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American Makeup VS Korean Makeup: Know The Difference

Posted on September 10 2019

American Makeup VS Korean Makeup: Know The Difference


Whenever we asks our clients what type of make up style would they like us to do for them, there’s always an even split between Korean style makeup and American style makeup.

Why are these two styles so popular?

While both styles’ aims are to highlight your features and make you look as on fleek as possible, they are both very distinct styles from the very start to finish. The end results are often quite polarising!

So here are the main differences between these two distinguished looks!

Eye makeup

Americans Makeup styles layers different eyeshadow colours and blends them to get an eye contouring with a smokey eye effect. This particular style predominantly uses an eyeliner to create a cat eye look with false lashes and lots of mascara to finish the look!

Since most Americans have creases and double eyelids, they put a lot of emphasis of highlighting the crease with bold and fun colours. They tend to have a more glam style.

Korean makeup styles on the other hand sticks to natural shades of eyeshadow and loves a shimmery and glowy base to accentuate the eyes. Korean women usually choose subtle and shimmery pink, peach or champagne shades on their eyelids. For eyeliner, they tend to only fill in the upper lash line with a brown or black eye pencil and extend it slightly outwards for naturally defined looking eyes.



Both parties equally love long lasting eyeshadow (I mean who doesn’t?) so primer is definitely needed. However these two styles use two different types of primers.

As a long lasting base has to be made, Americans use a matte base primer so that the colours that are going to be packed upon the eye will have a smooth base and will accentuate. Usually a thin, clear liquid is applied as they prefer it to be a thin base. They prefer a matte finish that keeps skin dry that normally goes on clear and does not change skin tone. Most primers are not scented as well.

Whereas the Koreans on the other hand, try to stick to Illuminating primer for a dewy and brightened look that highlights a fresh and clean look. The application is thicker, and tend to thread close to almost like a moisturiser thus leaving a very moist and dewy effect which may sometimes have whitening and brightening agents to it. Scent is more commonly found in Korean primers as they love anything that smells pretty!


American makeup usually prefer to stick to liquid foundation or stick foundation that matches the exact tone of the skin and is blended with the help of a beauty blender or a foundation brush! American women prefer matte skin, with contoured cheekbones and shimmery highlights on the high points of the face which allows the face to look sharper, slimmer and more defined.

Americans also love to have a sun kissed, tanned look. To achieve this, they may go to the tanning salon or even buy foundation shades that are a shade or two darker than their skin tone to achieve this look. 

Korean makeup on the other hand sticks to cushioned Compact/Foundation and BB creams or CC creams that have SPF and anti-aging properties which protects them from pollution and the sun. Korean women are well known for their dewy and glowing skin


American makeup stresses more on usage of highlighters to add the dewy effect on the high points of the face like cheekbones, under the brows, nose bridge, and inner corners of eyes. This is draw light onto the face and create points of interest and give the look an overall depth.

In America, contouring is a huge must do for most ladies as every part of the face is heavily contoured and blended. These looks are great for parties because the camera captures the highlights flawlessly!

Korean makeup on the other hand avoids excessive use of highlighters as the whole makeup is glowy and dewy on its own! They tend to stay away from highlighters as they would not like their look to turn ‘oily’ after a couple of hours. They believe the glow and shine should come from within.

Koreans hardly contour at all, but if they do it is usually on the nose to make it look thinner. Koreans prefer the smooth glassy look.


Americans use concealers for concealing blemishes and spots along with the purpose of highlighting under eye area, eyebrow arches, etc. The play of light and dark on the face to manipulate how shadow falls onto the face is very significant for American style makeup.

Korean makeup on the other hand use concealer only for the purpose of hiding dark circles and blemishes and imperfections. Usually to hide away pimples or scars as they look is sought to be as flawsless as possible.


Korean women don’t normally wear false eyelashes or go for heavy set lashes. They prefer to use mascara and curl their natural lashes as they believe this is a more balanced look.

Koreans also love to add bottom lashes to create a dolly lash look which actually wides and brightens the eye.

The American women however absolutely thrive on long lashes that are flirty with full of volume and drama. Most of the time putting on fake lashes are considered the finishing touch of any look.


Americans are super picky about how their eyebrows are done. This is because the eyebrows can really frame the whole face and overall makeup look. They prefer thick, dark and defined lines with high arches that contours the shape of the eyes.

Korean however prefer a more natural look and enjoy a straight across eyebrow look and they try to keep their eyebrow colour to as close as to their hair colour as possible (even dying the eyebrow hair!) It is much softer on the overall look.


Americans love a tan. If they could achieve the perfect bronzy, sun kissed look, that’s the lottery winning! They use mostly bronze and shimmered browns to create a sun kissed look with little hints of pink blush. This creates a more chiselled look.

For Koreans, the brighter the pink the more they go on! They love a bright dolly pink look which are applied to the balls of their cheeks. This creates a flushed look and often doen in peachy orange tones.


Matte, full, luscious and vampy lip looks are the #goals for American woman. The trend nowadays is to get a matte and dark lip which look plump and cushiony. Thin lips are frowned upon here and people even sort to lip plumpers.

Koreans on the other hand like ombre lips as the current trend now. Bright, light pink and peach colours are mixed and blended to give an ombre look. If not that then tints are popular.



Americans tend to have more of a 3-step approach to skin care. Cleanse, tone and moisturise. Face masks and facials are considered a treat and to be done on a special occasion. The goal is to have younger looking skin with no lines or wrinkles.

Korean on the other hand have a more vigorous skin care routine for their every day lives. Toners, face masks, peels, tonics, serums, essence.. The list goes on! The goal is to have porcelain, flawless glass skin.

Whether you prefer American or Korean style makeup, these two looks can definitely switch things up for you and make you look different! But what’s important is what makes you feel good the best and most confident.

Want to mix both styles to your everyday routine?

Use the Korean style makeup for every work and home activities for a natural, fresh, bright and refreshing look. Since this style is more natural and more on highlighting and accentuating natural features. It is a more achievable look for day to day life.

If you are looking to go out for a fun night or date night or even a special occasion, try the American style where you can have fun playing with different types of colours and look to match your current mood and style.

Your makeup look should always evolve with your pace and how you feel in the moment. Take a chance and try a new look!