Every little girl’s idea of beauty is impacted by what they see growing up. As an Asian American, adopted by white Jewish and Catholic parents, the images I was surrounded by never reflected what I saw in the mirror. The few Asian women I saw on TV and ad campaigns were either fitting into Asian stereotypes or trying to hide their Asian aesthetic to fit into a more Western, American look. I spent years trying to hide my Asian attributes, even considering double eyelid surgery to get rid of my “hideous and weird” monolid. Like most, I simply wanted to fit in.
I started reading comic books as a youthful escape at a young age. The bold colors and superheroes allowed me to dream of a different future. I was drawing my own characters, using charcoal, graphite, and watercolors. What I found was a way of telling stories through color and expression, a place where I could simply be myself.
As I grew up, I traded in some of my pencils for makeup brushes and found a new medium for creative expression. I truly understood the power of makeup when I discovered makeup Artists Kevyn Aucoin and Bobbi Brown. It’s a celebration of one’s individuality. Learning the techniques taught me to see makeup as a powerful medium for art and creativity, a way to tell everyone’s story, including your moods, inner beauty, and strength. It was also a way to showcase the best of yourself for yourself and for yourself alone.
My passion led me to work with brands such as MAC, AVON, and Bobbi Brown, I trained as a makeup artist and hair stylist and graduated with an MBA from Columbia University. It was time to take everything I learned and loved and to create my own brand.
What I found on shelves were either products that worked well but were made with subpar ingredients, or “clean” products that didn’t perform or last; decent formulas with bland packaging and beautiful packages with formulations and color palettes that lacked excitement and ingenuity.
The ingredients I fell in love with brought me back to the heritage I had tried to hide for so long. Bamboo, with its anti-inflammatory, strengthening, and soothing properties. Rice, rich in antioxidants, minerals, and B and E vitamins. Sea Buckthorn, known as the “holy fruit of the Himalayas” and used for generations in Asia for everything from medicine to skin protectant.
And so EMILIE HEATHE was born. It is your secret tool to help you craft the superhero(ine) version of yourself. Clean ingredients, extraordinary colors, and a packaging that feels like an object of significance. All with the idea that our bodies are a blank canvas, each one with the potential to be a masterpiece.