10 Best Korean Makeup Brands
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Searching For The Best Korean Makeup Brands
Korean skincare took the world by storm in the past decade, offering up glass skin, a dewy complexion, and an enjoyable 10-step self care routine. And with that revolution came lighter, more natural makeup looks to show off the skin we have all been working so hard for.
Enter the best Korean makeup brands, committed to providing everything you need to create a supple, glowy base as well as unique eye-looks and lip combinations. With K-beauty, the focus is on enhancing natural beauty, with soft stains and hydrating formulas to create the highly sought-after ‘no makeup-makeup’ look.
That being said, there are a number of companies on the market and you may be feeling a little overwhelmed with the selection. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Korean makeup brands to help you find the perfect match.
10 Top Korean Makeup Brands
Committed to innovation “powered by the finest natural ingredients responsibly sourced from Korea’s pristine Jeju Island,” innisfree was founded by Suh Kyungbae in 2000. The company focuses on not only preserving and protecting skin, but also doing the same for the environment.
Speaking of, the name innisfree is inspired by a poem by William Butler Yeats’ The Lake Isle of innisfree, which describes the importance of nature and its beauty. The company is most well known for its collection of K-beauty skincare products, though it also offers
With a minimal collection of makeup necessities, innisfree products range in price from $6-$17.
- Wide collection of K-beauty skincare and makeup products
- High quality, sustainably sourced natural ingredients
- Rewards and referral program for extra savings
- Free shipping on orders over $50
A leader in the Korean cosmetic market, Missha was launched in 2009 by Able C&C Co., Ltd. Today, the company offers a number of different skincare and makeup products formulated with ingredients that are proven to be effective
Missha focuses on a number of different skin concerns based on the feedback of over 10 million customers. Constantly looking to improve, the brand continues to develop formulations to offer solutions and results.
Best known for its collection of affordable yet luxurious products, Missha makeup ranges in price from $15-$50.
- Vast collection of K-beauty products, including makeup, skincare, and hair and body essentials
- Known for blending affordability and luxury
- High quality, proven ingredients
- Focus on healing a broad range of skin concerns
3. Holika Holika
Owned by ENPRANI Co. Ltd, Holika Holika was created in Korea in 2010. The company’s name was born from the English word “holic” meaning addiction and the Korean phrase “holida” which means temptation–two ideas synonymous with our love for skincare and makeup.
The Holika Holika collection consists of a variety of K-beauty products formulated with high quality, natural ingredients such as black caviar, aloe vera, green tea, and charcoal that are ideal for brightening the skin.
Created with the belief that ingredients and skincare is magic, Holika Holika makeup ranges in price from only $3-$65.
- Impressive collection of makeup, skin care, facial care, and body care products made with natural ingredients
- Paraben free, alcohol free, mineral oil free
- Rate of 95% customer satisfaction
- Plenty of coupon codes available
Originally known as Etude House and established in 1966, and incorporated by Amore Pacific Group in 1990, Etude has since shortened its name but maintains its original values.
The company focuses on revealing your inner beauty, playing with individuality, and finding joy in the use of color and fun products. Etude is best known for its collection of no makeup-makeup that inspires playfulness and excitement, though it is also popular for its killer prices.
Speaking of, Etude makeup ranges in price from $7-$80, with sets being on the higher end of the spectrum.
- Wide collection of no makeup-makeup products, skincare, tools, and other daily complexion essentials
- Limited edition collabs with popular brands like Loaker
- Affordable pricing and plenty of sales
- Free shipping on orders over $100
On a mission “to make the world of Beauty simple, fun and accessible, for everyone,” Clio was founded in 2008 in New York City by Clio Zammatteo and Claudio Midolo with a focus on fun and exciting makeup.
Best known for its collection of fun and bold colors, the company also offers skincare, makeup sets, and everything you need for your daily complexion. Clio is also committed to sustainability, choosing paper packaging and meeting international standards for production.
When it comes to costs, Clio makeup retails for $5-$25.
- Wide collection of makeup and skincare products featuring bold colors
- Designed in NYC and made in Italy
- 100% vegan and cruelty free
- Committed to sustainability and eco-conscious production
6. The Face Shop
On a mission to bring cosmetics to everyone that targeted a wide range of different skin concerns, The Face Shop was launched in 2003 by Jung Woon-ho in Korea. By 2005, it began opening stores in New York under the management of Hoo Joon Kim, seeking to reach a larger audience.
The company was quickly popularized for its approach to natural ingredients and wide collection of simple yet effective skincare products. It has since expanded to makeup as well, offering affordable collections in partnership with different cartoon characters, as well as BTS.
With a wide range of products designed to be gentle on the skin, The Face Shop’s prices range from $5-$100.
- Wide variety of sought after products
- Made from natural ingredients
- High quality formulas at an affordable price
- Widely available with over 2100 stores worldwide
Committed to “in-depth research on skin, materials and technologies in order to find optimal solutions for various skin concerns,” IOPE was founded in 1996 by and has since become owned by parent company Amorepacific.
After only a few years in business, the company launched a number of different skincare products designed to tackle specific skin concerns. By merging plant-based ingredients with scientific research, IOPE offers a collection of proven-to-be-effective natural products, ranging from skincare to makeup.
The company is most well known for producing the world’s first cushion foundation, providing innovation and change in the world of beauty. Today, IOPE carries mostly complexion products, though items for eyes and lips are also available.
Led by science and innovation, IOPE makeup prices range from $15-$50.
- Wide collection of skincare and makeup products formulated with safe ingredients
- Designed to tackle a number of different skin concerns
- Natural, plant-based formulas
- Backed by scientific research
8. It’S SKIN
With a focus on research-based skincare, It’S SKIN was founded in 2006 by Lee Juh-Yeong. Based in Seoul, Korea, but available worldwide, the company merges clinical results with skin’s needs to develop formulas that offer real solutions to different skin concerns, led by one clear motto:
“Come face to face with the most accurate ‘you’ through the combination of skin research technology and individuality.”
The brand’s collection ranges from skincare products including every step from the classic 10-step routine, as well as makeup, face masks, primers, and more. Often available in sets, It’S SKIN makeup retails for between $12-$36.
- Vast selection of Korean skincare, makeup, men’s and baby products, and more
- Unique and innovative ingredients
- Focus on formulas that tackle specific skincare concerns
- Natural formulas with a focus on snail mucin and its effects
9. Banila Co
Launched in 2006 by parent company F&F on a mission “to help makeup lovers live all their beauty dreams to the fullest,” Banila Co focuses on base products, including moisturizers, BB creams, blushes, foundations, and more, though it does offer a variety of different products.
The formulas focus on healthy ingredients consumers actually want to put on their skin, as well as a streamlined, easy to follow process. The company is best known for its Clean It Zero cleansing balm, which quickly became a cult favorite for its ultra creamy texture and makeup removing power.
With a vast collection of all things skin, Banila Co makeup retails for between $6-$24.
- Focus on base products including moisturizers and foundations, with a wide range of skincare and makeup available
- Formulated with natural, vegan ingredients
- Makeup products designed to work alongside skincare routines
- Available worldwide
Number 10 in our list but one of the top choices in our hearts, Sulwhasoo takes a holistic approach to create harmony and balance. Launched in 1966 by Suh Sung-Whan, it is now a luxury cosmetic brand in the K-beauty world, the company offers a variety of skincare and makeup products.
Sulwhasoo is best known for its anti-aging serum, JAUM Activator™, which is formulated from a potent blend of five Korean herbs. That being said, the brand also carries a wide number of anti-aging products that revitalize and rejuvenate the skin.
When it comes to makeup, Sulwhasoo offers two different complexion products: a cushion foundation and a color correcting primer, ranging from $55-$65.
- Luxurious collection of skincare and makeup products
- High quality, effective formulas that are gentle on the skin
- Best known for its collection of anti-aging products
- Free shipping and free samples on orders over $35
- Rewards program available
How to Shop for the Best Korean Makeup
No matter what kind of products you’re shopping for, what you put on your skin matters. So, there’s a lot that goes into the process when finding the best Korean makeup brands for you. Below, we’ve outlined some of the top things to consider, from the company itself to the benefits each product offers.
When shopping for the best Korean makeup brands, it’s important to keep in mind their mission, sustainability efforts, and overall company ethos. Do shoppers rate the products highly? Why? And is the brand well known with an established customer base?
Of course, you should also consider the products the brand sells and what you’re personally looking for. If you’re on the hunt for a cream blush and can’t find it on their website, it’s probably best to go with another option.
With natural looking makeup, it only makes sense for K-beauty to follow the natural ingredients trend as well. While not all options are fully organic, many brands offer clean, non-toxic, cruelty-free formulations.
As this list of the best Korean makeup brands has mentioned, what you put on your skin is important. And all the K-beauty skincare you put on your face would go to waste if it was followed by toxic chemicals and ingredients. So be sure to check out the list on the back of each product to see what’s in your formula!
Most of the options in our list of the best Korean makeup brands also carry skincare lines. So, the products are usually formulated with your skin in mind. From green undertones for canceling out redness to full coverage to hydrating formulas, there’s a variety of options to target your skin concerns.
That being said, it’s important to look out for ingredients and benefits of each product to determine whether or not they’re right for you. If you’ve already got an oily complexion, perhaps opt for something more matte, while a pink undertone will help cancel out blue tones in your undereyes.
No matter what you’re shopping for, sustainability practices play a crucial role in how you shop. Check out whether or not the company is committed to making change in the world, reducing packaging, and offering recyclable alternatives.
It’s also good to know how they source their ingredients and if they have commitments to ethical production and human rights. Before you fall in love with a product, be sure to check out their sustainability statements first!
The best Korean makeup brands offer a large selection of products so that there’s something for everyone. That being said, some companies offer different colors, formulations, and collections.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a powder foundation, a contour stick, or perhaps something more unique, be sure to check out the options in our list to find a collection of everything you’re looking for!
We all know that great makeup is available on a budget, so it only makes sense that the best Korean makeup brands should consist of some affordable prices. Whether you’re looking to indulge or save a little moolah, there’s lots of options in our list, and you’ll never have to sacrifice on quality.
What Makeup Brand Does BTS Use?
If you’re a fan of the best Korean makeup brands, you may also have an interest in the South Korean boy band, BTS. While they’re known for their music, they’ve got some eye-catching makeup looks, too.
Soft, glowy skin, peachy pink lips, and a subtle smokey eye encapsulate their go-to look. In other words, their style is pretty synonymous with the whole idea of no makeup-makeup. Of course, the group takes care of their skin, but what’s their makeup secret?
Here’s the scoop: according to Teen Vogue, the band has sported numerous different lip tints and shades, including Bobbi Brown, Burt’s Bees, and Vaseline. Their complexion and eye products are a bit more mysterious, but we’re willing to bet they use options from our list of the best Korean makeup brands!
Is Korean makeup better than American makeup?
In the world of makeup, there really isn’t a “one is better than the other” because we all know that one-size-fits-all is a sham. Makeup is personal and a preference, and just because one person likes something doesn’t mean that everyone else feels that way.
You may have a collection of makeup from all over the world, all made with clean ingredients and high quality formulas, so there really isn’t one option that is much better than the other. It’s all about how the products perform for your skin and if you’re achieving the look you want.
That being said, there is a difference. You’re likely reading our list of the best Korean makeup brands because you’re looking for dewy, natural makeup that’s light and has skincare benefits. This isn’t what American makeup is known for, which usually focuses on a more glam style.
So, it all comes down to what you’re looking for, what ingredients matter to you, and how you want your makeup to look. There is no right or wrong, simply personal preference.
If you’re looking to hop on the no makeup-makeup trend (though it’s technically quite timeless) or add a subtle sparkle or a little color into your life, look no further than the best Korean makeup brands.
These options focus on clean beauty and clean skin, tackling any concerns, treating your issues, and making you look and feel great, all in one fell swoop. They range across the board in best selling products and collections with a variety of options to choose from, so there’s something for everyone.
And whether you’re on the hunt for a classic mascara, skincare to achieve your dream complexion, or a fun and flirty liquid blush, you’ll find it all in one place in our list of the best Korean makeup brands.
Next, explore other top brands from our curated lists: