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A Beginner’s Guide to Asian Makeup: YesStyle Edition

Following up with my last published HerCampus article titled “A Beginner’s Guide to Asian Fashion: YesStyle Edition,” I have decided to continue this 3-part series, and follow-up my last article  with this basic guide to Asian makeup! I’ve curated a list of popular and best-selling Korean beauty products on YesStyle in order to do a full-face!

innisfree – No Sebum Blur Primer (25 ml)

If you have been looking for a dupe to the Benefit Cosmetics’ Porefessional primer, this is it! It is a lot cheaper than the Porefessional ($32 vs. $9±), but does all the exact same things. I personally prefer this one, not just for the cheaper price-tag, but also because of the ingredients. It contains natural mint ingredients, minerals, and green-tea leaf extracts from the Korean island of Jeju. It really does the trick in keeping your face oil-and-shine free, blurring out pores, and has the perks of natural ingredients that are beneficial to the skin. This is the #1 best-selling face primer on the YesStyle site, and also what I see a lot of Asian beauty gurus wear in their videos.


MISSHA M Magic Cushion Cover Lasting SPF50+ PA +++ (4 Shades)

Ah yes, cushion foundations – a staple in every Asian girl’s beauty bag. Cushion Foundations were first invented in South Korea, and it is a very convenient way of carrying your foundation with you on-the-go for touch-ups throughout the day, wherever and whenever. The foundations are soaked in a sponge inside the compact that you can dispense onto the cushion puff that normally comes inside the compact. Whenever anybody asks me to recommend them a cushion foundation that is both high quality and low cost, I would always start by recommending them this. This is the cushion foundation to go for if you want that classic dewy and youthful skin look that you normally see on Asian beauty ads. It gives a very natural, healthy skin-like finish that still manages to hide your imperfections. It lasts throughout the whole day with minimal oiliness on your face while still being hydrating and comfortable on the skin, and works well underneath powders if you do so choose to set your foundation with it. By now, just about every girl in South Korea has tried on this foundation, and this is arguably one of the most popular cushion foundations loved and owned by many beauty lovers across Asia.The downside of most, if not all Korean foundations is the limited shade range available for consumers.This MISSHA foundation only comes in 4 shades. Nevertheless, if you do happen to have a shade that matches you from this line, I definitely do suggest you give this product a try!

LANEIGE – BB Cushion Pore Control SPF50+ PA+++ With Refill

If you have never heard of Laneige, I’m going to assume you have been living under a rock. Laneige is one of the most popular South Korean makeup brands ever. Everywhere you go across Asia, all the way up from China to down in Indonesia, you will find at least 1 Laneige retail store somewhere. Its popularity has spread globally by this point. Even huge retailers such as Target and Sephora carry Laneige products. I heard that in the near future, Ulta might even be carrying them – Goes to show how popular this brand is. Unlike the MISSHA one, this one comes in a much larger color range (YAY!) of 10 shades, and while that is still very much lacking behind the typical shade range of most western beauty brands, given that it is a Korean brand, 10 shades is a huge milestone. If you are on the darker side and have a hard time finding a foundation shade that matches you from the MISSHA one, this foundation is just as good and highly raved about. This one gives off a matte finish instead of a dewy finish, which is atypical coming from most Korean foundations. If you have oiler skin, or just lean more towards being oily, this one might be a better fit for you since it does have oil-controlling properties while still being hydrating to the skin. Buying this on YS will give you the biggest bang for your buck since you also get the foundation + puff refill upon purchase. Not as affordable as MISSHA, but you definitely get more product for what you paid for.



The Saem – Cover Perfection Tip Concealer SPF28 PA++

Tarte Shape Tape who? Honestly, look no further when it comes to a full coverage concealer that is long-lasting and affordable. This stuff will hide everything from your pimples and dark spots, to bad decisions and Donald Trump’s tax returns. It has been so highly raved about in the K-Beauty world and even used by prominent South Korean figures the likes of esteemed makeup artist Park Hye-Min (also known as Pony) and celebrities like singer and actress IU. There are a total of 5 shades – 3 to match your actual facial complexion for concealing, a “Contour shade” (that could honestly double as just a regular concealer shade if you have a darker skin color) and a “Brightener” to brighten up your under-eye areas and make it look as if you did get that full 8 hours of sleep last night. The brand isn’t that popular, but this particular product of theirs is all the rage.


Etude House – Drawing Eye Brow (7 Colors)

Asian eyebrow styles are very different from how we’re used to doing them here in the west. In Asia, light and softly-defined brows are preferred over bold and precisely-defined brows. These eyebrow pencils from Etude House are hands down one of the most, if not the most popular, eyebrow products to achieve the ideal Asian brow-look. The formula is dryer which does not distribute too much product onto your brows. Usually, brow products are too saturated, and that can leave your brows looking a little too bright, but the dryness of this product helps to achieve a more natural and subtle look to your brows. It’s super affordable too – $7.90 market retail price, but on YS it drops down to $3.16 due to a 60% discount sale going on at the moment. On top of all that good stuff, it comes in 7 shades which gives consumers like us more options.


SKINFOOD – Peach Cotton Multi Finish Powder (15g or 5g)

Many people in Asia typically do not powder their faces after foundation, because it takes away from the dewy-skin look that is so coveted in Asian beauty culture. That being said however, of course there are people out there who tend to get oiler throughout the day and need something to keep their face faces from becoming an oil-slick. This loose translucent powder from Skinfood is not only very popular for its yummy peach scent, but it also performs really well in keeping the skin more matte, without being too matte, and not cakey.


innisfree – No Sebum Blur Powder or No Sebum Mineral Pact


Alternatively to the Skinfood option above, you could also go for these translucent powders from Innisfree. It comes in both the loose powder form and the pressed powder form, which makes it a lot more convenient to take it with you on the go and do touch-ups throughout the day. If you are on the intense oily side, this might be better suited for your skin.

MACQUEEN – Waterproof Pen Eyeliner (2 Colors)

An eyeliner is an absolute must in Korean makeup! It’s not like in western makeup where sometimes we would just skip eyeliner and go straight to mascara and lashes. The other thing when it comes to K-beauty and eyeliners too, is that in Korea, they prefer liquid eyeliners that give off an intense black and shinier finish, as opposed to here in the west where people usually go for a gel eyeliner that gives off a more matte finish. This eyeliner goes on really easily, and if you are a rookie when it comes to applying liquid eyeliner, this one is not so brutal. It’s also safe to wear on a date-night with your boo because it’s waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about it smudging when you’re all emotional and crying at the movie theaters… or doing other things…


Innisfree Waterproof Microcara Mascara 4g
The skinniest mascara you will ever see! Don’t be fooled by the size of it, it’s small but it will coat all of your lashes evenly. The nice thing about it having such a skinny applicator is that it will allow you to apply mascara with more precision – especially on your bottom lashes, to prevent any raccoon-situation happening under there. This formula is waterproof and is resistant to water, sebum, and sweat. It comes in black and brown, but YesStyle seems to only have it in black. You can hop onto Amazon and get the brown one there if that is what you prefer.


too cool for school – Art Class By Rodin Shading 9.5g


“Bronzing” isn’t really a thing in Asian beauty, it goes against achieving that very fair and pale complexion that so many Asians today still strive for. However “Shading,” or what we here in the west call “Contouring,” is a technique that many Asian makeup artists (or general enthusiasts like myself) do for special occasions. That being said, I have seen beauty gurus on YouTube using this product to bronze up their faces and it works, so I would say that whether you are into bronzing, contouring, or both, this product is very multifunctional in that aspect. It comes in 3 gradient contour shades which makes it perfect if you are maybe more attentive and detailed with your makeup, and use different shades of contour for different areas of your face. People have also used this to do body contouring for photoshoots; this is a large pan size from what I have heard about it, so it will last a long enough time to get a good use out of it for both body and face. This is, without a doubt, the most popular bronzing/shading powder in the K-beauty market.

Etude House – Lovely Cookie Blusher New 7.2g (11 Colors)

Asians’ love for blush is practically the equivalent of the West’s love for highlighter. Blush is almost kind of dead in the Western beauty market right now, but every brand from Marc Jacobs, Fenty, Maybelline and Kylie Cosmetics are constantly coming out with highlighters because everybody wants to glow from outer space and blind all the haters. In Asia, particularly Korea and Japan, every brand will carry a variety of blush products, but it would either be hard to find, or downright impossible as of right now, to find even one brand that makes face highlighters. Especially for Japanese beauty, blush is an essential that makes the entire makeup look pop! This particular blush by Etude House, which is one of the most popular “drugstore” makeup brands in South Korea, is something that I remember girls raving about since my late middle school years. Even Korean celebrities have used this. It truly is a K-beauty O.G and it will not do you wrong. It has a matte finish with no shimmer particles, so it is going to look very soft and natural on the skin.


Etude House – Play Color Eyes (Multiple Editions)

For all of you eyeshadow palette lovers out there, you guys are going to love these ones. Etude House has a collection of (as of right now) 5 eyeshadow palettes called the “Play Color Eyes,” and although they retail for $22.00 a palette, YesStyle is having a sale right now that puts every single one of these palettes at 60% and 20% discounts, bringing them down to just $17 or $16! Snag these while you can, because besides the adorable packaging designs and beautiful color-schemes, the formula of these palettes are perfect for your everyday natural-&-soft makeup wear. Don’t expect intense pigmentation from Korean eyeshadows, because for the most part, that is not what people in Asia like in general. These eyeshadows are meant to only give your eyes a soft wash of color, enough to provide definition without being too bold and dramatic.

Cherry Blossom Edition

Peach Farm Edition

Wine Party Edition​

In The Cafe Edition

Juice Bar Edition

peripera – Ink The Airy Velvet (10 Colors)
And finally, the final step to tie the look together – lips. This product by the brand Peripera, which is also carried by CVS here in the United States, is a lip-tint, which have become super popular in South Korea, and subsequently all of Asia. Gradient-lips are still relatively trendy in Korean makeup, and while there are a multitude of ways and techniques to achieve a gradient lip, a lip-tint is the most authentic and fastest way of doing it. The inner parts of your lips should be the focus-point, which is the darker gradient, and then it gets lighter towards the outer parts of your lips. It’s basically an ombre-lip that is supposed to give you that look of “I’ve just eaten a popsicle.” As to why Koreans find post-popsicle-consumption aesthetics attractive, I have no clue. With so many to choose from, it can get confusing as to which ones are worth spending your money on. There are thousands upon thousands of lip-tint options available now because every K-beauty brand has them! These Airy Ink Velvets are a good place to start experimenting with lip-tints if this is your first time (or even if it’s not and you just want to try something new). It’s one of the brand’s best-selling products,and one of the all-time top best-selling Korean makeup product in general, for a good reason. There have been *so* many reviews on this, and the vast majority have had nothing but positive things to say about it. The texture of this is neither matte nor shiny, it is that in-between velvety type of finish (hence the name) with just a little bit of glossiness. It feels really comfortable on the lips, lasts a long time, does not flake, does not dry out your lips, and apparently it smells and tastes really good too (although I really would not advice anyone out there to be consuming their makeup products). It really is a versatile product because depending on how you want to use it, you could either keep your lips looking more soft and natural, or go to town with it and bring on the color intensity. Plus, it’s also super affordable. It ranges between $14 – $16, and right now on YesStyle, it’s on sale for only $6 per lip-tint, so grab them quick!


Student at the College of Business Administration, majoring in Entrepreneurship with a concentration in International Business and a minor in Accounting. Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, now living in Los Angeles, California.
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