Blurring: The Korean Beauty Trick That'll Give You the Best Skin Ever

It's like putting a filter on your face.

Woman putting on foundation
(Image credit: Getty)

As anyone who's done a little bit of selfie-enhancing knows (which, let's be honest, is all of us), the power of the "blur" tool cannot be underestimated. Blemish? Blur it. Fine line? Blend it out. Uneven skin tone? Buff that sh*t into submission.

So wouldn't it be better, one could muse, if it were possible to just blur your skin in real life?

Enter Korea's latest beauty-trend export, aptly called "blurring." It started with the lips, actually—instead of doing a perfectly-painted, lined pout, the trick was to just use a dab of lip color and blend out. (It's more natural-looking—almost like you just ate a lollipop.)

But why not blur the whole face?

"Korean women are finding that in the age of HDTV and up close and personal high-res selfies, your flaws can be clearly seen," explains Charlotte Cho, Korean beauty expert and co-founder of Soko Glam. "So, it's better to 'blur' out your look a bit—using makeup and foundation to blur your blemishes, pores—but at the same time, keep it natural."

It may sound like a hard concept to execute, but when you break it down, it's actually quite simple.

"It's kind of like making your face look a little cloudy," says Cho. "You're using formulas that disguise fine lines, uneven skin tone, patchy skin, and dark spots, but not so much coverage that you look heavily made up. It's not going to completely cover up that pimple, but it will hide it a bit, making you look bright and natural looking, but not flawless."

That sounds like almost-Beyoncé to us...and we're more than happy to settle.

As far as what you should buy, the market has been infiltrated with blur-stamped options. On the Korean beauty front, Cho recommends Etude House Beauty Shot Blur ($15). "It does what a primer is supposed to do," she says. "It creates a smooth canvas, but it adds a bit of luminosity to the formula, so there is slight coverage."

And if you think the blurring technique limits you to products with "blur" on the label, it doesn't. Korean favorites like IOPE Air Cushion XP ($33) and the Banila CO CC Melting Foundation ($25.99) are essentially the same concept, offering very sheer, light, and natural coverage that still blurs your face of imperfections, says Cho.

Here, see the trend in action:

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You should also check out:

The Beauty Secrets of K-Pop Stars

30 Cult-Favorite Asian Beauty Products You Need in Your Life

How to Give Yourself a Korean Beauty Facial Massage in GIFS

Beauty Editor

Lauren Valenti is Vogue’s former senior beauty editor. Her work has also appeared on,, and in In Style. She graduated with a liberal arts degree from Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, with a concentration on Culture and Media Studies and a minor in Journalism.