For David Yi, makeup, skincare, and beauty rituals were never meant to be gendered, but rather, accessible and acceptable to anyone interested in playing with their self-expression. It was with this idea in mind that Yi founded, good light cosmetics, a gender inclusive skincare brand that believes in “beauty beyond the binary,” and an off-shoot of Yi’s popular beauty editorial website Very Good Light.
In fact, Yi knew that beauty wasn’t for women alone from a young age. “I remember my father slathering his skin in the morning with potions and concoctions,” Yi tells thirteen lune. Yi was “transfixed” by his father’s routine and wondered why it was so important to him.
“As a young child I was bewildered, transfixed, and wondered why he was so adamant about skin care rituals in the morning.”
The five minutes that Yi’s father spent in the morning and the afternoon each day were his “private time,” Yi says. Eventually, Yi realized that these rituals and practices were “transformative” for his father.
“It was all about self-preservation. As a Korean immigrant who came to America, he faced the harsh realities of racism. The time for him to reflect, poring over his pores, gave him that time he needed to meditate and practice self-love and self-care that protected him,” Yi explains.
“I realized that this ritual and practice was transformative for him.”
Now, through good light cosmetics, Yi wants to bring all people the ability to find solace and transformation in their self-care and personal beauty routines. “Self-care to me is so much more than skin deep. It allows you to step into your power with your own agency,” he says.
The good light line currently includes cleanser, lip balm, toning lotion, serum, pimple patches, merch, and more to come. The following are insights from Yi about the beauty sphere, inclusivity in the space, living in Colorado, and Yi’s personal self-care routine.
Get to Know – David Yi
Where are you from originally? Where do you live now?
I'm from Colorado and left to live in LA and NYC for ten years. I got my first book deal and had six months to write it – and so I went back home to Colorado to concentrate. The pandemic came next and so did the birth of my first nephew. Two years later I'm still there with my family – it's almost as if the mountains were calling my name all along. I feel so centered and very present there.
What does self-care look like in your life?
Self-care is all about practicing self-love. Doing what you believe your mind, body and spirit needs, whether a walk around the park, an iced latte, a call with a friend, or perhaps a little Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion to hydrate your skin. Whatever the case, it's all about doing what makes you feel most alive.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
What inspires me are other BIPOC creatives and founders. I know how much goes into their story – how much they've had to overcome. While we are all so diverse with our unique stories, we know what it's like to feel othered. And I want to take up as much space as possible to allow us all to feel welcomed.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
The biggest challenge has been understanding that I am enough and believing in my own power. I think that because of other structures of this country and world that oftentimes folx like me are told it's not our turn, or that we don't belong, or perhaps that we're not good enough. It's imposter syndrome that makes us doubt our greatness. But we are undeniable, all of us, and I want to start believing in that, first.
What has been the biggest win thus far?
The biggest win has been finding like-minded team members or community members who believe in our mission. At good light cosmetics that is "beauty beyond the binary." We want to welcome folx from all walks of life and gender identities, understanding that the world and its gendering and roles has no place in beauty – and beyond. We want to create the most safe and embracing community and brand so that everyone feels they can shine their best light. That's what good light is all about!
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
I want to talk more about LGBTQIA+, more non-binary and trans folx rising to the top, people of color from these communities helming beauty brands. I want this to become so normalized we don't even blink an eye – that's how normalized I want this industry and world to become: Understanding that differences and diversity only makes us stronger.