Belle en Argent and Vamigas: Beauty Brands Offering 'Clean and Affordable' Products to the Latinx Community
Christina Kelmon created the clean makeup brand and the wellness and skincare line to cater to the Latinx community.
Christina Kelmon, CEO of makeup brand Belle en Argent and co-founder of the wellness and skincare line Vamigas, started her businesses after reading studies that found Latinas have more hormone-disrupting chemicals in their bodies than white women —which plays a part in higher rates of infertility, breast cancer and preterm birth.
"I read these studies when I was pregnant with my daughter and I tried to be very mindful of what I put into my body, but it was really hard, almost impossible, to find products that were clean and affordable and that spoke to me," Kelmon tells People CHICA. "This is why I created a makeup brand and a wellness and skincare brand that speaks directly to the Latinx community."
Some of those hormone-disrupting chemicals —phthalates, parabens and phenols, among them— are often hidden in many beauty and skincare brands, she adds, which puts Latina beauty shoppers at a higher risk for exposure as they outspend other groups. Another concern for Kelmon: making sure her brands are accessible. "Truly clean products are very expensive and largely avoid marketing to us, or market to us incorrectly, treating us as an afterthought or as homogeneous," she shares.
Kelmon also is the co-founder of BLXVC Capital, a venture firm that invests in Black and Latinx companies, and is the founder of Beautely, another firm that advises women with their own beauty businesses about how to make sure their brands only use natural ingredients. "Vamigas uses the ingredients from our original homelands in Central and South America, like Rosa Mosqueta, Chia, Yerba Mate, and Maqui," she explains.