Top K-beauty makeup brands at Sephora
You do your 12-step Korean skincare routine every day, but South Korea’s innovative beauty industry has something special for your makeup bag, too. Korean beauty makeup products tend to reflect the standards of K-beauty skincare; they contain beneficial natural ingredients and curated pigments and their packaging, formulas and appearance are always evolving. The goal is the clear, flawless complexion known as “glass skin” and an overall no-makeup appearance. Here are the top K-beauty makeup brands and products you can find at Sephora.
Korean makeup ingredients
Like other K-beauty products, makeup is derived from traditional botanical ingredients fused with innovative formulas. Korean makeup is frequently formulated with powerful skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, green tea, tiger grass and fruit extracts, so it improves and protects your skin while you’re wearing it.
How to use Korean makeup
The emphasis in Korean beauty is on the complexion, so start with a Korean skincare routine to transform your skin into a smooth canvas. After that, apply a primer to help your makeup go on evenly and stay put. Use a light layer of foundation for more natural coverage and only use concealer and setting powder where needed. Lips and cheeks need only a light wash of natural-looking color, while eyes and brows should similarly lean soft and effortless. The key is to blend your blush and eyeshadow well to achieve the trademark softness of the K-beauty look.
Best Korean makeup brands
“Kaja” means “let’s go,” and with its cruelty-free formulas and cute packaging, Kaja’s makeup is definitely going places and won Allure Best of Beauty awards in multiple categories. Since the brand was co-founded by Sephora, it offers colorful products — including a more inclusive shade range — that can help introduce newcomers to Korean makeup. If its distinctly modern aesthetic isn’t enough of a draw, most Kaja makeup is formulated without parabens, phthalates or sulfates.
Best Kaja makeup
Kaja Beauty Bento Bouncy Eyeshadow Trio: available at Sephora
Stacked in a convenient trio, these powder eyeshadows offer matte and shimmer finishes for effortlessly put-together looks. They’re available in four all-shimmer shades and seven matte and shimmer shades, all of which apply easily with just your finger.
Kaja Wink Stamp Wing Eyeliner Stamp & Pen: available at Sephora
Get the perfect eyeliner flick with this kit, which includes a double-ended wing stamp pen and a felt tip eyeliner. Align the stamp and press to complete the cat-eye flick, then fill in along your lash line with the eyeliner.
Kaja Cheeky Stamp Blendable Blush: available at Sephora
Available in seven shades, this bouncy cushion blush delivers a heart-shaped stamp of color to your cheek, which easily blends out into a natural-looking flush.
Mainly known for their luxury skincare, AmorePacific also makes a cushion compact foundation. The brand invented this form factor in 2008 and it changed the beauty landscape. AmorePacific products feature carefully researched Asian botanicals like antioxidant powerhouse green tea and hydrating, mineral-rich bamboo.
Best AmorePacific makeup
AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+: available at Sephora
It’s easy to apply just the right amount of product with this iconic cushion compact and the included silicone puff applicator. The end result is light coverage, an even tone and hydrated, glowy skin. The buildable, long-lasting formula includes green tea and bamboo sap for brightening and hydration.
AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover: available at Sephora
For your first step in your double-cleansing evening routine, try this oil cleanser, which can break down makeup and leave skin feeling soft and hydrated.
Dr. Jart+’s name represents art and science coming together. The brand’s skincare is science-focused but still fun, sometimes combining skincare and makeup into one innovative, multipurpose product — like the BB cream, something Dr. Jart+ invented in the 2000s.
Best Dr. Jart+ makeup
Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Beauty Balm SPF 40: available at Sephora
This medium-coverage, all-in-one cream balm is formulated with citrus oils, white gold, mineral sunscreen ingredients and the brand’s Bio-Peptide Complex to give skin a radiant finish, color-correct, hydrate and protect it from sun damage. It’s formulated without phthalates and sulfates and can act as a primer.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30: available at Sephora
This specialized cream helps instantly reduce redness, changing from green to beige as it’s blended in. It also contains a mineral sunscreen. It can be worn alone or as a primer under the rest of your makeup. It’s part of a larger Dr. Jart+ Cicapair skincare line that utilizes cica grass, a plant that’s been used to treat a range of skin conditions.
Korean-inspired Glow Recipe specializes in fruit-based ingredients, like the watermelon that made their Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask a runaway success. All Glow Recipe formulas are vegan and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. Though their main focus is on clean skincare suitable for all skin types, they offer a few makeup products also formulated with antioxidant-rich fruit extracts.
Best Glow Recipe makeup
Glow Recipe Glow Lip Pop Lip Balm: available at Sephora
Available in two universally flattering tints, this three-in-one lip balm also acts as a scrub to prep and hydrate lips. Watermelon provides extra hydration while blueberry offers an additional dose of antioxidants. Both are formulated with coconut flower sugars that dissolve as they scrub. Use as a lip prep or apply a couple coats to build up color.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops: available at Sephora
This gel serum utilizes niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B, along with watermelon extract and hyaluronic extract to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation and leave skin with a dewy glow. It can be applied as the last step in your skincare routine, mixed in with foundation or tapped onto the face over makeup for extra radiance.
Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Smoothing Enzyme Cleansing Balm & Makeup Remover: available at Sephora
Formulated with soothing and hydrating ingredients like papaya enzymes, camellia oil and blueberry extract, this gentle, ophthalmologist-tested cleanser can take off even stubborn makeup.
Laura Duerr is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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