Latina Beauty Entrepreneur

Q+A with Latina Beauty Entrepreneur Margarita Arriagada, CEO and Founder of Valdé Beauty

“Valdé reimagines our relationship with beauty. We celebrate the beauty of authenticity, of being you with emphasis. To us, lipstick is not about mirroring a cycle of superficial trends. It is a ritual passed on through generations of women. It projects our confidence and self-possession and inspires a feeling of readiness to take on the day, the world, everything.” Created by a Latina beauty executive now turned Latina beauty entrepreneur, Margarita Arriagada knows lipstick!

Peruana Margarita Arriagada’s Valdé Beauty takes something as simple as lipstick, and uses it to empower women everywhere. Started as an homage to her mother, the 100% vegan, clean, and cruelty-free cosmetics brand creates luxe, refillable, liquid-gold coated lip sets, which combine design and function, and start at $199. And it doesn’t end there when inspiring women to “overcome fear, strip away preconceptions, and write [their] own destiny.”

This year, Valdé created the Valdé Latina Beauty Entrepreneur Grant, a grant pitch competition which awards $10,000 cash, and “PR, legal, social, and guaranteed buyer meetings with Sephora, ULTA Beauty, and Thirteen Lune” to one lucky winner (Mexican bath and body brand Nopalera beat out the competition to win the prize).

 

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We wanted to know more about Valdé Beauty, so we talked with the Latina beauty entrepreneur Margarita to learn about the inspiration behind the company, why she thinks women love lipstick so much, and the shift towards sustainable products in the beauty world.

 

 

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What inspired you to create Valdé Beauty?

Inspired by my mother’s strength, resilience, faith, love, and generosity, I wanted to pay homage to her and her special relationship with lipstick, and at the same time celebrate all women. While doing so, also elevate the experience in beauty. To one of being worthy of purpose, significance, and lasting value. Humbly, for any Valdé creation to act as a catalyst for celebration and mutual honor.

Why do you think lipstick is so important to women?

Beyond the conventional notions of lips being a point of sensuality…..and the make-up attributes… Lips are one of the most important focal points on our face as through them we exercise voice. It is a simple makeup gesture that makes for a bold statement. It takes an act of intention to put on lipstick. This is the reason it gives us confidence. To impact change internally or externally we must all take at least one small step. The intention of putting on lipstick can reflect an act of defiance and/or strength. For my mother, it was both says the Latina beauty entrepreneur.

Your Valdé System is refillable and reusable. Can you speak to the shift in sustainable products in the beauty sphere?

It is long overdue. The beauty industry is a major contributor to the waste and pollution we are experiencing in the world today. We are very late to the party and we have some fast catching up to do to course-correct, first and foremost: avoid waste. The fact is making products recycled, for the current climate crisis we are facing, is not enough and is not working. The priority is to reduce waste first by producing and consuming fewer products, second by refilling or repurposing.

 

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How can beauty brands reduce waste and be more sustainable? Can luxury and eco-friendliness coexist?

As brands, we need to rethink and reduce the sheer volume of products being manufactured that we are putting through the distribution channels. (Though we are currently having supply chain issues for different reasons) we generally have more supply than demand. We also have to rethink the value proposition of our creations to deliver more meaningful value, more versatility, and imagination. Less is more needs to be the mantra. We need to create responsibly and sustainably.

Not only can luxury and eco-friendliness coexist, but luxury should lead the way. It is this segment that can invest in exploring resources and truly sustainable methods to enhance the customer experience beyond conventional marketing and thereby setting an example for an evolved and aspirational future.

Anything else you’d like to add?

As we are experiencing in every aspect of our lives with covid and an environmental crisis, beauty also is experiencing a moment of reckoning. While I think many brands are taking the right steps on their own, often influenced by their retail partners, more urgency needs to be exercised to slow down the ongoing fast train that is ramping up as we come out of Covid. The future is about conscious capitalism. And it will require collaboration from large competitive corporations to lead the charge towards a more sustainable future and an improved experience for our customers.

V. Alexandra de F. Szoenyi is a writer at BoldLatina, Refinery29, LatinaMedia.co, and Mission Local. Her work focuses primarily on fashion, beauty, and Latinx culture. She has also written on San Francisco for a number of publications including the San Francisco Examiner, Bob Cut Mag, 7x7, and The Bold Italic. Alex recently co-founded the Latina Writers community.