best korean lipsticks

Best Korean Lipsticks Guide

Korean items, drama, music, beauty, and makeup have been on the radar for quite a few years. I remember how popular Korean drama was even in my teenage years. After the rise of K-Pop bands everywhere and people wanting to look like idols and fashion their makeup after them, K-beauty and makeup are trending hugely.

Big makeup retailers like Sephora have Korean beauty sections because they know this is a big trend. Western trends also play a role here. We have been spending a lot of time and money perfecting our skincare routines, and Korean companies are some of the leaders in the market.

The Korean Lipstick Craze

The stereotypical image of Korean makeup and skincare is always of soft makeup, air-brushed albeit natural looks, and an angelic, pure, youthful vibe.

When it comes to lipsticks, in particular, we think more about the more blurred-out application, softer shades, applying with fingers, and different balms or softer applicators. But regardless of what you may be aiming for, we have you covered!

The signature idol look is not exclusive to Korean brands, and many East Asian brands have that aesthetic in mind. You can find dupes in other brands. I want to talk about the trendsetters in Korean lipstick fashion.

I firmly believe lipsticks are the most fun part of applying makeup, so why not try something new and play around? I enjoy bright colors as much as everyone, but a good nude or a shade close to our lip colors is good too. I love how well-defined Korean beauty lips are.

Selection Criteria

When it comes to a new lipstick, I try (and often fail) to keep in mind what I have at home to avoid buying repeats. At the same time, we still have certain shades or formulas, brands, and textures we gravitate to, so there is no need to be hard on yourself when it comes to color selection.

Remember that texture and what kind of lipstick it is will play the starring role here, so why not go through the tough decision with us on what kind? I kept an open mind when it comes to lipsticks, and ultimately the application will be up to you, the makeup user.

If you want the ombre lip trend where the center is more pigmented while the outline is blended out, go for it! I wanted to showcase different finishes in this article, from glossy to matte to blurred, and show the variety and beauty of Korean makeup.

Because it is hard to find some of these brands online, I decided to structure brands forward with their lipstick best sellers and the ones I enjoy the most. They give a flawless finish and meet expectations and even go beyond for the firm touch we earn on our lips.

Choosing the best Korean lipsticks can be overwhelming the first couple of times. Most popular brands are unavailable in physical stores outside Korea, so it is not as simple as walking in, picking up a tester, or even seeing the product in person.

The solution is to comb through multiple reviews, swatches, and videos to try and understand if the product in question is for you. Even then, it is a high-risk experience compared to picking up any Tarte lipstick at Sephora, especially with the shipping costs for some brands.

To ensure this list meets your needs, I spent a lot of time cross-checking the products I know and love with other reviews and opinions. That way, I knew the recommendations here were guaranteed to fit the tastes of most makeup lovers, including those new to K-beauty.

Peripera

Peripera is one of the most known Korean beauty brands, which can even be found on Amazon and bought to enjoy over and over again. It was founded in 2006 with young, independent, and confident women in mind, but it is made for everyone to use and spring beauty into their life.

Despite the Peripera best sellers being lip products, the company has a wide variety of eye, contour, and nail products in youthful and cute packaging.

Peripera Ink Velvet Lip Liner Set

peripera ink velvet lip liner set

This is probably the golden trophy of Peripera when it comes to popularity and my favorite. I love the cute pipette packaging, typically seen in drop foundations rather than lipsticks.

Though the Peripera Ink Velvet uses a different applicator from most liquid lipsticks, this does not stop you from looking adorable in your makeup bag, storage, or vanity. As someone who enjoys lip liners, I have to state there is a version with a lip liner with certain shades.

So if you are a fan like me, I would grab that one instead of the plain one. I also think there are not enough liners in this world. It is a necessary step in my lip routines to mix and match when chasing a different gradient or a new color altogether.

Pros

  • Kiss-proof
  • Comes with a matching lipliner
  • Works as blush

Cons

  • Little shade variety
  • Requires 10 minutes to set for it to last

Peripera Ink Velvet

Peripera Ink Velvet

The Peripera Ink Velvet is the perfect lip product for those who like a lot of shades and are not fans of lip liners. It glides on rather snug, rich coloring and stays on all day.

Longevity during daily wear is a common theme among K-beauty products. The Peripera Ink Velvet comes in different nude shades, red variants of all sorts, and some pinks to brighten your day.

Pros

  • Wide shade range
  • Fresh finish
  • Flattering on most skin tones

Cons

  • Smudges a bit
  • Swatches online are a bit inaccurate

Peripera Ink Velvet Airy Stick

Peripera Ink Velvet Airy Stick

The Airy Stick is the lipstick version of the Ink Velvet. This product is ideal for classic lipstick lovers. It is a bit on the drying side, so if your lips tend to be dry, keep in mind that this lipstick gravitates toward dry patches and might stick to them.

To get around this, apply any lip balm beforehand to moisturize your lips and keep them hydrated.

As the name suggests, the Airy Stick has a very light feeling on the lips. It does not take a miracle to remove it at the end of the day, but it might need reapplication after eating.

Pros

  • Really makes your lips blurred
  • Soft and light feel
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Contains chemicals
  • If you lick your lips, it tastes a bit

TONYMOLY

TONYMOLY might be more known for its mask sheets and other skincare products. I first heard of them due to their cute makeup packaging, like the panda packaging gloss. I later found that it is a glossy lip crayon, which falls into the lipstick category here.

TONYMOLY is one of the pioneers in bringing Korean makeup and beauty into the world directly from their HQ in Seoul. They combine cute packaging with quality products and always strive for perfection.

TONYMOLY is a fan favorite outside of Korea since the brand is easy to find online in popular retailers like Lookfantsatic and Asos. TONYMOLY is a certified vegan and cruelty-free brand, which is always a big plus.

TONYMOLY Delight TONY Tint

TONYMOLY Delight TONY Tint

If we are splitting hairs, this TONYMOLY bestseller is more of a lip tint. In the world of Korean lipsticks and lip products, the lines are blurred, with a lot to look into to achieve the soft makeup look that is the pillar of Korean makeup.

The TONYMOLY Delight Tony Tint is close to the Benefit Benetint. This Korean product stays on your lips for considerably longer, with a more varied range of shades with moisturizing ingredients. The Tony Tint allows you to layer on the color for a more vivid finish.

Pros

  • Contains rosehip, jojoba oil and others
  • Perfect to layer for extra dimension
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Hard to find swatches online
  • A bit of a blind buy when it comes to the actual colors

TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bar

TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bar

These bunny-shaped compact cuties are gloss sticks that you can apply anytime and on the go. It is hard not to mention how cute the packaging is, and it matches every shade available to you. Every bunny will match the shade that you have chosen.

The Petite Bunny Gloss Bar is a lip crayon that leaves a very high gloss finish. The texture is not as balmy as one would expect from a crayon, and the product has been a hit since its release.

The Petite Bunny has a lovely fruity scent, making the experience even cuter. Every Gloss Bar has its own unique smell as well.

Pros

  • Very moisturizing
  • Long-lasting on the lips
  • Pigmented gloss

Cons

  • The amount of product is the exact size of the bunny
  • Smudges easily
  • Scented, for those who dislike that on lip products

Etude House

A massive part of the Etude House brand is to make its customers feel like princesses. I found the concept super interesting.

Staff wearing gorgeous pink dresses greet you as soon as you enter the store to call you a princess and make you live the fantasy until the second you step outside. Their collections and items also follow this goal with the cute factor.

Etude House made international news with their popsicle lip tints called Dear Darling Water Gel Tint due to their packaging and quality. Due to the popularity of Etude House, many stores worldwide stock their best sellers.

Etude House Dear Darling Water Gel Tint

Etude House Dear Darling Water Gel Tint

The Dear Darling is the flagship of Etude House. This lip tint lasts long, gives a natural feel, and comes in a great shade range. The application technique for the Dear Darling tint sounds trickier than it actually is.

The popsicle may fool you upon first inspection, but it is easy to master the process once you try it. The key is to choose the right amount of lip product on the applicator and then go from the inner part of your lips outwards to reach that classic Korean gradient trend.

Dear Darling comes in two different finishes, metallic and natural. This is quite a jump for a product, but it’s worth trying them both.

Pros

  • Long durability
  • Very natural looking when applied
  • Great shade variety

Cons

  • Strong fruity, some even grape-scented fragrance
  • Has a bit of a mint tingle

Etude House Fixing Tint

Etude House Fixing Tint

The Etude House Fixing Tint may have a matte finish, but it does heal your lips and keeps them looking healthy. The attention to nutrition and hydration is a chief part of the K-beauty appeal, as the products contain many ingredients with skincare and the well-being of your lips in mind.

I enjoy the wide variety of colors and collections of the Fixing Tint. This product became so popular that Etude House expanded the shade range further. The Fixing Tint is a Korean staple for those who want lips that look neutral and natural.

Pros

  • Mask-proof
  • Doesn’t taste or smell
  • Comes in both sets or one item

Cons

  • Light transfer of color
  • Takes a few mins to dry down completely

YULIP Beauty

YULIP Beauty has a smaller range of products than the top Korean brands but earned the spotlight as a clean beauty brand, setting the global standard for sustainability. Due to its clean and sustainable nature, YULIP Beauty is more expensive than other brands here.

On the other hand, the company offers refills, and you’re helping the environment and your body in one go. Yulip might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this brand has its priorities and designs right.

YULIP Hydrating Lipstick

YULIP Hydrating Lipstick

The main product from YULIP is hydrating lipstick, which is a bit pricier than its other Korean competitors. A unique plus of this line is that you can also get a refill once your lipstick is done.

This is a sustainable and considerate touch to decrease product waste. The YULIP Hydrating Lipstick comes in multiple colors for most shades and tastes.

Pros

  • Organic composition
  • Full hydration
  • Multi-use: eyes, cheeks, and lips

Cons

  • Photo shades do not often match
  • Not very long-lasting

3CE

3CE is probably one of the most known and sought-after Korean makeup brands. I had heard of it well before entering the world of Korean makeup. 3CE also has a fashion brand stemming from the same owner. Its official website offers limited edition products and collaborations which you might not find elsewhere.

To find 3CE products outside of Korea, you can try the retailers you’re more used to and focus on the bestsellers to see if it’s up your alley before committing long term. But with so many fans worldwide, it’s hard not to!

3CE Velvet Lip Tint

3CE Velvet Lip Tint

The 3CE Velvet Lip Tint comes in a wide selection of shades and features a release focusing on different plums and purples. Less conventional colors are not all that common in K-beauty.

I found it interesting to see 3CE stepping out of the box while staying loyal to the formula of the Velvet Lip Tint. When it comes to the Velvet Lip Tint itself, lip tints are a huge thing, and this one is no exception.

Pros

  • Matte finish without drying
  • Works as a long-lasting eyeshadow as well
  • Smooth, buttery texture

Cons

  • Needs soft retouching after consuming food
  • Leaves a print

3CE Mood Recipe Matte Lip Colour

3CE Mood Recipe Matte Lip Colour

The 3CE Mood Recipe Matte Lip Colour holds a primer-like texture that hugs the lips in a very moisturizing way. This lipstick leaves your lips hydrated while keeping the soft natural color of your choice for most of the day. These lipsticks are tamer and natural-looking and are worth a try if this is not your cup of tea.

Pros

  • Buildable
  • Easy to gradient build
  • Matte yet primer feel

Cons

  • Pigmentation isn’t vivid
  • Doesn’t glide in all shades

LANEIGE

LANEIGE is probably the most convenient Korean brand to find and buy in the United States, as its products are available in Sephora.

We’ve all heard plenty about its night lip mask that many even use daily as a balm to keep the lips plump and hydrated. Besides excellent skin care, LANEIGE also has great makeup items, which we will dive into here.

The main selling point of this brand is getting the whole Korean quality while having the Sephora convenient (if overpriced) experience. LANEIGE formulas focus on water, gathering all its benefits, and expanding the hydration science while delivering beautiful products.

LANEIGE Ultimistic Velvet Lipstick

LANEIGE Ultimistic Velvet Lipstick

It is a more color-saturated lipstick by the famous brand. It has a soft velvety matte coverage that hugs the lips in your chosen color. It’s very close to the online and packaging color, so it is less of a worry and gamble with the Laneige Ultimistic Velvet Lipstick.

It comes in a click-and-pop-out design, which isn’t that common but gives a bit of a novelty touch to this higher-end lipstick and Korean brand. Also, the packaging is magnetic.

Pros

  • Creative packaging
  • From the skincare giant
  • Hydrating

Cons

  • Metallic packaging
  • Hard to find in stock at times

FAQs

Question: Which is the Best Lipstick Brand in Korea?

Answer: I would say 3CE or Peripera. Between these brands, it all boils down to preferences and what you expect from your lipstick.

Question: How can I get Korean lips?

Answer: It really depends on which trend you’re referring to. If you want a gradient look, you should think wisely about the amount of product to take on the applicator and apply it from the center to the lip line.
If you prefer a matte yet natural look, aim for lip tints with a matte finish, which Korea and this guide have plenty of. Step out of your comfort zone and try new techniques. Makeup is about having fun!

Question: Why is Korean Lipstick Popular?

Answer: Because they cater more to the natural-looking or MLBB trends and are long-lasting while giving your lips some great hydration.

Best Korean Lipsticks: Final Thoughts

I hope my expertise and guidance helped you find the right Korean lipstick for your needs. Delving into the K-beauty world was fun for me as it opened a world of brands and styles I grew up completely unaware of for many years.

It can be hard to buy some of these products outside of Korea, so I understand that not all options will be available to you at once. With different products to pick from, you can find alternatives if your top choice from this list is hard to find.

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