Orosa Beauty is a vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and 14-free nail polish company. With a fun Pure Cover Nail Paint shade selection, plus tools and nail art stickers, even the most casual manicure-getter is sure to crave a mani-pedi after browsing Orosa’s Instagram. Vesca Beauty, on the other hand, is a vegan and cruelty-free makeup company with an inclusive shade range, so everyone can live their glowy, golden hour best lives! Now, what do Orosa and Vesca have in common, besides being vegan and cruelty-free? Their mutual founder and CEO, Carolyn Chen.
“When I was starting the two brands, it was really important for me to … take into consideration diversity, inclusivity, transparency around ingredients, and sustainability,” Carolyn tells us. “In addition to, of course, our baseline is vegan, cruelty-free, and free from a lot of toxic or potentially harmful ingredients.” The products are also ethically made. “I’m careful to not communicate it as a clean beauty brand, because I feel like there [isn’t] one industry standard. But, we do exclude a lot of commonly-perceived-as toxic ingredients in our formulation.”
Before launching Orosa and Vesca, Carolyn had already been in the beauty space for a couple of years. She’d noticed that consumers were starting to discuss ingredient lists and demand more from brands, and she listened. “[I was] paying attention to how I could change the space … [and] develop an amazing formulation and shade range while being vegan, cruelty-free, free from a lot of the toxic ingredients. And then also, to the best of my abilities, include recyclable packaging … [and] more sustainable packaging where possible. Why wouldn’t I take that route?”
Vesca Beauty has #VescaValues, which detail what the brand believes in, and the company consciously operates according to them. One of the accomplishments Carolyn is very proud of is Vesca’s shade range for its initial launch of bronzers. “We really wanted our first launch to be strong and powerful, and send a message out there to consumers of other brands that there is a brand that is creating products for consumers everywhere,” Carolyn says. “We didn’t want a lack of shade range to be the reason why a consumer isn’t using our product.” On the website, there are pictures of arm swatches on various skin tones, and a detailed shade finder guide so shoppers can find the perfect bronzing powder match. Talk about accommodation!
Carolyn has demonstrated that she sincerely understands the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the beauty industry, even being honest about steps she personally needs to take to make a positive change when launching The Reset Beauty Fund. Announced in June on both Orosa and Vesca’s websites, it’s explained in a letter from Carolyn that the brands are “committed to investing a minimum of $20,000 toward Black and marginalized artists, content creators, and models to elevate Black and marginalized voices in the beauty industry.” (Full disclosure: I was not told to mention The Reset Beauty Fund, and Carolyn didn’t discuss it in her interview. No performative activism here, folks.)
“With both [Orosa Beauty and Vesca Beauty], it’s really important for us to include Black voices within our, kind of, entire process,” Carolyn tells us. “So, for Vesca, we invite Black makeup artists into our office to get their feedback on products.” The brand tests its shade ranges on a variety of skin tones, and make sure they have Black models and artists on their sets. “Also, … we’re actually engaging [with] and paying [the] content creators we’re working with.” For Orosa, it’s “more on the content creation side, with making sure we are very mindful of the representation that we can include on our Instagram feed.”
When it comes to the 14 ingredients that are excluded from Orosa Beauty’s quick-drying Pure Cover Nail Paints, “we’ve done some research around what … we thought were questionable, harmful, unethical ingredients that are commonly used [in nail polishes],” Carolyn explains. Orosa Beauty looked at the ingredients consumers were discussing and that other competitors felt should be excluded, and used their research to curate The Nope List. The list includes an explanation as to why Orosa says ‘nope’ to each ingredient as well, so customers can go ahead and get their education on!
If you’re a Gen Zer, pop culture-savvy millennial, or general human who utilizes TikTok to escape the pain of mundane daily routine, you’ve probably heard of dancer Charli D’Amelio and her sister, singer Dixie D’Amelio. Well, Orosa Beauty has a pretty cute collab with Charli and Dixie called Coastal Craze, and their Pure Cover Nail Paint in abyss, a “sandy beige,” is a perfect fall neutral. For a browner alternative, I suggest Dune, “a chocolate milk nude.”
Currently, one of Carolyn’s go-to vegan and cruelty-free beauty products is the Kosas Revealer Concealer. “I’ve also been really loving the Vesca [Soft Sun Radiant Skin] Primer and [Kissed By Soft-Matte] Bronzer for more of a glowy, easy, quick-application look,” she tells us.
From Vesca Beauty, to keep a summery glow through the overcast fall weather, check out the Stargaze Luminous Glow Highlighting Powder. Let the creamy powder multitask as an eyeshadow for the ultimate sunkissed shine.
You can shop Orosa Beauty here, and Vesca Beauty here. Follow Orosa Beauty on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, and Vesca Beauty on Instagram and TikTok to keep up with what Carolyn’s two vegan and cruelty-free brands have coming up next!