Beauty in Asian Culture

By April Khan

Asian beauty varies according to the region, but two things are constant: Asian women share a love of beauty and take pride in their looks. And just as the Western world has adapted to all types of looks and features, so has Asia.

Asian beauty differs depending on the region.

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As far south as India and as far north as China, the focus of beauty is surrounding the eyes. There are different eye shapes on the Asian subcontinent, ranging from slanted to almond-shaped, and they are typically accentuated by eyeliners and mascara. Eyebrows are often shaped naturally using a method called threading, which is popular in south Asia.


In Asian culture, the lighter your skin is the more beautiful you are considered. Consequently, many Asian women bleach their skin or use face cream to lighten and even out skin tone. In addition, there are many spa treatments used to give skin an even glow, including green tea steam facials, turmeric paste masks, mud masks and skin cleansers, and soaps that contain milk.


North Asian makeup is natural, with the only real color used being blush and lipstick. It is also usually dramatic around the eyes, where eyeliner and mascara, as well as a touch of natural shaded eye shadow, is used. In South Asia, makeup is normally dark colored, as the skin tones of natives there tend to be tan or dark. Lip color is normally nude, brown, burgundy or red, and eye shadow can be any color the woman is wearing that day. South Asians typically use more makeup than their northern counterparts, and they tend to use a mixture of traditional and modern Western styles.


Asians are trendy and tend to wear modern hairstyles. Women from the north may wear a bun, ponytail, long flowing locks, bob, messy curls, bed head style, mohawk, pixie cut and braids. South Asians prefer to keep their hair long and flowing, so it is normally layered long and kept neat and straight or wavy. Asians have very dark hair, but North Asians have straight hair, and many of the styles reflect this feature. South Asians have wavy or curly, coarse hair, and they often opt to straighten it. Many Asians also color their hair in hues ranging from black to platinum blonde.


North Asians tend to favor the latest fashion trends while reserving traditional dress for specific occasions, such as ceremonies or parties. South Asians usually wear salwar kumeez (long blouses and pants) with a matching scarf (dupatta), lengha (long skirt with a short blouse) or a sari (material wrapped around the body to resemble a dress). Although some women in South Asia wear fashions as well, it is frowned upon. Traditional South Asian wear has also become modernized, although the modern versions keep very close to traditional roots.