As someone who is a huge fan of all things beauty, I’ve come to notice the many differences between American and East Asian (specifically Korean) makeup looks. You’d be surprised to see how drastic the differences are when looking through the various beauty trends.
The American Side
When doing looks inspired by trends within America, it’s best to take inspiration from “Instagram Baddies.” These are the people who have large followings due to having viral photos and/or video tutorials. A few of these “Instagram Baddies,” can be found here. When seeing the photos they post and when watching their videos, you can clearly tell that there is a trend: winged liner and dramatic false lashes.
Aside from the bold eye makeup, another trend commonly seen in the American beauty industry is flawless, full coverage foundation and heavy contour. As stated in a video by Beauty and DIY YouTuber, Wengie, the main point of Western/American makeup is the definition of the nose bridge and cheekbones, as well as arched brows and plump lips.
When looking for examples of American styled makeup, a great place to start is the Kardashians and Jenners. As I’m sure you all know, the Kardashians and Jenners are some of the biggest stars in America today. Every clothing piece they wear makes headline news and every makeup look they wear becomes an immediate trend.
The Korean Side
Unlike the American side where they focus on dramatic looks and heavy foundation, the Korean trends tend to focus on a soft, airbrushed base. Instead of using a full coverage foundation, they use what is called a Blemish Balm Cream (BB Cream). This kind of product has light coverage, giving just enough color to even out the skin tone.
Another crucial part of the Korean makeup look is the soft eye makeup. Rather than creating an eye look with a winged liner and dramatic lashes, the Korean look focuses on eyeshadow to define the eyes. Cool toned brown colors are commonly used to contour the eyes in order to make them appear larger and more doll-like. Harsh lines are rarely used within the eye look since the point of the makeup look is to bring out a youthful complexion.
While the American side has a focus on arched brows and plump lips, it is the opposite for the Korean side. As stated above, Korean makeup looks tend to focus on the youthfulness of a person. To do this, they fill in the brows into a straight shape, rather than to keep a highly defined and arched look. As for the lips, instead of overlining them for a plumping effect, the trend here is to keep the lip color soft. Common colors used for the lips are pink and coral.
As previously stated, the Kardashians and Jenners are American beauty icons. For the Korean side, however, K-pop singers are the main source of beauty trends. Some popular singers in Korea who are famous for their youthful complexion and makeup looks are Kim Taeyeon of SNSD, solo artist IU, and Kim Seolhyun of AOA.
So, what is the main difference between the two looks?
American styled makeup is used when looking to define facial features using heavy contour and bold colors while Korean styled makeup has the goal of enhancing natural beauty and bringing out a youthful glow.
Which look do you prefer?