An Architect, A CEO, & More Latinx Professionals On How They Use Makeup To Reclaim Their Space At Work
As a Latina journalist who specializes in fashion and beauty, makeup is something that’s welcome — even celebrated — in my field. Wearing a glittery eye or a super bold lip to the office is met with compliments, not disapproval. And I’m grateful to have a career where makeup is lauded as a form of individuality, creativity, and self-expression — sometimes even a nod to my heritage. But that's not always the case in other fields, like law or politics, where (mostly white) men outnumber women, especially Latinas, and makeup is viewed, well, a bit differently. Too much — or too little — and you're labeled "unprofessional." (Eye roll.)
Latinas are the largest group of women workers in the U.S., according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But we still earn a whole lot less than our white male counterparts: For every dollar a non-Hispanic white male makes, Latinas earn only 57 cents. So, being taken seriously — and being compensated and treated equally — can be difficult. Makeup, then, can be a tool of confidence in the workplace, a way to embrace and reclaim your power, culture, and identity. Or, maybe, it's just something that provides a little catharsis in an industry that makes you feel inferior at times. (Don't underestimate the therapeutic powers of applying your favorite mascara or lip gloss.)
With support from Ulta Beauty, we’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (which kicks off September 15) by shining the spotlight on nine Latina professionals from all over the U.S. who work in fields that have been traditionally male-dominated, from architecture and cannabis to politics and tech. Read on to learn how they use makeup to feel empowered at work.