Beauty

6 beauty brands to try that are founded by Asian women

Cover all your skincare needs with these beauty brands

A collage of makeup, toners, and serums from beauty brands. Credit: Em Cosmetics / Soko Glam / Sabbatical Beauty

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With the rising popularity of Asian beauty trends in the West, it’s undeniable that Asian entrepreneurs, particularly women, are revolutionizing the beauty industry in the U.S. and around the world. Asian beautypreneurs are mixing Asian and Western techniques and ingredients to create their own versions of toners, cleansers, and serums–just to name a few products–and cater to their diverse customers.

Here are six beauty brands founded and run by women of Asian descent that you should have on your radar.

1. Soko Glam

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Credit: Soko Glam

Soko Glam's Good (Skin) Days and Then I Met You lines include cleansers, toners, and masks.

After falling in love with skincare while living in South Korea, Asian-American esthetician Charlotte Cho and her husband Dave founded Soko Glam, an online retailer with a mission to bring Korean skincare products to the American market. The Soko Glam team then launched their own beauty brands Then I Met You and its sister line Good (Skin) Days, both of which carry cleansers, toners, and masks.

Best-sellers include an award-winning living cleansing balm by Then I Met You, which is part of a two-step facial cleansing set, and Good (Skin) Days’ vitamin C serum. Through the end of this month, some of the proceeds from Good (Skin) Days are being donated to Feeding America, an organization aiming to provide hunger-relief nationwide.

Shop Then I Met You and Good (Skin) Days at Soko Glam

2. Tatcha

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Credit: Tatcha

Tatcha's Dewy Skin Cream and The Deep Cleanse are award-winning products.

After consulting what’s considered to be the oldest beauty book written in Japan, Victoria Tsai discovered ancient Japanese beauty practices that made her realize “less is more” when it comes to skincare. With a team split between Japan and San Francisco, Tatcha is “a marriage of Kyoto craftsmanship and wellness philosophies with California natural ease.” Besides its commitment to improving your skin, Tatcha is committed to donating a portion of every skincare purchase to advance girls' education in Asia and Africa through its partnership with Room to Read.

The award-winning Dewy Skin Cream is a favorite to moisturize dry skin, while The Deep Cleanse has received accolades for its ability to exfoliate and hydrate. Many Tatcha products, including these two, come in full and travel sizes, giving you the ability to try without completely committing to a large container.

Shop Tatcha

3. Em Cosmetics

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Credit: Em Cosmetics

YouTube beauty influencer Michelle Phan is the creator of Em Cosmetics.

American Beauty influencer Michelle Phan earned fame from her candid makeup videos on YouTube and is arguably one of the platform’s first beauty stars. After an unsuccessful launch of her beauty line with L’Oréal in 2013, Phan took a social-media detox and came back years later with the rebirth of Em Cosmetics.

The brand’s Divine Skies - Magic Hour eyeshadow palette features a range of matte and shimmery warm browns and pinks and is among the customers’ favorites. Other well-reviewed products include the Pick Me Up Volume + Length Mascara and Illustrative Eyeliner in black.

Shop Em Cosmetics

4. Glow Recipe

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Credit: Glow Recipe

The colorful Glow Recipe shows skincare can be fun.

From working at L’Oréal to pitching their beauty brand ‘Glow Recipe’ at Shark Tank, friends and business partners Sarah Lee and Christine Chang have dedicated their careers to the beauty industry. The duo launched Glow Recipe’s first skincare line in 2017, inspired by K-beauty with its colorful packaging and diverse textures, to show that “skincare should be fun.”

The brand is best known for its Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, which has sold out several times on the Glow Recipe website and at Sephora. Other products of theirs with thousands of reviews include the Watermelon Glow pore-tightener toner and the Avocado eye sleeping mask with retinol.

Shop Glow Recipe

5. Sabbatical Beauty

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Credit: Sabbatical Beauty

Sabbatical Beauty introduced its own line of hand sanitizers in 2020.

Founded by former digital humanities professor Adeline Koh, Sabbatical Beauty is all about increasing the concentration of active ingredients in beauty products to achieve faster visible results.

Top-rated products include Dorian Gray's Anti Aging Serum, which aims to decrease the appearance of fine lines, along with a makeup remover called Vacuum Cleansing Oil. With the rise of hand sanitizers during the pandemic, Sabbatical Beauty launched their own line called Botanical Hand Purifiers, which mixes 70% alcohol content with three different herbal combinations–lavender and chamomile flower, ylang ylang and lemon balm leaf, and sage with hops flower.

Shop Sabbatical Beauty

6. CTZN Cosmetics

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Credit: CTZN Cosmetics

CTZN Cosmetics' NUDIVERSAL Lip Duo is available in 25 shades.

After feeling underrepresented in the beauty industry and struggling to find makeup that worked well with their skin tone, Pakistani-American sisters Aleena, Aleezeh and Naseeha Khan launched CTZN Cosmetics.

One of the brand’s iconic and award-winning products is the NUDIVERSAL Lip Duo, which comes in 25 shades of nude lipsticks and lipglosses to cater to a diverse range of skin tones. Pair your NUDIVERSAL lipstick with any of CTZN’s five shades of lip liner LIPSTROKE.

Shop CTZN Cosmetics

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