A few weeks ago, the Asian community received tragic news of the deaths of eight people including six Asian women shot by 21-year-old white domestic terrorist Robert Aaron Long in Atlanta, Georgia. And with the outrage that followed their senseless deaths is a deeper conversation about the true plight of Asians in the US. It exposed the long battle of Asians in the US against systemic racism.
In light of the horrific tragedy and the many more hate crimes targeted against Asians, we bring the spotlight to Asian-owned brands in the beauty industry as they fight to make a name. In a market dominated by conglomerate beauty brands, we want to amplify the voices of these AAPI founders who deserve just as much recognition.
And as you read along the list and find something that piques your interest, we hope that you check them out and add to cart some of their products or introduce them to a friend. These brands are just as good as the big ones you see on TV or advertised by influencers.
Without further ado, here are the top 8 Asian-owned beauty brands that you will never regret loving and supporting.
1. Blk Cosmetics, co-owned by Anne Curtis
Blk Cosmetics is a beauty brand from the Philippines co-owned by actress-turned-beauty-entrepreneur Anne Curtis. Aside from being the co-owner of the brand, Anne is also the face of Blk and its creative director.
Blk which stands for black – timeless, uncomplicated, and classy – is a brand that offers the basics of makeup especially for those who are venturing into makeup for the first time. As their tagline says “uncomplicated beauty,” they are into versatile essentials that you can use wherever you go. And the best part about their products is that they’re all under 10 dollars but the quality is so good you won’t ever think they’re THAT affordable.
2. Cocokind, founded by Priscilla Tsai
Cocokind was launched in 2015 by former investment banker Priscilla Tsai. The brand was inspired from Tsai’s own struggles with adult hormonal acne. A holistic doctor helped her identify the correlation between her prescriptions and the digestive disorders that developed and she experienced through time. This prompted her to experiment on her own product formulations.
What started as an experiment to combat her hormonal acne turned into a successful skincare brand. Now, they’ve broken the barrier to get their products to be sold at major retailers. All of their products are clean, non-toxic, and just cost a maximum of $25. Not only that, but their packaging is also 100% recyclable and can also be repurposed.
3. Good Light Beauty, founded by David Yi
When we talk about beauty brands, we automatically think that women are the only ones founding these brands. But take Good Light Beauty as an exception which was founded by David Yi in 2016. Yi was no stranger to the beauty industry as he worked for GQ and Vogue before launching his business.
Good Light Beauty was inspired by the need to help build a community for individuals like Yi who don’t really identify as masculine or feminine. This was a brand that would make anyone feel beautiful and empowered in their own skin.
4. Juara, founded by Metta, Yoshiko, Jill and Tami
JUARA is a skincare brand founded by four 30-something friends with Indonesian, Japanese, and Chinese heritage in a tiny kitchen located on the Lower East Side. The brand was born as the friends sought out a way to restore their spirits.
In their quest, they found a healing Indonesian tradition introduced to them by chemist Metta Murdaya wherein she showed them how to grind the ingredients and mix them into powders and tonics. They got hooked and the rest was history. Now, JUARA is known for the use of Indonesian-inspired herbal medicine not only used for beauty routine but also as part of self care. In light of the anti-Asian violence, the brand will donate 10% of selected products sales through April to Stop AAPI Hate.
5. Sundays, founded by Amy Ling Lin
Sundays is a clean nail polish brand guaranteed to provide you with high quality nail colors. The brand was founded by Amy Ling Lin, a girl who grew up in Fujian, China and moved to the US with her father to continue her education.
While she was in nail school, she wanted to create a non-toxic, salon quality product. So she worked with a chemist to create her own formula which is vegan, 10-free, cruelty-free, non-toxic, and clean. Because as her brand says, you don’t have to sacrifice health for beauty.
6. Super Egg, founded by Erica Choi
Super Egg was founded by lifestyle influencer and design aficionado Erica Choi. This NYC-based skin care brand is a reflection of Erica’s Korean upbringing. In Korea, eggs were known for their nutritional value and they were also often used in self and familial beauty rituals. Not to mention that Erica also usually observes her mother and grandmother apply parts of the eggs onto their faces.
Using that concept, Erica packed her luxury formulas with good-for-your-skin ingredients in a minimalist and sustainable style look of an egg. But the egg is not just a stamp of her roots into the brand but also mimics the egg’s nutritional value using entirely plant-based ingredients.
7. Tatcha, founded by Victoria Tsai
The story of Tatcha’s birth sounds very alike to Cocokind. That is, founder Victoria Tsai was experiencing and suffering acute dermatitis and so she developed keen awareness of the importance of every ingredient that she applies on her skin. In her journey to a more holistic approach to her problem, she discovered the modern-day geisha in Kyoto.
There she unlocked a world of pure beauty where she took a different approach to skin care adopting the less is more concept. That led Victoria to the foundation of her formulations, the Hadasei-3™, a trinity of anti-aging superfoods namely green tea, rice, and algae born from the Japanese diet. This is also what the original geisha used for their beauty rituals.
8. Tula, founded by Dr. Roshini Raj
Tula is a bit different from what we have on the list so far. Instead of the usual vegan ingredients, Tula is a probiotic-based beauty brand founded by practicing gastroenterologist and probiotics expert Dr. Roshini Raj.
Dr. Raj has been studying this field for more than 15 years. And when she saw the life-changing impact of probiotics on her patient’s internal health through supplements and its glowing skin effect, she decided to create skin care products that could deliver the same result. Tula which means balance in Sanskrit has now a collection of salves, serums, and scrubs made from only the best ingredients.
How Can We Help Them?
These are just 8 of a long list of Asian-owned beauty brands that deserve a limelight for their high quality, clean and sustainable, and innovative products. And in order to help these brands get their names out there, we can buy their products. Some brands donate a percentage of their sales to causes that fund programs to Stop Asian Hate.
Introduce them to family and friends. Talk about them on social media so that more people would be aware of them.
Other Asian-Owned Beauty Brands That You Can Also Check Out:
- Abhati Suisse
- Common Heir
- CTZN Cosmetics
- Ellis Brooklyn
- EM Cosmetics
- Glow Recipe
- Live Tilted
- Meow Meow Tweet
- Savor Beauty
- Then I Met You
- Tower 28