The American beauty industry wouldn’t be what it is today without the influences of Asian beauty. Without imported Korean and Japanese brands like Etude House, Shiseido, and Hera, we wouldn’t have witnessed the rise in popularity surrounding cushion foundations, popsicle-stain-inspired lip tints, and glass-skin primers. But more importantly, we have to give credit to the influential Asian Americans sharing their in-depth knowledge, cultures, and visions through blogs, YouTube, Instagram, and other “democratized” platforms. Over the past few decades, many have grown their influence and popularity through less traditional means, while the mainstream beauty industry (and investors) saw their cultures and content as “too niche.”
Even now, amid an increasingly accepting and even embracing industry, there’s still more work to be done. In fact, a lot of that work is being uncovered and shared through social media. Anti-Asian discrimination (at worst, targeted violence and hate crimes) is nothing new. It’s been pervasive for centuries, and everyone has the duty to educate themselves on the history of often-law-enforced injustices (e.g. the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese-American internment camps, etc.) and the inequities that minorities and marginalized groups continue to face every single day.
While it’s important to always support Asian-owned brands regardless of what you see on the news, there are many countless organizations that are deserving of your time, money, and support in the ongoing battle to dismantle racism against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
That being said, it’s absolutely worth celebrating the accomplishments of the founders who have trailblazed their way into the beauty world and launched makeup and hair-care brands that are truly innovative and often serve overlooked consumers. (If you’re looking for specifically Asian-owned skin-care brands and Asian-owned hair-care brands, we have stories for those categories, too.) And more often than not, these entrepreneurs borrow upon their diverse upbringings and rich heritage as inspiration for their own carefully researched, thoughtfully designed products.
To honor the contributions Asian entrepreneurs and beauty experts have made to the beauty industry at large, we’re spotlighting some of our favorite Asian-owned makeup brands below that deserve your support each and every day.