At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Asian cosmetics are beauty products that were originally designed to combat problems that Asian women typically seek to correct through makeup. Women in Asian countries tend to have thin, short eyelashes and pale skin that is prone to sun damage, so customers are usually looking for skin protection and perfection for the first stage of makeup. Full dark lashes and a hint of color on the cheeks completes a simple, pretty look, making blemish balm creams, fiber mascaras, and subtle blushes popular products. Cute, or kawaii, packaging is a common trait for most Asian cosmetics brands. Customers outside of Asia can purchase the same products online.
Blemish balm creams, or BB creams, are multi-use facial products that can serve as a foundation, a concealer, and sun protection. Many BB cream formulas include a whitening agent that keeps skin pale and free of redness. The creams are available in a severely limited line of shades uniquely tailored to Asian complexions. Western lines, however, have begun producing versions of this Asian cosmetics that lack the whitening agent and come in a wider range of shades.
Fiber mascaras create a lightweight coating on the eyelashes to make them stronger while appearing thicker and longer. Pairing this type of mascara with an eyelash curler creates lashes that look full and dramatic, much like false eyelashes. These mascaras are another example of Asian cosmetics that are gaining popularity in the West.
Blushes in Asian cosmetics tend to stick within a limited range of shades. Berry and peach are the most common, as they offer a hint of color that won't overpower a pale skin tone. The blushes are available in powder or cream formulas, and the cream blushes can often double as a lipstain for a soft, natural look.
Kawaii packaging is common in Asian cosmetics with the style epitomized by cutesy or extremely feminine, sometimes even juvenile, designs. Lipgloss may be packaged in containers shaped like berries, for example. Skin cream can come in a mug shaped like coffee with the cream dispenser as a spoon sticking out of the top. This packaging is also gaining popularity in western countries in the early 21st century.
Purchasing these cosmetics outside of Asia is easiest done online. Products may ship from Korea or Japan and thus take longer to arrive in the mail, though most online shops provide currency conversions and offer discounts or free shipping costs. Purchasing does carry some risk, as it isn't possible to try products ahead of time, and returns are often either impossible or complicated.