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Have you checked in on your Asian friends lately? They’re likely feeling tense, anxious and just a little on edge about their community these days. ICYMI, there was an unsettling uptick of anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination during the pandemic, and, unfortunately, it’s become painfully clear that this ugly behavior is in no way over.
Popular digital platforms like Peloton and TikTok have publicly posted about this anti-Asian discrimination and ensuing violence recently, and countless notable figures including Chrissy Teigen, Daniel Dae Kim, Lisa Ling and social activist Amanda Nguyen are using their voices to make noise on social media to spread awareness and speak up for those without a voice.
Want to show your support and uplift the Asian community? There are plenty of ways to stand with the Asian Americans, including donating to one of the various organizations seeking to ratify discrimination and hate crimes, like the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Stop AAPI Hate and the Asian Mental Health Collection, but you can also harness your spending power by choosing to support Asian American-owned brands as well.
We’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of 30 incredible Asian American-owned fashion, lifestyle and beauty brands that you can shop right now. The inspiring founders behind these brands have beautiful stories to tell, innovative products that turn heads and an unbreakable spirit to succeed and be seen, no matter the struggle.
RELATED: 12 South Asian Fashion, Lifestyle & Beauty Innovators That Should Be on Your Radar
Tatcha is known for mixing traditional Japanese botanicals with clinical ingredients to give you the most effective skincare formulas. After founder Vicky Tsai visited Kyoto, Japan, she devoted her time to reading up on the Japanese ingredients and rituals that changed her skin during her stay. From there, she created Tatcha, which has grown into one of the most celeb-loved beauty brands on the market. It’s garnered attention from Selena Gomez, Jennifer Aniston, Meghan Markle and so many more A-listers. Tatcha has lots of skin-loving products, but we suggest you start with Selena’s favorite moisturizer, The Dewy Skin Cream.
When fashion designer Jason Wu and NYX Cosmetics founder Toni Ko join forces to create a beauty line, the idea of what affordable beauty could be was forever changed (and for the better, of course). The range of elevated, multipurpose products are formulated in inclusive shades and undertones to suit every skin tone under the spectrum, and the nude theme extends from his color stories to the gorgeous packaging, too.
“I have always embraced my Asian heritage–it is something I’m incredibly proud of. To be able to launch a beauty collection that embraces diversity while celebrating individuality is really, really thrilling,” Wu says.
If you’re a fragrance aficionado, you need to know about the heavenly, multi-layered scents from Ellis Brooklyn. Founder Bee Shapiro, a Williamsburg mom and former beauty columnist for The New York Times, made her mark with this incredibly chic line of clean and sophisticated fragrance options crafted with care in small batches. The fragrances are all phthalate-free, paraben-free, PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free, sustainably sourced, eco-friendly and utterly luxurious.
Tower 28 Beauty takes pride in being a cult-favorite beauty brand that’s 100 percent clean, vegan, and free of every essentially known skin irritant—without compromising performance and pigment. Everything they launch is rigorously dermatologist and allergy-tested (formulas adhere strictly to the National Eczema Association’s ingredient guidelines)—plus, it’s all made in the USA.
As a second-generation Chinese American, founder Amy Liu is a mother of three and makes it a point to share her Chinese traditions with her little ones, and is active with the Asian American Girl Club.
Hero Cosmetics, created by Ju Rhyu in 2017, makes formulas that work with rather than against your skin. Instead of harsh chemicals that can potentially irritate and damage your complexion, you get sensitive skin-friendly products that are actually effective. The brand gained traction with its cult-fave Mighty Patch, a hydrocolloid pimple patch, but has since expanded its offerings to much, much more. If you have yet to find your go-to mineral sunscreen that is lightweight, doesn’t clog pores and doesn’t leave a white cast behind, it’s time to get behind Hero Cosmetics’ Superlight Sunscreen.
Less is more when it comes to U Beauty’s tech-driven, science-backed, high-performance skincare. Founder Tina Craig was committed to simplifying routines to save time and waste, while simultaneously providing effective, non-irritating, sustainable, inclusive products that are driven by science. Check out the brand’s newly-launched gravity-defying Arm Compound, which Craig deems “invisible shapewear for arms in a bottle.”
“I never felt represented in the beauty world, or anywhere culturally, for that matter. So I decided to represent myself. I’ve felt seen because I have demanded to be seen. I’ve simply never accepted anything less. Dismantling racist stereotypes and calling out injustices when I see them while honoring my culture is as vital to me as creating great skincare,” she says.
Founder Mabel Lee recalls her small eyes being her biggest insecurity when she was younger, and loved the eye-opening effect false lashes had on her overall look. She knew she was on to something when Pat McGrath purchased 10 pairs of her mink lashes at a trade show years ago, and Velour was born. Now the beauty brand has expanded its range to include 100% vegan luxe lashes, Lash & Go eyeliner and more.
“My Asian upbringing has taught me that if you want to succeed in life, you have to put in the work and the results are all dependent on you and nobody else,” Lee says.
Angela Chau Gray and Ervina Wu started YINA to educate others on wellness rituals that draw influence from Chinese Medicine. The co-founders put their own modern twist on these traditional practices and ingredients. Take, for example, the brand’s award-winning Bian Stone Gua Sha. Its unique shape can be used just about anywhere on your face and body to promote circulation, depuff, tone and ease tension.
Glamnetic takes the guesswork out of applying magnetic lashes with their high-quality products and commitment to consumer connection. This LA-based brand exploded during the pandemic thanks to their loyal Gen Z audience and influencer network on social media, and they even opened up 70 additional jobs during a time when most companies were struggling just to merely stay afloat.
“Growing up as an immigrant from Thailand, I often felt ostracized from my peers, but even on my worst days I found happiness and confidence through makeup. I want all women to feel truly confident in a simple way,” says founder Ann McFerran.
Sisters and MIKOH co-founders Oleema and Kalani Miller drew inspiration from their Southern California upbringing when they boldly launched their luxury swimwear line when they were just 19 and 20 years old. Over a decade later, their line is still synonymous with femininity, beauty and strength; and fuses statement prints and colors with luxurious fabrics and unique silhouettes to flatter the female form. “We understand women’s bodies and were one of the first brands to sell bikinis as separates rather than sets,” explains Oleema.
“Being Asian American means I have a rich background with a story of determination, passion, and faith in my lineage. I come from a line of strong-willed ancestors who I have learned are kind, graceful, and dedicated to their dreams, their love, and their will to succeed,” she says.
This inclusive unisex eyewear brand creates frames to flatter diverse face shapes, including low nose bridges, high cheekbones and more. Co-founded by friends Athina Wang and Florence Shin, COVRY strives to give back to the community, hire ethnically diverse models, and partner with minority-owned businesses.
This luxe Korean-American-owned brand offers everything a beauty lover could ever want—at a super affordable price point. JOAH Beauty aims to deliver high-quality, high-performing products with the added benefit of innovative, cutting-edge formulas that overdeliver. For example, the brand’s Line Up Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner not only allows you to achieve a precise feline flick, but also has biotin to promote lash health. That’s a win-win situation, if you ask us.
A former creative director in NYC, Melissa Medvedich stepped away from it all in order to pursue her ultimate dream of developing a high-quality botanical skincare line. Obsessed with “plant magic” and the benefits of skin maintenance, Melissa went back to school to learn the trade while developing her Cosmic Glow Oil, rich with vitamin C and omegas 3, 6 and 9 designed to nourish and promote velvety, glowing skin.
“As a Chinese-American in the beauty industry, I recognize the importance of representation and seeing ourselves, experiences, and values reflected in the businesses we support,” she says.
Founder Manna Kadar is the embodiment of sheer grit and glamour in the beauty business. A self-made, self-funded Asian American multitasking mompreneur, Kadar stops at nothing to deliver anything (and everything) to her massive fan base, continuously adding to her family of six brands with more than 600 SKUs in 40,000 stores nationwide.
Chef and founder of Momofuku, David Chang, is the mastermind behind his restaurants, television shows, books and more. But if you can’t make it to one of his renowned eateries, get a taste of his culinary creations through his jarred Chili Crunch. It provides the perfect amount of spice and, well, crunch, to whatever dish you’re whipping up at home. Momofuku‘s online store also sells noodles and sauces in case you’re really looking to upgrade your pantry.
If minimalistic, affordable, hand-crafted jewelry is your thing, AMYO has you covered. Founder Gina Nam and her all-female team make it their mission to produce finely-crafted pieces meant for layering and unique self-expression. “In the fine jewelry industry, you don’t see many Asian American women, so I always put my best foot forward in all aspects of my business while staying true to myself,” Nam says.
Sisters Julie and Connie Kuo launched their AVRE in 2019 (after 39 years in the footwear industry) and never looked back. Their fashion-focussed line of elevated women’s sneakers are versatile, eco-conscious, eye-catching and altogether cool; but it’s the brand’s spirit of inclusivity and authenticity that makes this small business stand out from the crowd.
“Being ignored or dismissed because we’re too young, too inexperienced, or too Asian to know the American way is something we’ve encountered time and time again. We have to be laser-focused on our goals. Our parents instilled in us that great things come with hard work and determination,” said the founders in a joint statement.
Couple and co-founders David Phan and Cathy Tran joined forces to create Huppy, a sustainable, zero-waste oral care company that’s reinventing the way things have always been done. Their toothpaste tabs are packaged in refillable containers made of aluminum, the refill pouches are made of biodegradable wood cellulose and all ingredients are responsibly and sustainably sourced.
Orcé Cosmetics is a luxury makeup brand inspired by and made for the unique skin tones and skin concerns of global Asian women. Each shade in the collection was custom developed to match real skin tones, and the brand also invests time and resources in studying Asian skin concerns and developing solutions that are truly effective.
“I created Orcé out of frustration. Even as a lifelong beauty lover and trained makeup artist, I have never encountered a brand that really spoke to me,” explains founder Yu-Chen Shih. “My vision for the brand is to not only fulfill the unmet beauty needs of consumers who have been systematically overlooked by the industry, but also to give voice to the Asian community. In Asian culture, we tend to shy away from voicing our needs, wants, complaints, and frustrations…through Orcé, I hope to be a catalyst for these conversations, so we can create the change needed for a better future.
Pink Moon founder and CEO Lin Chen launched this brand with self-care front and center. Chen drew inspiration and motivation from personal experiences to create Pink Moon, and she believes falling in love with yourself is when you’re most powerful and content. With that said, the Over the Moon Duo is a perfect way to show some T.L.C. to your face. When used together, the gua sha and face oil help depuff, promote lymphatic drainage, soothe muscle tension and alleviate headaches.
Founder Stephanie Lee launched this new personal care line with a mission to create a world where “we all know we are worthy as we already are.” After being bullied, teased and told that she did not belong all of her life, Lee made strides working for Michelle Obama in the White House, and then to MAC Cosmetics, before eventually having a mental health crisis of her own which led to the birth of SELFMADE. The new Secure Attachment Comfort Serum+ is packed with good-for-you ingredients that nurture you from the inside out.
“I am proud to be building a brand where black and indigenous women, women of color, and non-binary people can not only see themselves represented but also hear stories that sound like theirs–and know that they belong,” Lee says.
This gorgeous range of skincare and makeup was inspired by an ancient Chinese practice where new mothers heal their bodies by integrating superfoods into their daily routines. Each YENSA product is not only high-performing, safe and innovative, but also infused with eight superfoods for maximum benefits.
“Being in the beauty industry enables me to bring my unique beauty philosophies I learned from my family that date back thousands of years, but also modernize them for today’s diverse world. I’m confident that everybody can benefit from Asian rituals and superfood traditions,” founder Jennifer Yen says.
This vegan, plant-based hair care brand will make a stunning addition to your shower. MO MI is a sustainable hair care line that celebrates diversity and time-honored beauty rituals.
“From as early as I can remember, my mother and my grandmother taught me the importance of living gracefully on the earth. Their beauty rituals stemmed from our garden. I was raised with holistic, naturopathic, aromatherapy and encouraged to seek beauty rituals aligned with wellbeing,” explains founder Diane Reade. “My Asian heritage is what inspires my creative process when sourcing plant-based ingredients that have been used for centuries,” she says.
CEO and founder Suzanne Vetillart keeps her ethically-made jewelry line’s production based in Thailand, just as her dad did in the 80s in an effort to create local jobs, stimulate the economy and ensure transparency within the supply chain.
“Growing up, I wanted to hide my Asian heritage just to fit in. It’s been a long journey, but I’ve come so far. Today, I embrace my heritage and use it to connect with others. At Boma, we have a voice and we want to use it to celebrate the artisans who make our jewelry each day,” says the founder.
If you gravitate towards elevated, timeless, and elegant styles with a twist, peep Catherine Gee’s collection of day-to-night separates designed for the modern woman. Based in Santa Barbara, CA, Gee finds inspiration in her natural habitat and adds that her “aesthetic is deeply rooted in her Asian blood. I love what I do because it comes straight from my heart. It’s a desire and a drive to create something timeless yet interesting,” says the designer.
Lena Chao founded Clean Circle to reimagine the beauty industry so that it was more inclusive, ethical, sustainable and altogether empowering. Her reusable makeup remover bamboo pads are made of OEKO-Tex® fabrics, which are certified clean and produced in ethical factories, a personal concern of Chao’s because her parents worked in less-than-desirable conditions while raising her in New York.
Founder Ashley Mariko Johnson studied eyewear designs overseas and came back to the West only to realize that an eyewear line designed specifically for Asian customers didn’t exist, so she got to work. Her carefully-crafted collection of shades boasts various nose bridges, widths and adjustable frames to solve common pain points among women of all ethnicities.
“As an Asian American in the fashion industry, I have empathy and understanding of what it feels like to not always be included in the mainstream, whether this be marketing images, product design, or advertising. Our strength is to represent women who have not been represented or included in the eyewear market,” she says.
Nylora was imagined to be a well-made clothing line designed to fit into the fabric of urban life. Each piece translates effortlessly in the athleisure/athletic wear space, but with the tailoring and detail of polished separates. Neither active nor ready-to-wear, these functional pieces feature sweat-wicking properties and feel as good at the gym as they look on the street.
Chinese-American designer Sonia Hou prefers to keep it real. “I started my business so more people can afford to wear real, quality, long-lasting jewelry at an affordable price point,” she explains after struggling all her life to find on-trend pieces that didn’t tarnish, flake, or irritate her skin. She also cleverly designed a “Crazy Rich Asians”- inspired collection (think: chopstick earrings, noodle rings, and more!) that promote good health, wealth, and prosperity.
Founder Justin Min wanted to reimagine sleep health, which is why he developed WAVY, a fully machine washable pillow with essential oil-blended washes. WAVY uses water instead of chemicals to create its pillows, protecting both customers and the environment.