Korean vs American Makeup

Beauty standards differ across the world and with these varying standards we also have different makeup routines and products that differ from region to region. With the growing K-pop...

Beauty standards differ across the world and with these varying standards we also have different makeup routines and products that differ from region to region. With the growing K-pop and K-drama industry, people have gotten a chance to see the flawless skin that Koreans have, making everyone today chase after their looks. But how is Korean makeup different from American makeup? The table explores the Korean vs American makeup question in depth.

Korean vs American Makeup

Differences in skincare, primer, foundation, lips, highlighter, blush, eyeliner, eye shadow, and eyebrows



Focus on Skincare

  • Most Americans do not follow skincare routines because of which many people may have dry, acne-covered skin.

  •  A lot of the American makeup routines focus on covering acne, scars, and pimples.

  • Koreans are very particular about their skin. 

  • They regularly apply face hydrating masks sheets masks, charcoal masks, gels, toners, and serums to ensure, they do not get acne or pimples or other issues at all.

  • Thus, their makeup is not one that just focuses on covering scars but also focuses on creating looks such as the dewy face look or the glass skin look.


Both makeup looks use primer, however, the purpose of using the primer is different.

Americans use a primer for long-lasting make-up.

Koreans use the primer to get a brighter and fresher look.


American makeup usually entails using liquid foundations or stick foundations which are blended in with beauty blenders.

Korean makeup uses compact foundation or BB and CC creams that make their makeup look more natural.


  • Americans prefer makeup looks that show fuller lips.

  • For this reason, they use lip pencils to create the same. 

  • They also use a range of colors and tend to use liquid lipsticks.


  • Koreans do not apply heavy makeup on their lips. They tend to stick with softer colors to give a more natural look.

  • They usually use lipsticks or lip tints and stick with colors such as pink and red.

  • Korean lip makeup also uses contouring to make the lip color lighter on the outside and darker towards the insides.

Img Src: pinterest.com/laurawalkerkc

Img Src: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/83598136819423124/


Both Americans and Koreans incline towards having a fuller eyebrow and use pencils to get this fuller look.

Americans tend to change the shape of their eyebrows to one that is more arched.

Koreans prefer straight eyebrows.

Img Src: https://br.pinterest.com/pin/701998660656555127/

Img Src: nomakenolife.com/blog/korean-eyebrow-tutorial

Eye Shadows

In both cases, it is the outer corner of the eyelids that the eye shadows are the darkest while the tone of the color gets lighter towards the inner corners of the eye.

Americans seem to take bolder steps with their eye shadows. They experiment with more colors and darker ones at that. A common look Americans use is the Smokey Eye shadow look.

Korean makeup usually uses lighter colors preferably light brown, red, peach or pink to give it a more natural look.


Americans often create wings with their eyeliners and use different colors for the same.

Korean eyeliners are simple and are often not winged. Most Koreans aspire to have big eyes and to get such a look Koreans use white eyeliners on the waterline of their eyes to make them look bigger.


Americans use highlighters over their cheekbones, under their brows, on their nose, and at times even on their collar bones to give them a sharper and leaner-looking face.

Koreans are not fond users of highlighters as they seek to keep their look more natural.


Americans often use soft-toned blushes.

Koreans use pink blushes on their cheeks to give them a more natural look and use more blush when they want the “hangover look”

Img Src: allure.com/gallery/best-blushes-for-dark-skin-brown-skin

Img Src: vogue.in/beauty/content/best-korean-makeup-hacks-according-to-a-k-beauty-expert

Concluding note:

American and Korean makeup routines only vary in intensity and the products used. However, we cannot say that one is better than the other, as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Fashion & Lifestyle