Despite the purchasing power of Hispanic men and women, the industry's overall sales remain challenged, particularly in the mass market. According to a separate report by Nielsen, beauty revenue growth at mass retailers was relatively flat at 0.4 percent last year. That compares with growth of 3.4 percent in the prestige market, where products tend to carry a higher price tag and are sold mainly at department stores. The prestige segment, however, only accounts for about one-third of the industry's $33.5 billion in sales.
This trend mimics that of the broader economic recovery, which has been skewed toward more affluent shoppers, Russo said. But it also reflects the fact that there are an abundance of products in the mass channel, where many of the products' ad campaigns look the same. At an average drug store, there are 900 beauty products, he said.
Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group, recently noted that 2014 saw the fewest number of people shopping for beauty in six years.
Read MoreBuyer beware: What that deal really gets you
"This tells me that beauty shoppers are happy, but some may be seeking happiness elsewhere," she wrote in a news release. "This 'elsewhere' is in other products and services, as well as experiences."
To Russo, stagnant industry sales mean that the power of the Hispanic shopper "is not being fully realized."
But that doesn't mean brands—and retailers—aren't trying. Earlier this month, Walgreens launched an exclusive color cosmetics line with Cuban actress Eva Mendes. It follows a similar move by CVS, which first tapped Mexican actress Salma Hayek for a beauty line back in 2011. And L'Oreal, the world's largest beauty company, has an entire section on its homepage dedicated to the Latina shopper.
"There's an opportunity [for the industry] to kind of tweak the strategies to really drive growth," Russo said. "You don't often get to have this conversation."