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Besides revealing my own Asian mother’s traditional beauty secrets, one of the best ways I can highlight AAPI Heritage Month as a fashion and beauty writer is to tell you about my favorite AAPI-owned beauty brands!

These brands are making waves in the beauty industry with their unique blends of cultural heritage, innovative ingredients, and commitment to sustainability. From luxurious skincare rituals to vibrant nail colors, these brands offer something for everyone. Here are five standout brands that not only elevate your beauty routine but also celebrate the rich traditions and forward-thinking spirit of the AAPI community.

1. Tatcha

Founded by Vicky Tsai, Tatcha’s journey is one of personal healing and cultural appreciation, resulting in a brand that celebrates the harmony between tradition and science. My favorite product from Tatcha, The Essence, embodies this ethos perfectly. This lightweight toner is a true testament to Tatcha’s commitment to skincare as a holistic experience, nourishing both the skin and the spirit with its blend of Japanese superfoods and botanical extracts.

What makes the brand stand out? Tatcha’s commitment to phasing out outdated beauty standards, such as the use of “normal” and “anti-aging” labels, reflects a deeper understanding of beauty as a journey of self-acceptance and empowerment. As you integrate Tatcha into your skincare routine, you’ll not only experience its transformative effects but also appreciate the brand’s mission to redefine beauty norms and promote inclusivity in the beauty industry.

2. Viori

Inspired by the remarkable hair care traditions of the Red Yao women, passed down through generations, Viori is all about the mission of bringing these time-honored practices to the world with their shampoo bars and conditioners. Discovering the secret behind the Red Yao women’s stunning, jet-black hair, Viori learned of their special ritual involving fermented rice water. This simple yet powerful tradition, rooted in the mountains of Longsheng, became the cornerstone of Viori’s mission. 

I use Viori’s shampoo bars and conditioners, and they’ve become my favorite parts of my hair care routine. Not only does my hair feel luxuriously smooth and shiny after each use, but I’ve also noticed remarkable growth — it’s never been longer or healthier. Viori products are easier to use and travel with, but they also align with my commitment to environmental sustainability!

3. Prakti

Prakti, founded by Pritika Swarup, is a celebration of dual identity and cultural fusion. Growing up in Virginia Beach while frequently visiting her family in Lucknow, India, Pritika embraced the rich cultural heritage of both worlds. This unique blend of influences forms the foundation of Prakti, a brand that reimagines traditional Indian ingredients through the lens of modern technology. Her brand boasts innovative products like my favorite, the PritiPolish Instant Glow Exfoliator, that smooths and brightens skin with its rice powder formula.

By combining the spiritual richness of India with cutting-edge technology, Prakti offers products that not only enhance beauty but also empower women to achieve their dreams. As a brand, Prakti is dedicated to inspiring women to pursue fulfilling lives with confidence and courage, embodying the fearless spirit that defines the new generation.

4. Tower 28

At Tower 28, the focus is on creating a safe haven for your skin, all while embracing the joy of makeup. Founded by Amy Liu, who understands the struggles of sensitive skin firsthand, Tower 28 is a testament to her dedication to providing accessible, high-performance products that cater to all skin types, especially those with sensitivities. With over 15 years of experience in the beauty industry, Amy’s frustration with the lack of options for her chronic eczema led her to create a brand that prioritizes irritant-free formulas without compromising on fun and creativity.

Tower 28’s commitment to sensitive skin is evident in every aspect of their products. My current favorites? Definitely their sparkling ShineOn Lip Jelly and elongating MakeWaves Mascara. And you’ll never catch me without their SOS Rescue Serum. Everytime my skin becomes inflamed or an unwanted breakout rolls around, the serum soothes it. With Tower 28, you can trust that your skin is in good hands, allowing you to express yourself through makeup without the fear of waking up to angry skin.

5. Jin Soon

Jin Soon Choi, the nail queen of NYC, turned her $400 dream into a vibrant nail empire. Starting as “bicycle Jin” with in-home mani/pedis, she quickly became a go-to for top beauty editors and fashionistas. Her boutique spas, sprinkled across NYC, are now iconic destinations for impeccable nail care.

In 2012, Jin launched her own line of JINsoon Nail Lacquer. These non-toxic, 21-free, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly polishes are inspired by her love of abstract art and high fashion. With over sixty shades, there’s a color for every mood and skin tone. Jin’s polishes not only look fabulous but also reflect her commitment to safe, stylish beauty. My favorite shades for summer 2024 include aero: a cool light blue, chillin a soft yellow, and aura; a sparkly pink!

Madison Bailey

App State '23

Madison Bailey is a national writer at Her Campus Media focusing on all things style, beauty, and lifestyle. She works closely with the style and lifestyle verticals at Her Campus, including reviews, roundups, sustainable style, and pop-culture. After graduating from Appalachian State University in May 2023 where she was Campus Coordinator of Her Campus at App State, Madison has written for Teen Vogue, Modeliste Magazine, Global Garbs, and more. Her time as Head Writer for The Collective Magazine, Appalachian State’s fashion and culture magazine, sparked her passion for the exciting world of fashion. She is currently working in marketing at Modeliste Magazine where she’s able to celebrate her favorite things; fashion, beauty, and travel. In her free time, you can find Madison soaking in all the beauty that the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. Or, when she’s not writing, you can find her thrifting, sipping a raspberry matcha, or cooking her favorite vegan meals!