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Korean vs. Japanese Makeup: What’s the Difference?

By Dana Manuel Share
Korean vs. Japanese Makeup: What’s the Difference?
Here’s the skinny on these two makeup looks.

Japanese and Korean beauty are both known for glowy and youthful makeup but while they’re similar in style, there are differences when it comes to application and technique. Perhaps the most distinguishable difference is that Korean beauty favors playful eye makeup and colors, whereas Japanese beauty is more partial to clean skin and natural colors. If you want to know more about how these two Asian makeup looks compare, keep reading below.


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The K-Beauty look is straight and full brows that have no arches. They also like to apply a brow gel in a lighter shade than their hair color.

As for J-Beauty, the natural brow shape is filled in, hardly altering the shape. Brow powder is preferred for soft and natural brows.


Photo via @ponysmakeup

The K-Beauty trend for eye makeup is the gradient effect. A light shimmer is applied all over the lids and a darker shade on the outer corner of the eye. For a doe-eyed look, the aegyosal, or the bags underneath the eyes, are emphasized with a light shimmer shade or highlighter. Puppy eyeliner is also a popular trend in K-Beauty where the liner is pointed downwards instead of winged out.

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J-Beauty uses a more natural wash of color on the eyes paired with thin, barely there eyeliner.


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The ‘hangover look’ or drunk blush is a big trend in Japanese beauty. A nude pink or cherry colored blush is applied right below the eyes in an upside down triangle shape.

For K-Beauty, a peach or pink-toned blush is applied right on the cheekbones. Layering two shades is also a trend where you apply a lighter shade and a darker one on the apples of the cheek.


Photo via @tomoconozaki

With Japanese beauty, glossy wins over a matte finish. Glossy red and pink are a staple.

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K-Beauty is all about the gradient and blurred lips. Gradient look is achieved by applying a lip tint on the center of the lips and blending outwards, while the blurred lips is done by smudging the edges of the lipstick after applying. Oranges, reds, and pinks are the usual go-to shades for this look.

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