Discover the best of South American beauty as CF celebrates the inherent connection between brands and their countries of origin in our Around the World In Beauty series.
Made up of countries including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, you can easily recognise South American beauty brands for their sunny depositions, with engaging packaging and design concepts playing host to innovative formulas to boost glow, nourish your hair and make everyone feel included.
Plus, considering this region is home to the Amazon rainforest, you can also expect a host of natural ingredients from this hub of biodiversity, as well as an increasingly important focus on eco-conscious formulas to ensure the protection of this environmental asset for future generations.
Read on to discover the best South American beauty brands to shake up your beauty routine right now…
With South America’s warm climate and the people’s penchant for being outside, skincare is incredibly important in the average beauty routines of South Americans – just ask Gisele Bündchen and Sofia Vergara (who we hope will bring her new beauty brand to a global audience soon). There’s also a real focus on the Amazon’s array of nourishing oils and plant extracts that can do wonders for the skin, such as Buriti oil from “the tree of life”, detoxifying white clay, and of course avocados, which are as good for your complexion as they are on toast.
Founded by influencer and entrepreneur Camila Coelho, who has enviably glowing skin herself, Elaluz is like a summer holiday in a bottle. Inspired by her native Brazil (with fresh natural scents included), the amber cacay oil-based Beauty Oil is exactly the tincture dry skin needs after a flight. Plus, if you aren't travelling somewhere warm, the Overnight Facial Glow provides a safe, natural-looking tan.
Pioneering farm-to-face sustainablity and natural skincare, Tata Harper credits the inspiration for starting her luxury beauty brand to the rituals she experienced at her grandmother's house in Colombia. Her small-batch produced formulas prove that eco-friendly, luxury and efficacy can go hand-in-hand, with the classic Regenerating Cleanser still a cult beauty editor favourite.
Powered by superfruits indigenous to Latin America, Joaquina Botanica – named after the founder's great, great grandmother – was inspired by Vogue-alumni Giovanna Campagna's Columbian roots. You can expect mood-boosting rituals and innovative skincare formulas to excite your senses, including this award-winning whipped cleanser that uses papaya-extract to gently exfoliate, teamed with hydrating omega-rich cacay and coconut too.
A heartwarming story of a true family business, Marianella is a mother-and-son-run company, inspired by the sights, scents and traditions of Venezuela. (The products themselves are handcrafted in New York City). When Marianella moved from Venezuela to the US, she started making soaps and her son, David, started selling them after being inspired by the transporative nature of their fragrances. The rest is history – leading to this serum being voted People's Best Facial Care Product of 2022. It's worth the pricey global shipping cost.
Bodycare and Fragrance
South America is a celebration of bodies of all shapes, sizes and colours, so you can trust their formulas for keeping your skin soft, supple and smooth from head-to-toe, with no judgement. Bodycare is another category that benefits from the region’s impressive botanicals and oils, but these formulas are not only effective – they smell delicious too and are a joy to apply. That means if you struggle with motivation when it comes to your bodycare routine, these brands are your ticket to body TLC.
Inspired by Brazilian-born Francisco Costa's travels in the Amazon with the Yanawana Tribe, it's hard not to fall head-over-heels for this sustainable award-winning oil-based brand, powered by the rainforest's healing ingredients. In particular, a trio of Kaya oil, Cacay Oil and Breu Branco resin – known as 'The Jungle Complex' – provides a rare concentration of vitamins and omegas that provide deep moisturisation and a silky-smooth finish on the skin.
With the ability to search via the Amazonian ingredients you want to discover within the formula – which include vitamin-rich acai, hydrating tucumã butter and omega-6-rich passionfruit – Natura Brasil is a discovery walk through the best of South American produce. This silky body lotion, with handy pump applicator, is a best-seller for a reason.
The sacred Brazilian ingredient Copaiba sap, found deep in the Amazon, is at the heart of Halo 42, a vegan skin and bodycare brand by the makeup veteran Tim Quinn and entrepreneur Mark Turnipseed. Historically, Amazon tribes used the ingredient to heal skin after stress, war and even childbirth, so you can expect a moisturising treat, with a suitably relaxing spa-like aroma of natural geranium, rosehip, chamomile, and rosemary oils.
Granado launched all the way back in 1870, making it the oldest Brazilian pharmaceutical brand. Those original remedies, created by founder José Antonio Coxito Granado used local plants, flowers, and herbs: a concept that has endured as the company expanded into the fresh and classic fragrances that you can discover in Liberty London's beauty treasure trove to this day.
Innovative solutions for your hair abound from South American haircare brands; specifically those that take inspiration from Amazonian botanicals and that target the diverse hair types you can find across the continent. As mentioned, there’s also a large focus on sustainability within this category, so choosing a South American beauty brand is a step towards making your in-shower routine more planet-friendly too.
As its tag-line "Rainforest Grown Beauty" suggests, Rahua's shampoos, conditioners and styling products are filled with some of the Amazon rainforest's most potent ingredients, including its namesake, nourishing Rahua oil, which was once used in ancient ceremonies. However, the brand doesn't just promise impressive haircare results, its also passionate about sustainable use of rainforest resources and has multiple partnerships overseeing preservation too.
"Bum bum cream" by Sol de Janeiro was the formula that proved to even the most adverse to bodycare, that moisturisers could be a joy to apply. Then, the brand expanded into haircare too, and the vibrant packaging, moreish sweet scent and deeply moisturising ingredients saved our beauty editor's sun-stripped strands too. You'll fall in love for far longer than a summer fling.
Only around 60 Latina founders have ever raised over $1 million in venture funding. Babba C Rivera is one of them, with her brand Ceremonia. The founder, who is Swedish with Chilean descent, was inspired by her father, who was a hairdresser, to create a brand championing ingredients from Latin America. This hair scrub, with papaya extract, is the deep clean you need for shinier tresses.
Have you heard of the Brazilian blow dry? If you're searching for a solution to damaged and frizz-prone hair, it's what you need. The in-salon treatment uses liquid keratin to deeply nourish each individual strand, and this at-home version from Brazilian brand Cadiveu Plastica Dos Fios utilises equally impressive antioxidant-rich hydrating acai oil, alongside amino acids and phytonutrients, in its version of a keratin treatment.
While South Americans are known for their laidback-approach to makeup, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t brands around to help you boost your complexion. Highlights include the brush brand that changed how we apply our makeup (without you probably even realising it), and a lipstick company that is unashamedly celebrating women of colour as well as being your ticket to finding the perfect statement shade. Watch out, South American makeup is finally breaking through.
Brazilians Dr. Simone Xavier and Rene Xavier Filho are quite the power-couple; a molecular bacteriologist and civil engineer respectively, they founded Sigma Beauty and changed the makeup brush game. With specifically-shaped designs to make makeup application easier, the brand has expanded into eyeshadow palettes too, which are just as category defining.
Cosmetics historian Gabriela Hernandez immigrated to the US from Argentina when she was 12 years old and, with her love of vintage lipstick and Old Hollywood, eventually created Bésame Cosmetics – an ode to her grandmother. Each lip colour and classic case, which has been designed with a specific year in mind, successfully packages the real joy of finding a shade that makes you look and feel good. Victory Red, which recalls the bold rouge women wore on V-Day is a particular highlight.
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