2 Affordable Asian-owned brands for Glossier fans
Fresh face, glowy skin, and affordable chic-ness.
By Janvi Sai, Contributor
Whether I’m rushing to get ready and apply makeup onboard a moving subway with only the aid of my reflection on a smudged window, or looking to achieve the effortless, minimalist, and low-maintenance look, I turn to Glossier and Indie beauty brands similar to it. Remarkably without a major celebrity, makeup artist, or influencer name behind it, Glossier has become a beauty powerhouse and solidified the reign of full, feathered brows and radiant skin (AKA Olsen twin brows and dolphin skin), which anyone who has read my first Kulfi Bites article knows I am all here for. Generation Z truly is now Generation G.
That’s why I’ve assembled a couple Asian-founded beauty brands and their premier products that match (or dare I say beat) Glossier’s fresh-faced, glowy style, aesthetically pleasing branding and chic packaging, quality, and price points. Keep scrolling to check them out below.
With a collaboration with Rosie Huntington-Whitely’s brand Rose Inc. under its belt and a place in Hollywood makeup artists’ kits, Filipino beauty brand Sunnies Face has made luxury cosmetics formulas wallet-friendly.
Fluffmatte: Sunnies Face began with its Fluffmatte lipsticks—comfortable, non-drying velvety matte lipsticks that at around $8 are dupes for Dior and Charlotte Tilbury’s high-end matte lipsticks. Loaded with pigment and a shade range rivaling Fenty Beauty’s, Sunnies Face’s formulas are a dream. They take the guesswork out of finding true-nude and youthful peach and pink lipsticks that don’t wash brown and deep skin tones out, and offer elegant yet eye-catching reds and berries that pack a punch.
Amandla Stenberg wearing Fluffmatte in Nudist by Kali Kennedy
Airblush: Liquid and cream blushes blend seamlessly and leave a silky flush. Glossier’s Cloud Paint gel-cream blush ($18) comes in charming packaging reminiscent of paint tubes; while fantastic for Instagram flat lays, they unfortunately are far from foolproof. These blushes take “a little goes a long way” to a whole other level with difficult-to-control intensity from tubes that can too easily squeeze out excessive amounts of product (so, unfortunately, not something I’d bring along with me for a quick and simple midday touch up).
Curiously, what more closely aligns with Glossier’s mantra of ease and approachability is Sunnies Face’s Airblush (approximately $10): a weightless, buildable, and easy-to-use cream blush with a skin-like finish. For cream blush lovers with oily skin and/or seeking longer staying power, this cream-to-powder blush gives a soft matte wash of color. Presented in a handy retro-looking compact (perfect for vintage beauty fanatics), this is definitely makeup that can be carried around and layered throughout the day.
Shonali Singh wearing Airblush & Fluffmatte by Nikki Wolff
For tips and tricks on application and product pairings, check out celebrity makeup artist Nikki Wolff’s makeup tutorial on her Instagram highlight “Sunset glow” where she uses Sunnies Face Airblush in shade “Peached” and Fluffmatte in “Hot Sauce” on Indian model Shonali Singh.
It’s challenging to find brown people-friendly blushes, but with Airblush, we’ve hit the jackpot.
From carnation pink to poppy red, this cream blush has deeper- and olive-toned complexions covered.
Face Glass & Glowboss: At approximately $9, Face Glass from Sunnies Face is an affordable option for Glossier Haloscope wearers and all those seeking dewy glazed doughnut glass skin. This liquid highlighter comes in three holographic, light-catching shades: opalescent lilac “barbarella,” pink quartz “cosmic girl,” and golden champagne “nova.”
To elevate your glow from 'lit-from-within' to prismatic, look no further than Sunnies Face’s Glowboss creamy highlighter (approx. $10) available in three luminous shades: golden bronze “mamacita,” pearly champagne “hey girl,” and peachy coral with specks of gold “femme.” Glow hard or go home.
Named after a lifeguard tower at the intersection of Santa Monica and Venice, Tower 28 Beauty has married a fun, laidback Californian lifestyle with clean, inclusive, and affordable makeup. CEO and Founder Amy Liu left her job as a beauty executive to start a brand that makes vegan, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic beauty products formulated specifically for sensitive and eczema-prone skin. As both a makeup lover and someone with eczema and sensitive skin, I am obsessed.
ShineOn Lip Jelly: Just about every traditional lip gloss claims to be non-sticky, and yet they all still seem to catch hair flyaways, feel noticeably heavy, and even dry lips out. Yes, even the cult-favorite Glossier lip gloss. Disheartened, I feared that I would never be able to have 2000s glossy lips that aren’t gloopy and sticky. And then came the Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly ($14).
ShineOn Lip Jelly is the best thing to happen since the iconic Lancôme Juicy Tubes. I’ve tried so many lip glosses, lip balms, lip masks, you name it. But ShineOn Lip Jelly is the only one juicy yet lightweight enough to get me to break into song and groove along to “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama as I apply it.
The Lip Jelly is the only lip product I’ve found with an ultra high-shine while also being incredibly comfortable, nourishing, and hydrating.
Made with plant-based, lip-loving ingredients like apricot oil and raspberry seed oil, this lip treatment deeply moisturizes, smoothes, and softens my lips. ShineOn Lip Jelly is available in ten shades with something for everyone: from shimmering to clear, from neutral nudes to bold, from sheer to lip tints. My favorite shades are the newest additions: the ShineOn Milky Lip Jellies, which are semi-sheer and named after alternative milks. “Almond” is a 90’s chocolate, “Oat” is a peachy pink, and “Coconut” is a mauve pink. My everyday go-to is “Cashew,” a rosy brown and the ultimate brown girl nude.
Isabela Merced wearing Lip Jelly in Cashew by Allan Avendaño
BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm: Not only does this dewy tinted balm melt onto skin, but as a multi-purpose product its versatility allows anyone to pull off a polished, monochromatic look with ease through quick and simple swipes across the eyelids, lips, and cheeks. It comes in three sun-kissed, instantly brightening and awakening, BIPOC skin tone-friendly shades: sheer orange “Golden Hour,” coral pink “Happy Hour,” and rosy nude “Magic Hour.”
About — Janvi Sai is a student at Barnard College of Columbia University, who started the So You're Getting into Makeup series on Kulfi Bites. She is passionate about Rooh Afza, soundtracks, and the heated debate over what constitutes as “real” biryani. Janvi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found on Instagram @janvisai #BigDesiEnergy
Cover photo credit: Kinanti Aldhia, @kinanadlhia wearing Sunnies Face Fluffmatte lipstick