As a beauty editor, I’ve tried hundreds (thousands?) of beauty products through the years, including the good, the bad, the “meh,” and the life-changing. It is, quite simply, a fact that a majority of the formulas that have made their way onto my “must-have” list are from AAPI-founded brands. That includes my favorite sunscreen, body lotion, and my go-to lip gloss, all of which have nearly perfect five-star reviews across the board. The point being: I’m not alone in my obsession.
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I’ve rounded up 10 AAPI-owned beauty brands you can add to your regimen (that is, if you haven’t already), including my top favorite product from each—and why. Obviously, this is just one of the many ways to show your support for the AAPI community (more on how to be a better ally here).
GRAZIA’s beauty editor’s picks, ahead.
This luxe CBD body cream is my favorite product from Ellis Brooklyn, a clean, vegan, and sustainable fragrance and body-care brand founded by Bee Shapiro in 2015. I’m (tragically) nearing the end of this jar, and I can’t recommend it enough for those with dry skin, tension, or stress. I religiously lather it on after showering and before bed, and I’m quite literally addicted to its anxiety-reducing herbal scent. If you’re in need of new body cream and want something that’s addictively good, look no further than this one.
Manila-based beauty brand Sunnies Face unveiled its aesthetically pleasing Play Paint nail polish in March of 2020. Now, it’s a must-have in the cult-favorite Filipino makeup range’s affordable line of products. Incredibly, its 10-free nail polish (available in 15 shades) costs less than $10 a pop and is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. What more could you ask for?
I’ll never forget the first time I was introduced to NatureLab Tokyo. I had arrived at an event for the brand wearing a struggle bun because my hair was greasy and unsightly. But after a hairstylist worked her magic on my strands using the brand’s products, it looked like I had just come from a blowout appointment. Ever since, I’ve consistently incorporated the brand into my hair routine, and my current favorite is this smoothing and softening oil that I use before heat-styling my hair.
peach & Lily
Chances are that you’ve heard of “glass skin,” a concept that originated in Korea. “Glass skin is when your skin is at its very healthiest,” says Alicia Yoon, founder of Peach & Lily. “For skin to appear poreless, luminous, and translucent, so many things have to happen. You can’t just be hydrated and look that way. Your skin really needs to be its healthiest in all aspects.” To help skincare lovers achieve the look, she created the brand’s Glass Skin Refining Serum, a product with thousands of five-star reviews across the board. Yoon says that users will notice “profound results” anywhere between one to three weeks after implementing it into one’s skincare routine.
Live Tinted was born when Deepica Mutyala went viral for sharing her hack for using red lipstick to conceal dark undereye circles. Four years after that video took the world by storm, she launched her first Live Tinted product: the Tinted Huestick. Not only do they color-correct, but they work as the *ultimate* multipurpose product as a lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow, all-in-one.
Admittedly, I’m not a big power foundation enthusiast, but this formula (brought to life by beauty vlogger Patrick Starr) is next-level and wonderfully versatile. I use it to set my foundation, paying extra close attention to the areas of my T-Zone that tend to get oily throughout the day, and it feels positively weightless on the skin.
I am head-over-heels obsessed with Tula, a probiotic-infused skincare line founded by gastroenterologist Dr. Roshini Raj. Its products are so good that you see and feel results instantly. The Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm actually delivers a cooling effect, and its Overnight Repair Treatment improves the look of your skin while you sleep. Finally, this sunscreen is your new go-to that doubles as a pearly makeup primer to make your skin glow.
Fact: this is the only lip gloss you need. It’s non-sticky, and it comes in both clear and colorful options. “My team and I went through numerous reformulations until we got to this one,” says the brand’s founder, Amy Liu, in an interview, adding that the goal was to ensure it was “shiny and moisturizing, but not sticky.”
The first time I tried this product, I gasped—that’s how good it made my skin look. It uses Micro Capsule Technology that helps to blend to match your skin tone. And even better, it contains Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA+++, and it’s super hydrating thanks to its high amount of hyaluronic acid.
I love coming across exciting, innovative formulas like this baby. It’s the world’s first color-changing blush oil from the cool beauty brand, Youthforia, which just launched this past March.
All products featured on GRAZIA are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, Grazia may earn an affiliate commission.