Best Korean Mascaras

woman applying mascara

Many beauty lovers continue to search for that holy grail mascara - one that does more than add subtle definition, but dramatically lengthens and volumizes, to give lashes a truly unforgettable appearance. If you have scoured makeup counters with little success, it may be time to look elsewhere. Korean mascaras have become a popular choice thanks to positive reviews, online buzz, and improved accessibility.

Magic Pole Mascara 2X

Magic Pole Mascara 2X
Magic Pole Mascara 2X

When it comes to Holika Holika's Magic Pole Mascara, beauty lovers aren't limited to just one formula. There are two different versions to choose from, including Volume & Curl and Long & Curl, which are available in both waterproof and non-waterproof formulas. This allows you to pick the one that best suits your lash needs.

The product also has a unique wand with a large "magic ball" on top to help achieve separation between the lashes and get into harder to reach areas. The shape of the wand has led to comparisons between the Benefit They're Real mascara, though Magic Pole does a better job of adding length to the eyelashes.

Other reasons to choose this product include:

  • The waterproof option
  • The fact that it is designed to keep lashes curled all day (thanks to the inclusion of a memory curl polymer)
  • It works well on people with sensitive eyes.
  • It is smudge resistant.

Online reviews also praise the dark pigmentation, its ability to lengthen, and the long wear time. (Its longevity led The Gloss to include it in their article on the best Korean eye products.) Additionally, users on MakeupAlley have mentioned its clump-free formula and beautiful packaging. The price is around $20 for the regular formula and under $22 for a waterproof tube.

Skinny Waterproof Microcara

When it comes to achieving picture-perfect eyelashes, sometimes you need a precise applicator - something that will get into every nook and cranny. The Innisfree Skinny Microcara mascara makes that possible with its super small wand. (It measures in at a mere 2.5 mm wide.) The result is separation between the lashes and lots of length. According to a Nylon Pink article on the best Korean mascaras, this product volumizes short lashes, does not clump, and offers maximum lash separation for a natural yet noticeable look.

It has a waterproof formula that helps the product last, even in humidity, rain, and snowy weather conditions. That makes this a fantastic option all year round. Its ability to stay put helped this mascara make the Asia Be list of waterproof mascaras from Korea that actually work. Other benefits of the Skinny Microcara include:

  • Ease of use
  • The fact that it is smudge proof
  • The rich pigmentation

For those who want to add length and definition, it will only set you back $10 for this fabulous weather-resistant product.

Lash Perm Curl Fix

Lash Perm Curl Fix
Lash Perm Curl Fix

Anyone looking for a little color should consider the Etude House Lash Perm Curl Fix line. In addition to black, there is also a chocolate brown and an intriguing plum burgundy to choose from. If the shade selection wasn't enough, there is also the bold wand shape to consider. It is curved in a C shape to coat both long and short lashes. The wand is designed to add tons of curl to the eyelashes, as is the "Curl 24 Hour Technology" that lifts, defines, and curls for a full twenty four hours.

There have been many positive reviews online, including one from The Klog. It described the mascara as being excellent, especially when it comes to curling the lashes and staying put. From humidity to a rain storm, this does not run, flake, or smudge. That makes it an ideal choice for anyone who wants a full day of mess-free makeup. At less than $15 for a tube, this is an affordable option to keep in mind. Plus, there is also the Long Lash version, which boasts both curl technology and lengthening properties.

Hot Girl Lash

Every now and again, there is a brand that stands out from the rest. That perfectly describes Too Cool For School. They are known for having bright, vibrant, and off-the-wall packaging that immediately grabs attention. The Hot Girl Lash mascara is a prime example. It comes in a colorful tube with a plaid topper, making this exciting on both the outside and the inside. There are a number of colors to choose from, including brown, red, green, blue, and burgundy.

According to an Allure article on Korean editor's favorite beauty products, there are many reasons to reach for this mascara. While the colors are bold and unique, Eugene Jeong (an Allure Korea beauty editor) also found the formula was not thick or dry, did not flake, and the brush worked well to fit the curves of the eye. At under $20 for one of these colorful, long-lasting mascaras, it won't be hard to add a head-turning shade to your makeup collection.

Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara

Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara
Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara

Another product that is making waves comes from the brand FairyDrops. They are known for their bright packaging and unique formula that is designed to lift and curl the eyelashes. By far their most popular offering is the Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara. It comes in a sweet pink tube and has a thick wand with three rounded sections. (Which is referred to as a bobble wand.) This makes it possible to curl and coat every single lash with ease, even those small lashes near the inner corner.

This also thickens, lengthens, is water- and smudge- resistent, and comes loaded with hydrating ingredients to combat eyelash brittleness. No wonder this mascara made Cosmopolitan's list of Korean beauty buys that are worth the hype, where it was described as a '" good all -arounder," because it can curl, define, length, and volumize. It has also received solid reviews online, with consumers loving:

  • How well it stays put
  • The jet black color
  • Wand shape
  • Ability to curl the eyelashes

For about $25, you too can enjoy the stunning results of this beloved Korean mascara.

Pink I'm Good Mascara

Not only does the 3CE Pink I'm Good Mascara come in a cool vibrantly colored tube (with super simple black writing) but the formula allows you to create doll-like lashes with one coat. The wand has a slight curve that is referred to as a minimum C-curl brush. It stays close to the eyelashes and coats them from root to tip. It is designed to deliver out-of-this-world length.

In addition to ultra long lashes, this mascara is able to stop smudging caused by oil and moisture. As a result, it made a Cosmo list of top beauty dupes, where it was compared to the much-loved Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. This 3CE product isn't just making waves in the beauty community. Online reviews from consumers have been positive; a YouTube review even praised its ability to hold onto a curl all day long. The price tag is around $20, making this a must-have.

Mega Proof Mascara

Mega Proof Mascara
Mega Proof Mascara

If you are searching for a product that offers volume, length, and a bold curl, consider The Face Shop's Mega Proof Mascara. This all-in-one product has a waterproof formula that is resistant to issues like sweat and sebum on the lashes. What makes this stand out from so many others is the wand. It has been dubbed an "all-star polyester brush," which was designed to make application easier. It also makes it possible to achieve dramatically curled eyelashes.

If length, volume, and curl weren't enough, there is also longevity to consider. This product stays put all day without smudging, flaking off, or disrupting your perfectly applied makeup. Its long wear time has helped the Mega Proof Mascara make an Asia Be list of waterproof Korean mascaras that are ideal for the summer months. For just $15 a tube, anyone can achieve gorgeous eyelashes with this mascara.

Hitch Eye King Mascara

Rounding out the list of the best Korean mascaras is the CLIO Hitch Eye King Mascara. This line has a little something for everyone thanks to the multiple versions. That includes one that adds volume, one that targets length, and one specifically designed to curl. The type you choose will depend on the look you are after (dramatic, doll-like, or wide-eyed) and any eyelash concerns you may want to address.

This collection has had a significant impact within the beauty community. A video review of Korean mascaras listed these as a drugstore favourite, saying that each mascara did exactly what it claimed to do. In addition, there was no smudging, the product lasted all day, and it mimicked the appearance of false eyelashes. Another reviewer was impressed by the Long Lash formula and its ability to lengthen without overloading the lashes. It also mentioned the fantastic price - which is under $20.

How to Choose the Right Mascara

Everyone has preferences when it comes to beauty products. One person may adore a particular mascara while another could loathe the formula, scent, and packaging. To find the mascara that best suits your needs, keep these tips in mind.

  • mascara brushes
    Know what each kind of wand does. It is important to understand the purpose of each shape (a pointed or rounded tip allows for precise application on the inner lashes, a smaller wand works well for lower lashes, a sparse brush can add more length, and a fuller brush helps achieve lots of volume) before you shop. Give special consideration to the type of look you want to achieve and choose accordingly.
  • Consider the color. Just like with homegrown makeup brands, there are always different mascara colors to choose from. Popular shades in Korea include black, chocolate brown, blue, and raspberry. There are also mascaras that have glitter, sparkle, and other fun add-ons. Ask yourself what you will wear most often or what is missing from your makeup collection.
  • Pay attention to packaging. When it comes to Korean beauty products, cute packaging is often a huge selling point, both locally and internationally. It isn't unusual to see items shaped like beverage containers, foods, or animals. Mascara tubes often have bright and bold coloring or a flashy outer design. Once you have determined your preferences, you can choose something that will make you smile.

Choosing Korean Mascaras

With an abundance of in-store options, some may wonder why anyone would purchase a product from another country. Why bother with shipping costs and wait times if you can find a mascara at any old drugstore? According to a Beauty Ambition post about Korean mascara, there are many reasons to choose an international product over a North American one. For instance, since Korean women tend to have shorter and straighter eyelashes, each formula is designed to give the lashes more of a curl. Additionally, mascaras are made to last longer without smudging or flaking off, to ensure a full day of wear.

For those interested in trying a mascara that offers plenty of lift, thickness, and longevity, there are several highly ranked possibilities, like those listed above.

Give Your Lashes a Lift

Forget buying whatever is on sale at the drugstore. For gorgeous eyelashes that know how to make a statement, consider all your options. Korean beauty products continue to make a splash, thanks to magazine features, online reviews, and a growing desire to achieve the very best lash look. Treat yourself to length, volume, and style with one of these top mascaras.

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Best Korean Mascaras