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American version of Korean makeup gradient lip

Korean vs. American: Makeup Tutorials

How would an American wear a Korean makeup trend? What about a Korean interpretation of an American makeup look? Here are two looks with both Korean and American makeup styles for you to follow. And as a bonus, you get a third look that puts together the best of both worlds—I mean countries!

Korean version of American contour makeup
The K-Beauty Contour & Smoky Eye
The biggest takeaway from a K-beauty contour is that instead of a literal face-carving makeup palette of neutral hues, it’s more of a draping technique. Draping uses blush as a means of sculpting a glow into your complexion—kind of like you’ve been dancing all night.

For this look, I used Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush in Night Fever & Hot Stuff and applied it on my cheekbones towards my temples (kind of the same places you’d put the deeper shade of your contour) and blended well.

The easiest smoky eye can be done with a gel pencil liner. I really like Clio Gelpresso Waterproof Pencil Gel Liner (this one in Golden Black No. 7) because they glide on like butter and seriously stay put all day and night. The soft smudgy formula really helps with an express smoky eye since all you need to do is run it over your lash lines and blend with an eyeshadow brush or a cotton swab. Once it’s blended it’s not going anywhere, trust me. Pop on some mascara if you prefer and voilà: your easy smoky eye (with flecks of gold glimmer too)!

American version of Korean makeup gradient lip
The American Ombre Lip & Pop of Color on the Eyes
This is a fun look that turns the whole “no simultaneous strong lip and eye” makeup rule upside down. A wash of pink shimmery eyeshadow and a subtle black eyeliner flicked on top is K-pop 101 in beauty terms, but the gradient lip is where things differ a bit.

Rather than a popsicle-like lip stain in the center of the lips, the ombre is reversed. Using a deep crimson red lip pencil (Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Gash) I filled in the outer corners and bright the liner towards the center, sticking to the border. Using a bright cherry red lipstick, tap it in the center and blot your lips together to blend (just make sure not to smush them together too much side-to-side to retain the ombre look). It’s much more subtle than a true gradient lip, but it gives a lot of dimension to your lips, giving the illusion of plumpness and depth.

American and Korean makeup trends altogether in one look
A Little Bit Of Both
Who realistically follows one type of makeup scripture—what would be the fun in that? Combining the two is way more fun and original! That said, I’m really into a strong eye and strong lip, so a smoky eye with that ombre lip is a great night-out look for me. Bit of a twist—I’m using brighter and poppier colors—like purple and pink. A vivid purple lip pencil and sparkly hot pink lipstick is a maximum party look for me.

It’s really up to you, how you like to mix and match makeup looks, but you really can’t lose by combining the best and strongest looks from wherever. What’s next? Ultra dewy skin and a bold graphic cat-eye? A straight-brow and deep glossy vampy lip? Just throwing some hybrid beauty ideas at you to try…

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