The Universal Language Of Makeup: How Women Speak It Around The World

There are two universal languages around the world today: music and… makeup, that’s right! And while the world’s oldest known musical instrument, a 5000-year-old bone flute discovered in Germany in 2009 proved people communicated by way of music before they did using language, the universal tongue of makeup dates all the way back to Ancient times and it’s also a fascinating global tongue.

And like any language spoken in different countries and on different continents, this one, too, has its regional variations. The Indian continent loves dramatic eyeliner, while across the Russian vastness, lashes are the next big thing. In France, on the other hand, as with so many aspects of life, “effortless chic” is gospel.

Of course, there are many words in this language that are similar around the globe: the classic timelessness of red lipstick for example. Are you curious how your fellow ladies around the world communicate using the discourse of makeup? Here’s a small overview, courtesy of Ranker.

France

New jackets and coat on @rouje www.rouje.com ❤️

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In France, it’s all about looking effortlessly chic. A typical French makeup bag includes just a few key products: a light coverage foundation, a black mascara, and a red lip.

South Korea

Skincare is fundamental to female beauty in South Korea, where women use highlighters and rosy blushes to emphasize their impeccably moisturized, glowing skin.

Japan

Nowadays, Kawaii is the dominant trend in the Land of the Rising Sun, which is why Japanese women will usually have playful pink, doll-like cheeks, usually high on the cheekbones and just under the eyes.

Brazil

Matte lips have taken over Brazil by storm in recent years, coupled with the South Amerian classics of “natural, sexy and luscious”.

Canada

Bushy Brows by @thealexbox ✨🙌🏾🎨 #Eyebrows #AlexBox #TheBoxBrow #ThickBrows

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Canadian women appreciate the beauty of low-key makeup. Today, Canada’s favorite beauty trend is bold, natural brows.

England

In England, less-is-more when it comes to makeup. While contouring and highlighting are far from frowned upon, they are usually done much more subtly, using the interplay of light and shadow to emphasize a woman’s beauty.

Thailand

Thai women are love bright, bold lips and bold brows juxtaposed to the clean, pale skin which is usually desirable in Southeast Asia.

Saudi Arabia

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Photo: Christen Dominique/YouTube

Did you know the Middle East accounts for 20% of cosmetic sales globally, with Saudi Arabia leading the pack? Nowadays, dramatic eyes are the thing to go on the Arabian Peninsula, with ladies usually going for colorful shadows, dramatic liner, and voluminous eyelashes.

Russia

Not all is frosty in Russia, with luxurious, long lashes being the hot current trend!

India

This ancient country has always appreciated dramatic eyes, so dark eyeliner is a must in India. Nowadays, it’s often updated with bold shadow colors, super-lush lashes and dark jewel tones for the eyes and lips.

America

If you want to look and feel like an American, a flirty approach to makeup by way of bright colors and full lashes will settle you right in.

Source: ranker