8 Genius Latina Beauty Hacks That Everyone Should Know

The world could learn a thing or two from the Latinx community, a culture that prides itself on feel-good music, delicious food, and badass leaders (hello, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).

One thing we hold especially high is our love for beauty. From a young age, our mothers and grandmothers teach us the tricks they learned from their mothers and grandmothers to help us maintain healthy hair, nails, and skin. It's no wonder we see so much Latinx talent shining in Hollywood while catering to some of the biggest stars in the biz, like Rokael Lizama, the makeup artist behind Beyoncé's instantly-iconic OTR II looks. (Let's not forget that we're also a spending power in beauty retailing, as reported by Nielsen.)


So, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we thought it'd only be right to spill our secrets — well, some of them. That's why we asked several Latinas to share their go-to beauty hacks, and rounded up some of our favorites. From fighting sweat to growing nails, these useful tricks won't only save you money, but might just inspire you to change up your beauty regimen, too. Ahead, the best beauty hacks nine Latinas learned from their familias.

Today, there are roughly 55 million Latinxs living in the U.S. — each one of us with unique cultural experiences. In our new series #SomosLatinx, R29's Latinx staffers explore the parallels and contrasts that make our community so rich. Stay tuned as we celebrate our diversity during Latinx Heritage Month from September 15-October 15.

Courtesy of Massiel Ramirez.
"To help grow out my nails, my grandma taught me to use garlic and clear nail polish. You take a garlic clove, smash it, and put it into the clear polish (a strengthening one works best). I apply it as a base coat a few times a week and it works magic for making my nails longer and stronger." — Massiel Ramirez, Dominican-American
"Growing up, my tia (aunt) would always insist that we use hair mayo — the ORS HAIRestore Hair Mayonnaise — during our summer beach vacations to keep our curls hydrated and frizz-free. At first, I was grossed out by the idea (personal opinion: mayo is the worst), but when it actually resulted in my curly hair feeling smooth and hydrated after a day spent swimming in the ocean, I was sold. I should probably do it again now post-summer, tbh." — Alessandra Donnelly, Cuban/Irish-American
"I remember visiting the beauty salon and the beautician finishing up my hair and asking my mother if I wanted a tubi, which is wrapping your blow-dried hair into a net so that it lasts. I instantly thought no. I wasn't trying to look crazy walking out of the salon, but my mother insisted otherwise. It wasn't until I unpinned my hair from the tubi the following day that I realized how silky straight the technique kept my hair; it's unmatched. Now, my blowdry wouldn't be complete without it." — Krystal Vega, Puerto Rican and Black
"Latinx people are all about being efficient. If the hand soap bottle is running low, you know my mom was adding water to it to make it last longer. So, when shaving cream would run out, my mom would tell me to use the conditioner and call it a day. It was also, in her eyes, a great way to have less products around, which means less of a reguero (mess) — a Latina mother's dream. Honestly, I love this hack and still use it to this day, because it makes for an easier shave and leaves my skin incredibly smooth." — Thatiana Diaz, Dominican-American
"My abuela (grandmother) would layer hemorrhoidal cream on her face to tighten the skin. Then, I later found out that Kim Kardashian and her makeup artist swear by it. It's not a permanent fix, but if you have an event or something to get ready for that requires skin tightening, it works." — Cessie Cerrato, Cuban-American
"My grandma has always slathered on this cream religiously every morning and night. She's almost 80, and I can say she doesn't look a day past 60. My mom and aunts also still use Pond's because of my grandma. It's safe to say it's a family thing. Growing up my mom didn’t let me put absolutely anything else on my face except Pond's, and I've heard the same from other Latinas. To this day whenever I travel back home to Colombia, I bring back the value size of this cream." — Daniela Herrera, Colombian-American
Courtesy of Gloria Guerra.
"My family would tell me to use vivaporu (Vick's VapoRub) to help calm bug bites and eliminate the itchiness. I wouldn't say it made the bites disappear overnight, but it made a huge difference." — Gloria Guerra, Dominican-American
Courtesy of Diana De Paula.
"I was taught by my grandma Valdina to use baby powder and lemon on my armpits to reduce sweat, and let me just say that it works. I actually started using it again recently, since I've been trying to walk away from toxic deodorants. Pro tip: never use lemon after shaving." — Diana De Paula, Brazilian-American
— In Partnership with Sephora —
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