The 17 Best Korean Makeup Brands to Try Now, According to a Korean Beauty Editor

From Amuse to rom&nd

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If you’ve ever stepped into a Sephora, Ulta or even your local CVS, you have likely come across K-Beauty products. Known for their sensorial textures, fun packaging and advanced ingredients, K-beauty has gone from a buzzy “new” phenomenon to a mainstay in many people’s routines.

And sure, K-beauty is perhaps best known for its silky sunscreens and sheet masks, but Korean makeup is also a cut above. Often spiked with skincare ingredients, everyday products like foundation and lipstick deliver natural-looking coverage and color that looks as good as it feels on your skin.

From glow-inducing blushes to lip tints that don’t dry out your lips, here are 17 of the best Korean makeup brands (and a hero product from each line) to get you started on your shopping journey.

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The Best Korean Makeup Brands at a Glance


Try: Rouge Classy Lipstick


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Try: Darling Oil Tint


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Try: Better Than Eyes Eyeshadow Quad


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Try: Fruity Glass Tint


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Try: Dote On Mood Lip Pencil

Heart Percent

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How I Chose the Best Korean Makeup Brands

To select the best Korean makeup brands, I started with those I've personally used and loved throughout the years. Next, I combed through an inordinate amount of data and reviews on platforms like Google Trends and Reddit to determine the most popular and best-performing brands. Ultimately, I considered dozens of Korean makeup brands before narrowing it down to the 17 you see here, based on the following criteria: efficacy, price and ease of application

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About K-Beauty

Try: Rouge Classy Lipstick

1. Hera


Easily one of the most popular luxury cosmetics brands in Korea, Hera is part of the AmorePacific portfolio, a storied beauty conglomerate with a ton of other names you might recognize like Laneige and Innisfree. (You might also recognize Hera’s celebrity ambassador: BLACKPINK’s Jennie Kim.) Though the brand has a robust and reputable skincare selection, I can only vouch for their lipsticks, which come in all sorts of fun shades and flattering finishes, and the chicest packaging.

Try: Darling Oil Tint

2. Etude


Another classic Korean makeup brand within the AmorePacific family, Etude has been around since 1985. If you ever find yourself in Seoul, I highly recommend checking out one of the brick-and-mortar stores; some of them look like giant doll houses and all of them are stocked with beautiful products at accessible price points. I’ve recently become enamored with their Darling Oil Tint, which adds a shiny touch of color to your lips without drying them out.

Try: Better Than Eyes Eyeshadow Quad

3. rom&nd


Founded by popular Korean beauty influencer Saeron Min (aka Gaek) in 2016, rom&nd is known for their high-performing cosmetics, which include a few products that have gained cult status in recent years like the Better Than Cheek blushes and Better Than Eyes eyeshadow palettes. I’m a huge fan of the latter, especially in the original quads, because I find that the colors work well together, are easy to blend and usually include a glitter topper that really makes my eyelids sparkle.

Try: Fruity Glass Tint

4. colorgram


I first came across colorgram during one of my many trips to Olive Young (Korea’s top beauty store). Initially drawn in by their super cute packaging and affordable prices, I picked up one of their Fruit Glass Tints just for fun. That said, I didn’t expect too much from it, but it’s since become one of the products I use the most because it lays down just the right amount of color without ever causing my lips to flake or peel.

Try: Dote On Mood Lip Pencil

5. Heart Percent

Heart Percent

I took a makeup class from a top artist in Seoul last year, which is how I found out about Heart Percent. The brand offers various complexion products and color cosmetics, but the standout in the line, at least in my opinion, is their chubby lip pencil, particularly if you want that full K-Pop idol pout that’s soft around the edges.

Try: Jel-Fit Tint

6. Amuse


To me, Amuse is sort of like Rhode Beauty here in the U.S., in that it’s a relatively newer brand that quickly amassed a feverish following. They’re primarily known for being a vegan brand and for their sustainable practices, and they carry supremely chic color cosmetics that range from cushion compacts to lip products and eye shadows. (Amuse also has a hand cream that I adore for its packaging and non-greasy finish.) I’ve tried a number of products from the line and my favorite is their Jel-Fit Tint, a cool, jelly textured lip color that feels good on your lips and fits easily into your palm or purse.

Try: Signature Essence Pact

7. Age20’s


TBH, I’m not crazy about the name of this brand, but their Signature Essence Pact, which is a cream foundation in a compact, is quite good. According to a friend in Korea, it’s one of the bestselling complexion products and has been for several years now. After using it myself, I can see why: It goes on smoothly, it gives solid coverage and it leaves a slight dewiness behind that’s flattering on most skin types.

Try: Mood Recipe Face Blush

8. 3CE


For on-trend colors, you can always count on 3CE. Whether it’s the brand’s acclaimed velvet lipstick or their eye shadow palettes 3CE consistently delivers fresh hues and silky pigment. Add the Mood Recipe Face Blush to your cart for a soft wash of color that can be used on your cheeks and lids. The satiny powder blends seamlessly into skin with a few light swipes of your makeup brush.

Try: Essential Skin Nuder Long Wear Cushion

9. Jungsaemool


Named after legendary celebrity makeup artist Jung Saem Mool (you can think of her as a Charlotte Tilbury or Pat McGrath figure in Korea), her eponymous brand is heralded for its high-performing complexion products. The Essential Skin Nuder Long Wear Cushion, in particular, is a consistent bestseller because of its lightweight texture and smooth coverage that makes your skin look more even toned, but never cakey. The only drawback is that there’s only four shades, and they’re on the fairer side.

Try: Superproof Pen Liner

10. Clio


The brainchild of professional makeup artists, Clio is a true O.G. in the K-beauty space. Given the brand’s vast offerings, we’ll start you off with a fan favorite: the Superproof Pen Liner. The fine-tipped applicator creates the finest of lines and sharpest of flicks. Best of all, the inky formula actually holds up against sweat and oily lids.

Try: Cover Perfection Tip Concealer

11. The Saem

The Saem

For the makeup minimalist on a budget, The Saem definitely has something for you (and it’s likely on sale). Of note is their concealer, which has a lightweight texture, but a surprisingly full coverage finish that can camouflage dark circles, hyperpigmentation and breakouts.

Try: Artclass by Rodin Shading

12. Too Cool For School

Too Cool For School

Too Cool For School has been around since 2009 and is one of the first Korean makeup brands I remember trying as a budding beauty editor. TCFS refers to itself as “an artistic cosmetic brand that’s focused on creative experimentation and contemporary culture,” and that’s certainly reflected throughout their packaging and products. One of their best-known products is their Artclass by Rodin Shading, a round contouring compact with over 10 million units sold. I’ve purchased several of those 10 million units myself over the years because it’s pretty much the only contouring product I’ve tried that doesn’t look too muddy or unnaturally bronze on my skin.

Try: Objet Liquid

13. Muzigae Mansion

Muzigae Mansion

Fun fact: Muzigae is a playful pronunciation of “mujigae,” which is the Korean word for rainbow. Thus, Muzigae Mansion can be translated to “rainbow mansion.” I realize this still doesn’t make much sense, but it sure sounds fun. What else? The brand boasts a certification from the UK Vegan Society, and though they’re still a newer brand, they’ve already created quite the stir within the K-beauty community. I’m guessing part of that can be attributed to their artsy packaging and unique textures, both of which are on full display in their Objet Liquid lip tint.

Try: No-Sebum Mineral Powder

14. Innisfree


Perhaps best known for their extensive skincare offerings, Innisfree also has a select number of makeup products that are great. One that comes to mind immediately is their pore-blurring setting powder that soaks up excess shine and leaves your skin with a satin finish that lasts for hours. The budget-friendly line features ingredients like green tea and minerals that are sourced from their own fields on Jeju Island.

Try: M Perfect Cover BB Cream

15. Missha


Fun fact: Missha was one of the first brands to bring BB cream to the masses. Its M Perfect Cover BB Cream is still a favorite for many because of its smooth buildable coverage and additional skincare ingredients, including hydrolyzed collagen, ceramides, algae extract and hyaluronic acid.

Try: Brow Shaping Gel

16. LAKA


LAKA is South Korea's first gender-neutral cosmetics brand that aims to provide makeup that’s inclusive to all. To that end, their streamlined selection includes buttery lip balms and blushes with sheer, easily blended pigments, and my personal favorite: a brow shaping gel that simply fluffs up and lightly grooms your arches without making them look stiff or overly done.

Try: Velvet Lip Tint

17. Peripera


No one does lip products quite like Peripera. The whimsical brand is known for its array of colorful shades and fun textures, which you can experience when you try their Velvet Lip Tint. With a light, mousse-like formula that glides on smoothly and dries to a plush finish, it delivers an impressive punch of color without desiccating your lips.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...