JUN 08 2016

Han Skin Care Cosmetics: Review & Interview

If my kids ate my Han Skin Care Cosmetics products, I wouldn’t be worried. In fact it might even be good for them. Think I’m nuts? Take a look at these ingredients:

Acai Oil, Coconut Crème, Extract Blend (Acai, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Cranberry, Green Tea, Black Tea), Sea Kelp Extract, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Beetroot, Cherry Powder, Rose Powder, Quinoa Extract, Carrot Root Extract.

Bet you won’t find all those nutrients in your typical kids’ snack (I’m looking at you, goldfish cracker). You certainly won’t find them in many cosmetics.

Han’s founder, Susan Wong, was determined to offer the purest, healthiest and highest quality color cosmetics at affordable prices. Sound like a lofty goal? She's actually achieved it, and here’s why:

So clean you could eat it. The colors in Han’s range of blushes, cheek-and-lip tints, eyeshadows, and lip glosses are derived from vegetable and fruit pigments and pure minerals. They don’t use any synthetic colorants, lakes, FD&C or carmine (the beetle that’s crushed for its red dye). The red hue in Han’s cosmetics comes from a combination of cherry, pink carrot, beetroot, red quinoa and rose flower. And they’re preserved using a natural preservative system of vitamin E and grapeseed extract, rather than parabens or other chemically sourced preservatives as in conventional cosmetics.

“Skin care” cosmetics: the name says it all. Han’s products fuse makeup with skin care ingredients: nourishing butters from coconut, shea and cupuacu, hydrating oils of argan and acai, and anti-aging antioxidants from acai, blueberry, green and black tea, and other fruit and vegetable extracts. So not only are the ingredients safe, they are infused with skin care benefits that actually help improve the skin.

Accessible price point. Most green beauty products come with a higher-than-average price tag, in large part because their raw materials are expensive and because the quantity runs tend to be small. But Susan is committed to making safe cosmetics accessible to a wider consumer base without sacrificing quality or performance. You would be hard pressed to find another brand that offers such high performance non-toxic cosmetics at a similar price point.

High performance. You get richly-pigmented color payoff and long-lasting formulas. On the second day of the Indie Beauty Expo in LA, I wore the eyeshadow, cheek-and-lip tint (on my lips) and blush that I had bought from Han the day before. When I got back to my hotel after a full day at the expo, my makeup hadn’t budged. This stuff stayed PUT. The key ingredient, it turns out, is rice powder. Most powder cosmetics are made with talc, but Han uses rice powder, which is both soothing and oil-absorbing and creates a smooth finish that lasts. It’s also safer than talc (which poses a risk when inhaled as it can be contaminated with asbestos).

Here’s a picture of me at the end of an 8-hour day under bright lights and, ahem, a lot of sweating (note to self: do not wear a blazer in LA in May ever again):


These are the shades I’m wearing, chosen with the help of Han’s lovely makeup artists:

Eyeshadow in Taupey Plum. A flattering everyday color that’s not too brown and not too mauve. It really makes my hazel eyes pop.

Pressed Blush in Baby Pink. I’m naturally quite pale with olive undertones and look best in cool pinks. The Baby Pink shade has zero warmth and delivers the most natural flush of color.

Cheek and Lip Tint in Coral Hibiscus. This coral pink shade is the closest natural product I’ve found to Nars’ The Multiple in Orgasm - a cult product I used to love but had to give up when I transitioned to non-toxic makeup. You can use the tints on both cheeks and lips for a monochromatic look, or on just one area for a wash of vibrant color.

I was so impressed by this line that I needed to know more, and Susan graciously agreed to an interview for Keu. Here is my Q&A with the inspiring founder of Han Skin Care Cosmetics.

Keu: Have you been interested in cosmetics for a long time, or did you have a lightbulb moment that led you to create Han?

Susan: It’s having both a long time interest in beauty products and an “Aha!” moment. My experience in the beauty industry began in college when I took a part-time cosmetics job in department stores and Sephora.  I was quickly intrigued and remember studying product ingredients as though I’d be tested on them in a final.  In school I developed a business plan on a natural cosmetics company in an entrepreneurship course, but it was my pregnancy years later when I could not find non-toxic, healthy and affordable cosmetics that was the catalyst for creating HAN Skin Care Cosmetics.

Keu: How did the products go from concept to creation? Did you start out by mixing formulas in your kitchen and testing them on friends and family?

Susan: When I set out to create a clean and all natural makeup line, I wanted to start with basic products that I myself wear everyday and in wearable colors. Hence, I launched with eyeshadows, blushes, cheek and lip tints and lip glosses in different and buildable colors. I also wanted these products to benefit the skin with antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients. Since I don’t have a chemistry background and aspired to marry makeup and skincare in a unique way, I sought the expertise of specialized cosmetic formulators in the natural and organic space who have the technical knowledge to help me bring my vision to fruition with product safety and efficacy being top of mind.

Keu: You don't use any synthetic colorants, undesirable natural sources like carmine, parabens or other chemically sourced preservatives. So obviously you couldn't just follow the same formulations as mainstream cosmetics. What kind of research and study went into finding the right combinations of vegetable, fruit and mineral sources to develop the products?    

Susan: There has been a lot of advances and innovations in natural formulation through R&D and technology just over the last few years as interest in natural beauty remains robust. The knowledge base on and availability of natural ingredients, including pigments, have grown in line with the movement towards naturals. That said, my formulas were not a homerun out of the gate. To get the color, payoff and performance right, a lot of back and forth dialogue and refinements were needed over several years, not to mention patience☺. We are a brand that shows that products today do not have to sacrifice efficacy to be natural.

Keu: What are the skincare and makeup products you rely on for your morning beauty routine?

Susan: As a busy mom and entrepreneur, I do not have time for an intricate skin care routine that some women, especially in Asia, have adopted. Instead, I incorporate three basic and essential steps: cleanse, tone and moisturize and that routine works for me because I usually keep my makeup simple. On a typical day, I wear my eyeshadow, cheek & lip tint or blush and lip gloss in different shades on different days to change up my look based on how I feel. They’re all very wearable and easy and quick to apply. On occasion, when I desire a bolder look I will use a heavier hand and build up the color.

Keu: It's so refreshing to find a non-toxic, high-performance cosmetics line that's also affordable. How are you able to strike this balance between quality and affordability? 

Susan: I wish I could say that my manufacturing costs are relatively lower but they aren’t, as a small business with smaller quantity runs. However, from the beginning it was very important to me to offer high performing, non-toxic products at affordable prices in order to get healthy cosmetics into the hands of more people, which is my mission. In pursuit of this, I proactively look for ways to reduce costs so that I’m able to invest more in superior ingredients and offer prestige quality products without the prestige prices. Some of the ways I curtail my overhead is by not spending on traditional advertising or paying for celebrity endorsements and keeping packaging to a minimum. Thus, I’m very grateful for word of mouth as this type of endorsement is most authentic and helps to keep prices down. Thank you so much!

Prices range from US $13 to $15.

Han Skin Care Cosmetics is available at,, and

All products were purchased by me. I did not receive any compensation from Han Skin Care Cosmetics for my review.