The Selena Quintanilla Effect: 4 Rising Music Stars who Can Drive Beauty Sales

Selena performs in 1995
AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, John Everett

Selena performs at the Astrodome during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Feb. 26, 1995.

On October 1, the beauty industry was disrupted by a force well-known in the Latina community: the power of our own beauty and style icons. The launch of the 18-piece MAC Selena collection was legendary -- it featured matte lipsticks in rich browns and deep reds, and bright shadows and mascaras that complimented olive tones and celebrated Selena’s bold Tejana style. And, at $228 a pop, it sold out within four hours of going live online.

Since then, women have been forming lines that wrap around department stores just to get their orders in -- often begging just to buy a well-used sample off the shelf. MAC can’ t even get a restock in until January; the collection sells for $1000 on eBay. 

Why does the beloved Selena, arguably the most influential American Latina music icon of her generation, still live on more than 20 years after her death? Because her no-holds-barred Tejana sound, and look, celebrate an identity invisible to the mainstream media and larger culture: The Mexicana-Americana role model. Selena was brown and not afraid to flaunt it: Her curvy body, indigenous features and bold, unapologetically flashy fashion style continues to represent the flair and flamboyance the community adores. 

Tonight, four Latinas who also go underappreciated in the mainstream, yet command the attention of hundreds of thousands and even millions of young Latina women, will take the stage at the Latin Grammys.  Could they, too, inspire smash hit beauty lines for the community, which represents an impressive $7 trillion in buying power?

Chiquis Rivera

The 31-year-old banda songstress, and most famous daughter of star Jenni Rivera, did launch her own Be Flawless Cosmetics Diamond Skin Care Line last year, but could she go even bigger with cosmetics in partnership with a major brand? She does have a combined following of more than five million people on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, a devoted following that worships her glitter shadows and bold red lips. She also topped the Billboard Latin Albums list with 7,000 in sales her first week (according to Nielsen music) for her 2015 album, Ahora, and Forgiveness, her tell-all memoir about her relationship with her mother, was an instant best seller the same year.

Sofia Reyes

The Mexican pop star, who just dropped her new Spanglish single “Louder" (featuring Canadian artist Francesco Yates) yesterday, broke a five year drought for Latinas when “Solo Yo,” her duet with Prince Royce, hit number 1 on  the Billboard Latin Pop Songs chart in April. With a combined following of a million plus on 21-year-old’s social media channels, this up and comer wins fans with her fresh-faced corals and effortlessly cool look. 

Becky G

With a stunning combined social media presence of 12 million followers, Becky G has already been a powerful brand ambassador for CoverGirl and Degree. The 19 year old Mexican American pop star has toured with J. Balvin and worked with Pitbull and, and crossed over with the hit track “Shower”, which reached the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

Jackie Cruz

The 30-year-old Dominican-American actress and singer has already won a place in the hearts of her Latina fans everywhere as the fan favorite “Flaca” on Netflix prison dramedy Orange is the New Black. She's referenced Chicana culture with her mascara-painted black tear drop, and debuted her music career with a cover of Selena’s “Como La Flor.” Her 1 million fans on Instagram love her wine-colored lips and rocker-chic style, and eagerly await an album and fashion line. 


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