Industry News

Desperately Seeking Sofia

Carlos Valenzuela | August 8, 2012 | 8:37 AM

In the TV sitcom Modern Family, Claire’s (Julie Bowen) character appears to show a little less glamour than Gloria (Sofia Vergara), who is cast as the estereotípica perfect hair and makeup Latina woman. At the risk of sounding biased, I have always felt Latinas value looking their bonita best more than their non-Hispanic comadres. And, a recent Univisionstudy seems to support my hunch. More than proving myself correcto, it’s a wake up call to the salon industry to attract more Latino staff and clients.

Desperately Seeking Sofia
Seven out of ten of mis amigas Latinas believe that wearing makeup and looking good is essential (compared with 46% percent of the general population), a trait instilled at a young age by beauty-conscious Latina mothers. I recall this discussion between mi mamáand my hermanas, specifically, “Ask Carlos to go out for that, I haven’t done my hair yet.”

 Belleza awareness is passed on by 73 percent of Latinas (vs. 57 percent) to children and 67 percent of Latinas (vs. 50 percent) agree with “My mother influenced me to take care of my skin, hair and appearance.” 81 percent of Hispanic women use multiple products in a typical day (vs. 66 percent); 32 percent of Latinas are willing to spend more on beauty products (vs.19 percent). 61 percent of Latinas (vs. 42 percent) agree that how they look on the outside projects the way they are on the inside. 69 percent of Latinas (vs. 46 percent) agree that it’s very important to wear maquillaje and look very bonitas. 40 percent of Latinas (vs. 23 percent) agree with “When leaving the casa I need to look as good as or better than my amigas.”

Price does not drive the Latina’s decision, it’s all about getting exactly the product that you need. Latinas feel that if you like it, you buy it (Bravo).68 percent of Latinas (vs. 56 percent) agree that price isn’t the most important factor, 58 percent of Latinas (vs. 47 percent) agree that they often associate better quality with brand name products.

Machos menare not far behind. Latino men spend $8 more per month (vs. non-Hispanics) for hair styling products, moisturizer, and fragrances; 64% of Hispanic men say they are “scent seekers” (vs. 31 percent). Hispanic men associate grooming products with personal confidence and attractiveness. They also believe that looking good is a way to get ahead in life and at work.

Espera, I am not done. Hispanic male grooming include eyebrow grooming and eye cream use. Additionally, 34 percent of Latinos shower twice a day compared to 16 percent of the general population of men.

How many of these consumers are there, you say? There are now about 50 million Latinos in the USA constituting about 16% of the population (surpassing the black population in the 1990s). Over half the babies born in the United States are Hispanic, making it the fastest growing segment and is projected to be nearly 138 million in the year 2050, constituting nearly 30% of the nation’s population.
Do you see a “Se Habla Español” sign in your future?

Hasta pronto,


The research is based on a national phone survey conducted by Simmons, an Experian Company.

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