Bianca de la Garza on Redefining Beauty, Raising Her Daughter and Embracing Her Latinidad
After working as a TV journalist for 20 years, Bianca de la Garza has launched her own skin-care and cosmetics line, redefining notions of beauty and makeup. Here’s how.
At first glance, you may not guess that Bianca de la Garza has Mexican heritage. Her blonde locks and fair complexion made many people question her Latinidad as she was growing up. “My mom is Irish and my dad is Mexican,” says the television host and beauty maven, 39, whose parents divorced when she was a child. “My mother raised me in Boston, and I wasn't surrounded by a lot of Latinas, so for me it was always exciting to spend summers with my dad's part of the family. I loved it, but I also understand why there are stereotypes, because people would look at me and say: ‘You don't look Latina.' It's unfortunate because we live in a world where Latinas are all different colors, shapes and sizes…. Latinas are very strong women, and I really connect with them, that's what I think I embody.”
For almost two decades, she worked as a reporter and producer for ABC and Fox news stations. The Emmy winner's stories have helped close sweatshops on the U.S.-Mexico border. She went on to develop her own late night show Bianca and company Lucky Gal Productions. Last year, she followed her dream of launching her own beauty line, Bianca de la Garza Beauty, with products that combine skin care and makeup. Her In GLO We Trust Illuminating Collection includes stuff for the eyes, skin and lips that's meant to enhance a woman's natural beauty. “Beauty should be fun, it should be playful and it should not make us feel like we are not good enough,” she says of rewriting the outdated beauty narrative. “No more do we want to buy products that are cover up, we want to enhance what's inside us.”
That sense of self-love, fearlessness and confidence is what she hopes to transmit to her daughter, Danica, 13. “My mom was a very strong woman. She always wanted me to study hard and raised me as a single mom saying: ‘You have to be independent, you have to do this yourself, no one is going to give you anything,” she says. “I think I tell my daughter that a lot because I want her to be a strong young woman who relies on herself.”
Bianca has built her own life around what she feels passionate about. She will once again shine on screen this spring as host and producer of Beauty Planet with Bianca — a talk show featuring celebrity guests, influencers and industry experts debating all topics beauty — for NBC Universal's subsidiary TVK24. “I hope that Danica realizes that beauty is something that already exists within her, and I don't want her to feel that she needs to buy products to be better, prettier, fancier. She just needs to be herself,” she adds of her daughter, who will soon take a soul-searching roots trip to Mexico with her mom (the visit will be featured on Beauty Planet). “I'm so excited. I will take her to Monterrey to experience her heritage with family and get her to understand what beauty means in other places.”
From her dad, who was born in Mexico and came to the United States as a boy, Bianca says she learned “that you work hard, you earn what you get and you don't wait for things to happen. You really seize life.” The trip back to her dad's homeland will be emotional for her, she admits.
“I haven't gone to Monterrey in a while, I used to spend summers there as a child and hang out with all my cousins. This is reconnecting and reinforcing the importance of family, who is your true catalyst and support system,” she reflects. “I want my daughter to know that she has family around the globe and to see the beauty that Mexico has. We hear people talk about Mexico, but we know the true Mexico, and I want her to see and feel it.”