It makes sense that Desi Perkins, the self-proclaimed "YouTube ninja," has more than six million followers across social media just waiting to watch her yield an eyeliner pencil. Few others, after all, have the ability to make beauty seem infinitely less intimidating — a hard feat if the subject matter is how to pull off Pikachu-colored eyeshadow. She's also not afraid to explore unchartered territory to bring the very best products and treatments to the masses.
That, in conjunction with her Mexican-American background, is what made Perkins the perfect tour guide to L.A.'s underground world of Hispanic beauty — where makeup and self-care hold as much stake in cultural traditions as tamales or Dia de los Muertos. Press play above to watch entire clip, then keep reading for more info on the best-kept beauty destinations you might not know about... but should.
Herbal Remedy Shops
The first to-do in L.A.? Hit up the stores with hundreds and hundreds of homeopathic herbs and remedies. The entire genre is huge within Hispanic culture, with people using holistic medicine to treat everything from aches and pains to redness and blackheads. Perkins took us to a quaint shop hidden in the El Mercado in Boyle Heights as well as Herbs of Mexico in East L.A., where Refinery29 learned how to treat every skin issue imaginable with a "magic herb" mask (which features, as we know it, bentonite clay).
For years, a huge trend in Latin America has been micropigmenting — where you tattoo semi-permanent makeup onto the face. To see it in action on lips, we went to Elite Permanent Makeup & Training Center.
Makeup is arguably one of the biggest — and most colorful — forms of self-expression for many Hispanics, so celebrity makeup artist Andre Sarmiento walked us through all his favorite Latinx-owned products. On the lineup: the MAC x Selena collaboration, Perkins' own makeup palette with Dose of Colors, and Nuance by Salma Hayek. Que hermosa, si?
In Refinery29's Skin Deep, Refinery29 teamed up with Google to explore the realm of beauty and culture, examining the influences that shape how we talk about beauty today.