COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) — A Colorado Springs entrepreneur and content creator is redefining masculinity through “beauty beyond the binary” – empowering people through his K-beauty skincare brand, which has gained national attention.
With Korean Beauty taking over U.S. markets, David Yi, CEO and founder of Goodlight Cosmetics, has become an industry disruptor and voice for minorities across the nation.
“I never believed that I was beautiful because I was told that I was ugly. I never felt like I belonged,” stated Yi. “But, I realized at a young age that I didn’t need anyone else’s support…because that power lies within me.”
Yi is using his beauty platform as a way to help others fearlessly accept themselves for who they are – helping individuals find and shine their ‘goodlight’ for others struggling with their identities.
“We are proudly made in South Korea and we stand for diversity. We stand for inclusion… Beauty has always been an arbiter of hope and has always changed culture, pushed culture forward. And I think that’s what we’re doing at Goodlight Cosmetics,” said Yi.
Founded in 2016, the brand is now a top seller at Ulta Beauty stores across America and has already been designated with eight major beauty awards:
- Best Toner – Byrdie Awards
- Best New Toner – Elite Daily’s GLow Beauty Awards
- Best Toner for All SKin Types – SELF Awards
- Best Newcomer – SOKO Best of K-Beauty Awards
- Best Toner – Breaking Beauty “Haul of Fame”
- Industry Disruptor – Coveteur’s 2022 Beauty All-Stars
“Our mascot is the Moth, which is considered the ugly stepchild compared to the butterfly,” stated Yi. “But what’s really remarkable about the moth is that the moth, even in its darkest days, even in the shadows, will always find light.”
The moth being a reflection of brand values and Yi’s willingness to see the good in all people despite his own struggles.
“Growing up here in Colorado Springs, I was kind of the lone Asian American in school. I was never celebrated,” said Yi. “I was always told to go back to my home country. My home country is America, and that feeling of invisibility, of being otherized, feeling that you’re less than because you’re the lone Korean American – it really takes a toll on you.”
Goodlight is now collaborating with award-winning Netflix series, Heartstopper – continuing to uplift the voices of minorities worldwide.
“Heartstopper is one of my favorite shows because of its heartwarming storytelling, its queer storyline, and its dedication to diversity and inclusion,” said Yi. “That’s all what Goodlight Cosmetics is about, and I feel like these two worlds just merge together so seamlessly.”
From the big screen to the beauty store, Yi’s message – no matter what you look like or where you come from – you matter.
“It comes from really having the audacity, the bravery, the boldness to understand that you’re perfect, you are vital and you’re undeniable,” stated Yi. “Know that you are perfectly made and that you are extremely, extremely important to this world.”
Yi grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from Palmer High School before receiving his bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Southern California (USC). He would later move to New York City and write for major fashion and beauty publications like Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, New York Daily News and many others.
He’s been written about in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Allure, among others as a “leader in men’s beauty, identity, and Asian American advocacy.”
Goodlight’s CEO also published his book, PRETTY BOYS, in June 2021, explaining male beauty standards throughout history and what Yi calls outdated, Eurocentric principles about what it means to be a man or a woman.
“When we think about beauty, we think that it is not powerful. We think that it is less than or not considered good and we make it feminine,” stated Yi. “We say that it’s only for women… here we are now in 2023, still abiding by these ideals, not even considering non-binary folks.”
Redefining masculinity means understanding it is expansive and can be expressed in a multitude of colorful forms, according to Yi.
“You do not have to conform to what society may tell you. We can all be liberated when we understand we can be whatever and whoever we want to be,” said Yi.