If you’re a Japanese makeup enthusiast, you’ve probably already read our post on how to master the perfect J-Beauty #nomakeupmakeup look. But if you’ve been exploring other East Asian makeup techniques like K-Beauty makeup, you might have some pressing questions. J-Beauty and K-Beauty makeup parallel each other in many ways. They both aim for a natural, youthful look, and a thorough skincare routine is a must in both. Yet, there are subtle differences between the two that can make a drastic impact on the final style. Let’s a take a closer look at these key differences that distinguish both J-Beauty and K-Beauty as one-of-a-kind.
It goes without saying that both J-Beauty and K-Beauty bank on a well-hydrated, plump and clear skin canvas to work on, since makeup can only be as good as your skin allows! However, J-Beauty skincare favors a matte, velvety mochi skin finish that is shine-free and feels true to natural skin. On the other hand, K-Beauty skincare advocates glass skin or a wet-skin look that reflects light like a pane of glass.
Blush is where people tend to confuse the two techniques. While both favor pinks, peaches, nudes and cherry hues, their application couldn’t be more different. The “hangover” style is popular in Japan, and it involves applying the blush directly below the eyes for an innocent, fresh look. Korean blush is applied more similarly to western makeup - along the cheekbone for a sculpted finish.
Both J-Beauty and K-Beauty makeup opt for natural-looking brows with shades slightly lighter than their hair color, but they achieve this in totally different ways. Japanese makeup usually follows the natural arch of one’s brows and favors products like brow powder to create a soft look. Korean makeup trends towards flat shapes free of angles and arches, and often uses brow gels to seal in the look.
Both cultures aim for a doe-eyed, innocent look, although their techniques are worlds apart. J-Beauty often uses shimmery light-colored eyeshadows on the lids to enhance the eye shape, while K-beauty is all about packing shimmer on the aegyosal or bags underneath the eyes for a youthful look. K-Beauty also favors the “puppy eyeliner” style, which defines the eyes with a downwards wing at the edge, while J-Beauty prefers subtle cat-eye and thin line looks.
The signature J-Beauty lip is very simple and fills the entire lip with color but skips the lipliner for a diffused, soft look. The K-Beauty gradient pout is achieved by blending a dab of bold color in the center of the lips with a lighter shade on the outer edges, while the blurred look is created by smudging lipstick from the center outwards so that the inner lips appear the most pigmented.
Who knew that J-Beauty and K-Beauty makeup styles could differ so dramatically? Although East Asian makeup tends to be clumped into a single category, these subtleties make all the difference in the final look and say even more about each country’s aesthetic values.
For those of you who want to know about the difference between skincare routines, check out our J-Beauty vs. K-Beauty skincare post!