8 up and coming Asian-founded beauty brands to know about: Sunnies Face, Tower 28, Glow Recipe...

8 up and coming Asian-founded beauty brands to know about: Sunnies Face, Tower 28, Glow Recipe...

Star in the making

Text: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @thenimetyou

The month of May has drawn to a close –– bringing along with it the end of United States' Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Sure, while it's not an occasion that is celebrated (or even acknowledged!) on our sunny shores, it does bring about the opportunity for us to turn the limelight onto our favourite Asian-owned beauty brands. Think indie offerings on the precipice of blazing a new path on the scene, armed with never-before-seen tech and game-changing formulas. And because we're all about keeping you ahead of the curve — here's our predictions for these cult labels in the making, below.

Then I Met You

There's no doubt that we live in an age of fast beauty. With products being pushed out at a breakneck pace, one can't help but question the quality, sustainability, and ethicality of such offerings. Luckily, it's not something you have to worry about with Then I Met You. Embracing the traditional Korean philisophy of jeong, the brand believes in slowing down and going deeper to produce the most efficacious, transformative skincare out there. All offerings go through stringent testing; are developed by leading cosmetic chemists in Korea; and made using the most premium ingredients. How reassuring.


Yes, clean, vegan, and hypoallergenic fragrances are a thing. Leading the charge is Cat Chen, an advocate of modern scents that don't come packed with toxic chemicals. Beyond that, they also utilise dual-purpose packaging, renewable resources, and recyclable packing materials to ensure both ethical and eco-friendly practices. Smelling fresh AF without costing Mother Earth? We're all for it.


You might have (unknowingly) chanced upon Jinsoon's polishes while keeping up-to-date with Fashion Week happenings. Its long-lasting, vegan-friendly, and quick-dry formula has made it a favourite amongst fashion houses such as Khaite, Proenza Schouler, and Michael Kors — as has their wide variety in rich, pigmented hues, it seems. Founder, Jin Soon Choi, promises that two coats is all you need for intense colour and lustrous shine that lasts for weeks.


Sunnies Face

We're not about the comparison game, but Reddit makeup mavens have dubbed this Filipino beauty brand Glossier 2.0. To be fair, they're not too entirely off the mark. Glowing skin, berry-bitten lips, and feathered brows are the focal point of their Instagram page, with a clear emphasis of the enhancement — rather than concealment — of one's natural beauty. So far, their lip formulations have garnered international acclaim, with celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff declaring her love for the Lip Dip; a whipped matte cream that glides on like a dream.


Tower 28

Non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan skincare is shaping up to be the norm these days. Makeup that meets such requirements, on the other hand, is more of a rarity, which is probably what sets Tower 28 apart. Its CEO, Amy Liu, promises that every product is developed according to California Prop 65, Credo Beauty Standards, and the National Eczema Association's guidelines. This ensures that all products include zero potentially irritating ingredients, thus making it one of the safest options for sensitive skin users out there.


Em Cosmetics

If you've wondered what OG beauty YouTuber, Michelle Phan, has been up to, here's your answer. Her very own makeup line features modern essentials instrumental for busy bees on-the-go such brow-shaping gels, plumping clear glosses, and precise-tipped eyeliners equipped with fast-drying ink. Spot her sporting some pigment-packed shadows in the brand's campaign images.


Peach & Lily

Yes, that Peach & Lily. As in, the e-commerce platform that connects online shoppers with carefully-picked premium Asian beauty products both efficacious and trustworthy. Founder, Alicia Yoon, has recently diversified to produce their own in-house skincare ranging from cleansers, serums, and masks. If it's anything like the brand's stringent curation of products (only 5% of the tested products make the cut), we say you're in good hands.


Glow Recipe

We trust you've heard of their iconic Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask which has required frequent restocks since its inception in 2017. And that's just the beginning — Shark Tank winners, Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, have gone to build their beauty empire comprising K-Beauty inspired skincare such as ultra-fine mists and pore-tightening toners. While their focus seems to solely be on skincare, we can't say we're not hoping for them to branch out into makeup, too. Hey, a watermelon-scented gloss would be pretty on-brand.