One of the main things that drives our passion for indie beauty is the fact that supporting indie brands means supporting an individual and their dreams. Here at Indie Mood, we especially strive to support minority-owned brands. It goes without saying that supporting these brands should come year-round, but in light of the recent tragic event, we wanted to focus on the AAPI-owned indie brands we love. We’ve created a list of some incredible Asian-owned indie beauty brands that you can support now and always. We hope you find some new favorites!
*Many are AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) owned but there are some brands from Canada and Australia which are noted in their description.
Toxic prejudice, abuse, and attacks on AAPI people are nothing new. We encourage everyone to get involved, listen to AAPI voices, and read books written by AAPI. This amazing list posted by @vanreads on Instagram is a great place to start. We also put together an extended list of books authored by AAPI about the AAPI experience on Bookshop.org, which supports independently owned bookshops.
Also, please consider getting involved with AAPI organizations to spread awareness and protect the community. Sonia Weiser, creator of the Opportunities of the Week has started an AAPI Journalists Therapy Relief Fund on GoFundMe – please consider contributing.
The AAPI Covid-19 Project is a research and media outlet studying the impact of Covid-19 on the AAPI community. If you have experienced or witnessed a hate crime, you can report it to Stop AAPI Hate which will connect you to help in your immediate area. You can also report it to Asian Americans Advancing Justice, who will help you seek legal aid and defense against hate crimes and prejudice.
It’s also vital to show support to Asian-Owned businesses in your community and online. We’ve compiled this list of brands organized by makeup, skincare, perfume and candles, haircare, nail polish, and more. Would you like to recommend a brand or add your own to the list? Send us an email, comment on this article, or DM us on Instagram and we’ll add to this post!
Without further ado, on to the list!
Aside from being an incredible fashion designer, Taiwanese-Canadian artist Jason Wu also launched his makeup line in early 2020. Wu set out to be the first prestige fashion designer to launch an affordable beauty line that would be available at an affordable price in Target.
His packaging and color aesthetic of his beauty line is just as flawless and stunning as his work as a fashion designer. His Hot Fluff 3-1 lip, cheek, and eye tints are to die for, and as a faux-freckle fanatic, I need to try his Faux Freckle Maker.
Phytosurgence is a Canadian-based, Asian-owned and LGBTQIA+-owned brand that offers stunning beauty and skincare products. Their cream blushes, highlights, and shadows create the dewy skin of your dreams. They’re passionate about transparency when it comes to their ingredients and processes. They strive to create beautiful and luxurious products at a lower price than luxury brands of the same caliber.
Eccentric Cosmetics is an Australian-based Asian-owned brand. They have dozens of stunning and unique shades of mineral eyeshadows that you can purchase in either loose form or pressed form. They also have tons of lipsticks, lip glosses, and liquid liners in every color your heart may desire. With thousands of 5-star reviews on Etsy, they are admired all over the world!
Purlisse is another staple of mine. Their BB cream has been my go-to foundation for more than 4 years. I’ve gone through multiple tubes and still reach for it! It’s the perfect amount of coverage and glow for a dewy everyday look. They just released a line of BB Cream Blushes that I need to get my paws on, ASAP!
Their Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Cleansing Milk is another favorite of mine as a gentle, hydrating, but effecting daily cleanser. It removes makeup and acts as a toner as it cleanses, making it the perfect product to bring on the go.
Love My Sway created the first-ever natural, aluminum-free deodorant formulated with apple cider vinegar! There are now plenty of other brands carrying similar products, but this indie brand was the first to do it. Their natural and effective deodorant comes in a bunch of different scents (I love the vanilla lavender), and they also have a dusting powder to help with the anti-perspiration control that only comes with an aluminum deodorant. They even have a detox mask and a serum made especially for your underarms!
Aside from their awesome deodorant, they also have Trademark, a customizable dry body oil. This beautiful oil comes in a glass bottle with a dropper, and you can customize the fragrance, add shimmer, or even mix in crystals and flower petals. There are different oil blends for different skin concerns, so you can truly tailor this luxurious body oil to your needs.
Use code THEINDIEMOOD for 15% off Love My Sway! (affiliated)
Meow Meow Tweet is a skincare and body care brand with some of the cutest packaging I’ve ever seen. This Asian-owned and LGBTQ+-owned brand was named after the founders’ pets: two cats and a bird. They started their brand making handmade soap bars and have since expanded to skincare, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner bars, body oils, and more.
Every month, they choose a different organization to donate a portion of their proceeds to. They’re dedicated to sustainability and low waste packaging, and they even sell other zero and low waste brands on their site! Did we mention that they’re cruelty-free and vegan?
Félin Lune is a zero-waste skincare, bath, and body brand with roots in herbalism. Their products are beautiful visually but also super effective. Sustainability is one of the main pillars of the brand, all the packaging is as close to zero-waste as possible. The founder has a background in science as well as in the magic of self-care, so their products are truly the best of both worlds!
Use code INDIEMOOD for 15% offFélin Lune! (affiliated)
Marinne has quickly become a favorite of mine since discovering them a year ago on Etsy. Their products are beautiful, affordable, and effective. One of my favorite things about them is that you can get a sample size of just about every product they offer so you can try it and see if it agrees with your skin before committing to the full-sized product.
Their Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is a favorite of mine for exfoliation without drying my sensitive skin. I also use their Milk Peel Sleeping Mask a few times a week, which I consider to be a pretty great dupe for Sunday Riley Good Genes. It keeps my skin smooth and acne-free. They also have lip tints, hydrating cocoa butter lipsticks, and more! I definitely recommend checking them out.
Akar Skin is a skincare brand rooted in Tibetan philosophy. The founder created the brand after years of overworking landed her in the hospital, and she traveled to Tibet to recover from career burnout. This inspired the skincare brand rooted in mindfulness, herbalism, and traditional Tibetan superfoods.
Their Balance Toning Mist is one of my all-time favorite products, as I’ve mentioned maybe a few thousand times before… there’s a reason Allure calls the mist Holy Water. I also adore their oils, cleansers, moisturizers, and lip balms. Their Clarify line is amazing for soothing irritated skin, clearing acne, and hydrating all at the same time. Basically, everything from Akar is amazing.
Velvette is a Canadian-based vegan skincare line created by 2 sisters. Their oils have been a staple in my routine for almost 2 years now. I remember when I met the founders at Indie Beauty Expo all the way back in 2019. After I had asked whether they put the oils on before or after they applied moisturizers, toners, and serums, I was in shock when they told me that the oils were the only things they used other than cleansing. Their skin was flawless!
Flash forward to 2021, I’m still using their Dry Skin Day and Night oils every day and my skin is still so much more hydrated, even, and calm than it was before. They will always be my ride or die oils!
Use code THEINDIEMOOD for 10% off Velvette (affiliated)
Then I Met You is a Korean skincare line “inspired by the Korean concept of Jeong: a deep feeling of empathy and affection that one can develop for people, places and things. Built upon a foundation of altruism, generosity, and collective social responsibility, Jeong drives us to put others ahead of ourselves, give without expecting in return and choose the action that optimizes for the greater good of our communities.” (Taken from Then I Met You’s Website)
Founder Charlotte Cho is also the co-founder of Soko Glam, an online retailer of K-Beauty products based in New York City. We have her to thank for bringing the wonderful world of k-beauty and skincare to the US, and now Charlotte Cho has created her own brand – Then I Met You. She clearly used her expertise in k-beauty to create her brand, they have tons of award-winning products like their velvety Living Cleansing Balm and their Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel. On top of having awesome products, their packaging is so beautiful!
Krave Beauty was founded by a YouTuber who was overwhelmed with how complicated skincare and skincare routines have become. She created Krave to make skincare easy, fun, and stress-free so that it can become a self care ritual, not a chore. Their products are well-loved, they won the Audience Choice 2020 Indie Mood Award for the Best Cleanser for their Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser.
Peach & Lily is a beautiful K-Beauty skincare brand with high-quality ingredients and award-winning formulations. Their Glass Skin Refining Serum is a cult classic. Along with their own line, Peach & Lily also stocks other K-Beauty indie brands like Clean-It Zero and Saturday Skin. They curate their shop with tons of research and product testing to bring the best in Korean skincare.
Indie perfume giant Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab likely has a scent for you with more than 700 perfume blends in their catalogue. BPAL’s collections usually center around horror, literature, mythology, and all things gothic (I have a perfume from them called “Blood Popsicle” to give you an idea) They’ve been around since 2002 and are consistently contributing to social activism causes, including environmental-related charities, LGBTQ+ charities, and getting involved with organizations that help marginalized groups. They often create one-of-a-kind fragrances and collections with proceeds going to these causes.
Mo Mi is a cruelty-free haircare brand founded with the intention of creating simple haircare products that become staples in your routine. Their formulas are 100% vegan and plant based, made to make your hair both look and feel great. Along with shampoo and conditioner, they have a line of hair products for a variety of hair types and desired styles.
Dear Sundays is a non-toxic, 10-free, cruelty-free, and vegan line of nail polishes created by nail artist and nail salon owner Amy Ling Lin. They have created every nail color of my dreams, with muted tones and pastels that make my heart sing. They also have a soy-based nail polish remover completely free of acetone that moisturizes your nails instead of drying them out. Everything was taken into account when creating the line of polishes, including bottle shape, long-lasting, glossy finish, pigment-saturated color, and curated colors that are timeless.
Serenade is a one-stop-shop for all your zero-waste beauty needs online! They stock tons of our favorite brands, even some mentioned in this list, like Meow Meow Tweet! They have skincare, haircare, cosmetics, and more, all zero-waste or as low-waste as possible. Check out the interview we did with the founder of Serenade, Maya, from last year!
Clean Circle is a zero-waste alternative to disposable cotton pads and rounds. The Clean Circle makeup remover and skincare pads are made from bamboo, a more sustainable fiber option than cotton. The pads are completely reusable and come with a drawstring pouch that you can throw in the washing machine to clean them.
This post is not sponsored, but some links are affiliated. Affiliate links help us keep our site running at no extra cost to you. All photos were taken from the brand’s websites and are not credited to us.