Are you tired of buying into westernized ideas of beauty and lifestyle brands that cater to a primarily Eurocentric audience? Well, it’s time to haul off the tokenistic commodification of South Asian consumer patterns for a new wave of South Asian brands holding their own in a world full of global brands and luxury labels.
As a brown girl who grew up watching the women in my house pull off strong kohl-rimmed eyes paired with henna on special days, my ideas of beauty failed to translate into the mainstream beauty industry. Over the years, we’ve witnessed a forthcoming assertiveness and reclamation of sorts displayed by the Asian diaspora worldwide.
Today, there is an ample amount of representation that isn’t limited to mere profit-making campaigns but rather focuses on a holistic consumer approach, directed at South Asians everywhere that makes us feel seen and embraced for who we are!
Ahead, there are 8 South Asian brands to add to your cart and spread the word about!
I. Meera Beauty
Saving you the arduous trip to Sephora, Meera Beauty brings you an eclectic range of makeup products that include delightfully desi roots. The founder’s Indian heritage reflects in the vast range of products. We’re loving the diaspora bloodline eyeshadow palettes currently that are all about bold pigments designed for brown skin and come in oh so desi shade names like Kulfi, Holi, Chudiyan etc.
II. Shaz and Kiks
This Diaspora brand is reimagining haircare like we’ve never seen before. Enriched with the goodness of ancient Indian rituals passed down for generations and a selection of indigenous ayurvedic ingredients is what the label’s holistic hair care products are made up of. Go through the entire hair care routine with ease as the label brings you a step by step range that includes clay cleansers, prewash formulas, and supple conditioners.
III. AS By Akansha Sethi
For Akansha Sethi, the practice of jewellery design is an artistic process that carries the essence of her personal tryst with worldly experience and art styles she has studied. The London based Designer’s bespoke collection of jewellery includes modern designs with a hint of the classic Indian grandeur — think ring, necklace, pendant, and button collections using bold colours, historical narratives, and intricate Indian craftsmanship.
IV. Studio Tanais
Earthy red lipsticks reminiscent of the rich ‘mati’, forest green kajal inspired by the forest of Bengal, and cosmic candles that transport you straight to the homeland with a single sniff are what strikes us about Studio Tanais’ beauty and wellness collection.
Tanais, a Bangladeshi diaspora creative breaks through the oppressive spaces of white domination and seeks to curate a world “...where femme brown-skinned people are celebrated for their intellect, embodiment and creations and sexiness and power”. Her studio collection is an embodiment of the possibility and one that brings diasporic communities together.
V. Scrumptious Wicks
Relax and unwind as the scents of South Asia light up your living space with a Scrumptious Wick candle. A fragrant blend of South Asian roots and universal comfort is how the label describes itself. Modern yet minimal designs that fit any living space, these are scents inspired by a culture and a heritage that feel unexpectedly familiar and comforting with notes of mint chutney, lemongrass and saffron being most prominent.
VI. Anuja Tolia
After a long run as a creative working with the likes of major designers like Wifebeader and Liz Claiborne, Anuja decided to hone her skills in a variety of areas within fashion. Upon realizing her true calling lies in jewellery design, she set out to transform her dreams into reality and the eponymous label came into being.
Edgy metals, 22 Karat Plating, and vibrantly coloured semi-precious stones adorn each piece of art. Ranging from elegant earrings, rings, and necklaces to bangles and cuffs, each piece fuses the designers love for art, music and fashion with the fierce femme energy that resides within all of us.
VII. The Healthy Indian Food Cookbook
Reclaiming the narrative of Indian food in western culture is this mother daughter’s collaborative trove of Indian recipes. If you’re someone who prioritizes a blend of healthy yet hearty desi cuisine, this one’s for you! These are recipes that are mindful of all kinds of dietary lifestyles and provide a balanced check on macro counts that prove that this is no ordinary cookbook!
VIII. Kulfi Beauty
Fun, empowering and diverse is what Kulfi Beauty emanates. a celebration of culture and beauty through an alluring range of makeup products that suit every skin tone and texture, Kulfi beauty is here to create ripples in a highly Eurocentric beauty industry. We’re now embracing our melanin, thick brows and desi features with this tasteful beauty brand that goes beyond tokenizing gestures and appropriation. This summer, choose to wear your identity in the right shades and tasteful pigments with this exciting brand.
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