The Wall St. Journal article “Beauty is not something I’ve ever been a part of,” said Lee, who lives in Hong Kong.

“I can’t speak Chinese.”

She said she prefers to eat out at Asian restaurants or go to Chinese-themed restaurants.

“If I can’t do it, then I can at least not make the same mistakes as everyone else,” she said.

“The most important thing is not to be like everyone else.” 

Alicia Wong, a 35-year-old who lives near San Francisco, said she grew up in Hong, where people tended to treat her like she was a foreigner.

“Everyone looked at me differently,” she recalled.

“They wouldn’t even smile at me.”

Wong, who is a writer and actress, said the idea of being “different” was a huge barrier to her Asian identity.

“It made me feel like I was different,” she told the WSJ.

“My parents would never accept me as a Chinese person.” 

Chinese-Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. in terms of the number of American-born people in the nation, according to the Pew Research Center.

A 2015 study showed that one in five Americans born in China is of Chinese descent, with the Asian American population growing from 4.2 million in 2000 to 9.4 million in 2020. 

“The beauty industry is really a melting pot of people from all walks of life,” said Wong. 

Lee, who was born in Hong-Kong, said beauty is a hobby and a way of life.

“A lot of my friends are into it, too.

They love it, and I like it.”

She hopes to start her own business soon, though she said she is not sure how.

“But it’s definitely something I want to do,” Lee said.