How Pantone’s Color of the Year is Popping Up in K-Beauty

Pantone declared Ultra Violet as 2018’s color of the year – a shade signifying intrigue and unconventionality. Naturally, variants of the dramatic purple shade have been making their way to trends everywhere. And Korea is no different. Well kind of. A true ultra violet can be a bit dramatic, and ultra violet in its absolute truest form has really only made its way into trends here via hair or nails. But when it comes to makeup, it’s not so much the deep purple but its muted, more spring ready cousins – lavender, lilac, and mauve – that have been popping up in stores recently.


Image via Innisfree

Blushes may seem like an unconventional choice to include lavender. But for those who tend towards a more flushed complexion, traditional blushes can be overkill. Lavender imbued blushes are a great way to tone down redness and neutralize yellowness. Beyond their color correcting ability, lavender blushes are also well-suited for brightening light, cool skin tones. Warmer skin tones can make it work too. Go for either the more pinkish purple tones or layer lavender blush under a pink blush for a refreshed, spring look.

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The trend is strong with this one. Most of the brands above have come out with their lavender blush within the last month or so.

  1. Innisfree My Blusher 21 하늘하늘 라벤더 The recently released lavender blush has been praised for its smooth, non-powdery finish.
  2. Espoir Slow Chic Blush Glow – About Mauve
  3. A’Pieu Pastel Blusher – VL01 The only non-recent lavender blush, this mainstay has been a popular go-to lavender blush in Korea.
  4. Etude House Lovely Cookie Blush – Lavender Chiffon Cake
  5. Peripera Pure Blushed Liquid Cheek – Taro Milk Lavender


In Korea, subtle looks still reign supreme though, so while there hasn’t been an explosion of dramatic purple shades, milky purple shades are not a far cry from the typical peachy pink eye shadows Koreans commonly use. Muted or pastel variants of purple suit the trendy spring-ready, watercolor look.

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  1. Innisfree My Palette x kittybunnypony – Innisfree’s recent collaboration is focused on purple.
  2. Etude House It’s My Eyes Cafe – Taro Milk Tea  This more pinkish purple shade has been raved about online in Korea.
  3. Innisfree My Palette My Eyeshadow Matte 48 Lavender Innisfree in general has been adding the full spectrum of purple to their range of eye shadows.
  4. Innisfree My Palette My Eyeshadow Matte 47 Lilac

Eye makeup is probably the area that showcases the versatility of purple most. Deep violets can be layered for a more dramatic, bold smoky eye. If you’re just looking for some safer experimentation with the purple shade, try mauve or aubergine as an alternative to the more neutral brown.

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  1. VDL Expert Color Eye Book 6.4 No. 7 [Pantone 18 Edition] The collaboration with Pantone itself features the true ultra violet shade.
  2. Espoir Velvet Drawing Eye Pencil – Sirocco This flattering dusty violet can be built up smoky mauve eye or kept light for a daily look.
  3. Bbia Plush Shadow 09
  4. Etude House Look at My Eyes Sparkling Milky Way PP513


K-Beauty brands may be relatively tame when it comes to the lipstick game, and a true ultra violet or straight purple is probably still too experimental. But purples are still rearing their heads in some form or another. Bold berries and magentas are finding their place in the lipstick ranges of many brands.

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  1. Clio Mad Matte Lip – Russet Rose 
  2. Mamonde Creamy Tint Color Balm Intense – My Secret
  3. 3CE Soft Lip Lacquer – #Midnight Bottle The newly released lip lacquer features a bright berry shade for a bold look.
  4. Hera Rouge Holic Cream – Magic Carpet The luminous finish of this lipstick draws attention to one of the more true to purple shades.

How will you be working purple into your look?

Featured Image via Jeremy Visuals

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