Makeup has traditionally been associated with women, but in recent years, the trend of men wearing makeup has been on the rise. Korean men, in particular, are known for their affinity for makeup, with many sporting flawless and dewy complexions. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the trend and shed light on the history and cultural significance of men wearing makeup in Korea.
The beauty industry in Korea is one of the most lucrative in the world, and it is not just women who are contributing to its growth. Men’s grooming products, including makeup, have become increasingly popular in recent years. In Korea, men’s makeup is often referred to as “male grooming” or “makeup for men,” and it is not uncommon to see men sporting perfectly groomed eyebrows, even skin tone, and subtle lip tints.
The History of Men’s Makeup in Korea
The use of makeup by men is not a new phenomenon in Korea. In fact, it dates back to the 7th century, when Korean men would paint their faces with white powder to show their social status. During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), male makeup became more mainstream, with men using it to enhance their features and create a more polished appearance. Makeup was seen as a sign of wealth and power, and it was not uncommon for men to wear it in public.
However, during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the early 20th century, men’s makeup became associated with Japanese culture and was therefore stigmatized in Korea. It was not until the 1990s that men’s makeup made a comeback in Korea, with the introduction of BB creams, which are tinted moisturizers that provide coverage and skincare benefits.
The Cultural Significance of Men’s Makeup in Korea
In Korea, appearance is highly valued, and the pressure to conform to beauty standards is felt by both men and women. Korean men often use makeup to enhance their appearance and give them a competitive edge in the workplace. A study conducted by Euromonitor International found that 20% of South Korean men use makeup, with the majority citing “looking good for work” as the main reason.
In addition to professional reasons, men’s makeup in Korea is also seen as a form of self-expression and a way to break free from traditional gender norms. In recent years, there has been a shift in attitudes towards masculinity in Korea, with men embracing a more diverse and inclusive definition of what it means to be a man.
How Korean Men Wear Makeup
Korean men’s makeup is all about achieving a natural and effortless look. The goal is to enhance one’s features rather than completely transform them. Here are some of the most popular makeup products and techniques used by Korean men:
BB creams are the cornerstone of Korean men’s makeup. They provide coverage, hydration, and skincare benefits in one product, making them a convenient and time-saving option. Korean men typically opt for BB creams with a natural or dewy finish to achieve a healthy glow.
Well-groomed eyebrows are a must in Korean men’s makeup. Eyebrow pencils are used to fill in sparse areas and create a natural-looking shape. Korean men tend to go for a soft and slightly curved brow shape.
Korean men often use lip tints to add a subtle flush of color to their lips. Lip tints are lightweight and long-lasting, making them a popular choice for everyday wear.