Last week, I was singing my favorite Bollywood song while applying beauty products from South Asian-owned brands. I went through my skincare routine, using products from Ranavat and Aavrani. Then, I went on to do a fun eye look with the Kulfi Beauty Kajal Eyeliner and a Meera Beauty eyeshadow palette.
As I was surrounded by these amazing products from South Asian-owned beauty brands, I wondered how much I would have benefitted as a young girl from seeing all of this representation. As a brown girl living in America, I always felt proud of my culture. I wore henna, kajal, and desi clothes to school but never felt represented in society, particularly in the beauty industry. Younger me would have squealed if she saw a South Asian-owned beauty brand offering kajal in so many different colors and was named after Kulfi (an amazing South Asian dessert, by the way).
Today, South Asian beauty brands are thriving in a predominantly white beauty space while paying homage to our culture. Ahead, here are ten South Asian and woman-owned beauty brands to add to your makeup bag.
I was introduced to Sachi Skin through a friend, and the brand has changed my skin. The products promise healthy skin above all. The Triphala Pigmentation Corrector ($120) contains Ayurvedic ingredients such as amla and triphala. Hyperpigmentation and redness are two concerns that many people struggle with, especially POC, and I swear by this product to help diminish dark spots and soothe redness.
Meera Beauty Co.
Imagine opening your eyeshadow palette and seeing shade names like Pooja, Kulfi, Holi, and Chudiyan. That's what you'll find in Meera Beauty Co's Bombay Baby Palette ($25), inspired by its founder's Indian heritage. The palette includes 12 pigmented colors that I love using for a mehndi event. Walk into any desi gathering with bold eyeshadow from this palette and you'll definitely have all the aunties staring.
Shaz & Kiks
Shaz & Kiks brings taps your favorite South Asian spices and herbs for its haircare products. The Ayurvedic brand believes that rituals are essential to your wellness journey, and taking time to practice them thoughtfully is what makes up self-care. The Back To Your Roots Scalp + Hair Prewash ($60) is a bestseller, and I loved how it made my scalp feel clean and my hair more voluminous, defined, and shiny.
Michelle Ranavat, the founder of Ranavat, drew inspiration from beauty rituals in India when launching her brand. On the brand's website, she states, "kings and queens of Rajasthan wanted to live forever, and they used ancient elixirs and potions to help them get there." From that, Ranavat was born. Now, consumers can feel as luxurious and royal as the kings and queens of Rajasthan. I love using Ranavat's Resurfacing Saffron Masque ($75), which has ingredients like papaya enzyme, aloe vera, and saffron strands to transform the skin.
This brand is named after one of my favorite South Asian deserts, Kulfi, and its Underlined Kajal Eyeliner ($20) upgraded my makeup. The brand was founded to empower the South Asian beauty community through representation, and they do this by making beautiful Kajal liners. Kulfi Beauty has five different Kajal liner shades that apply like butter and are a dream to wear.
Kailav is a makeup brand centered around self-expression owned by sisters Tara and Kaya. Their "Rococo Collection" is inspired by the romance and splendor of the Rococo art movement. If you're looking for an eyeshadow palette with bright, vibrant colors with potent color payoff, try their Rococo Palette ($45), which also makes a great gift.
Aavrani believes in approaching beauty with intention, and its products take self-care time to a new level. I love using the Glow Activating Exfoliator ($70) and Balance Restoring Serum ($60). The exfoliant helped with making my complexion more radiant while tackling my breakouts. The serum is also super hydrating and leaves my face feeling supple after every use.
Deepica Mutyala, who went viral for color correcting with red lipstick, is the visionary behind the inclusive beauty brand Live Tinted. I color corrected for the first time using the brand's Huestick Corrector ($24), and I've been hooked ever since. The Huesticks are multipurpose and work well as lipstick, eyeshadow, and blush. Live Tinted's Hueglow ($34) serum-moisturizer hybrid is also my go-to when I'm after radiant, dewy skin.
If you need your skin to look its absolute best before that mehndi or wedding, then Ambari's products are a must-try. The brand's Gold Profection 22 Mask ($92) includes unique ingredients like adaptogenic Reishi, glycolic, lactic, and tartaric acid to smooth and resurface the skin.
Mango People Cosmetics
This ayurvedic all-natural makeup brand went viral on TikTok for a good reason: The brand's formulas only use organic and natural ingredients like avocado oil and mango butter. All of Mango People's pigments are also naturally derived from apples, carrots, and cherries. The brand's best-selling product is its Multi-Stick ($24), which you can use on your lips, eyelids, or cheeks for a beautiful pop of color. It comes in eight shades that range from a light peach color to deep brown.