6 AA+PI-Founded Beauty Brands to Follow

From clean skincare products to makeup colors to complement the more melanated, here are some of our favorite beauty brands, and their amazing founders

Live Tinted’s HueBrow comes with an applicator, which was requested by fans.

Courtesy of Live Tinted

Words by Aleenah Ansari

There’s something special about finding makeup and skincare products that are made by BIPOC folks, for BIPOC folks. Oftentimes, it feels like the founders are reaching across the product display to say, “I made this for us.” BIPOC entrepreneurs in the beauty and skincare space are often mindful about offering an extensive shade range to accommodate more melanated folks and different undertones, like when Fenty Beauty launched with 40 shades of its foundation, something that should have been the norm from the beginning. It can also be something as personal as seeing a product name or active ingredient that reminds you of your culture, like with Kulfi’s Mehndi Moment blushes with a name inspired by traditional South Asian body art

Whether you’re looking for a new product or just want to learn more about one of your existing favorites, here are six AA+PI-founded beauty and skincare businesses to check out:

Live Tinted

Live Tinted founder Deepica Mutyala.

Courtesy of Live Tinted

South Asian beauty entrepreneur Deepica Mutyala first went viral for using red lipstick as a color corrector for her dark circles, and the brand has kept that ethos of innovation since. She went on to become the founder and CEO of multicultural beauty-minded community Live Tinted, and created Huesticks, which are multi-purpose color correctors that can also be used to target hyperpigmentation and add a flush of color on the eyes, lips, and cheeks. Live Tinted is rapidly expanding its Hue universe of products, but one of their favorites is designed for everyone, makeup lover or not. Live Tinted knows that sunscreen application (and reapplication) is essential for everyone, including BIPOC folks, which is why they offer a Hueguard Invisible Sunscreen Stick that can be used to put on sunscreen throughout the day.

Many of Live Tinted’s products are informed by feedback from the Live Tinted community about what they want out of beauty and skincare products on social media. The brand will take to Instagram to ask what people look for in a dream concealer, or some of their biggest frustrations with lip gloss. With the recent launch of HueBrow, many fans weighed in saying they prefer an eyebrow product with an applicator versus a pot of product that required an extra brush. Now, that product is available to customers, and community feedback continues to be a cornerstone of how they develop products.

Tower 28

Tower 28 Beauty’s ShineOn Lip Jelly Non-Sticky Gloss.

Courtesy of Tower 28 Beauty

Named after a lifeguard tower in Santa Monica, Tower 28 is a beloved brand that creates clean makeup designed with sensitive skin in mind, and they assure their community that it’s okay to be sensitive, not only when it comes to skincare but also how they talk to themselves. Tower 28 also follows the National Eczema Association’s Ingredient Guidelines, all while offering products under $30. One of their most-loved products for everyday wear is SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen, which was designed to be high-performance while letting the skin’s natural freckles and moles shine through.

The brand was founded by Amy Liu, who has sensitive skin herself and wanted to create fun, inclusive, and affordable makeup that wouldn’t worsen her skin condition. Liu formerly worked at a number of beauty and skincare brands in L.A. like Kate Somerville, Joe Maran, and more. She’s equally proud of her identity as a Chinese American entrepreneur, which is why she strives to build a brand based on inclusion. She also started Clean Beauty Summer School, which is dedicated to connecting BIPOC clean beauty brands with mentorship, peer support, and the opportunity to pitch for additional funding and meetings with major beauty retailers.


@youthforia honestly color changing blush oil is the best first date blush #blushoil #youthforia #microtrends #startingabusiness ♬ Ice Cream - BLACKPINK & Selena Gomez

Who says makeup can’t be fun and good for your skin? Youthforia approaches makeup as an extension of skincare, and its products are created with formulas that follow Green Chemistry principles, meaning that they are primarily made with naturally derived fuels instead of fossil fuels. Their products are a fun take on classics like primer, lip gloss, and liquid blush that can elevate any everyday look.

Founder Fiona Co Chan launched this brand in a time of Zoom meetings and virtual hangouts, and Youthforia’s plant-based products have gone viral on TikTok, especially her color-changing blush oil and pre-game primer. Chan and her husband spent a lot of time sleeping in lab samples of products, though you’re more likely to recognize her from her deal on Shark Tank, where she donned an outfit that was meant to be a mix between pajamas and a power suit and pitched her brand as makeup you can sleep in. She ended up negotiating with Mark Cuban to get $400,000 and eight percent equity, which is a great reminder to advocate for yourself in and out of work, and landed Cuban’s first makeup deal. 


If you’re looking for some skincare staples from a BIPOC-owned brand, this one has got you covered. EADEM was co-founded by Marie Kouadio Amouzame, who struggled to find foundations that were created with women of color in mind, and Alice Lin, a second-generation Taiwainese American. The brand’s name means “all” or “same” in Latin, an homage to the fact that people share stories that connect us. EADEM products are created by women of color, for women of color. In practice, this means that its products are made with clinically tested ingredients that are safe for more melanated skin. For example, the Milk Marvel dark spot serum is designed to fade dark papaya and pineapple. Equally popular is dew dream cleansing balm, which you can use to take off your makeup and SPF at the end of the day without drying out your skin.


Kulfi’s Zari Eyes eyeshadow is named after of the silver and gold threads weaved into South Asian clothes.

Courtesy of Kulfi

It’s sweet to be Kulfi, and not just because its name is inspired by a traditional Indian ice cream made with simmered whole milk. Priyanka Ganjoo, founder of Kulfi, has created products inspired by elements of South Asian culture, from kajal and mehndi to the name itself. One of its signature products are the Mehndi Moment blushes. Inspired by the South Asian practice of applying a henna paste to decorate the skin, the blush formula is an ode to the high pigment, long-lasting power of mehndi and celebration of the sisterhood and artistry that has accompanied the practice for generations. The Kajal eyeliners are inspired by the South Asian tradition of applying kajal to ward off the evil eye or “nazar.” This eyeliner is available in vibrant, innovative colors inspired by South Asian textiles. Equally stunning are the Zari Eyes eyeshadow, which is named after of the silver and gold threads weaved into South Asian clothes. 

CLE Cosmetics

CLE Cosmetics founder Lauren Jin.

Nancy Park

CLE Cosmetics founder Lauren Jin created the brand with Eastern and Western beauty culture in mind. Jin originally designed the brand in response to 10-step Korean beauty routines as well as similarly extensive Western beauty practices. Jin’s products use elements of Korean beauty technology, formulation, and packaging in creative ways, like using the cushion compact for highlights instead of sunscreen or foundation. Some of its most innovative products include Melting Lip Powder, a pigmented powder that transforms into a long-wearing tint when applied to the lips. Best of all, every product in this nontoxic, cruelty-free, and vegan brand is designed to fit into a multi-step routine or be used on its own. 

BIPOC-owned businesses are always innovating, and the entrepreneurs that run them often create the products they wish they had growing up. A lot of these brands are rooted in feedback from their community and customers, whether it’s to find clean makeup that goes hand-in-hand with their skincare routine, makes them look brighter not lighter, or create makeup that makes them feel joyful and beautiful.

Published on June 5, 2023

Words by Aleenah Ansari

Aleenah Ansari (she/her) is equal parts storyteller, creative problem solver, and journalist at heart who's rooted in the stories of people behind products, companies, and initiatives. She’s written about travel, entrepreneurship, mental health and wellness, and representation in media for Insider, CNBC, The Seattle Times, Kulfi, and more. You can usually find her searching for murals in Seattle and beyond, reading a book by a BIPOC author, and planning her next trip to New York. Learn more at www.aleenahansari.com.