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With the advent of K-Pop powerhouses like Blackpink and Twice, it’s only natural that people would try and copy their looks, that’s why we’ve compiled this Korean makeup brands list to help you achieve those cool looks.
What better way to do this than using actual Korean-made makeup and cosmetics.
For almost a century, Korea has been the breeding ground of many now-renowned makeup brands such as Chosungah 22 and Etude House.
Korean media is chock-full of cosmetic products and makeup, from advertisements to even shows.
Asia’s obsession with perfection when it comes to looking pretty is one of the main reasons why there is such a competitive cosmetic market in Korea.
Because of this, many companies are now looking to dominate the global market by catering to the different needs of people worldwide.
With all that said, these are the top 10 Korean makeup brands list you should know of.
- 1. Chosungah 22
- 2. AmorePacific
- 3. CLE Cosmetics
- 4. Moonshot
- 5. Missha
- 6. VDL
- 7. Etude House
- 8. Too Cool For School
- 9. Son & Park
- 10. IOPE
- Final Thoughts
1. Chosungah 22
Chosungah 22 is the brainchild of Cho Sung Ah, an established makeup artist and cosmetics expert with over 26 years of professional career.
They make their products with the philosophy of “Finding one’s strength instead of hiding one’s weakness”.
Already one of the most renowned makeup artists in the world, she turned her vision into a very successful brand that offers high-quality makeup kits for a reasonable cost.
Cho Sung Ah is also the first makeup artist in Korea to collaborate with industry-leading cosmetic companies around the world.
Chosungah 22’s products are generally multi-purpose, meaning you can use them for a plethora of different styles and looks.
This means that you can get more use out of the makeup and cosmetics that you buy from Chosungah 22.
By giving the customers flexibility when it comes to usage, they can maintain and grow their loyal fanbase.
Chosungah 22 Bounce Up Pact Powder Foundation
This multi-purpose powder not only acts as a normal foundation but also as an actual skincare product.
Its ingredients are carefully selected to be as easy on the skin as possible.
The main ingredients of this product include seaweed extract and kelp extract which fight off aging.
Other key ingredients of this powder foundation include African walnut oil, camellia oil, evening primrose oil, peptides, and Anemarrhena Asphodeloides extract that evens out the skin while providing hydration and elasticity.
This foundation can also rejuvenate your skin, as its ingredients are naturally sourced and designed to help soothe your skin while providing impeccable tone and color.
This Korean cosmetic giant was founded in 1945 by Sung-Whan Suh when he found out that the natural ingredients found in Jeju Island were capable of almost miraculous skincare benefits.
Through the dedication of his kind mother, Yun Dokjeong, Sung-Wah Suh was able to then do something incredible.
This brand is one of the largest in South Korea and can even compete globally as it’s one of the top 20 in the world.
Since its inception, it has now grown and split into a multitude of companies that all share the same goal.
The goal of AmorePacific is to “Share the Legacy of Asian Beauty with the World”.
The brand has then continued to dominate not only the markets but also the hearts and minds of the Korean people.
By using ingredients that are grown with the utmost care and selection, their products are the epitome of quality and reliability.
An example of this is the famous green tea in Korea.
There was a time where the tea industry in Korea was declining, so Suh-Wah Suh dedicated his efforts and resources to revitalize the industry.
As one of the oldest brands in Korea, they are doing extremely well and have been continuing to expand their portfolio as they try to dominate the global market.
Time Response Intensive Renewal Ampoule Set
This set contains four different ampoules.
Using this product will subject you to a 4-week program and a different ampoule must be used once each week within the 4-week program according to the instructions.
This ampoule claims to have potent anti-aging ingredients, such as green tea derived from AbsoluTea™ and EGCG Renewal Powder that provide “three-dimensional anti-aging effects”.
AbsoluTea™ is obtained from the first sprouted green tea leaves using Dual Infusion Technology.
AmorePacific claims that this ingredient rejuvenates the skin and promotes collagen production.
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) Renewal Powder is integrated into this product, and it aids in smoothing fine lines and repairing skin cells.
3. CLE Cosmetics
A brand that focuses on the premise of “real beauty”, CLE Cosmetics is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic brands in Korea.
Their idea of beauty is based on the idea of “modernity” and this is evident not only in the products but also in the design of their packaging.
Modern not only in style, but they also use cutting-edge technology to research and develop their many formulations.
It was founded by Laura Jin, a blossoming businesswoman when she was just finishing her education at the Royal College of Art.
She used all of her education and skills to envision and finally, create a brand that she would be proud of.
The brand has this philosophy of “less is more” so their products and their ingredients are designed to be as simple as possible.
This means that to be different, CLE relies on having products that do more with less effort.
CLE Cosmetics is a relatively new brand with a young, entrepreneurial leader.
This means that the brand can only continue to grow, as they know their brand identity can continue to shine in their niche.
The brand also likes to follow whatever is trending which leads to some very creative and ingenious product lines.
An all-in-one primer that helps rejuvenate the skin while being an amazing primer in itself.
Highly rated and highly recommended, this product is almost always sold-out because of how sought after it is.
Easy to use and seamless, this cream allows for an amazing experience when used.
Not only are your imperfections hidden but it will also radiate your skin in the long-run because it has natural ingredients.
CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream contains hyaluronic acid, which traps moisture into the skin, niacinamide, which reduces redness and appearance of pores, and vitamin C which helps in brightening your skin and eliminating dark spots.
Moonshot is the creation of one of the biggest entertainment companies to ever exist, YG Entertainment.
They are the record label behind some of the most popular girl groups like Blackpink and 2NE1.
Moonshot is a fairly new addition to the cosmetic market but its products are cult-classics.
Because of their above-mentioned connections, people are very invested in their products.
Their talents and groups inspire their cosmetic lines, and they spare no expense trying to advertise their products.
They partnered up with R&D giant Coson, which is one of the largest manufacturers of cosmetics in Korea.
Since the girl-group scene in Korea has an intense following, Moonshot’s products are revered and almost always sold out.
They offer bold, outlandish colors that take the skill to perfectly match your skin tone.
Even then, it’ll take a lot of luck and time to have a chance at buying one of their makeup kits.
This brand is generally not known to be beginner-friendly but experienced makeup artists adore their makeup lines and color offerings.
To answer this problem, they also made some easy-to-use makeup that can pack a lot of punch when applied properly.
By using their entertainment groups as advertisements, YG has created a brand that is not only highly sought after by makeup artists but also by die-hard K-pop fans.
Microfit Cushion Single 301
An easily applicable formula that protects your skin from harmful rays of light while being easily buildable.
It has SPF 50+ PA+++, so it will prevent your skin from darkening and aging, even when exposed to sunlight.
It’s perfect when you want something that helps in oil control while keeping your skin soft, fresh, and dewy.
Missha was founded with the idea of giving young women high-quality makeup and cosmetics at a very low price.
This idea has grown into a very big brand with more than 700, high-quality products.
They also have a respectable market space outside of Korea, as brick-and-mortar stores in the US stock their products.
Missha prides itself on catering to the different needs of the young women in the world, so their offerings are often diverse and with many uses.
They offer various revolutionary lines, such as MISSHA Skin Care and MISSHA Time Revolution.
These product lines offer distinct but universally cheap cosmetics that have produced very reliable results.
Their philosophy is “Quality should be affordable”.
This is reflected in most of their products as they try and cram as much quality as they can into affordable packages.
Missha-Triple Shadow (16 Colors)
This palette is beginner-friendly, which lends itself to the ideals of the brand.
You can use the colors together if you want to experiment with different shades but they can also be used separately for a safer look.
By giving younger girls a chance to express an early aptitude for makeup, they have the potential to develop early brand loyalty.
The culmination of 25 years of passion, VDL offers a unique but still tasteful type of cosmetics.
Made by a dedicated team of makeup artists, celebrities, and talented designers, this brand is the definition of “professional”.
By ensuring that each of their products is the result of hard, laborious trial-and-error, they can produce cosmetics that work effectively.
Through the years, VDL has been continuously collaborating with other aspiring artists to continue evolving.
With this theme of continuous evolving comes their specialty, which is keeping up with the current trends.
One of the most important makeup artists behind VDL is Wendy Rowe, an award-winning American makeup artist with an interest in Korean makeup.
The different approaches of Korean cosmetics encaptivated her, as the Asian models, she worked with often had better skin than their peers.
VDL means Violet Dream Luminous.
A brand focused on passion and intensity that allows their customers a wide range of colors and lots of creativity.
VDL Perfect-Lasting Foundation
VDL Perfect-Lasting Foundation is one of those K-beauty products currently taking the world by storm.
This foundation is touted as one of the best in recent years because it gives you the flexibility to use other products with ease.
It achieves this by being multi-purpose, as it also acts as a primer.
It’s a foundation with a velvet-matte finish while still being easy to use.
7. Etude House
Etude House is a well-established brand whose target audience is girls in their teens and their 20s.
This is evident, as most of their products have a hint of pink, and they are easily discernable with their cute packaging and font style.
It was founded in 1966 and until now is still one of the top Korean brands.
By making cosmetics that target a particular demographic, they can focus their designs and brand identity easily.
Since its inception, it has now grown into a multi-national brand with more than 250 stores worldwide.
Even their brick-and-mortar stores are easily recognizable as it’s almost always in a shade of pink and with this “princess” theme.
The staff in their stores wear pink to reinforce this feeling of being a princess and customers are treated as such.
They have used the power of K-Pop as one of their main selling points by actively seeking popular entertainment groups and sponsoring them.
The list is nothing short of amazing, including the likes of 2NE1, SHINee, and recently, the amazing and talented Red Velvet.
Even if Etude House is one of the more “casual” cosmetic brands, the quality of their products is still top-notch, so don’t count them out.
Dear My Enamel Lips Talk
A lipstick that is different by purposely applying a light tint with every swipe.
If you want a more pronounced color, be sure to apply it more than once.
At first, it looks just like a lip tint, but subsequent application turns it into a solid, powerful look.
Flexible and affordable, this is a perfect product for those looking to start being serious about using makeup.
8. Too Cool For School
Too cool for school was founded in 2009 to bring creativity to the masses.
By using only the best ingredients, they can crank out a wide range of skincare products but most importantly, makeup.
Don’t skip out on their skincare products though as they have plenty of easy-to-use, affordable packages that make your skin so much better.
Their most famous skincare line is the Egg skincare line, which concentrates on the helpful extracts from egg whites and egg yolks.
It sounds silly, but try it once and you’ll soon find yourself looking for more products in the same skincare line.
Too cool for school’s makeup lines are also very popular.
One of their best is the Art Class collection, which is compact and can be easily put into a bag for travel.
The packaging is also noteworthy, featuring an almost retro vibe with a simple yet telling box.
One of the best things about purchasing from this brand is that their products have their own “ecosystem”.
What this means is that buying a bronzer collection and pairing it with their in-house contour brush will yield perfect results every time.
Another notable product is the Dinoplatz Dear Brachiosaurus Blotting Paper.
This was made in collaboration with the famous architect and painter Hatori Sando.
A high-quality blotting paper made with 100% focus on effectiveness.
Too Cool For School – Check Glossy Blaster Tint
Try this lip tint if you’re looking for a vibrant shade fit for both day and nightwear.
And because it’s extra-long lasting you can be sure that it won’t fade in the middle of the day.
It’s almost certified that you’ll find the color you want because this lip tint comes in 19 different colors and shades.
9. Son & Park
Made by two of the most iconic makeup artists in Korea, Son & Park is a brand that you need to try.
Some of their products have achieved the praise of being cult-classics because of how good and effective they are.
The brand promises a no-frills, simple solution to your skincare needs.
One of their best is the Beauty Water, which has a devoted following because of its effectiveness.
The product is made from willow bark and papaya extract, making it multi-purpose in its use.
This just goes to show how much they care about making you look good and also feel good.
Use their skincare lineup in conjunction with their amazing makeup lines and be surprised by the difference it makes in making you beautiful.
Just search Beauty Water and you’ll find Son & Park’s miraculous all-in-one cosmetic product.
Last but not the least, IOPE is one of the more science-focused brands.
They use in-depth scientific research to find out what is best for your skin, and how to make you look better.
Since their products are carefully designed and strictly-tested, you can be sure that they work.
The three main categories which they focus on are Skin Science, Plant Science, and Bio-Science.
The combination of these three disciplines makes sure that what they make is up to snuff with the latest and greatest from other brands.
By accounting for all of the possible factors that might affect one’s skin, they can make products with exceptional quality and effectiveness.
From the age of the user to the season that they’ll use the products, IOPE has thought of it all.
But this also means that compared to other brands, IOPE has a notably higher price.
Their target market is older women looking to rejuvenate and repair their skin.
IOPE is actually under the AmorePacific group of companies but is still big enough to be considered as one of the biggest brands in Korea.
Air Cushion Cover
One of IOPE’s best sellers.
This cushion foundation makes your skin glow and moisturized without being overly noticeable.
It’s a meticulously produced cushion cover with many patented innovations through its production.
This foundation can also rejuvenate your skin, as its ingredients are naturally sourced and designed to help soothe your skin while providing impeccable tone and color.
There are so many different Korean makeup brands list that it’s getting hard to distinguish them all.
Because fashion is a continually changing, ever-evolving scene, finding a product that suits your particular need is not that easy.
Korea’s market is full of wonderful brands with different niches and specialties, however, one theme recurrent in their makeup scene is the reliance on smooth, properly-maintained skin.
That’s why many of their makeups are designed to be as multi-purposed as possible, so that not only will people look good before applying makeup, but also after.
This philosophy is the reason why many cosmetic brands offer not only makeup but dedicated skincare products to further emphasize that the skin is more important.
Willing to share your experiences with using Korean cosmetics?
Comment down below to help other interested individuals!