RetailMeNot fiercely champions diversity and representation, and that extends to supporting our Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) co-workers, friends and family today and every day. We do not tolerate the recent hateful rhetoric, violent acts and discrimination against Asians, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Table of Contents
At RetailMeNot, we want to pause and shine a light on AAPI-owned businesses ranging from trailblazing beauty brands to inspiring home decor retailers. These incredible businesses do so much to better our world. May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but we ask you to reflect on, educate yourselves on and celebrate these brands every day.
We recognize this list is by no means complete, so we commit to continue adding to it! Have a brand you want to share with us? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asian-American and Pacific Islander–Owned Brands to Support and Shop With
Taran and Bunny Ghatrora created Blume to make products that are good for your body and the environment. Blume is a self-care brand that’s setting the new standard for clean products and sex education. Everything they make contains no alcohol, SLs, silicone, parabens, sulfates or anything artificial. Choose from some of their bestsellers like the Cloud 9 Cramp Oil, Hug Me Deodorant and Meltdown Acne Oil.
Lauren Jin founded CLÉ Cosmetics to provide non-toxic, cruelty-free and vegan beauty products that resonate with the modern “womxn” and speak to the truth that there is no one way to feel beautiful and no right way to get there. CLÉ’s skin care and makeup are curated, sourced and centered on the latest Korean Beauty technology. Their individual products embrace a distinctly minimalistic approach both in their packaging and simple effectiveness. Above all, CLÉ Cosmetic’s mission is to design with purpose and versatility, bearing in mind that the very best products are ones that nurture your most natural state.
Cocokind has created many skin products to help improve your tone and texture. They have overnight masks, cleaners, toners, moisturizers, essences, serums and SPF. All of their products are plant-based, made sustainably, affordable and cruelty-free. Founded by Priscilla Tsai, Cocokind’s price and quality is amazing!
CTZN Cosmetics is a new inclusive, genderless makeup brand founded by three millennial sisters: Aleena, Aleezeh and Naseeha Khan. The Khan sisters identify themselves as third-culture kids, with their diverse backgrounds of being born in the U.S. and raised in the U.A.E., with Pakistani ethnicity. CTZN products are all cruelty-, paraben- and talc-free, as well as vegan, and the products cater to all skin tones. Choose from their line of gold eye shimmers, lip liners and lipsticks, many of which have been honored with the Allure Best of Beauty stamp of approval!
Founded by Michelle Phan, EM Cosmetics was created to give you the tools you need to express yourself through colors, lines and other forms of creativity. The brand offers a wide array of beauty products, including their best-selling moisturizers, mascaras, blushes, lip glosses and a whole lot more.
If you’re looking for a holistic approach to skin care and self-care, look no further than Glow Recipe! Sarah Lee and Christine Chang created the brand to help everyone care for their skin the way their mothers and grandmothers taught them. In light of recent events of hate against the Asian community, Glow Recipe has donated $20K between Act to Change and the AAPI Community Fund. They invite you to do the same!
Plus, they’re offering a deal for May! Celebrate AAPI heritage month with their first ever collaboration with fellow AAPI founded brands, featuring a collection of 8 full-size, best-selling products at 45% off.
Founded and run by Laura Xiao, Henné Organics has taken a modern and minimalistic approach that replaces standard lip care products with something extraordinary. All of their lip products are organic, and their collections include lip masks, lip serums, lip tints and lip exfoliators. They also have luxury hand creams! You have to check out these simple yet powerful products.
If you struggle with acne, say hello to Hero Cosmetics. Founded by Ju Rhyu, Hero Cosmetics believes that everyone deserves to feel amazing in their skin. Her brand has created customizable acne toolkits to handle every pimple challenge. The Nightly Patch will be your blemish hero!
Plus, in honor of AAPI Heritage Month, they’ve partnered with 7 Asian-founded beauty brands to celebrate diverse cultures and highlight the collective impact on the global beauty industry. For every AAPI Bestsellers Beauty Collection Box sold, they’ll be donating $10 to an AAPI non-profit organization benefiting the community.
Sara Shah, who is Pakistani and grew up in Dubai, founded Journ Beauty with the mission to simplify peoples’ lives. Because of her issues with cystic acne, Shah learned that the beauty industry was not creating products with a focus on the underlying skin concerns of medium to deeper skin tones. So she created Journ to help fix skin concerns for women with every skin tone. On Journ’s website, you can find a quiz to help you find the best products for your skin.
Linda Wang was born in Taiwan and raised in the US. She created Karuna in 2009, as the first sheet mask brand in the US, stemming from her own skin issues as a child. Inspired by her upbringing, an east meets west fusion, her skin challenges were treated in a similar approach. This influence lead her to develop a line of daily skincare products to address everyone’s skin challenges at the source and achieve a state of balance. By doing that, she combined the four principles of Ayurveda practices, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Adaptogens and Clinical Science to deliver the skin’s optimal balance.
Liah Yoo created KraveBeauty to share her native Korean approach to skin care, which is based around pure hydration and respecting the skin barrier. KraveBeauty is all about producing uncomplicated, gentle skin care products that respect the skin’s natural functionality. They ask you to #PressReset to your skin care routine by taking you back to when skin care was truly about caring for the skin. KraveBeauty has everything to cleanse, protect, soothe, moisturize and exfoliate the skin.
Right now, they are offering free shipping on orders of $40+ (U.S. only).
Live Tinted has created a multicultural community to discuss all things beauty and culture. They are known for their Huestick Corrector (it’s an Allure Best of Beauty Award winner!), the Huestick Multistick, Hueglow skin illuminator and Unity Balm Gloss. They also have super-cute merch!
Right now, they are offering a Best of AAPI Beauty Box for just $100, valued at $183.
Patrick Ta Beauty
Patrick Ta, a renowned makeup artist, founded his namesake company to make people look and feel their best all the time. He’s formulated all of his products, including blushes, lipsticks and brow groomers, with attention to detail and made sure that the packaging is not only functional but also beautiful. The line is also sold at Sephora!
Peach & Lily
Alicia Yoon, the founder of Peach & Lily, grew up in both Seoul and the U.S., and her Korean heritage and struggles with eczema are a huge inspiration behind her brand. The company carries a collection of worry-free, non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free skin care products that use clinically proven ingredients.
Charlotte Cho created Soko Glam, a Korean beauty brand that carries skin care products like eye creams, mists, under-eye treatments, masks, sunscreen—basically everything you need for perfect skin! Cho believes that skin care should be enjoyable and an investment in your overall well-being. You can find more skin care tips and tricks on her blog, The Klog, or her book, “The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin.”
Amy Ling Lin launched Sundays because of her love for the nail industry. She saw a lot of miscommunications happening in nail salons due to language barriers and cultural differences, so she decided to fix the issues by launching a line of nail polishes named with numbers. All Sundays nail polishes are clean, vegan and come in many gorgeous colors. Sundays also offers perks like guided meditation and a mindful tea bar at their NYC studios.
For Mother’s Day this year, they are offering 20% off sitewide with code Lovemom20.
Victoria Tsai has suffered from acute dermatitis for years, which led to her developing a keen awareness of the importance of ingredients in skin care products. On a trip to Kyoto, she discovered a world of pure beauty, craftsmanship and heritage that led to her founding Tatcha.
The company works with scientists in Japan and the U.S. to create each formula for their products from scratch, advancing time-honored beauty practices. Every ingredient is carefully selected and minimally manipulated to be gentle and safe with maximum effectiveness. I personally love Tatcha’s The Essence, which is a plumping skin softener and an Allure Best of Beauty award winner.
Using only natural and organic ingredients, Teal Botanicals – founded by a nurse and mom of 3 who grew up in the Philippines – nourishes and repairs, leaving skin glowing. The top-selling, super-hydrating Facial Oil is packed with antioxidants to help brighten damaged and discolored skin while preventing fine lines.
Teal Botanicals has partnered with OneTreePlanted.org to plant trees in California and in the Philippines which is essential to the reforestation, conservation and protection of forests across the world. To date, the company has donated more than 100 trees to be planted in the Philippines.
Tower 28 Beauty
Amy Liu started her career in the beauty industry working for some incredible brands like Smashbox, Kate Somerville and Josie Maran. She founded her own brand, Tower 28 Beauty, to provide clean, vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free beauty products to everyone. Her line includes many different items, such as facial sprays, lip glosses, cream bronzers and highlighters that are all great for sensitive skin. Tower 28 Beauty products are also sold at Sephora!
If you’re looking to upgrade your lash game, you need to learn about Velour Beauty! They’ve created hand-made, high-quality, silk and faux vegan mink lashes that you can wear 25+ times. They also have a 3-in-1 brow product that’s like nothing else on the market; it lets you achieve a fluffy soap brow effect or defined brows by using one multi-use tool.
Everything is 100% vegan, cruelty-free and delivered in recyclable packaging. Founded by Mabel Lee, Velour is a one-stop solution that completes any makeup look, whether you wear lashes (and now brows!) naturally on their own or glam them up.
Brian Oh left his profession as a bank finance lawyer to start VENN, a Korean skin care company known for its 12-step program. VENN brings together over 20 years of skin care research and innovation in South Korea with clean, high-performance ingredients to develop category-defining products that help streamline skin care routines without compromising on the efficacy.
VENN has challenged the status quo in the skin care industry by offering efficient, streamlined products that replace unnecessary steps and complications that exist in traditional skin care routines. They’ve gotten rave reviews from publishers like Refinery29, PopSugar and Elite Daily!
Apparel & Accessories
abacaxi, named after the Portuguese word for pineapple, is South-Asian American designer Sheena Sood’s wearable vision. The company creates and sells face masks, hoodies, pants, turtlenecks and more that are all sustainably produced in small batches in India and Peru. So colorful and cute!
Need a pick-me-up on the daily? Slip on a smiley charm bracelet from BONBONWHIMS, and you’ll be carrying around positivity all day long! There’s a bunch of options to choose from, so you’ll find the perfect bracelet, earring, necklace or any other accessory.
This jewelry will make you shine! Vietnamese American founder and designer, Sandra Martinelli creates high-quality, lightweight and delicate personal jewelry. Delicora offers a wide collection of semi-precious stones intended to capture a woman’s confidence, natural beauty and individual style. From classic to bohemian to sophisticated styles, every unique piece is for all skin types designed with hypoallergenic 14k gold filled and sterling silver materials. A personal favorite is their Evelyn Necklace ($62), which is part of their Color Me Brilliant Collection and give the perfect splash of color.
In May, Delicora is partnering with WomanKind, a nonprofit that supports AA survivors of gender-based violence and donating 10% of their proceeds from the Made for Jade collection.
Jessica Tse, a former accessories trend director, has turned her long-time love for jewelry into a fun lifestyle accessories brand—with a big focus on jewelry—that’s inspired by living between New York and Florence, Italy. The brand’s aesthetic is a fun mix of New York quirk with a hint of la dolce vita daydreams. Pieces are designed and crafted in different precious metals, including sterling silver, gold-plated brass and gold-filled findings, with an eccentric mix of pearls, seashells and other unexpected materials.
Nyssa Jewellery is an ethical fine jewelry line that’s attainable for everyone. Featuring an array of dainty pieces, their collection of fine jewelry makes you feel as good as it looks. Nyssa’s goal is to bring customers pieces that are 100% traceable from mine to jewellery box. All of their creative processes are done in-house bringing fresh and original designs that often feature solid gold and precious stones.
okko (standing for Our Kind of KnockOut) is a female-founded women’s bodywear brand based in Miami. Grounded in the ethos of minimalism, their mission is to cut the clutter in women’s top drawers through versatility, reliability and comfort. Founder Phoebe Kunitomi’s upbringing in a Japanese and Korean-American household taught her the value of minimalism early on – a lifestyle the brand hopes to inspire within their community.
Inspired by the #KnockOut women Phoebe has met along the way, okko is about deliberate consumption, combining form with function and encouraging all women to be unapologetically themselves. Their very first products – the seamless bra, undies and nipple covers – were born from the input and feedback from over 100 women of various shapes, sizes and backgrounds, and this commitment to their loyal and honest okko customers will always be at the forefront of their design.
Paper Project is for open-minded people who are willing to try new things and gain new perspectives. Sound intriguing? It is! The company was created by textile experts with experience developing a wide range of fabrics from technical to high-end fashion, including over 10 years of developing fabrics made with paper yarn.
The founders started Paper Project in New York, by way of Japan, and are committed to introducing this fascinating material to the world and changing the way we see paper. They also donate one tree for every product sold, including socks, sweats, T-shirts, underwear and masks.
Pepper is an apparel and accessory company that was co-founded by first-generation Chinese American Jaclyn Fu. They specialize in bras in small sizes and lighthearted accessories. Their mission is to help women feel extra-special and confident by redefining body standards. They want to empower women with small boobs to join together to combat ridiculous body standards once and for all.
Known for their cozy fleeces, Sandy Liang has so many products you’ll love. The brand offers jewelry, clothing, outwear and tons of cool items that draw inspiration from ’90s nostalgia. You can purchase on their site or on Shopbop!
Founded by Sarah Paiji Yoo, Blueland seeks to combat the wastefulness of single-use plastic bottles when it comes to cleaning supplies. It allows shoppers to buy cleaning products (including laundry detergent, multi-purpose spray, toilet bowl cleaner, dish detergent and more) in capsule form so that they can be dissolved in water. The company also sells reusable bottles so that, when your cleaning solution is used up, you can just buy more capsules (in minimal packaging) – no new bottle necessary.
Appointed products are American-made (majority of their products are produced in-house – a key differentiator from other brands), sustainably sourced and produced, and gender-neutral. Their Appointed Gives Back program supports carefully selected organizations that are doing important and timely work.
Franca was born from one idea: There are common threads that bind us together. Craftsmanship, design and artistry make up the foundation of Franca’s work, and the company continues to seek out ways to bring the soul of lingua franca to each ceramic piece they produce. Shop Franca’s selection of costa bottles, dog bowls, Finca dinnerware, planters vases and more.
We love candles, and ILHA has some of the best! Made with love in Queens, N.Y., ILHA produces amazing hand-poured soy candles in tumblers and travel tins as well as reed diffusers. You can also shop the custom scent they created in collaboration with TaiwaneseAmerican.org, an organization that connects and represents the diverse experiences of the next generation of the Taiwanese-American community.
Founded in 2003 by husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, Poketo has grown from a small startup into a creative hub and online destination. A lifestyle brand born out of the desire to infuse art and design into every day, Poketo creates collections of design-conscious goods to cultivate a creative lifestyle. Shop stationery, accessories, apparel, kids, beauty and tons more. In 2019, they published their debut book, CREATIVE SPACES, a celebration of creatives, their work and their spaces. Everything this duo makes is inspiring!
Society Social was founded by Filipino-American Roxy Te in 2019. She created the company by adapting artisan techniques from the Philippines to her iconic grasscloth and rattan items. Society Social takes an unapologetic stand for all things pretty, for combining pattern and color, creating timeless items instead of trendy, and combining feminine with floral. You can find a vast collection of accessories, tabletop decor and furniture on their website or in their North Carolina store.
Wing On Wo & Co.
The W.O.W Project’s mission is to sustain ownership over Chinatown’s future by growing, protecting and preserving Chinatown’s creative culture through arts, culture and activism. They sell dinnerware, accessories and calendars that all draw inspiration from Chinese culture.
The post 37 Asian-American and Pacific Islander–Owned Businesses to Shop and Support appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.