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K-Beauty v J-Beauty: The Face Off!

by Elisabeth Stummer February 05, 2018

K-Beauty v J-Beauty: The Face Off!

Are you a dedicated follower of K-Beauty? If that question has caused a well maintained HD eyebrow to rise or curled a manicured toe…maybe you assume there is another Kardashian hashtag on the loose and you’re not ready to partake!

Of course K-Beauty refers to the continued rise of game changing Korean beauty and makeup trends. The country responsible for cutting edge products which sated our alphabetical addiction one BB or CC pot at a time. Yes, Korea is now leading where the West will follow, but is a resurgence in Japan set to become a makeup industry disruptor?

Thank you Korea…

South Korea or SOKO is responsible for  feeding our social media with the newest must have beauty products and trends. The products are innovative, and as makeup disciples, we hope K-Beauty will not have passed you by unnoticed…are you in with the K-Crowd?

Cushion Compact

To the untrained eye, the cushion compact does not look particularly ground breaking but it is a crossover concept, which fuses skincare with makeup. The product contains a liquid soaked sponge, which is then applied with another sponge, leaving the skin looking flawless…just dab!

Korean IOPE lead the way with Ice Vanilla and Ice Beige compact shades which vowed to create a luminous complexion, with the added benefit of wrinkle prevention and brightening capabilities. The popularity of the product led to similar offerings from Lancome and MAC.


You may have just honed the feline flick, but could we urge you to be more dog? Prepare to go wide eyed at the suggestion that there are other ways to add a winged flick to your eye!

With the help of a Korean branded eyeliner named Clio, your go to eyeliner just took a downward turn…literally. For the Koreans there is an aspiration to perfect puppy dog eyes which can elongate the lid and create a softer finish. It is a structured look which is commonplace on the streets of Seoul and is speedily heading our way.

Tony Moly …Check Out This Packaging!

Fancy French packaging has graced glossy make up counters forever, but will the Koreans change the face of how we perceive beauty brands? Tony Moly think so! The overly cutesy packaging includes Panda powder compacts and rabbit shaped lipped liners.  The designs put the fun into the functional and after all, that is what makeup is all about.

Glass Skin

A coveted trend of the Koreans, much attributed to the painstaking 7 step skincare regime favored by the country. The idea takes dewy fresh skin to the next level with a clear goal…glossy!

Whilst indulging this native skincare routine won’t do you any harm, or of course the Korean beauty industry, there is a possible short cut to translucent skin and it starts with Sephora Milk Makeup.

It’s a little like painting, you’ve done the prep and the primer and now it’s time for the gloss. The product is clear and non-sticky and can be applied over a preferred foundation. It is lightweight, beautifully highlighting and spotlighting for maximum effect.

Is K-Beauty big in Japan?

Just like Korea, Japan draws on a wealth of beauty knowledge from years gone by. Instantly recognizable quality brands include Kanebo and Sheseido, yet a gear change sees the emergence of more cost effective, Hello Kitty-esque type branding including Canmake, Dolly Wink and Ettusais!

So is K-Beauty big in Japan? They say makeup is a universal language but Japan and Korea have different native tongues and they look set to get sharp as Japan enjoys a surge of investment in cosmetics. Are they vying for the K-crown? Only time will tell, watch this space.

Elisabeth Stummer
Elisabeth Stummer

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