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Korean Vs. Western Makeup: 6 Differences That Will Drastically Change Your Look

Korean makeup trends and skincare routines have been all the rage lately.

BLACKPINK’s Jisoo | @sooyaaa__/Instagram

From Korea’s multi-step skincare routine…

TWICE’s Mina | @twicetagram/Instagram

…to trends such as glass skin…


… the early 2010s gradient lips trend…

Former After School member Nana

… and the timeless gem-accented makeup looks, Korean makeup and skincare continue to trend worldwide.

Chungha | @chungha_official/Instagram

If you typically wear a more Western-style makeup look, try these six tips to mix up your makeup routine.

1. Enhanced eyelashes

Where Western makeup looks often emphasize volumized eyelashes, K-Pop idols are often seen with more natural-looking, pointed eyelashes.

BLACKPINK’s Lisa | @lalalalisa_m/Instagram

To achieve this look, mascara is first applied vertically for length and then horizontally for volume. You can carefully use tweezers to pinch the lashes together into a point to recreate the idol look.

For those who are more daring, you can try “fire curling,” which gives lashes the perfect curl.

2. “Too much blush”

The “too much blush” trend has been prevalent in the K-Pop world lately, giving idols a youthful, healthy pop of color.

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TXT’s Soobin

In Western makeup, it’s long been advised to apply blush to the “apple” of your cheeks. To achieve a more natural look, Korean makeup trends apply blush more widely and heavily across the face.

The colors used are typically peach or rosy tones. For a more glowy look, you can use a cream brush and apply it with your fingers or makeup sponge.

| Flawless dolll/YouTube

3. Straight brows

Western makeup trends tend to emphasize a more arched eyebrow, though the straight brow has also been prevalent over the last few years.

A lightly tinted, less angled brow is typically favored in Korean makeup looks.

aespa’s Karina | @aespa_official/Instagram

Korean beauty YouTuber beautifymeeh detailed some common differences between Western eyebrow makeup and Korean eyebrow makeup.

For the Western style example, the eyebrows were filled in more and were more heavily angled after being outlined with concealer.

Western style eyebrow makeup | Beautifymeeh/YouTube 

For the Korean style example, the outer corner of the brow was lightly filled in with an eyebrow pencil, while a cotton swab was used to blend the color closer to the inner corner of the eyebrow for a more subtle, natural look.

Korean style eyebrow makeup | Beautifymeeh/YouTube 

4. Lip stain

K-Pop idols often use lip tints for a longer-lasting look or lip balms for a glossier option.

Red Velvet’s Joy | @_imyour_joy/Instagram

The emphasis is placed on the center of the lips. The product is then blended out towards the corner of the mouth. The lip tint can dry to a matte finish, or a lip gloss can be applied for an eye-catching shine.

Nude-colored lips have been a popular trend in Western makeup, but K-Pop idols tend to use pink, peach, or red tones.

| Saeron Min/YouTube

5. Eyeliner

The perfect winged eyeliner has long been a way to define the eye and create the illusion of fuller lashes in Western-style makeup.

For an alternative eyeliner look that still elongates the lash line, follow the natural shape of your eye and extend the eyeliner slightly past your eye’s outer corner.

Kep1er’s Youngeun | @official.kep1er/Instagram

6. Dewy/glassy skin

Finally, to achieve the popular glass skin look, it’s essential to prep your skin. The Korean nightly skincare routine includes:

  • Prepping the face by washing it twice.
  • Exfoliating the skin.
  • Using a toner.
  • Applying essence to hydrate the skin.
  • Applying serum and skin treatments.
  • Using a face mask.
  • Applying eye cream.
  • Using a facial moisturizer.

While this multi-step process has tried and true results, realistically, not everyone has the time or money to dedicate to it.

Luckily, Korean beauty YouTuber Soo Beauty breaks the process down into three easier steps that can be done before applying your makeup.

First, it’s always important to protect your skin, so facial sunscreen is a must. Not only does sunscreen protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but it also gives your skin a healthy glow.

| Soo Beauty/YouTube 

Second, using a liquid or cushion foundation will keep the skin looking naturally glowy.

| Soo Beauty/YouTube 

The last step is using a facial mist that will hydrate the skin and fix the makeup in place.

| Soo Beauty/YouTube 

If you prefer using powder makeup products but still want a glowy look, try applying a highlighter in the areas you usually do, but with a damp makeup brush. Once applied, spray a facial mist lightly over where you placed the highlighter and apply the highlight again in the same area. Repeat these steps until you reach your desired level of shine!

Check out the video below to see some of these beauty tips in action and how it compares to Western-style makeup!


Which one do you like more? :)) #koreanmakeup #westernmakeup #makeuptransformation #fyp

♬ Lemonade – Internet Money & Gunna & Don Toliver


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