Korean Makeup Versus Western Makeup

Korean makeup versus Western makeup

Korean Makeup Versus Western Makeup

Smokey eyes or glittery? Matte lips or glossy? Full glam or natural? Decisions, decisions. Makeup trends are always changing and evolving. Inspiration for different styles can come from different points in history. Each culture and society has it’s own signature when it comes to makeup. In this post we will explore the differences when it comes to Korean makeup versus Western makeup.

Korean Makeup Versus Western Makeup

Korean Makeup Versus Western Makeup

Makeup styles and trends differ between Korean and Western culture. What may seem trendy and visually pleasing in Korea may seem odd and unattractive in the Western world. Each culture has it’s own signature look. From smokey eyes, to bold lips, to excessive highlight, every culture and society has it’s own makeup rules and standards.

Different colors, tones and shades are used in each culture. There are a variety of makeup styles and trends, all unique and creative. Though there are many trends, not all are welcome in every culture and society. While a look or style may be accepted in Korea, it may not be accepted in the Western world. Let’s take a look at the different trends and styles in each culture.

First let us start with makeup trends and styles in the Western world.

Western Makeup Trends

Korean Makeup Versus Western Makeup

Bold eyes framed with thick lashes, lips painted in crimson red, and highlight that blinds you; these are some of the current makeup trends in the Western world. The makeup here is similar to its fashion. Bold, daring, and experimental. Some of the wider known trends include:

-False eyelashes

-Winged eyeliner

-Bold eye shadow


-Pink and red tone lips

False eyelashes have become the norm in Western society. Even if going bare face, it is very common for a woman to be sporting a thick set of lashes. What started off as glue on eyelashes has turned into eyelash extensions and inserts. Along with this another makeup trend is winged liner. While the thickness of the wing has changed over the years, the  winged effect remains. A rather classic makeup trend, the winged liner can be worn on a bare face or with bold smokey eyes.

Another makeup trend is bold eye shadow. Explosive colors such as magenta, royal blue, and jade green are making their debut this season. Metallic effects, glitter palettes and liner are all the rage on social media. Over the top, dramatic, and bold looks are trending.

Along with this, highlighter is a big trend. Wanting the skin to look luminous, shiny, and healthy, makeup geeks are using multitudes of highlighter and bronzer. Gold, silver, lavender, copper, and bronze are some of the shades of highlighters used.

The last major trend in the Western world is pink and red tone lips. Various shades of pink such as dusty rose, baby pink, and hibiscus are being sold as lip liners, lipsticks, and glosses. Used as a natural everyday item, these pink lips give the face a vibrant youthful look. For a more sexy and mysterious vibe, makeup lovers use red tone colors. Crimson red, blood orange, burgundy, and wine are some of the more popular shades of red.

Makeup trends in the Western world are quite bold, daring, and statement makers. Whether you are looking for a natural look or sultry, there is a trend for everyone.

Korean Makeup Trends

Korean Makeup Versus Western Makeup

Makeup trends in Korea circle around a more natural look. Dewy skin, sun kissed lids, and soft pink lips adorn the faces of Korean makeup lovers. Some of the current trends include:

-Sunset inspired blush and highlighters

-Pink glosses

-‘Just out of the shower’ skin.

Blushes and highlighters add some depth and definition to the skin. By utilizing peach and orange tones, the skin gives off a healthy youthful appearance. Another trend includes pink glosses. Dusty rose, baby pink, cotton candy are a few of the more popular colors. As Spring approaches, more pastel and bright colors are making their debut. By adding gloss to the lips, the appearance is more fun and youthful.

The last trend is dewy like skin that looks almost wet. By using moisturizing foundation, the skin is covered up and left with a luminous effect. Wet foundation is very popular in Korea. To make the skin look flawless, blemish free, and ‘fresh out of the shower’ is the goal.

For a more in depth look at Korean makeup trends, please see our previous post below.

Korean Beauty Trends

How Korean and Western Makeup Trends Differ

Korean Makeup Versus Western Makeup

While the makeup trends in both cultures are loved and appreciated, there are vast differences between the two. Some of the differences include: dramatic effect, lip color application, and effortlessness.

In regards to drama, Koreans prefer a more subtle look while Westerners go full glam. This doesn’t mean that Korean makeup trends do not include full glam faces, they do but only when the occasion demands it. In Western society it is not uncommon to see a makeup lover sporting a smokey eye or dark lips for a casual day out. It is normal to see glitter eyeliner and excessive highlight in Western society whereas in Korea it is saved for special occasions.

When it comes to lip color application, Koreans have a ombre effect. Either starting out dark and going light or starting light and going dark, this trend is native to Koreans. Almost vampire like, many makeup lovers are adapting this trend as it is unique and creative. This trend does not exist in the Western world.

The last trend would be a sense of ‘effortlessness’. When it comes to Western makeup, the amount of time and effort that goes into a look is obvious. Koreans opt for a more natural look hence giving off the illusion of less work and that their makeup is ‘natural’. Both cultures have creative, interesting, and unique makeup trends.

For a visual representation of the makeup differences between the two cultures, please watch the video below.

Video Courtesy of As/Is


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