Undoubtedly, AAPI-owned beauty brands have revolutionized the industry and reshaped the landscape. These cosmetics lines have been carefully developed to meet your everyday beauty requirements, whether you’re shopping for K-beauty or searching for new formulas for the summer. If you’re a true fan of hair, nails, cosmetics, and skincare, these are some emerging Asian-owned beauty products that you should definitely try.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to recognize the pioneering brands that have established cosmetics and hair-care products that are really creative and frequently serve underserved consumers. Trends in Asian and Pacific Islander beauty care, such as gua sha and hair oiling, have been around for millennia and have just recently gained mainstream attention in the world of western beauty. The influence of Asian culture and skill on the modern global beauty business is substantial.
The beauty business has come a long way, but there is still a long way to go before it is really inclusive of people of color and individuals from all walks of life. To tide you over, here are some of our favorite AAPI beauty brands that set the bar for the oncoming shift.
Then I Met You
Charlotte Cho’s premium skincare line Then I Met You has garnered a lot of praise since its launch in 2018. Among the label’s best sellers, the oil-based Living Cleanser Balm nourishes the skin with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E while getting rid of impurities such as makeup and excess. The product, as noted by TIMY, is meant to be paired with the brand’s Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel, a water-based cleanser, to complete your double cleansing ritual. Other offerings include the Giving Essense, a skin treatment that lies on the steeper end of K-beauty prices, as well as the newly introduced Renewing Rich Beauty Cream.
Tower 28 Beauty
Used by the likes of Charlie D’Amelio and Doniella Davy, clean makeup brand Tower 28 Beauty is named after the eponymous lifeguard tower located in Santa Monica. Much like the label’s eponym, the brand aims to create products that are clean, full of sunshine, and for everyone. Tower 28’s SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen provides UV protection and light-medium coverage while the SOS Intensive Rescue Serum reduces redness and irritation for softer and happier skin. Meanwhile, the highly-coveted ShineOn Lip Jelly provides the perfect combination lip balm with the shine of gloss for a moisturized lip treatment.
Kulfi Beauty—the brand name inspired by the colorful South Asian ice cream—is a celebration of culture and beauty, empowering the AAPI community through representation. Founded by cosmetics industry veteran Priyanka Ganjoo, the label’s Kajal Eyeliner is an intense, long-lasting color that doesn’t budge. Infused with moisturizing Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, the product is available in five shades: brown “Cheeky Chiku,” berry “Purple Pataka,” blue “Rain Check,” terracotta “Tiger Queen,” and black “Nazar No More.” The award-winning eyeliner also contains ingredients like safflower seed oil and polybutene, which acts as a binder.
Sustainable makeup brand Youthforia, founded by Fiona Co Chan in 2021, spawned from the experience of going out with your friends and forgetting to take your makeup off sometimes. Thus, the label set out to create makeup that was good for your skin, so good you could sleep in it. The core lineup is comprised of a color-changing blush oil dubbed the BYO Blush, lip gloss Dewy Gloss, and the daily protective primer Pregame Primer. The gloss is available in five hues, ranging from red-orange “Play With Fire” and obsidian “Sound Stage,” whilst the BYO Blush dons 20 skin-friendly plant-based ingredients. Elsewhere, beauty tools and merchandise are also available to purchase on the brand’s website.
Created by sisters Taran and Tammy, Blume was created to make self-care easier whilst destigmatizing normal things like acne, puberty, periods, and sex ed. The brand cements this by using gentle ingredients that are both clean and good for the body such as tamanu and black cumin seed in the Meltdown Acne Oil, as well as grapefruit extract and lavender in the Daydream Natural Face Wash. Blume’s focus on creating a safe space for the next generation places an emphasis on community and understanding healthy skin rather than perfect skin. Other products include the Sunbeam Exfoliating Mask and Milky Fade Serum, the latter of which aids in clearing spots and discoloration.