1. Go for the stained, gradient lip

Image courtesy: @sourandnasty

Gradient lips are a popular K-beauty technique that consists of applying a darker colour on the inner lips, that is then faded out at the edges or blended into a different colour. All you need is a matte liquid lipstick and a flat shader brush to blur the edges. You can also use the tip of your fingers to fade out the edges and finish with a gloss in the centre of your lips to make it look extra pouty.

Gradient lips look lived-in and even though they have a technique to them, are considered a low-maintenance look. The casual, rubbed-off pout looks adorable and is the complete opposite of the well put together pout. It is this detail that adds a youthful charm to your makeup look.


2. Fake laughing eye bags

Image courtesy: @risabae_art

Korean women covet the little bump under the eye that shows up when you smile or laugh. The bumps differ from under-eye bags - which are dark and puffy but resemble a muscle that protrudes underneath and makes even Anime characters look cute. To create this effect, apply a highlighter right under your waterline and then add a slightly darker shadow directly underneath to make it pop!


3. Switch the cat-eye with puppy-dog eyes

Image courtesy: @hwa_jii

While a perfectly drawn cat-eye is undoubtedly fierce and fabulous, K-beauty’s approach is to soften the flick and go for puppy-dog eyes instead. The trick to pulling this off is simple, instead of extending the flick in an upward angle, open your eyes wide and slightly lower the angle, going a tad bit lower than your top lash line. This will elongate your eyes and give it a natural, youthful vibe. Make sure to not curve the flick too much, as that can make your eye look droopy instead.


4. Shape and fill your brows straighter

Image courtesy: @ponysmakeup

This comes from personal experience, but every time my parlor didi shaped my brows and added an arch, it instantly added a couple of years to my look! Turns out, straighter brows are K-beauty’s secret to looking younger as well. Korean celebrities are notorious for this habit, they tend to draw their eyebrows straight across, with an ever so tiny arc at the end. Also, make sure to fill them from the inner corner to the out, tapering brow hairs down to one point.


5. Use ‘fruity’ pigments for a natural flush

Image courtesy: @kimdayeong_life

Ever wondered why Korean women appear to be blushing all the time? This is actually due to the use of fruity pigments in their makeup. From eyeshadows to blushes and even lip stains, fruity hues like strawberry, watermelon, peaches and cherries, are what make up for most of their makeup stash. They don’t limit the use of these pigments either. For instance, draping a fruity blush from the apple of the cheeks right up to the temples and above the edge of the brow, is common practice. This obsession with fruity hues is why Korean lip tints are such a sought-after product in the beauty community, everybody wants one now!


6. Glitter liner FTW!

Image courtesy: @namvo

Glitter liners that match your complexion and are close enough to the waterline to look like you have just been crying (!!), is a popular K-beauty look. Adding sheer glitter on the cheeks and lids is what contributes to dewy skin and bright eyes. This hack can be further elevated by adding peachy glitter to your eyes, it is subtle and keeps people guessing if you're actually wearing makeup or missing your mom back home.


7. Cushion applicators for a flawless finish

Image courtesy: @somsomi0309

Cushion compacts, which hold liquid foundations, pressed powders and even glittery blushes, are the go-to applicator option for Korean women. This is because the makeup sponges are easier to control, blend the product faster and give your skin a flawless finish, with no crease lines and blotchy patches insight. Cushion applicators are also great at distributing products evenly since you can push your fingertips through them and control the application. Psst... some Korean MUAs use them for brows as well!


FAQs about Korean makeup

1) Why is Korean makeup so minimal?

  1. K-beauty relies heavily on naturally healthy skin and clear complexions rather than coverage and colours. K-makeup trends focus more on creating smooth, bright and near-perfect looks, thus keeping their techniques and pigments minimal.

2) What are some of the Korean makeup essentials?

  1. Prepare this checklist for yourself to ace Korean makeup:
  • Illuminating foundation
  • Warm-toned eyeshadow palette
  • Thin-tipped eyeliner
  • Glittery highlighter
  • Fruity blush
  • Lip tint



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