bold brows that look just like María’s around the world, but she was the one who used it to create an iconic character with a signature style. La Doña, as she was known, starred in 47 movies, and her fiery personality on screen and tough persona helped her become the highest paid movie star of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema from 1930-50. She helped countless actresses from Latin America evolve from cliche femme fatale roles to promiment actors. True to her Latin roots, Félix also never learned English, and never acted in any English language movie. And those big, beautiful coiffed waves! Félix celebrated her natural wavy hair on screen and off. She would have loved Lu's Freedom Collection.
Rita Moreno’s West Side Story
Rita Moreno has been gracing the stage and screen since she was 13. While her styles have changed over the years, she is most well known for her history-making role as Anita in West Side Story, which was a cultural phenomenon whose influence continues today (just ask Lin Manuel Miranda). Moreno has had a remarkable run as a social activist as well as a trend-setting fashionista. Who can forget when she re-wore her instant-classic 1962 Oscars dress in 2018? Beyond her incredible red carpet dresses and looks over the years, Moreno is one of the pioneers of the short and curly look, and embraces her natural curls whenever she gets a chance. If you want to make your curls pop like the West Side Story star, try our Lock the Look Styling Cream to protect your hair from heat and humidity and keep your look locked in for longer.
Raquel Welch, Beyond the Body
Despite only having three lines in the movie, Raquel Welch stole the show and cemented herself as an international sex symbol with her jaw-dropping bold bikini look in 1966's "One Million Years B.C." While she was never fully comfortable at being known for her image rather than her talent, and was disappointed that feminists of the era took issue with her, Welch soon became known as a style icon beyond the bikini by showcasing her luscious big hair and glowing skin that fast became beauty ideals of the late 1960s and beyond. Give your hair a bounce like Raquel’s with the Free To Be Styling Cream that defines curls and waves.
Celia Cruz's ¡Azúcar!
That larger-than-life persona, those sparkling dresses, and those glorious colorful wigs that were so ahead of their time that they're still ahead of their time, Celia Cruz was a transformational figure. She popularized salsa music in the 1960s and '70s, was a champion for Afro-Latinidad, and changed modern Latin music. She became such a household name both in Latin America and the U.S. that she became the first Afro Latina to appear on a U.S. quarter. If we could sum her style in one word, it would be joyous. We all bow to the Queen of Salsa.
Lucero, La Novia de América
Lucero is one of Mexico’s best loved pop stars and has sold more than 30 million records worldwide, but her beautiful voice isn’t the only thing people admire about the singer. The Latina superstar has hosted the Latin Grammy Awards eight times and starred on both the big and small screen. Throughout her career, La Novia de América has been known for a variety of stunning looks, which have given her the title of style icon, too. Learn how to get Lucero's best looks here.
Selena Quintanilla, the “Queen of Tejano”
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was tragically murdered by the founder of her fan club, but her legacy lives on in her groundbreaking music and stunning styles. Popularizing tejano music and rocking bejeweled bras on stage in the 1980s aren't the only things Selena should be remembered for; the uber-talented singer was famed for celebrating her bicultural identity with her self-designed mesh bodysuits, legendary purple bodysuit, and signature red lip. Her style has influenced superstars like JLo, Beyonce, Solange, Becky G, and Selena Gomez, who was actually named after her. There's even a MAC cosmetic line inspired by her! Selena's hair game changed through the years, but her feathered bangs are the look that first comes to mind when we think of "La Reina de Tex Mex."
Jennifer Lopez, the Style Icon
JLo starred as Selena in a biopic of the singer's life, so it’s no surprise the Latina superstar has gone on to become a fashion icon in her own right. Jenny from the Block's style has always stayed true to her roots and celebrated her Puerto Rico heritage, even if it has evolved over the years. From her Badgley Mischka dress at the premier of Selena to over-the-knee boots designed by Versace that have been imitated from Paris to Timbuktu, Jennifer Lopez has and always will be a trendsetting Latina who continues to define the style game. It's practically impossible to pick a signature hairstyle for JLo, because she manages to make almost every style her own.
Carmen Carrera Changing the Game
Carmen Carrera rose to fame on RuPaul’s Drag Race, which led to her becoming the first openly trans model to be signed to Elite Model Management. A trailblazer and social activist, Carrera's fame has brought much-needed awareness to transgender issues in fashion. She has stayed true to the bold style choices that launched her journey into the modeling world, including showcasing elegant evening gowns that sparkle with sequins and metallics that steal the show on the runway every time. From her beachy blond waves to her sleek ponytail, Carrera's hair is always on trend and part of her bold and distinctive style.
Alexa Demie's Euphoric Moment
Who will be this generation's style icon? It's hard to predict the future, and there are several candidates who are making their mark on the beauty and fashion world (we see you, Jenna Ortega). But there's a reason why Alexa Demie is the talk of the town these days. From old-school glam and vintage vibes to edgy street style, she can do it all with style and grace. Her character, Maddy Perez, is practically a fashion icon in her own right, with her Carnival outfit triggering a worldwide search for those pants. Social media can't get enough of her, and neither can we.
Who is your favorite Latina fashion icon of all time?
Cover photo: @carmenmirandaforever, @mariafelix_todasmisguerras, @theritamoreno, @therealraquelwelch, @celiacruz, @luceromexico, @selenaqofficial, @jlo, @carmen_carrera, @euphoria