Courtesy of CLE Cosmetics


NYLON's 23 Favorite Beauty Products From AAPI-Owned Brands

The best skin care, makeup, and hair care to shop this May and all year long.

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For the whole month of May, Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, is the yearly recognition of the contributions that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islander Americans have made to the history and culture of the United States. While acknowledgement and appreciation are important parts of observation, there’s another, more tangible way to show some support to the community — shopping APPI-owned brands.

Regardless of the time of the year, AAPI-owned brands have a prominent place in our beauty routines, here at NYLON. From hair-improving gadgets to potent skin care to makeup and nail polish that sparkle, so many brands and products have enriched our lives providing us with great recommendations to share. Read on for our top 23 beauty picks to shop from some of our favorite AAPI-owned beauty brands and show love to the community, this month and every month.

“I’m not exaggerating when I say I have hundreds of eye shadows, but I’ve found myself gravitating towards this little single over and over again. I’d call the color a neutral shimmer — it just gives your eyes a little dimension without reading to others like full-on sparkles.” — Sam Neibart, beauty editor

“Face mists are largely known to give us nothing, but I swear this one tones and hydrates on contact. That's why I keep one on my desk and another in the fridge at home.” — Chelsea Peng, managing editor

The Sunscreen You’ll Want To Reapply

“These, in mini form, were stocked poolside at a Coachella party co-founder Mei Kwok was DJing — I was just glad to have any body sun cream to use, but the runny gel applied so easily with a pleasant cooling effect that I went through nearly the whole bottle over the weekend. It's that good.” — Peng

Vanilla scents always hit for me — and this is one of my favorites. It smells sweet and sticky, but in a sultry way. I love to wear it solo, but I’ll also layer this with just about any other fragrance if I’m in the mood to smell a little more delicious.” — Neibart

“As a millennial, I’ll always have love for Michelle Phan, one of the original game-changing beauty YouTubers. Her beauty line, EM Cosmetics, makes the best serum-based blush that lights up my face with just a couple of drops and blends like nothing else.” — Neibart

“This scent is one I keep coming back to because it’s so warm and gives me cozy, comforting vibes every time I spray it on. It’s an addictive, musky, skin scent with bittersweet ginseng, rose, and vanilla that smells like borrowing a worn sweater from a (very good-smelling) loved one.” — Neibart

“This leave-in conditioner from Fable & Mane is the perfect post-shower TLC for my bleached strands. It smells like a lush tropical vacation and leaves my hair silky-smooth. I don't blow-dry (or air-dry) my hair without it.” — Faith Xue, executive beauty director

The Cutest Water Filter You’ve Ever Seen

“Some may say we've gone too far with the water filters, but I say I've seen the evidence — and it ain't pretty. This super-cute sink attachment is nice to have for peace of mind when you're washing your face or brushing your teeth, and the install makes you feel a bit like a woman in STEM.” — Peng

“As a press-on nail aficionado, I know what makes a good set. These are shaped to sit so well on my natural nails, it makes them look more real and last longer. I wore these pink velvet ones to a wedding and no one could believe I did my own nails.” — Neibart

“I’ve been using these drops non-stop since I first reviewed them in January. Two or three pumps after sunscreen, but before makeup makes sure I look like I’m awake and vibrant in the morning, even when it’s not the case. They also make it much easier to get away with wearing less foundation.” — Neibart

“I love a fun pimple patch as much as the next person, but sometimes I’m trying to keep my zits on the down low. These are the thinnest hydrocolloid patches I’ve tried — they camouflage spots and dots and are basically imperceptible once you put them on. I’ve forgotten I’m wearing them until I go to wash my face at the end of the day.” — Neibart

“This body serum is so heavenly — it's lightweight, smells divine, and gives my skin an immediate glow. Every day I can't wait to put this on. It also contains powerful ingredients, like collagen boosting copper peptides and tone-evening Japanese yuzu.” — Kelly Reed, senior social strategist

Jin Soon is always ahead of the nail color trends and she called this season’s jelly nails trend from a mile away. I’m obsessed with the hot orange, semi translucent Crush polish, it’s one of those forever summer-ready shades that makes me happy every time I look at it on my nails.” — Neibart

“We’ve already declared this indie nail polish line a team NYLON fave, but I still cannot say enough good things about Mooncat. These weird color shifts and shades are impossible to find anywhere else, and if that’s not enough, the polishes are also incredibly long lasting. It’s like magic.” — Neibart

“This kimchi-infused cleanser is the clean white tee of cleansers -- as in, a staple for everyday. It's gentle, removes makeup, has a satisfying lather, and leaves my skin feeling mochi-soft. Plus, I love the smaller size which makes it perfect for travel.” — Xue

“Sweaty New York City summer is coming, so I’m sure to be stocked up on this spray. I’m obsessed with the continuous spray can — which means no stray droplets on your finished makeup. It’s like it creates a forcefield for your face and just makes everything hold up better.” — Neibart

“This neutrals palette makes it possible for a chronic overpacker like me to narrow down the makeup I bring whenever I go out of town. (I refuse to travel without options!) It has every shade I could possibly want for any kind of simple day look or dramatic smoky eye, plus a cream brown and black that work as eyeliner.” — Neibart

“Body mists bring something out of me; I just want to drench myself in it. Lately, I’ve been loving Phlur’s Dragon Fruit — it’s a mixed fruit salad of pineapple, watermelon, and dragon fruit (obviously) blended with sandalwood and amber to give the juicy scent a little heft.” — Neibart

“This light gel moisturizer from founder Erica Choi (also known as @eggcanvas) is my go-to for mornings because it hydrates without feeling heavy. But let's also acknowledge the superb packaging design: seeing it on my bathroom counter (and holding it in the palm of my hand) feels undeniably soothing.” — Xue

The Effective Retinol Alternative

“If you aren't a Tatcha devotee yet, you will be after you try the brand's Silk Serum. The retinol alternative feels like a light, milky emulsion and sinks in instantly without any smell or stickiness. It feels like I'm cocooning my skin in the softest cashmere -- plus, it left my skin looking smoother and brighter by the time I finished the bottle.” — Xue

“I use this skin tint from Tower 28 every single day and when I'm close to the end, I panic-buy another before I finish it to ensure I never go a day without it. It's the perfect tinted moisturizer because it evens out my skin tone and has a slight blurring effect. The SPF doesn't hurt, either.” — Xue

“This balm is like the power washer of makeup removers. Just a little glob can take off all of my stubborn mascara and eyeliner in one go. It’s so good, I actively have to stop myself from accidentally using too much at a time, because the texture is so satisfying to the touch.” — Neibart