Koreans have always been known for their expertise in beauty trends, especially when it comes to skincare and makeup techniques. Their ability to unlock the secrets of beauty has made Korean makeup looks highly sought after around the world. Thanks to the influence of K-pop and K-drama on global culture, Korean makeup looks have gained even more popularity in recent times. These looks are characterized by a subtle and natural approach, with a strong emphasis on maintaining healthy skin. To inspire you, here are eight captivating Korean makeup looks that are making waves this year.
The best part is, you probably already have most of the necessary products in your makeup kit. Korean makeup is all about achieving a youthful, fresh, and healthy appearance by working with a less-is-more approach. If you’re aiming for that radiant, natural glow, these 8 Korean makeup looks are exactly what you need to explore.
Natural Makeup (Naejangsul)
Natural Makeup, also known as Naejangsul in Korean, is a popular Korean makeup style that focuses on creating a fresh and dewy complexion while enhancing natural features. The goal of this look is to achieve a naturally beautiful appearance with a minimalistic approach to makeup.
In Natural Makeup, the emphasis is on creating a flawless and radiant skin texture. It typically involves using a lightweight foundation or BB cream to even out the skin tone while allowing the natural skin texture to shine through. Blush is applied subtly to add a touch of color and a youthful flush to the cheeks. For the eyes, a neutral eyeshadow palette is often used to create a soft and understated eye look, while mascara defines the lashes.
Natural Makeup also emphasizes well-groomed and softly filled-in eyebrows. The lips are kept soft and natural with tinted lip balms or sheer lipsticks. Overall, Natural Makeup aims to enhance one’s natural beauty by creating a fresh and radiant look that appears effortless and minimalistic, embracing the individual’s unique features and achieving a healthy, youthful glow.
Gradient Lips (Imsel Lip)
Gradient Lips, also known as Imsel Lip in Korean, is a popular Korean makeup technique that creates a soft and blended effect on the lips. The goal of this style is to achieve a natural and youthful appearance, as if the lips have been softly stained or bitten. To achieve gradient lips, a two-tone or multi-toned approach is used.
The darkest shade is applied at the center of the lips and gradually fades out towards the edges, creating a subtle ombre effect. This technique enhances the fullness of the lips and adds a touch of color without appearing too heavy or harsh.
Gradient lips can be achieved using lip tints, lipsticks, or a combination of products. By blending the colors seamlessly and layering them strategically, a smooth transition is created from the darker shade in the center to the lighter shade at the edges. The result is a natural and soft lip look that exudes a youthful and innocent charm.
Puppy Eyes (Meong-su)
Puppy Eyes, known as Meong-su in Korean, is a popular Korean makeup technique that focuses on creating a cute and innocent eye appearance reminiscent of puppy eyes. The aim of this style is to make the eyes appear larger, rounder, and more expressive.
To achieve puppy eyes, several techniques are used. Firstly, a light eyeshadow or base color is applied to the eyelids to create a bright and open look. The key focus is on accentuating the aegyo sal, the puffy area beneath the eyes. This is achieved by using a light shimmer or highlighting shade along the lower lash line, gently blending it upwards for a subtle lift. To further enhance the puppy eye effect, a thin and soft eyeliner is applied, following the natural shape of the eyes and extending slightly beyond the outer corners. Mascara is then applied to the upper and lower lashes to define and create a fluttery appearance.
The overall result of puppy eyes is an adorable and doe-eyed look, exuding innocence and youthfulness. It’s a popular Korean makeup style that enhances the natural beauty of the eyes and adds a charming touch to the overall appearance.
Aegyo Sal refers to the small puffy bags or fat deposits beneath the lower eyelids that some people naturally have. In Korean culture, these puffy under-eye bags are considered cute and attractive, and the term “Aegyo Sal” translates to “cute skin” or “charming fat.” Aegyo Sal has become a popular Korean makeup trend and technique that aims to emphasize and enhance these under-eye bags, creating a youthful and energetic appearance.
Aegyo Sal, light-colored eyeshadow or highlighting products are applied along the lower lash line, just below the puffy area. This creates a subtle shadow effect that accentuates the natural prominence of the under-eye bags. By doing so, the eyes appear fuller, brighter, and more lively.
Aegyo Sal can be incorporated into various Korean makeup styles, such as puppy eyes or natural makeup, to achieve a youthful and innocent look. It has gained popularity not only in Korea but also globally, as people embrace and appreciate the unique beauty that Aegyo Sal brings to the eyes.
Straight Brows (Ibing)
Straight Brows, also known as Ibing in Korean, is a popular eyebrow style that focuses on creating a straight and horizontal shape with minimal arch or curve. This Korean trend aims to achieve a youthful and natural look by giving the eyebrows a more relaxed and soft appearance. To achieve straight brows, the eyebrows are groomed and shaped to follow a straight line across the brow bone, with the arch being softened or eliminated.
This creates a more horizontal and straight shape, resulting in a softer and approachable look compared to arched brows. Straight brows are filled in using eyebrow products that match the natural color of the brows, such as pencils or powders, with light and feathery strokes to mimic real brow hairs.
A clear brow gel or wax can be applied to hold the brow hairs in place and give a polished finish. Straight brows frame the face beautifully, giving a youthful and fresh appearance. They can be paired with various makeup styles, from natural to more dramatic looks, and contribute to the overall soft and innocent aesthetic that is characteristic of Korean beauty trends.
Ulzzang Makeup refers to a popular South Korean beauty trend that focuses on achieving a youthful, cute, and doll-like appearance. The term “ulzzang” translates to “best face” in Korean, and Ulzzang Makeup aims to enhance facial features and create a flawless, fresh-faced look.
The key elements of Ulzzang Makeup include smooth and glowing skin, well-defined eyes, and a plump and gradient lip color. The focus is on creating a natural and dewy complexion. This is achieved by using lightweight, hydrating foundations or BB creams to even out the skin tone and provide a luminous finish. Concealer is applied sparingly to cover any blemishes or dark circles.
The eyes play a crucial role in Ulzzang Makeup. The emphasis is on making the eyes appear larger and more expressive. This is accomplished through the use of subtle eyeliner applied close to the lash line to define the eyes without creating a dramatic effect. Natural-looking false lashes or mascara are used to add length and volume to the lashes, further accentuating the eye area. Eye makeup is kept soft and neutral, often with light, shimmery eyeshadows or pastel shades.
For the lips, a gradient or ombre effect is commonly achieved by applying a vibrant lip color to the center of the lips and blending it outward for a soft and natural-looking finish. This technique gives the illusion of fuller lips and adds a youthful touch to the overall look.
Glass Skin is a popular Korean beauty trend that revolves around achieving a flawless and radiant complexion with a smooth and translucent appearance, resembling a sheet of glass. The goal of Glass Skin is to create a dewy and luminous look that reflects light and showcases a healthy, well-hydrated, and plump complexion. To achieve this, a skincare routine focused on intense hydration and nourishment is crucial.
It involves thorough cleansing, exfoliating to remove dead skin cells, and using hydrating serums, essences, and moisturizers to deeply nourish the skin. When it comes to makeup, Glass Skin aims for a natural and dewy finish.
Lightweight and dewy foundation or BB cream is applied to even out the skin tone while maintaining a luminous effect. Minimal concealer is used to cover any imperfections, allowing the skin’s natural texture to shine through. The highlight of Glass Skin lies in the strategic use of liquid or cream highlighters to accentuate the high points of the face, creating a subtle and ethereal glow. The overall effect is a youthful, radiant, and translucent complexion that exudes a healthy and hydrated appearance.
Dramatic Eye Makeup
Dramatic Eye Makeup is a bold and captivating style that aims to create a striking and intense look for the eyes. It involves the use of vibrant colors, defined lines, and bold techniques to enhance and emphasize the eyes.
The key element of dramatic eye makeup is the application of rich and deep eyeshadow shades, ranging from intense blues and purples to smoky grays and metallics. These shades are carefully blended and layered onto the eyelids and crease, sometimes extending beyond the natural eye shape for added impact. Defined and precise eyeliner, whether a sharp line or a dramatic winged shape, further enhances the eyes and adds to the boldness of the look. False lashes or volumizing mascaras are often used to create extra drama and emphasize the lashes.
Highlighting the brow bone and inner corners of the eyes with shimmery or light-colored eyeshadows helps to bring attention to the eyes and adds a touch of glamour. Dramatic eye makeup allows for creative expression and is perfect for special occasions, glamorous events, or those seeking to make a bold statement with their eye look. It can transform the eyes into a powerful focal point, leaving a lasting impression.
Gradient Eyeshadow (Eogseongssi)
Gradient Eyeshadow, known as Eogseongssi in Korean, is a popular technique in Korean makeup that involves blending multiple shades of eyeshadow to create a seamless transition of colors on the eyelids. The aim of this technique is to achieve a soft and gradient effect that adds dimension and depth to the eyes.
Blending is a key element in achieving a flawless gradient effect. Soft, circular motions or back-and-forth motions with a blending brush help to seamlessly blend the colors together, ensuring there are no harsh lines or distinct boundaries between the shades.
To enhance the gradient effect, a touch of shimmer or a lighter shade of eyeshadow can be applied to the center of the eyelid or the inner corner to add a subtle highlight.
Gradient eyeshadow can be customized according to individual preferences, whether it’s a natural everyday look or a more vibrant and dramatic effect. It is a versatile technique that adds depth and dimension to the eyes, creating a captivating and eye-catching makeup look.
Monochrome Makeup is a makeup technique that revolves around using a single color or shades from the same color family to create a cohesive and harmonious look. The goal of monochrome makeup is to achieve a unified and balanced appearance by incorporating the chosen color on multiple areas of the face.
For example, if opting for a monochrome pink look, one would use pink eyeshadow on the eyelids, a similar shade as blush on the cheeks, and a coordinating pink lipstick or lip gloss. The key to a successful monochrome makeup look lies in seamlessly blending the chosen color or shades across different areas, ensuring a smooth transition and a harmonious effect.
Monochrome makeup offers versatility and allows for creativity, as different colors can be chosen to suit personal preferences and desired effects. Whether aiming for a natural and subtle look or a more dramatic and bold appearance, monochrome makeup provides a polished and cohesive aesthetic that showcases the chosen color in a unified manner.
Glitter and Shimmer
Glitter and shimmer are popular makeup elements that bring sparkle, shine, and a touch of glamour to various looks. Glitter consists of small reflective particles made from materials like plastic or metal, which create a twinkling effect when applied to the skin. Shimmer, on the other hand, refers to a subtle luminosity that imparts a gentle glow and iridescence.
These elements can be incorporated into makeup in various ways. Glitter is often found in eyeshadows, adding dimension and catching light to create an eye-catching effect. It can be applied all over the eyelid for a bold and dazzling look or used sparingly to accent specific areas. Shimmer, on the other hand, offers a soft sheen and luminosity to the eyelids, providing a more subtle and elegant effect.
Glitter and shimmer are not limited to the eyes; they can also be applied to other areas of the face. As highlighters, they enhance the cheekbones, brow bone, and cupid’s bow, imparting a radiant glow and luminosity to the complexion.
Ombre Blush is a popular makeup technique that involves blending two or more shades of blush to create a gradient effect on the cheeks. This technique creates a seamless transition of colors, with a lighter shade applied towards the center of the cheeks and a darker shade towards the outer edges. Blending the shades together using a brush or fingertips ensures a smooth and natural-looking gradient.
Ombre Blush adds depth and dimension to the face, enhancing the cheekbones and providing a youthful and radiant appearance. It offers versatility, allowing for customization with different color combinations to suit individual preferences. Proper blending is key to achieving a flawless ombre blush, ensuring a soft and natural flush of color without any harsh lines. This technique adds an artistic touch to the makeup look, creating a beautiful and dimensional effect on the cheeks.