Everyone has their own opinions about what is beautiful or attractive — beauty is subjective and varies with each individual; however, society can have a major impact on how we perceive beauty. I thought it would be interesting to compare the different makeup styles and beauty trends of Korea and America as they’re drastically different.
I created two makeup looks, inspired by each country, to show you the differences. I broke down all the products used for each look and if you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on which style I like more, make sure to read to the end!
In Korea, women focus on enhancing natural beauty with minimal makeup. Dewy skin is key — the “glass skin” look is a popular K-beauty trend that focuses on having healthy, luminous, translucent skin. In addition, Korean women usually have full brows (no arch) with subtle eye makeup (simple eyeshadow with soft eyeliner and just mascara, no false lashes), brightly tinted lips, and a flush of color on their cheeks (little to no contouring). Also, did you know that under-eye bags in Korea are considered to be youthful and attractive?! Yes, it’s true and there’s a term for it: aegyo sal (loosely translated to “cute skin”). I’m now a little less self-conscious about my eye bags — yay!
In America, a matte complexion is more preferable with strong contouring and highlighting. Arched eyebrows are favorable, eyes are elongated with winged liner or smoked out using eyeshadows for a sultry effect, and lips are full and matte (or glossy). False lashes are also a must!
K O R E A N M A K E U P L O O K
For this Korean inspired makeup look, I kept everything super simple and as natural as possible. I attempted to do the “glass skin” look and focused on giving my skin a healthy radiance with a semi translucent effect rather than a full coverage finish. I was lucky that it was a good skin day when I shot this look — thank goodness! I usually prefer a matte complexion over a dewy finish, but I loved the way my skin looked here. There’s a soft wash color on my eyes, accented with a shimmery eyeshadow, and the look was finished off with pretty pink gradient lips.
I didn’t wear false lashes, which was a bit scary, to be honest, because I’ve never taken a makeup photo without wearing them. Frankly, I felt so naked and insecure without my falsies. I’ve gotten so used to wearing them and the way they enhance my appearance that I’m almost reliant on them to feel “pretty”. I wanted to break away from that dependence and appreciate my real lashes more, hence, the reason why I decided to not wear any for this look. It was strange, yes, but I’m liking it! Korean women rarely wear false lashes and if they do, it’s always a very subtle and natural style. I wanted to stay true to the Korean makeup style, so I skipped on the falsies for this look.
- Prior to makeup application, I cleansed and moisturized my skin with the Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum, then I applied the Erborian Glow Creme all over my face for an instant brightening and dewy effect.
- Next, I patted on a light layer of the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream (Light) to even out my complexion and conceal imperfections like redness, dark spots, and acne scars.
- For a bit more coverage under my eyes and around the corners of my mouth, I used the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer (Light Warm).
- Since I have oily skin, I need to set my base makeup, so I applied the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Illumination onto just my t-zone (forehead, under the eyes, and chin) — not all over the face because I didn’t want to remove the dewiness from the base makeup. This powder is very lightweight and contains finely milled, microscopic shimmers that give skin a satiny, natural looking radiance.
- I contoured my nose and cheekbones lightly with the Note Cosmetics Bronzing Powder (20).
- For blush, I used the Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint (Mystique).
- To highlight my cheekbones and nose tip, I used the Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow Touch Luminizer (Rosy Glow).
- On my brows, I used Billion Dollar Brows’ Brow Powder (Taupe) and Brow Gel. In Korea, straight brows are highly popular. I have arched brows and decided to define my natural shape with a brow powder for a soft and natural finish.
- For my eyes, I used eyeshadows from the Etude House Play Color Eyes (#Cherry Blossom). I finished off the eye makeup by lining my upper lash lines with the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (Demolition) and applied a few coats of the It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Volumizing Mascara to my ultra short eyelashes.
- On my lips, I wore the Laneige Two Tone Lip Bar (#5). The gradient lip trend is so popular in Korea and I tried it for the first time a few days ago, and I’m now obsessed!
A M E R I C A N M A K E U P L O O K
American makeup trends can be very bold and dramatic, yet artistic and utterly alluring. For this glam look, I went with my all-time favorite combo: gold and brown smokey eyes with dramatic false lashes, completed with pink lips. Smokey eyes need to be accompanied with a dramatic pair of lashes and as you will see, false lashes have the ability to truly transform a look. Depending on the style, they can really open up the eyes to make them appear large and give a sultry appeal that’s addictive.
- I used my go-to base products for this look — they consist of the: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation (118), IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Full Coverage Concealer (Light), and Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder (Transparent).
- Since I have a very round face, contouring is a must in my makeup routine; I love to use the N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder (Sunny) to sculpt my face. I applied it onto my cheekbones, forehead, sides of my nose, and my jawline for more definition and a slimmer effect.
- I wore eyeshadows from the Urban Decay Naked Honey Eyeshadow Palette (shades used: Swarm, Drip, Honey, Sting, Keeper, and Flyby).
- I completed the eye look by creating a bold winged liner with the Morphe Liquid Liner (Black Out), finished off with the EVRY Lashes Nine to Five 3D Faux Mink Eyelashes.
- On my lips, I outlined with the Jordana Cosmetics Easyliner For Lips Retractable Pencil (Rose Crush), then applied Mac Cosmetics’ Matte Lipstick (Nouvelle Vogue) on top.
So, which makeup style do I like more? Both! I love experimenting with makeup and am insanely fond to fun, creative looks that involve lots of colors. Makeup is art to me, so I’ll never stop painting. With that said, as I’m getting older, I’m learning to appreciate my natural beauty more and am starting to gravitate towards the minimal look off-screen when I’m not blogging. Therefore, I really enjoy the subtlety and naturalness of the Korean makeup style.
It’s fun to try out trends, but at the end of the day, makeup is about preference. If you like it, do it! Wear whatever makes you feel good and happy! 🙂
What about you? Do you like the Korean style or the American style? Let me know down below!
Thank you for reading!