Skip to main

Going Matte: The Korean Beauty Edition

February 05, 2021 THE KLOG

If there's one thing Korean beauty is known for, it's the ability to make your skin look ultra hydrated, dewy and positively radiant. Those are all good things, of course, but sometimes you just wanna go matte and that's OK, too.

What if we told you that, in the world of Korean makeup, you can have your bb cream and matte skin, too? It's true!

Matte skin doesn't have to mean dry or dull. In fact, with the help of a powerful cosmetic primer, your holy grail bb cream, and some finishing power and/or mattefying products used throughout the day, you can have a moisturized, glowing complexion that also offers the benefit of soft and muted skin with zero-shine. You can still wear your dewy face whenever and wherever you want, but having the option to go matte can make you feel like a new woman in full control of her complexion.

Step 1: Prime Your Skin 

After you’ve cleansed and moisturized, per your normal routine, apply a makeup primer to your face. I suggest something like Banila Co’s Prime Primer, which is a silky, gel-like formula that slides across the face and creates the perfect foundation for your bb cream. This particular product gives you baby-like skin by hydrating, minimizing pores, and zapping oil. That moisturizing part is particularly important if you’re going to go matte later.

Step 2: Apply BB Cream

Give your primer a couple minutes to set and then move on to your bb cream. You can use whatever you prefer, even if it usually leaves your skin with a dewy finish. I’m using Missha’s Perfect Cover B.B. Cream.


Step 3: Apply Finishing Powder

Not only does finishing powder help your makeup last all day long, it’ll help you achieve that “glowing underneath, but matte on top” visage. There are lots of options out there, but I’ve been using Banila Co’s Primer Finishing Powder, which is a loose powder that instantly creates a soft, matte finish. I like how soft it makes my skin feel, how quickly it absorbs oil, and that it contains lots of yummy extracts, including white water lily extract, honey, watermelon and plantain leaf extracts. 


Step 4: Touch Up Throughout The Day

Finally, for matte that lasts all day, keep a touch-up compact in your purse. This will allow you to blot away oil as needed. One option to consider is the Son & Park’s Flawless Pore Pact, an oil-controlling blotter that will leave your skin matte and silky.

And that’s how you do it! Do you prefer the super dewy or matte route? If the former, do you think you’d give matte a try after reading this post?  


—Wendy Rose Gould

Wendy Rose Gould is a beauty writer and photographer who lives in the middle of the desert, where sunscreen and moisturizers mean more to her than perhaps to the average human. She vividly, and fondly, remembers the first time she used a B.B. cream: in Seoul during a one-year stint she did back in 2009. She currently serves as contributing editor at xoVain and is an editorial writer at Refinery29, ModCloth, and other outlets. For Wendy, a lazy makeup day usually involves at least six products and probably a cat eye. Follow Wendy at @Wendyrgould


comments powered by Disqus
About Charlotte

Soko Glam co-founder and chief curator. Licensed esthetician sharing the love of all things K-beauty.

About Sokoglam

Bringing the best in Korean skin care, beauty, and culture Stateside since 2012. Discover, shop, and learn with us.