Want your makeup to be ‘on fleek’ like your favourite K-drama actress’, but you never seem to get it right? Korean stars are known for their glowing, dewy makeup, making their skin looking flawless. But, how do they do it?
There are two secrets essential to Korean makeup – skincare and hydration.
During a beauty workshop held at the Korean Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi, UAE-based Korean beauty influencer Yuri Kim explained that Korean makeup is all about enhancing one’s natural features, while focusing on making your skin look healthy and dewy, explained Kim, who works in the UAE as a flight attendant.
The makeup product used are lightweight, comfortable, and not too pigmented.
The first secret to getting your makeup right is daily skincare.
This is why you see Korean stars making sure they have their skincare sheet masks even when they are travelling. Healthy skin ensures that your skin naturally glows, explained Kim. She added: “It is ideal to use nourishing sheet masks twice every week.”
The next essential step comes right before applying makeup. “Make sure your skin is properly hydrated,” said Kim.
Steps to achieving a K-beauty look:
1. Start be cleaning your skin with a cleanser or makeup wipe.
2. Gently apply a nourishing serum and use your fingers to gently pat the product into your skin.
3. Now, apply a hydrating moisturiser on your face, jawline and under your eyes – this is a very important step to achieve the dewy look. Kim added that it is important to leave it on for 30 seconds between the application of the toner, serum, and moisturiser, to ensure the product is absorbed into the skin properly.
4. Add a light tinted sunscreen. Apply more in the areas of your face that you want to highlight.
5. It’s time for a cushion foundation. Make sure you have a shade that matches your skin tone and apply it in light tapping motions, building up coverage as required. “Remember to tap, not to sweep the cushion on your skin,” Kim said.
6. Now, apply concealer on spots or areas that need brightening. Set the foundation using a light powder.
7. For eye makeup, start with a base shade – pick from the lightest peach or pink shades on your palette. Using a brush, apply it over your entire upper and lower eyelids.
8. Now use a light pink or light peach shade as a ‘point colour’ and apply it on the lower half of your eyelid, blending it out well. Repeat on the lower eyelids.
9. Pick a light brown shade and place it in the outer corner of your eyes, blending it inwards (please refer to video). Repeat on lower lid.
10. Now, pick a darker brow eyeshadow and apply on the ‘outer V’ of your eyelids. With a thinner brush, apply it under your lower lashline, towards the outer corner.
11. Use the cushion to remove any fallout and for blending, which is key to achieving a natural look.
12. Use a white or light eye pencil to brighten your lower lash line and the inner corners of your eyes.
13. Use your finger to apply a darker shade of pink or peach to the centre of your upper eyelids and blend.
15. Lightly colour in your waterline using a kohl pencil or a dark brown eye pencil and from the middle of your upper eyelid, draw a thin wing outwards, using a liquid liner.
16. Brush out your eyebrows using a spoolie and fill in the outer half of your eyebrows with a brown eyebrow pencil.
17. Using a blush brush, apply the blush on the apple of your cheeks blending towards the outer corner of your eyes.
18. You can also use the colour to lightly contour the edges of your forehead and cheeks. Use a bronzer to contour your jawline. Use a thinner brush to contour the nose.
19. Apply a highlighter on the apples of your cheek and lightly under the eyebrows, only in the outer corner. Tap some onto your Cupid’s bow, too.
20. Now, apply a moisturising lip balm. This can also be done towards the beginning of the makeup application for extra hydration and absorption.
21. With a tapping motion, apply your lipstick – again, remember not to sweep it across your lips. Add a deeper shade of lip colour to the center of your lips and blend it out with your fingers. (Please refer to the video)
22. Curl your eyelashes using an eyelash curler and apply mascara from the middle of your lashes to the tips. Before it dries, use a tweezer to pinch your eyelashes into groups of two or three for a more K-drama glamourous effect. Who needs false lashes when you have this trick?
23. Add some mascara to your lower lashes, and you are ready.
When it comes to Korean make up, moderation is key. While it may seem like there are too many steps, ensure that you don’t use too much product, and use tapping motions to build up colour, Yuri Kim explained.
Explaining some dos and don’ts of Korean makeup, she added: “For the highlighter, do not put too much all over your face, just the T-zone and a bit on the chin. Secondly, when you colour in your eyebrows, Koreans like a more natural look. Start colouring in from the middle to the end. Do not colour in the front of your eyebrows too much.
“And, when you use a cushion foundation, use a tapping motion to ensure the foundation covers your skin well.”
It would be a good idea to use Korean makeup products to achieve this look. Here’s a list of 11 K-beauty makeup products that are actually popular in Korea, for 2023.