Korean and Japanese Makeup Styles

Korean and Japanese Makeup Styles

Much as been said about the competing styles of Korean and Japanese skin care. Many commentators have tried to contrast and compare the two countries and their beauty products as well as their beauty standards. In this article we will try to clear up some of the enduring myths and also describe in detail the philosophies between what both countries are aiming for when it comes to Asian makeup.

The Similarities

Both cultures tend to prefer whiter skin. A more fair, blemish-free skin is considered the ideal skin type to strive for. This dates back many years and isn’t simply a new phenomenon. Another similarity between the two cultures is the use of eye makeup technique to make smaller eyes seem bigger. Often eyelid tape or even glues are used which can help turn monolids into regular ones without the need for cosmetic surgery. False eyelashes and circle lenses are also commonly used.

Korean Makeup

Korean makeup typically emphasizes bright and dewy skin, with straighter eyebrows, red lips, and a very light (if any) blush. This compares to Japanese makeup which has a stronger focus on soft and matte skin, as well as a richer blush on cheeks, and lighter pink lipstick. Koreans place a heavy emphasis on the condition of their skin which mean skincare is considered much more important that makeups such as eyeshadow, blush and lipsticks.

In Korea eyeliner is usually applied very close to the lash line and then flicks either horizontally or downwards. This is designed to make the wearer look more pure and innocent. There is also a big effort by Koreans to emphasize their aegyo-sol or under eye fat. A shimmery color applied in this area as well as a light contour below the bag is designed to give a youthful and bright look.

For a cute and youthful appearance Korean ladies tend to apply blush just on the apples of their cheeks. It is very slightly blended upwards so that it looks more natural but it is never applied to the sides of the cheeks. Applying it to the sides of the cheeks is said to make the face look bigger.

Japanese Makeup

Japanese tends to use more powder face bases for a more matte look. There is also a huge culture of long-lasting, volumizing, and extremely waterproof mascara formulas. Japan is definitely at the forefront of mascara use. An emphasis on lashes also allows a huge choice of false lashes to select from.

Traditionally Japanese girls are well-known for applying thick makeup without a heavy focus on the eyes. Eyeliner and eyeshadow are applied quite heavily, giving the girls super huge eyes. As time is passing, however, Japanese makeup is becoming a bit lighter and more evolved to more closely match the Korean style of makeup. The application still favors youthful looks.

As you can see both cultures have a strong beauty culture but they apply themselves differently and focus on different areas. Over time beauty standards tend to evolve so don’t expect what is in vogue today will remain so.

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Kimberly Song

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