And, Solares’ roots go deep in our industry. Her grandfather founded one of the first hair care brands in Cuba, and also developed one of the first twist-up deodorants in the country. Unfortunately, after the Communist Revolution, the business was taken away by Fidel Castro’s government.
“Long story short, I never got to meet my grandfather because he didn’t make it to America with my father. However, he and all Latinx entrepreneurs inspire me to work as hard as I do every day,” Solares said.
Solares weighed in on the current color cosmetics market with Happi. According to this expert, the future is bright in the makeup sector due to creative formulations that give a “glow up” in all settings—digital or live at a distance!
Happi: How has COVID-19 impacted the makeup industry this year?
MS: We have normalized the mask selfie, turned on Zoom’s touch up feature, and reallocated the time we spent setting, baking and covering our skin to caring for our skin. There is a theory in the fashion industry that suggests the length of hemline we choose is directly correlated to the state of our politics and economy. The hemline is short when we are doing well and long when we are having a hard time. This has been proven decade after decade.
I believe the same theory is true for the beauty industry and makeup. When things are going well, we are more likely to show off our artistry and play with makeup. However, when times are tough, it is only natural that we gravitate towards self-care and natural makeup looks.
Happi: What are consumers looking for right now in their makeup—for example, looking good in a Zoom call?
MS: I work at Sephora, so you can imagine the amount of beauty junkies I Zoom call with on a regular basis and everyone is looking for the same thing—hydrated and moisturized skin that will glow even through Zoom’s blurring touchup feature. One of my favorites is the JLo Beauty That Star Filter Highlighting Complexion Booster ($39). This is not your regular highlighter. It is a skin care and makeup hybrid serum formulated with good-for-your-skin ingredients that diffuse light, blur and give your skin a glow you can see from outer space. If you are looking for a more subtle glow, this does not have to be worn alone. You can tone it down by using it under foundation, mixed into foundation or moisturizer, or for a targeted bronzing or highlighting effect. I do all of the above and always get compliments from my colleagues.
Happi: What products are popular now and why?
MS: Prior to being a Sephora beauty director, I managed Sephora’s YouTube and IGTV for years and have seen endless comments asking for cream blush tutorials because most people feel intimidated by cream formulas. This is because most foundations on the market at that time were matte and if you’ve ever tried layering cream blush over matte foundation, you’ll understand their frustration. However, as more hydrating and moisturizing foundations hit the market, brands have been persuaded to develop mistake-proof cream formulas that anyone can use.
The Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush ($21) holds a special place in my heart and makeup kit. As a mental health advocate, I am so elated by the work Rare Beauty’s Rare Impact Fund is doing. Additionally, this blush is non-greasy, weightless, and blends so smoothly that you just can’t mess it up. I recommend pairing it with a hydrating foundation like the Sephora Collection Clean Glowing Skin Foundation ($20), but it can be used with just about anything.
Happi: What ahead for the makeup category for 2021 and beyond?
MS: We’ve been talking about brow lamination in the industry for a while now, but this trend is finally making its way to the mainstream with more temporary products that even a beauty newbie could use. The idea is to create a fuller looking brow with a high-shine effect. The look goes hand in hand with the glowy complexion look that is also trending.
One of my favorites to use to achieve this look is the Patrick Ta Major Brow Shaping Wax ($22). It is a defining wax packed full of conditioning ingredients that help to tame and grow brows. My brows have been so well-behaved since using it. To learn how to create this look, you can watch Patrick Ta himself on Sephora’s IGTV.