7 Korean Makeup Brands That Are Changing the Beauty Game

Lindsey Metrus

Confession: I'm obsessed with Korean skincare. Call it a bold statement, but I find it to be more innovative and effective than most other brands, especially considering that so many stateside companies look to Korea for inspiration (though it's rarely matched, IMHO). And since many Korean skincare brands employ natural ingredients like yuzu, cucumber, and lotus extract with few filler ingredients, I'm often sparing my skin of drying, hard-to-pronounce toxins. K-makeup is no different—because many Korean women and men favour dewy, flawless complexions, makeup is often fortified with good-for-you ingredients and light formulas to show off your natural beauty. So when Byrdie's editorial director, Faith Xue, recently went to Seoul and discovered a ton of makeup gems through her journeys, I had her spill all the beauty dirt.

From recognised brands we've been longtime fans of like Amore Pacific to smaller indie companies, we've rounded up some of the best Korean makeup brands to get on your radar.

Chosungah 22

Chosungah 22 lives by the philosophy that "makeup should be simple and fun," a sentiment made clear in its easy-to-use products with bright, graphic packaging. Its hero product is the Gong Dong Minn Brow Maker, an angled spoolie brush with a sponge tip to ensure every little crevice of your brows is covered.

AmorePacific

AmorePacific is a luxe skincare brand that utilises Korean botanicals to soothe the skin while providing the luminescence and enhancement of makeup. It's best known for its colour-control cushion compact, a buildable lightweight foundation that also hydrates, brightens, and protects the skin.

CLE Cosmetics

Yet another brand that utilises skincare in its makeup (are you noticing a trend here?), Cle Cosmetics is best at highlighting natural beauty without compromising your skin's integrity. It's a small line, but it's beloved especially for its cushion compact and powder-to-cream matte lip tint.

Etude House

Etude House is like the Korean version of Benefit: It's big on brows, has fun, colourful packaging, and performs strongly. You may have seen the brand sweeping the internet for its Tint My Brows Gel, the viral peel-off tint that leaves behind a dark wash of colour, similar to a professional brow tint.

Moonshot

If Etude House is Korea's Benefit, then Moonshot is Glossier. From a mousse-like blush called Cream Paint to Brow Shaper Mascara (Boy Brow vibes), it's clear that Emily Weiss is a big fan of the brand. It's now stocked at Sephora Australia, too. 

Peripera

Peripera is a colourful, vibrant brand best known for its innovative lip products. We love the Oil Capture Pact for mopping up any 3 pm shine (or fixing your face for after work drinks). 

Son & Park

Created by Celebrity Makeup Artists Park Tae Yun and Son Dae Sik, Son & Park specialises in dewy, no-makeup makeup and skincare. Think your own skin, lashes, and brows, but better.

Up next, take a look at the Korean baby powder trick for flawless makeup.

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