New Startup Creates Foundation Specifically for Asian American Skin

Orcé Cosmetics



A new beauty company, Orcé Cosmetics has embarked on a mission to develop products that specifically cater to the unique pigmentation of Asian American skin.

Based in Los Angelesand manufactured in San Francisco, Orcé Cosmetics believes that both Western and Eastern makeup brands currently do not accommodate for Asian American skin needs.

“Come Closer” Skin Perfecting Foundation from Orcé Cosmetics. Image via Instagram / orcecosmetics

“What I think is missing in the market right now, so in between the Japanese and Korean brands that have mostly very fair shades, and Western brands like the household names in Sephora, most of them have a pink undertone,” CEO and founder Yu-Chen Shih said, according to KPIX 5. “So pink undertones are more suitable for Caucasian skin.”

Shih, a Malaysian-Taiwanese who grew up in Singapore, had her share of struggle over Asian beauty standards, which typically glorify white skin. “I was always criticized for being too dark, for being too fat, and I want to challenge this, I want to challenge this idea that only a certain skin tone is beautiful,” she said.

Yu-Chen Shih, founder and CEO of Orcé Cosmetics. Image via Instagram / yu.chen.shih

Orcé offers a full range of foundation shades with warm undertones, complementing the Asian skin tones. 

To address common problems among Asians such as skin sensitivity, hyperpigmentation, and breakouts, its liquid foundations are packed with ingredients like as hyaluronic acid, Tahitian pearl extract, as well as a Chinese herb Evodia Rutaecarpa which is clinically proven to boost radiance, according to the company.

Shade 010 – “Finea.” Image via Orcé Cosmetics
Shade 020 – “Celaine.” Image via Orcé Cosmetics
Shade 030 – “Illūm.” Image via Orcé Cosmetics
Shade 040 – “Novae.” Image via Orcé Cosmetics
Shade 050 – “Kiko.” Image via Orcé Cosmetics
Shade 060 – “Lura.” Image via Orcé Cosmetics

Each of Orcé’s six “Come Closer” liquid foundations — Finea, Celaine, Illūm, Novae, Kiko, and Lura — costs $89 for a full size.

The company currently offers a Come Closer Experience Set, which lets customers test three shades — grouped as Light, Medium, and Deep — at a time for $30.

Image via Orcé Cosmetics

Gemma Chan and Jamie Chung have worn Orcé’s foundations, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Chung is currently one of the brand’s ambassadors.

Celebrity makeup artists Fiona Stiles and Troy Jensen have also used Orcé, as well as “The Gifted” makeup department head Jenny Lin.

Jamie Chung for Orcé Cosmetics. Image via Instagram / orcecosmetics

Sales have reportedly tripled each month since the company launched earlier this year.

“Asian Americans, we have one of the highest spending power in the country, four times that of millennials, and no one is paying attention,” Shih said.

Sable Yong, digital makeup editor at Allure, described coming across Orcé as hitting jackpot.

“This new beauty brand makes foundation specifically with Asian skin tones in mind, so finding a shade with golden undertones is like jackpot, immediately. The formula is medium-coverage but it builds nicely so it can be sheered out or layered and doesn’t feel cakey at all. It has a lovely subtle luminescence in the finish so my skin still glows through, looking like a goddamn pearl.”

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