Add to Cart: 8 API-owned Beauty and Style Brands You Should Know

Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses have long been making marks in the beauty and fashion industries. Whether you’re in the market for a glowy serum or environmentally friendly jewelry piece, these eight brands have been crafted with care and sustainability in mind to fit everyone’s desires. Get to know some of the best Asian-owned beauty and fashion brands that are worth your money.


When Aisha Rawji founded the online fashion store Kynah in 2017, she had a vision to redefine the way women shop for and wear Indian attire. Specializing in guest, resort and bridal wear, KYNAH is a one-stop shop for Indian luxury fashion and features pieces from over 25 designers, including The Little Black Bow and Gopi Vaid. Over this past summer, Rawji opened her first brick-and-mortar boutique in Santa Monica, California. The KYNAH team also emphasizes healthy working conditions and living wages for Indian workers.


When conceptualizing the therapeutic skincare and wellness brand Selfmade in 2019, Stephanie Lee wanted to put everything she knew about self-worth and self-care into one company. With the help of industry experts, Selfmade has curated a line of face and body products made with ingredients scientifically proven to be healing. Vogue even named the Selfmade Secure Attachment Comfort Serum as one of the best serums of 2022. The company is dedicated to sustainability and social justice, incorporating these goals into its brand and mission.

Hero Cosmetics

Hero Cosmetics is coming to the rescue to alleviate (many) skin issues. Ju Rhyu’s brand originally took over the skincare scene with a pimple patch that heals breakouts without irritating the surrounding area. Hero Cosmetics has since released a plethora of products, from cleansers to sunscreen, directed to those with sensitive skin types.


A jewelry brand with the purpose to repurpose, CLED utilizes discarded resources into new treasures to reduce the brand’s environmental impact, without ever sacrificing quality or design. Each piece is made from recycled materials and is always one of a kind. 

Tower 28

Tower 28 is a Los Angeles-based clean beauty brand that has also been exponentially hyped on TikTok, for products that users say create a “glass skin” look. Founded by Amy Liu, the brand offers vegan and cruelty-free products for sensitive skin.


While training for her first triathlon, Denise Lee couldn’t find quality clothing that was also stylish. After an aha moment, luxury athleisure brand Alala (named after the Greek goddess) was born in 2014, offering jackets, undergarments and more. Lee has also made an impact by sharing her entrepreneurial story on TikTok to inspire others like her. The minority and female-founded brand is run by a 100% women-run team that sets a high safety standard for all factory partners.

good light

good light is described as “beauty beyond the binary.” Developed by David Yi, this early-stage skincare company offers gentle, yet powerful personal care products for all people, regardless of gender identity. To soothe sensitive skin, products are formulated with clean, non-toxic ingredients. Fans on TikTok rave about the company’s Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion, which balances, exfoliates and hydrates skin, all while reducing inflammation. Yes, please! 

Glow Recipe

By now, beauty brand Glow Recipe has most likely taken over your TikTok For You page, especially the brand’s popular Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops. Created by Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, Glow Recipe offers products made with fruit-forward and clean formulas.

This article appeared in Character Media’s Annual 2022 Issue.
Read our full e-magazine here.