Makeup as Koreans Do
The Korean women’s approach to beauty has taken the world by storm. Get this understated makeup style fit for your on-the-go lifestyle.
The Korean take on beauty has gotten western beauty aficionados smitten. Even though most people might think of bright, colorful, and over-the-top Korean pop-inspired looks when they hear Korean beauty, it is a different case now. Korean women are known for enviable flawless porcelain skin, which is best complemented by its widely-popular no-makeup look.
The no-makeup look, as its name suggests, is a makeup style that is very natural yet flawless. More than that, it is a makeup style that is founded on the ideal of youthfulness. Dewy skin without bold and loud colors is at the center of this makeup philosophy.
Sounds too good to be true? Let us show you how to do it.
Start with clean and moisturized skin.
Having clean and moisturized skin is the foundation of Korean makeup. Korean women do not believe in mounds of piled on foundation, which will make a look unnatural. Healthy and glowing skin allows makeup to glide on much easier and will make you look instantly brighter.
After washing your face, apply toner and moisturizer for a completely clear and supple skin. When moisturizing, oils are preferred as they don’t tend to dry out the skin, moisturizing it even through the harshest winters.
Even out your skin tone
Prep your face for makeup application by applying CC cream, or color correcting cream. True to its name, CC creams even out uneven skin tones, giving you seemingly flaw-free skin. This step brightens up tired skin, amplifying the feel of youthful skin. The best part? CC creams are usually so sheer and lightweight, it doesn’t feel like you have anything on your face.
Go for lightweight and water-based coverage
The BB cream, which is stands for beauty balm or blemish balm cream, is an innovation that catapulted Korean beauty into the global spotlight, and with good reason. This magical cream is all your essential products – primer, serum, moisturizer, foundation, concealer, sunblock – in one product, without making your makeup look cakey.
With recent innovations, BB now also comes in a cushion, which is basically a cushion soaked in BB cream. Take your pick between the cream or cushion version but make sure it is lightweight and water-based, so it will keep your skin moisturized. To make the look natural, apply it only on your face’s heart zone – the T-zone, eye area, upper lip, chin, and the apples of your cheeks. This will focus the product on the main center of your face instead.
Lose the arch
Korean-style eyebrows are known to be straight and thick, unlike western beauty standards where bold and arched brows are preferred. This is because Koreans believe that thick eyebrows are a sign of youth, while straight eyebrows will give your face an innocent and doll-like look – qualities which are coveted in the country.
To achieve this, start drawing your brow from the outer edge and fill in sparse areas with a brow pencil. Add more volume, thickness, and texture to your brows with a brow mascara.
The secret to achieving the perfect Korean-style eyebrows? Always match your product with your hair color, or choose a shade at least one tone lighter.
Draw a subtle line
Since you have to look natural, draw only a thin and subtle line with a black eyeliner on your upper lash line. Extend the line slightly outward. To fully accentuate your eyes, fill in the gaps between the lashes.
Grab an eyeliner that is smudge-proof and waterproof to last you through the day. A product with a bold and opaque color with maximize this step.
Apply a gradient lip
The gradient or ombre lip is a widely popular trick in Korea. Since the goal of this look is to be natural, bold lipsticks are out of the question as they are a dead giveaway of the presence of makeup. Apply liquid lipstick close to your lip’s natural color at the center of the lips, and, using a cotton bud, blend the edges to create a subtle gradient.
This makes drinking your coffee less messy too. No more lipstick marks on that morning cup of coffee!
Give yourself a natural flush
Avoid blush powders as they will give you a matte finish, and this look is all about moisture and having dewy skin. Go for creamy blushes to apply a subtle flush to your cheeks. You may also use the light liquid lipstick used for the gradient lip, and blend it with CC cream. Dab this on the apples of your cheeks for a light flush and natural-looking glow.