Commemorate AAPI Heritage Month by supporting these Asian-owned brands run by women. (Photo: Glow Recipe)
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It’s AAPI Heritage month and at Reviewed we’re honoring Asian American businesses and products all month long. Supporting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is something everyone can do, whether it be through advocating, spreading awareness, donating to support causes, or shopping at Asian-owned businesses. In the event you’re searching for a Father’s Day, graduation, or birthday gift, or you’re just looking for a little something for yourself, you can check out our list of AAPI businesses, or read on to discover eight incredible AAPI-owned businesses run by women. Supporting these brands is a simple way to show your solidarity with the AAPI community, so let’s get shopping!
1. Base Coat Nail Salon
Learning that regular nail polish often contains formaldehyde sent me down a rabbit hole on Google. As a very much alive human being, I was not interested in having a mortuary-grade preservative in the polish on my manicured toes. In my quest to find a non-toxic nail polish company with cute colors and a formaldehyde-free formula (that wasn’t watery and would last at least a week), I found Base Coat. Its formula is actually “10-free,” which is beauty speak for “free of the most toxic ingredients known to cause health problems.”
Tran Wills, the founder of Base Coat Nail Salon, created the 10-Free OG nail polish line, the “All Breathable” line, and a chain of salons committed to sustainability in nine states. This line is 10-free, in addition to being Halal Certified because the “formula, manufacturing process, and facilities have been inspected to confirm that they meet and respect Muslim rules and requirements,” meaning it can be worn during prayer rituals. That’s inclusivity at its finest, plus, the colors are stunning to look at.
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Tower28’s lipgloss is poppin. (Photo: Tower28)
While we’re on a clean beauty roll, might I introduce you to Tower28? It’s a cosmetics line created by Amy Lui, who was inspired to create it out of her own need for makeup that would do its job without irritating her sensitive skin or eczema. Everything the brand sells is non-toxic and vegan, with ingredients designed to nourish and calm the skin. The brand has amassed hundreds of positive reviews both on its website and on Sephora. If you have skin sensitivities, rush on over to check the brand out—between its lipgloss, cream blush, bronzer, and highlighter, something always seems to be sold out!
3. Mason Dixie Biscuits
If you know the hallmark of a good biscuit is something that’s buttery, crumbly, and doesn’t make you cough if it hits the back of your throat, then you’re probably going to love Mason Dixie. The company’s biscuits, scones, and rolls are sold at Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Publix and Kroger nationwide, as well as online.
Mason Dixie’s founder, Ayeshah Abuelhiga, acknowledges that based on her Korean and Palestinan Isreali lineage, she may not seem like the poster child for southern cooking. But growing up in Baltimore, her mom often made southern dishes for her when she was a child. If these biscuits—which are the first google result for “Best Biscuit in America,”—are any indication of her mom’s cooking skills, it’s no wonder Abuelhiga fell in love with southern cuisine.
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When my dentist friend recommended Cocofloss, a floss created by dentist Dr. Chrystle Cu and her sister Catherine, I decided to give it a try, because the only thing better than something recommended by a dentist is something made by one! Cocofloss calls itself a “luxury floss,” and at $8 a box—I’d agree with that description.
However, it really cleans my teeth in a way that no other floss has. For one, it doesn’t feel like a little flimsy piece of plastic thread—Cocofloss is made up of 500 pieces of fibers that are coated in coconut oil (a natural antimicrobial), and is super effective at removing plaque while also soothing your gums. For anyone looking for vegan and cruelty-free products, this one’s for you. Or, for anyone who might enjoy a nice strawberry, orange, vanilla, or mint aroma while cleaning your teeth, then it’s definitely for you.
5. Blue Land
Say hello to clean cleaning products. (Photo: Blue Land)
Finding ways to minimize your single-use plastic consumption can be as simple as buying in bulk or opting for products with plastic-free packaging. And now, thanks to Blue Land, even your cleaning products can be sustainable. Blueland CEO Sarah Paiji Yoo, and her partner, were able to secure $270,000 on Shark Tank.
That’s right, you buy the empty glass containers once, fill them up with water and drop in tablets that have been formulated to turn into dish detergent, hand soap, bathroom cleaner, multi-surface cleaner, or hand soap. When you finish your cleaning products, you order more tablets (starting at $2 a piece) and drop them into fresh water in the existing container! It’s a brilliant way to clean your home with non-toxic ingredients while helping out Mother Nature in the process by reducing single-use plastic.
You may have spotted this it-girl bag on the shoulders and backs of celebrities and influencers. Cute, convertible, and available in a million colors, it’s time you know this trendy purse by its name: the Maestra bag. It was the first product of Coral Chung and Wendy Wen’s luxury handbag company, Senreve.
What sets this brand apart from other luxury handbags is the founders’ desire to make their brand high end but approachable, hence why they choose to start as a strictly direct-to-consumer brand. The brand prioritizes practicality, too, as the Maestra can turn into a backpack, crossbody, shoulder tote, and hand held. Seen on the likes of Lady Gaga, Gabrielle Union, and Priyanka Choppra, this celeb-loved pick is available on the Senreve site in addition to new offerings like belt bags, pouches, pajamas, cashmere sets, and more.
Home of the newest it-girl bag. (Photo: Heidi Lee)
A pimple can put a damper on your day, especially if it looks like Mount Vesuvius’ twin (or big) sister. Enter, the Mighty Patch. These small-but-mighty hydrocolloid stickers stop pimples dead in their tracks before they have the chance to erupt. With over 48,000 reviews on Amazon, the mighty patch lives up to its name—some reviewers even refer to these magical patches as “witchcraft.” Ju Rhyu, the founder of the company that makes them, has since expanded the product offerings to include toners, moisturizers, and more. No matter what your skin happens to throw at you, you’ll be prepared with a little hero that you can keep in your medicine cabinet.
8. Glow Recipe
This brand made the mask that introduced America to K-Beauty. (Photo: Glow Recipe)
Korean beauty has been having a major moment in the U.S. for the past few years. In fact, K beauty has taught many of us the correct order of operations when applying products (sheet masks come before eye cream!), and introduced us to amazing techniques such as dermaplaning.
One of the products that has had a huge surge in popularity is Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask—so much so, that at one point in time there was a 5,000-person waiting list. Luckily for us, after securing funding on Shark Tank, the Glow Recipe founders, Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, have expanded their offerings, ramped up production, and now sell their line at Sephora. Intrigued? All you have to do is add one of their best-sellers to your cart and wait for smooth skin to be delivered to your doorstep.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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