10 Best Korean Mascaras In 2023 For Longer, Fuller Lashes

by Jih Yun

Tired of falsies, glue and all the patience? With the best Korean mascaras you won’t need them anymore. Thanks to some of these lash-volumizing Korean mascaras I’ve found, you’re going to be fine. Enter this space with eyes wide open, people!

Well, we know that Phoebe from the TV show Friends wasn’t screaming “My eyes! My eyes” because mascara went into her eyelids. 

It could be safe to presume she used one of the best Korean mascaras, but I guess not. But she looked flawless doing that, so mascaras are the way to go.

What’s a good look without a little bit of drama? Get one of these tiny little life savers that fit into your purse and freshen up your look with one of these Korean mascaras that will boost your confidence anywhere.

Best Korean Mascara — A quick summary 

Best Korean MascaraBest featureIngredients
Etude House Lash Perm Curl Fix MascaraLong lasting, waterproof, curlingMicrocrystalline Wax
ETUDE HOUSE Oh M’Eye Lash Black Tint MascaraSmudge-proof, volumizing, lightMicrocrystalline Wax, Sweet almond oil, soybean seed extract, rice extract
Innisfree Skinny Microcara Eye MascaraLengthening, waterproofBeeswax, Soybean extract
Elizabeth Mott It’s So Long Length Defining Black MascaraDefining, lengthening, Light-weight, liftingStearic Acid, Beeswax, Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Palladio Lash Obsessed MascaraLifting, lengthening, protecting, nourishingRice extract, bamboo extract, paraben free
Peripera Ink Black Mascara Waterproof, smudge-proofNon-flaking formula
TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream Smudge Out MascaraLightweight, smudge-proof, hydratingBamboo extracts and sap, silica
Touch In Sol Paper Pusher Stretch Fiber Lengthening MascaraLong-lasting, nourishing, lightweightBlack food extract, hyaluronic acid, ginseng, calendula, snail slice, silk protein
Etude House 3 Step VolumecaraCurling, lightweight, moisturizingMicrocrystalline Wax
ETUDE HOUSE Dr. Mascara FixerPriming, volumizingBlack food extracts, synthetic wax, soybean seed extract

How did we test the best Korean mascaras?

There is only one way to do it. The Korean Beauty Products team wore it all day, cried their eyes out laughing to check if it’s waterproof, smudge-proof and clump-free. At first glance, we obviously checked if it was lengthening and volumizing. Those that aren’t didn’t make it to the list. 

Besides, Korean mascaras are made with Korean women in mind. They have short and straight lashes. A product made for them is to specifically combat that. Hence expecting volumizing curls are a given. 

This is in stark contrast with women from Westen countries, where long lashes are natural and hence their products don’t focus as much on that. It’s best to keep a curler handy though!

Top Korean Mascara 2023

How to choose the best Korean mascara

When it comes to choosing the perfect mascara, there are a few phrases that will come to mind. Volume, length, lift, and curl. And that’s just the basics. But when it comes to finding the best Korean mascara, the stakes get even higher.

Korean mascaras, often dubbed K-Beauty, are known for providing users with a dose of drama, length, and all-around glamour. When it comes to finding the best item for your particular preference, there are some important criteria to consider.

First, a good rule of thumb when choosing a Korean mascara is to look for ingredients such as bamboo, lotus flower and green tea extracts.

These ingredients, often referred to as botanicals, nourish and moisturize the lashes. Also, when it comes to the formula, consider mascaras with a light and airy consistency, which should give you extra length and curl without clumping.

In addition, look out for mascaras that boast a creamy, water-resistant formula, which will give you an extra layer of protection against smudging and flaking.

When eyeing up mascaras, always check the brush to make sure it offers the degree of definition you’re looking for.

Mascaras with thin, tapered brushes are ideal for giving your lashes more length and definition, while mascaras with thicker brushes tend to work best for giving your look more drama and volume.

And always make sure to inspect the wand’s bristles; these should be flexible enough to grab each lash and grip them firmly at the root.

It’s also important to pay attention to color. Korean mascaras are known for their bold and intense shades, so choose a hue that suits your individual tastes and preferences.

From jet black to dark espresso brown, there is no limit to the array of possibilities that Korean mascaras have to offer.

Finally, before purchasing any new mascara, it’s important to read reviews to ensure that you’re getting a quality product.

Even if the brush shape, size, and ingredients all sound perfect, a few reviews from other customers will give you a better idea of how the product performs.

To sum it up, selecting the best Korean mascara will require you to take a few different factors into account.

When comparing products, look for natural and nourishing ingredients, an airy and light consistency, a brush with flexible bristles, an intense color selection, and read a few reviews for added assurance.

Although the search for a fantastic mascara may seem daunting, the results will be worth the effort.

Types of Korean Mascaras

Types of Korean Mascaras

The types of mascara are distinguished based on their function. Whether it is defining, or lengthening or volumizing. The wearer must carefully notice what kind of lashes they have and the kind of effect they desire on their lashes before they spend on mascara. Read about the types of Korean mascaras before choosing the best Korean mascara for yourself:

  • Lengthening:

Users with short and sparse lashes will usually look for something like this. Lengthening mascaras generally have denser bristles that allow them to hold the formula and thickly coat the lashes.

  • Volumizing:

This is what most people want out of mascaras —  to make the eyelashes look voluminous naturally. Volumizing mascaras are usually heavily pigmented to create a darker look. In addition to that, the volume is also added by waxy ingredients. 

When you use a volumizing mascara for a second coat, make sure to touch the lash line to add density there as well and draw the brush outwards in a zigzag motion to avoid clumping.

  • Curling:

This kind of mascara has a wand that is designed to lift the lashes in a natural sweep. The formulas have a binding agent that helps them hold it that way. Bad mascaras can cause the area to dry out.

  • Waterproof:

Using waterproof mascaras is a risky business. They are intensely drying and can cause breakage to your lashes if you don’t keep them moisturized. When you take the mascara off before bed, make sure to apply vaseline or sensitive, eye-friendly cream to prevent losing eyelashes.

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But removing the mascaras itself can be a challenge. And you must do it carefully. Take some gentle but strong make-up remover onto a cotton pad and place it on your closed eyes for about 40 seconds. Allow the mascara to break down. Slowly swipe it all away and wash your face after it’s all gone.

How to Apply a Korean Mascara Properly

Before you choose the best Korean mascara, it’s important to learn how to apply it properly for the perfect lashes!

Learning to apply mascara properly is not just about getting the most dramatic-looking eyes, but also about putting your safety first. You won’t believe how many people have been injured by mascara wands alone. Eyes are sensitive and learning how to apply mascara is important.

If the space between your lower and upper eyelid is low, always use a lash curler. Don’t go too close to the lash line if you have sensitive eyes.

When you start the application at the base of your lashes, pull it outwards in a zigzag motion and repeat the process depending on the kind of look you want. The outward end of the brush is meant to be used for your corner lashes.

What To Avoid While Using Korean Mascara

Best you go ahead and apply the best Korean mascara you’ve chosen for yourself, here are some ‘don’ts’ you need to know about applying Korean mascaras.

  • Sharing isn’t always caring:

Our eyes are prone to infections and to share something that close to your eyes can be incredibly dangerous. Next time we see a girl at a club asking for your mascara, break the girl code and say no.

  • Don’t sleep with it:

I can’t say it enough, but our eyes are sensitive. Sleeping with a chemically made mascara means leaving our eyes exposed to that much danger over many hours. Besides, they can also make your lashes brittle.

  • Don’t hoard

I will sound extremely hypocritical as I say this but don’t hoard mascaras. They dry out very quickly. If you are a hoarder, buy them and don’t open them unless you absolutely have to, because their lifespan is only about 4-5 months. There could be exceptions.

Korean Mascara Vs American Mascara: What’s The Difference?

Korean Mascaras vs. Western Mascaras: 5 Key Differences

  • Korean Mascaras: Korean mascaras often focus on lightweight, buildable formulas that emphasize natural-looking lashes. They may contain nourishing ingredients like botanical extracts, hyaluronic acid, and keratin to promote lash health.
  • Western Mascaras: Western mascaras typically offer a range of formulas catering to different lash needs, such as lengthening, volumizing, or waterproof. They may contain synthetic polymers and fibers to create dramatic effects and achieve specific lash looks.
  • Consumer Preferences:
  1. Formula and Ingredients:
  • Korean Mascaras: Korean consumers tend to prefer subtle and natural makeup looks, including feathery, separated lashes that enhance the eyes without clumping or heaviness.
  • Western Mascaras: Western consumers often seek bolder and more dramatic lash effects, with voluminous and intense lashes being popular choices for statement-making eye makeup.
  1. Application Techniques:
  • Korean Mascaras: Korean mascaras are often designed for precise application, with thinner wands that allow for more controlled coating of the lashes. This is to achieve a more natural, fluttery lash appearance.
  • Western Mascaras: Western mascaras may have a variety of brush designs, including thick and densely packed wands that help create voluminous and dramatic lash looks.
  1. Product Performance:
  • Korean Mascaras: Korean mascaras may focus on smudge-proof, long-wearing formulas suitable for all-day wear. They typically prioritize minimal flaking and easy removal.
  • Western Mascaras: Western mascaras often offer extended wear, some being smudge-proof or waterproof, which appeals to consumers seeking longevity and performance under various conditions.
  1. Price:
  • Korean Mascaras: Korean mascaras may be more competitively priced, with affordable options that appeal to a wide range of consumers.
  • Western Mascaras: Western mascaras can vary significantly in price, with options spanning from drugstore to high-end luxury brands, accommodating different budget preferences.

It’s important to note that these differences are general observations and that both Korean and Western beauty industries are continually evolving, with cross-cultural influences shaping the trends and innovations in mascara formulations and preferences. Individual preferences for mascara may vary based on personal needs, lash type, and desired makeup look.

Etude House Lash Perm Curl Fix Mascara

Best Korean mascara for natural look

If you’re looking for subtle everyday look mascara, look somewhere else. The Lash Perm Curl screams attention! More than the formulation, I have to hand it to the brush on the wand. It has an outward curl, with shorter bristles in the corner and longer ones in the centre. 

The application becomes so simple, especially with the lashes on the corner without getting it on your eyelid. Who likes to redo eye makeup because of one extended bristle!

It used to take me forever to get ready because my mascara would clump a lot. Since I found this mascara, it has become just that much easier. The cab drivers in my city can vouch for this. Oh, the countless times I did this looking in the rearview mirrors of the cabs when I was late to work.

It’s not just the ease of application. It’s about how long it lasts. I have gone an entire day without refixing my mascara. The best part — it says curled and lifted without feeling heavy. I did struggle with removing the mascara a bit. 

But I guess it’s worth it considering how waterproof, tear-proof and smudge-proof it is. Perfect for overwhelming days and days you want to overwhelm someone.

This had to be the first on the list for best Korean mascaras because I can unhesitatingly call it the holy grail of eye makeup.

Check out the best Korean mascara by Etude House below!

ETUDE HOUSE Oh M’Eye Lash Black Tint Mascara

Best Korean mascara for lengthening lashes

The next one on our list of best Korean mascara is by Etude House again! 

Clearly, I liked the previous Etude House product so much that I had to buy another one. I didn’t see the point in buying one that has the same effect so I looked for something different. This mascara is both a tint and a mascara, leaning more towards acting like a lash tint. 

I wore this everyday till the bottle ran out. While it lengthens your lashes and adds density to them, it doesn’t specifically curl or lift them, it is just meant to make your lashes show a bit. You’ll have to use a lash curler before if you want a lifted look. I did have to apply two coats though.

The applicator wand is pretty basic. The bristles have a smart placement enough to avoid a spidery look along your lash line. I hate it when that happens.

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I actually loved the fact that it was not very pigmented. I got the definition on my eyes without having to worry about getting raccoon eyes in the middle of the day. Been there, done that. I personally prefer a subtle, no-makeup look on an everyday basis so curling would seem a bit much. Nonetheless, it remains smudge-proof till you decide to wash it off. 

Related: Best Korean Foundations

Innisfree Skinny Microcara Eye Mascara

Best Korean waterproof mascara

The next one one our list of best Korean mascara is by Innisfree.

I still remember the moment I discovered the power of this mascara’s water-resistant capability. Some of my friends and I were casually hanging out and decided to take a spontaneous dip in the pool. When I came back, I’m not sure what else remained, but my lashes sure did look fabulous. Let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised.

Technically, the formulation isn’t thick enough to give you dramatic eyes, but the wand is so skinny, 2.5mm skinny, that it can reach the base of your lash line and allow you to drag it outwards easily, reaching every single lash attached to your eyelid. That’s bound to give you volume and definition.

My lower lashes felt blessed when I finally gave them the attention they needed. I could so easily, with multiple coats, of course, make them look fuller.

If you’re throwing a pool party and have a photographer around, remember to pass this around touch up with the Innisfree Skinny Microcara Eye Mascara! You can’t have sleepy eyes in all the pictures. I won’t allow it! You’re welcome.

Check out the best Korean mascara by Innisfree below!

Elizabeth Mott It’s So Long Length Defining Black Mascara

Best Korean mascara for Asian lashes

The next one one our list of best Korean mascara is by Elizabeth Mott

I caught Chrissy Teigen rave about it on Instagram and I had to try it. I mean they are called influencers for a reason. I got influenced! And I wasn’t disappointed. 

k beauty mascara

The wand, as the mascara claims, is C-shaped. When I used it, it did feel like it grabbed more of my lashes in one application. When I pulled it out of the bottle, It didn’t bring out a lot of product, meaning I could put on more coats without worrying about clumping. 

The bristles seemed to encompass all the lashes, but I went ahead and put on a second coat anyway. 

The mascara is naturally lifting and you don’t need an eyelash curler to do that for you, even if your lashes are quite straight. This isn’t waterproof though. 

I also love the packaging a lot. It’s sleek and long and the aesthetic in me fell in love with the font. It is also minimalistic at the same time. 

Check out the best Korean mascara by Elizabeth Mott below!

Related: Best Korean Cushion Foundation

Palladio Lash Obsessed Mascara

Best cruelty-free Korean mascara

The next one on our list of best Korean mascara is the Palladio Lash Obsessed Mascara.

Cruelty-free enthusiasts, I know how hard it can be for you all to find makeup products that fall in the realm and do the job at the same time.

The mascara junkie in me couldn’t resist buying this one. Let me just tell you that you shouldn’t hoard mascaras. Even if you do, don’t open them unless you mean to use them up in the next 3-5 months. They tend to dry out. But, um, we all have our vices. 

I absolutely love the brush on this wand. They’re like one of those curling combs that let the blow-dry reach every strand. Here the mascara surrounds every lash in every direction. My lashes looked so great. 

Too good to be true, in fact. After I put this on, several of my friends asked if I got lash extensions. That’s just how well they work. My lashes are average at best.

It does have its issues though. Something I didn’t discover until I suggested it to my watery-eye friend. She let out a teary yawn one day and the next thing you know she’s sending me a selfie of her looking like a raccoon. 

So people with watery eyes, don’t buy this.

Check out the best Korean mascara by Palladio below!

Related: Best Korean Undereye Concealer

Peripera Ink Black Mascara 

Best Korean mascara waterproof

The next one one our list of best Korean mascara is the Peripera Ink Black Mascara.

The packaging got me feeling hot. It is so chic, something I’d pull out in the washroom at a club and fix my lashes.  After multiple uses, I gathered that my eyes felt light and natural when I used this, almost as if nothing additional was on them. 

The fact that it was quite hard to wash them off didn’t bother me because I could sleep with it and feel nothing. Although I would suggest that you don’t apply this mascara all the way to your eyelids, then it could potentially be harmful to sleep with them. But don’t got to sleep with your mascara on please, it’s just the worst thing to do!

I knew my sister generally struggles to find mascaras because of her sensitive eyes, so I suggested this $10 bottle of goodness to her. 

She may have seen a few too many heartwarming cat videos to test its waterproof ability. And it worked! Even a cleansing oil didn’t get it off after two uses. So don’t put on too many coats!

Check out the best Korean mascara by PeriPera below!

Related: Top Korean Eye Cream

TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream Smudge Out Mascara

Best Korean Mascara for long lashes

The next one one our list of best Korean mascara is the TonyMoly Panda’s Dream Smudge Our mascara.

I was seriously confused when I read the name of the mascara. Was it meant to smudge around like a Panda’s? Or is it exactly what they’re trying to combat. But it’s Tony Moly. They know what they’re doing. 

It’s a safe bet — I used it and I got no panda eyes. In fact, I got excellent volume and length on my eyelashes. The c-shaped brush has these little microfibers that help add volume to every stand without weighing them down

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The formula has bamboo sap and extracts in it that helps keep the lashes from getting too dry. But at the same time, when I rubbed my eyes (possibly accidentally and not for the sake of the test), I didn’t get any on my fingers.

I did overestimate the mascara’s buildable coverage ability though. I made the mistake of putting on a few too many layers and faced a clumpy set of lashes that day. You’re good as long as you limit it to two, maximum of three coats.

But when the mascara ran out, I actually washed it off and kept it because the panda on the screw cap was too cute to throw away. My niece saw it and sneaked it away, I can’t blame her. 

Check out the best Korean mascara by TonyMoly below!

Touch In Sol Paper Pusher Stretch Fiber Lengthening Mascara

Best Korean mascara for sensitive eyes

The next one in our list of best Korean mascara is by Touch in Sol.

This mascara has too many good things for me to have ignored it. It’s completely natural formulation left me astounded. It’s got extracts from black foods, cica, ginseng, and calendula in addition to hyaluronic acid, snail slime, and silk protein. My mind was boggled.

This was another perfect gift for my sister. Natural products, check. Good for sensitive eyes, check. Besides, even the brush extension on the wand was made with a patented hanji paper fibre formula. This is as natural as mascaras can get.

korean waterproof mascara

It didn’t lengthen my eyelashes as much as I’d have liked but it did give it a strong sense of definition. Post application, my lashes felt flexible, which was a strong relief over the regular stiffness feel with synthetic mascaras.

I couldn’t expect more from this. It’s good for everyday wear but beware of smudging. It isn’t waterproof either. 

Check out the best Korean mascara by Touch in Sol below!

Etude House 3 Step Volumecara

The next one on our list of best Korean mascara is the Etude House 3-step Volume cara.

I’m not even surprised that the third one by Etude House made it to the list. Put me in an Etude House showroom and I will max out my credit cards. Etude House comes up with some of the most innovative products and this is definitely one of them.

For best results, use this mascara in three steps, or well, you can get three different looks in each step. The first coat looks as if you could just wear it everyday. The lashes look breathable and natural.

The second coat simply adds extra volume. A good daytime party look. By the time we get to the third layer, I know my lashes are thick and voluminous, but they are surprisingly not clumpy at all. I tried the whole zig zag application thing and I found that to be the best way to apply them while lifting my lashes in the process.

Between each coat, you’ll maybe have to wait for a minute, because it takes pretty long to dry. This is one of the mascara’s only disadvantages.

ETUDE HOUSE Dr. Mascara Fixer

The next one on our list of best Korean mascara is the Etude House Dr mascara Fixer. 

I thought I’ll additionally add one of these lash primers. This is a clear liquid that is designed to hold your curls in place for a natural lash look. You can choose to apply a layer of actual mascara on top of it for a more dramatic look. To fix that mascara, you can apply another layer of this to, well, fix it. 

Although, if you do feel like taking it easy, you can just leave your lashes with the Dr. Mascara fixer on. 

What I didn’t like about this is that I found that the bristles come off the wand quite easily and deem it useless after a while. 

etude house mascaras

The lash primer liquid contains black food extracts. This ingredient is what helps you achieve the lengthening and volumizing look.I love the formulation but the application can be annoying after many uses. 

Best Korean Mascaras: FAQs

How do you apply Korean mascara without clumping?

Holding the mascara wand at the base of the lashes and wiggling it upwards always helps. This way you make sure not too many strands come between two bristles.

What can I add to Korean mascara to thin it out?

Here’s what you can do to thin out your Korean mascara:
– Adding contact lens solution to the formula
– Tightly closing the mascara tube and placing it in a bowl of warm water for 3-5 minutes. Shake before use.
– Adding 2-3 drops of oil and shaking it to dissolve dried out mascara.
– Although if it has been over 6 months, I strongly suggest you throw it out and get yourself a new one. Nothing comes at the cost of your eyes.

What can I use if I don’t have a Korean waterproof mascara?

This is an incredibly dangerous method but it works. You take out your wand from the mascara tube and spray hairspray on it. You then contact your lashes with mascara, and voila, you have waterproofed your non-waterproof mascara. But be careful that it doesn’t get into your eyes!

Is it OK to wear mascara every day?

Wearing mascara everyday tends to dry out your lashes, break them and even cause thinning. So I do not recommend wearing mascara everyday. Although, if you do have thin lashes, use natural leaning mascaras and make sure to remove it every night. Keep them moisturized.

Is clear mascara better than black?

Both help you achieve different kinds of looks. With a clear mascara, you aim to get a curl definition. With black, you’re seeking volume and drama.

What I love about these best Korean mascara is that they are formulated with conditioning agents to avoid your lashes from completely drying up. Most of these are waterproof. And when I say waterproof, I mean it! They last all day long and smudge-free.

The best Korean mascara also dry pretty quickly so you don’t have to worry about ruining the rest of your makeup but that also means that you don’t get a of play time with the mascara and the lashes.

So which is the best Korean mascara for yourself? I hope my post on best Korean mascara has helped you make the right decision!

Why You Should Trust BestKoreanProducts?

All our editors including the author of this article, Jih Yun do extensive research on the products reviewed and recommended in the article. We also use these products ourself to give you accurate, first hand information without any prejudice or bias. BestKoreanproducts has also got a team of medical reviewers and skincare experts to help give accurate advice and provide research-based facts concerning a product, its formulation or ingredients.

Also Read:

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Etude House Lash Perm Curl Fix Mascara
best korean mascara 1

Check out the best Korean mascara for long voluminous lashes! Our favorite is the Etude House Lash Perm Curl Fix mascara! Read on to find the detailed reviews of best Korean mascaras now!

Product SKU: 009856IUG66544123365

Product Brand: Etude House

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 11.00

Price Valid Until: 2024-05-17

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

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