Lightweight foundation like BB creams, CC creams and air cushions are some of the most popular base makeup choices from Korea. There are many cushion compacts to choose from, ranging from PONY EFFECT’s Coverstay Cushion Foundation EX which offers a matte finish, to CLIO Cosmetics’s Kill Cover Glow Cushion and ETUDE’s Double Lasting Cushion Glow which give a dewy makeup look. For eye makeup, try glittery eye shadow palettes, or mono eye shadows in a popping matte color to look sharp and bold. Finish with brow gel to better define the brows. For cheeks, 3CE’s Take A Layer Multi Pot is a multi-tasking makeup item that can also be applied to the eyelids and lips. Korean lip tints like peripera’s Ink Airy Velvet are among the most representative of Korean beauty products. Top off your Korean makeup look with velvet lips!
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Similar to Korean skin care, Korean makeup is all about looking youthful, dewy and radiant. When it comes to Korean beauty, skin care always comes first, which is what led to the rise in popularity of the ten-step Korean skin care routine. In comparison, Korean makeup is kept to a more minimal side and usually doesn’t require a lengthy regimen.
One of the reasons why Korean makeup is so popular is its affordability and great value for money. Some widely known Korean makeup brands include 3CE which is well known for its cute and Instagram-worthy packaging, VDL which offers a wide range of makeup products including bestselling illuminating primers, and peripera, a cosmetics brand that appeals to a younger market. Other popular Korean makeup brands include CLIO, HOLIKA HOLIKA, romand, moonshot and A’PIEU. There is also a variety of brands that offer cruelty-free makeup such as heimish, EGLIPS, KARADIUM and NAMING.
A Korean makeup routine can include as many as ten steps, but a simple, everyday makeup look can be achieved as long as you master the four basic steps of Korean makeup. These include base, eye, cheek and lip makeup.
One of the most popular types of Korean makeup is BB cream. While BB creams can be considered as makeup foundations or base makeup, the main difference between the two is that BB creams feature a lighter texture and give a more natural finish that allows your skin to shine through. Most BB creams are also infused with added skin care ingredients that leave the skin moisturized and supple. Korean skin care brand PURITO offers a Cica Clearing BB Cream that provides light coverage while soothing and moisturizing skin with centella extract. Cushion foundations, another popular Korean makeup item, have taken the K-Beauty world by storm in recent years. Cushion foundations, such as PONY EFFECT's Glow Stay Cushion Foundation, create the perfect makeup base, making your skin look radiant and flawless. Just like BB creams, cushion foundations offer light coverage that is buildable. Most cushion foundations also have added sun protection.
The next step is eye makeup. Korean eye makeup focuses on making the eyes appear natural with a bit of glam. While there are plenty of eye shadows that are available in vibrant colors, you’ll find that most Korean eye shadow palettes feature neutral shades such as pink or brown hues. They also come in either matte or shimmery finishes, so there’s plenty of room to play around with different colors and textures. For natural Korean eye makeup, go for an eye shadow palette like 3CE’s Mood Recipe Multi Eye Color Palette. With nine natural shades, this palette allows you to create a number of looks for both day and night. Eye makeup is never complete without perfect brows! Unlike Western makeup styles where eyebrows tend to look more arched, Korean beauty takes inspiration from K-pop stars who flaunt straight eyebrows, sometimes slightly arched, for a more natural and innocent look. Mascara is also an important part of Korean eye makeup as it helps open up your eyes, making them appear bigger instantly. Instead of false lashes, there are plenty of Korean mascaras that can give you long and natural-looking lashes, such as the Dailism Smudge Stop Mascara from heimish. Always use an eye curler first to ensure your curl lasts longer!
Blushes are a must-have makeup item for your cheeks. Besides powder blushes, cream blushes and blush cushions have been gaining popularity as these formulations give a more glowy and natural-looking flush. A popular choice for Korean blush is A’PIEU’s Juicy-Pang Water Blusher. This liquid blush blends effortlessly and leaves you with a soft and radiant complexion. You can use your hands or a makeup brush to apply and blend the formula.
To complete your makeup look, a lip product is essential. Lip tints are the most popular type of Korean lip makeup as they are highly pigmented without looking overdone. Lip tints are also long-lasting and don’t smudge as easily as classic lipsticks. Plus, they allow you to create gradient lips, which is a popular look in K-Beauty. Some of the best Korean lip tints to check out include romand’s Zero Velvet Tint, peripera’s Ink Airy Velvet, A’PIEU’s Water Light Tint, 3CE’s Velvet Lip Tint, and I’M MEME’s I’m Mystery Blur Tint.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of a Korean makeup routine, you can add more makeup products to your collection. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro in applying makeup, the number of looks that you can create with Korean makeup is endless. To achieve the famous gradient lip look, fill in the inner lip with your lip product, and then gently blend the color outwards until you get the desired ombré effect. For a more daring look, go for dramatic winged eye makeup with the help of liquid or gel eyeliners like CLIO’s Waterproof Pen Liner XP and [email protected]'s Last Auto Gel Eyeliner. K-pop star Lisa from BlackPink is known for her dramatic winged eyeliner so you can use her makeup looks as inspiration!
Once you discover the beauty of Korean makeup, it’s hard to stop exploring! Whether you’re looking for simple or extravagant makeup, you can find a wide variety of Korean beauty brands and products at YesStyle. If you’re looking to stay on top of Korean makeup trends or learn some tips on how to look extra glowy with makeup, you can also visit The YesStylist Blog.