Korean Beauty For Beginners – Base Makeup

Whether you’re intrigued by the cute packaging or that friend who always has a so called ‘sheet mask’ on her face at every sleep over, Korean Beauty products can be enjoyed by everyone, of every age with every skin type. If you are new to all of this let us break a couple things down for you. Today will start out with base makeup and we will continue with another post next week featuring ‘Point Makeup’. If you have any questions please let us know, so we can cover them in our next post.
You might already be wearing makeup or you might not. If you are not wearing any makeup yet don’t be intimidated by all of the products you might see around. Opposite to Western makeup, Korean makeup is easy and fun to use since they also focus a lot of the packaging. If you put it on your face every day, why can’t it be a good product and look cute at the same time too?

Base makeup

Face makeup is often named base makeup in the Korean beauty world, since it’s the start of most people’s makeup routine. In Western makeup routines most makeup lovers focus on a flawless matte face while in Korean makeup culture it’s all about the ‘dewy’ look. ‘Dewy’ refers to a shiny, healthy looking flawless face. But don’t confuse shiny with oily! In Korea it’s all about the natural look instead of a full face of makeup. That’s why Korean women focus more on skincare and makeup is just the finishing touch. Don’t get me wrong now, there is plenty of great Korean makeup even if you want to go for an all out party look! Now let’s get into some products: base makeup can be generally divided into the following categories:

  • Foundation
  • Tinted moisturizers
  • BB Creams
  • CC Creams
  • Cushion makeup
  • Setting powders

Foundation & Tinted moisturizers

First of all let’s start off with foundation. This is used a lot in Western makeup as the base of the face and gives a lot of coverage. It has a thick base and out of all of the above is the least natural looking. Koreans use one of the other options as a base more often but there are many great Korean foundations out there on the market.

For a more natural look opt for a tinted moisturizer instead. A tinted moisturizer is as the name suggests, a moisturizing cream mixed with a foundation type fluid to moisturize the face throughout the day and give a little coverage at the same time.Tinted moisturizers are perfect for anyone with few to no blemishes, since it doesn’t give much coverage.

Most Korean tinted moisturizers have SPF in it to protect your face from the sun. If you are looking for any kind of base product, whether it’s a BB cream or a cushion or whatever, make sure you search for one with SPF. It is very important to protect your face from the sun so you can prevent premature wrinkles and skin discoloration. In addition to looking for your favorite ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid* or snail mucin**, check the packaging and look for a base with at least SPF 40 and PA ++. This is relevant for all base makeup products!

BB, CC and cushions

Let’s continue onto Korea’s favorites: BB Creams, CC Creams and cushions! BB cream was invented in Korea around 10 years a go and has taken the worldwide market by storm. It is a combination of skincare and makeup in one and will create an even skin tone for that flawless dewy look. CC Cream is the improved version of BB Cream and cushions it’s fancy little sister.

CC Creams usually have a little more coverage and SPF then BB creams, but since they are so similar do read the ingredients carefully to select the right one for you. Cushions have a little sponge inside which is soaked into BB or CC cream which you can apply to the face with another puff (called the air-puff or air-cushion). Simply tap the cushion all over the face gently for an even application and that’s it! Cushions are extremely popular because they are easy to carry along in your bag and easy to apply. Convenient packaging including mirrors on the inside makes it perfect for touching up makeup on the go!

Setting powders

When you have applied your favorite base makeup you want to make sure that it stays put all day long. That’s where setting powders come in. These powders are made of translucent or semi translucent little (mineral) particles which soak up all the excess oil and sebum your face creates throughout the day. Your face will look less oily and your makeup will stay where it needs to stay: on your face.

In addition to setting powders there are also ‘paper pacts’. If you are going to a party or don’t want to take a powder with you to touch up, paper pacts will be your best friend. These pacts are sometimes also called ‘oil control pacts’ and look like cute cases with thin paper films inside. The films can be patted onto oily areas to pick up any excess sebum without messing up your base makeup. Kinda cool right? Currently we offer the Oil Control paper pact by Etude House and the Oil Control Film Pact by A’PIEU.

Our favorites

Finally onto our personal favorites! We have listed our top base makeup products below. Noteworthy is the COSRX Make Me Lovely Cushion. The finish of this cushion is gorgeous and opposite to other cushions you can build up the color without it becoming too cakey. It’s the first cushion out there we found which was especially designed for acne prone skin. However also for people with sensitive skin in general, this is a great cushion. Because of it’s hydrating properties, our customers have praised it for making their skin feel less irritated. Conclusion: we love it!


Suitable for acne prone skin
Buildable coverage

Dewy finish
High SPF & PA sun protection
8-in-1 solution

Moisturizing honey extract
Great price value
Changeable skins

We hope you enjoyed our post! Next week we will continue with another K-beauty 101 talking basic point makeup. The Ichigo channel will have a new video tomorrow so please look forward to that!

‘XO Team Ichigo


*Hyaluronic adic: skin hydrating properties

** Snail Mucin: skin healing properties

2 thoughts on “Korean Beauty For Beginners – Base Makeup

  1. Anonymous says:

    This page is soooo nice!! I was looking for how Koreans have the dewy look and im happy I found it here!! The page design too is so cute! Aaaaaaaa

  2. Pingback: Anonymous

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