8 of the best South Asian-owned beauty brands you should try


the best South Asian-owned beauty brands

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This year, Eid al-Fitr 2023 is expected to be on April 21, marking the end of Ramadan—the holy month where Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset. To celebrate the holiday, Muslims dress up in their favorite (oftentimes brand new) outfits, enjoy time with their friends and loved ones, cook delicious meals and generally make sure they look and feel their best. They also give gifts, especially to kids (also known as Eidi or Salami). In general, they make sure they look and feel their best.

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If you’re celebrating Eid this year, consider upping your beauty game with products from one of these amazing South Asian-owned beauty brands. Not only do these brands emphasize South Asian skin but also use the best ingredients on the market. Many hold roots in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system that uses traditional plant ingredients (think turmeric, coconut oil, saffron and more) to help calm inflammation in the skin and balance the body.

What’s more, these brands are providing the brown girl representation we all needed growing up. It’s helping us feel more seen in a space where we’re vastly underrepresented in terms of colors and shade range. As there were no models in the beauty space who looked like us, we struggled to accept ourselves as beautiful—much less find the best concealer for our skin tone. If I’m speaking for myself, I remember every lipstick shade I bought as a teen washing me out. Now though, I finally feel seen, and I celebrate my olive skin instead of wanting to change it.

That’s why we’ve put together innovative makeup products from South Asian-owned brands to elevate your Eid look, from the perfect red lipstick to a long-wearing kohl pencil. Celebrate your heritage in a space that is too often all-white, invest in products made for you and give back to South Asian-owned brands at the same time: Talk about a win on all counts.

1. For pigmented cheeks: Kulfi Beauty Mehndi Moment Blush

South Asian-owned beauty brands: Kulfi

Our favorite:Mehndi Moment Blush—$28

Kulfi Beauty gives back in a huge way, with proceeds from each purchase going to benefit various mental health organizations that help the South Asian community. Also available at Sephora, each product has been tested on South Asian skin to make sure it performs precisely the way it should. The brand boasts self-expression as its ethos.

We especially like the Mehndi Moment Blush, a buildable cream blush available in five fun shades. It easily blends into the skin to provide a seamless look. Packed with antioxidant-rich amla (Indian gooseberry) extract and hydrating hibiscus, its benefits are multifaceted. Don’t forget to give the brand’s most popular product, its award-winning smudge-proof Underlined Kajal Eyeliner, a try as well. 

Shop Kulfi Beauty

2. For eyes that pop: Live Tinted Hueliner Longwearing Pencil 

South Asian-owned beauty brands: Live Tinted

Our favorite: Hueliner Longwearing Pencil in Black—$20

Live Tinted was created by YouTube celeb Deepica Mutyala, when a video she posted about covering up her dark circles with red lipstick went viral. The brand is designed to make sure women of all skin tones can find shades that match their skin perfectly. Today, instead of red lipstick, you can use the Huestick in Rise, the brand’s award-winning color corrector developed for deeper skin tones.

Our particular favorite is the Hueliner Longwearing Pencil in Black, which takes its inspiration from kohl, used in South Asian culture for years. It goes on smooth and creamy, but doesn’t transfer or fade one bit. The waterproof design makes it great for hot summer days, too.

Shop Live Tinted

3. For an all-in-one product: Mango People Multi Stick

South Asian-owned beauty brands: Mango People

Our favorite:Mango People Multi Stick—$27

Mango People prides itself on being rooted in tradition, using vegan ingredients in all their products. Founder Sravya Adusumilli is all about using ingredients traditionally used in Ayurveda to get the perfect color for all shades of olive tones. The Multi Stick is one of the brand’s best-selling products, using a combination of plant oils and natural pigments in eight bright, diverse options to enhance eyes, lips and cheeks with a single swipe.

Use the lighter colors for blush, while the darker ones are perfect for contouring. The buildable shades can be subtly applied for just a sheen, or built up for a statement-making look. 

Shop Mango People

4. For the most blendable foundation: Ex1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation

South Asian-owned beauty brands: Ex1 Cosmetics

Our favorite: Invisiwear Liquid Full Coverage Foundation—$20

Ex1 Cosmetics founder Farah Naz was sick of having to spend tons of money just to find a product that matched her skin, so she took matters into her own hands. She created a brand at drugstore prices that could benefit anyone with Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, pale olive or dark golden skin.

The result: The brand’s Invisiwear Liquid Full Coverage Foundation, which creates the perfect match. The luminous finish is thanks to its use of ‘true color pigments’ that help highlight the skin’s natural tone while hiding imperfections. It’s made without parabens and is non-comedogenic, so there won’t be any allergic reactions to worry about.

Shop Ex1 Cosmetics

5. For color-correcting: Wander Beauty Dualist Matte Illuminating Concealer

South Asian-owned beauty brands: Wander Beauty

Our favorite:Dualist Matte and Illuminating Concealer—$30

Wander Beauty is the brainchild of Divya Gugnani and Lindsay Ellingson, two working moms who believe your makeup should work as hard as you do—but take a lot less time to apply. Also available at Sephora, each product is designed to perform multiple tasks so you need fewer of them, and all ingredients were sourced with clean beauty in mind.

The Dualist Matte and Illuminating Concealer, for instance, is doubled-edged with a matte stick on one end and an illuminating liquid on the other, allowing both heavier coverage and a sheer, glowy look to wake up tired skin.

Shop Wander Beauty

6. For bright hues: Meera Beauty Co Holi Grail Bundle

South Asian-owned beauty brands: Meera Beauty Co.

Our favorite: Holi Grail Bundle—$42

Meera Beauty Co, a small BIPOC and LGBTQIA-owned beauty startup based in Atlanta, Georgia, was created with one goal in mind: to adequately represent marginalized communities in the beauty space. Its Holi Grail Bundle, named after the Hindu religious festival of color, perfectly depicts South Asian culture with a sea of bright hues designed to work on all skin types.

They come in powder form, but can easily be activated with a single drop of water to go heavier if you prefer. Choose from shimmer, matte, neon and pastel shades, and get the exact look you desire to match your eyes to your outfit.

Shop Meera Beauty Co

7. For getting rid of dark circles: Vasanti Cosmetics Liquid VO2 Undereye Color Corrector and Concealer

South Asian-owned beauty brands: Vasanti Cosmetics

Our favorite: Liquid VO2 Undereye Color Corrector and Concealer—$27

If your darker skin means you’re plagued with heavier under-eye circles than most, don’t despair: Vasanti Cosmetics is here to help. The word Vasanti means “spring” in Sanskrit; true to its word, all its products bring about that breezy, spring vibe, from the cruelty-free packaging down to the clean ingredients.

The Liquid VO2 Undereye Color Corrector and Concealer is the brand’s first and signature product, designed specifically for the darker melanin in South Asian skin. The hydrating, oil-free ingredients work well on all skin types, while the orange pigment conceals any shadows.

Shop Vasanti Cosmetics

8. For the perfect red pout: CTZN Cosmetics Code Red Laal

South Asian-owned beauty brands: CTZN Cosmetics

Our favorite:Code Red Laal—$28

Created by sisters Aleena, Aleezeh and Naseeha Khan, CTZN was created to provide an exact match for South Asian and Middle Eastern skin tones. Ever helpful, the vegetarian and cruelty-free brand asks users to take a quiz to match the exact nude shade for their skin tone. 

Its Code Red lipstick comes in six tantalizing shades of red that range from light orange to deep mahogany, with both cool and warm undertones. The brand is also available at Nordstrom.

Shop CTZN Cosmetics

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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