Key Korean beauty looks to try right now

From straight brows to gradient lips, we look at some of the makeup trends the Hallyu wave brought along with it. 

PHOTOS: Etude House, TPG, various
PHOTOS: Etude House, TPG, various
10 Jul 2015

PHOTOS: Etude House, TPG, various

When the Hallyu wave washed over our sunny little island, it didn’t just bring us music and dramas. A beauty craze also took over the cosmetics scene, with girls everywhere rushing to take inspiration from the gorgeous goddesses of K-drama and K-pop. We spoke with Etude House trainer Ms. Celine to find out how you can easily achieve the latest and hottest makeup looks out of Korea:

Before you begin…
Before you begin…
10 Jul 2015

Before you begin…

Makeup is art, and every art needs a good canvas. Keep your face as fine and flawless as you can with a regular skincare routine with the right products, including a cleanser, toner, essence, lotion and cream. For those with oily skin, excessive sebum and open pores may be a problem. Curb it with pore-tightening skincare! A smooth ‘pore-less’ skin surface makes the perfect foundation for your makeup.

If you have normal to dry skin, it’s important to focus on anti-ageing skincare. Remember: you’re never too young to kick off an anti-ageing routine! You will thank yourself years down the road, plus, having great skin is half the battle won in the quest for K-beauty loveliness.

Try: Etude House’s Wonder Pore range, from $5 for a mask sheet to $32 for the Tightening Essence; Etude House’s Moistfull Super Collagen Series, from $19 for a collagen balm to $34 for collagen cream or ampoule essence.

Dewy, flawless skin
Dewy, flawless skin
10 Jul 2015

Dewy, flawless skin

As seen on: Song Hye-gyo, f(x)’s Krystal

Before dabbing on the foundation, use a makeup base, primer and other products (most combine several functions into one) to improve your skin tone and texture, creating a nice base for you to work with (and for the makeup to be applied more smoothly). Celine also recommends using a concealer to cover imperfections instead of relying on the foundation.

Another important tip for complexion perfection: “Most girls overuse the foundation. Always apply a thin layer of foundation first on the entire face then put on more if needed, instead of applying thick foundation at the beginning.”

Try: Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion foundation, $32; Etude House Precious Mineral Magic Any Cushion Pearl Aura, $32

Straight, natural-looking brows
Straight, natural-looking brows
10 Jul 2015

Straight, natural-looking brows

As seen on: Park Shinhye

This is another key to looking like a kimchi-land sweetheart: straight – and natural-looking – brows automatically give their owner an innocent, childlike expression, making them appear much younger as well, which is why they’ve been so hot among Koreans for so long.

“For natural brows, fill in the empty spaces in the brow. Then, match your brow colour with your hair colour,” Celine instructs. Then: “For straight brows to have the defined shape, use a pencil type to create a sharpened straight shape. Then, fill in the brow spaces finish with eyebrow mascara.”

Try: Etude House Brow Kit, $18.90; Etude House Colour My Brow, $12.90; Etude House Brow Pencil, $5.90

Coloured eyeliner
Coloured eyeliner
10 Jul 2015

Coloured eyeliner

As seen on: Ga-in

It’s time to give your ol’ black and brown pencils a breather and take a risk with eye-popping colours – it’s a fun and funky effect that’ll surely draw attention to your peepers. If the thought of just sporting orange or blue on your lids is a little too daunting for you, you can pair your usual dark liner (drawn as closely to your lash line as possible) with the colour for a striking duotone effect.

Tip: Not sure which hue to choose? According to Celine, pink and coral tones are still very much in trend for Korean makeup this year, but feel free to go bold and crazy with others as well.

Try: Etude House’s Play 101 Pencils, $12

Gradient lips
Gradient lips
10 Jul 2015

Gradient lips

As seen on: Apink’s Naeun, Girl’s Day’s Hyeri

Commonly described as a way to emulate the look of a girl that’s just sucked on a berry lollipop, the gradient pout is pretty much the coquettish younger cousin of the vampy ombré lip – and Koreans are going crazy over the flattering trend, which has been featured everywhere from Instagram pages to music videos.

Achieving the look is simple too, as Celine explains: “Conceal the whole lip using a concealer (or foundation) to lighten its colour. Then, add colour to the middle of the lips and start to blend downwards (for the lower lip) and upwards (for the upper lip).”                                                                                                                                                     

Try: Etude House’s Color in Liquid Lips, $17.90

Silky, moisturised lips
Silky, moisturised lips
10 Jul 2015

Silky, moisturised lips

As seen on: f(x)’s Krystal

If you’re not a fan of the gradient kisser, you might prefer to pay attention to this other popular lipstick style, which Celine describes as “a healthy, silky, moisturising effect”. Again, coral and pink tones are the go-to tints of the moment, but pastels are worth giving a go too.

Try: Etude House’s Color in Liquid Lips, $17.90

And for the guys…
And for the guys…
10 Jul 2015

And for the guys…

As seen on: ZE:A’s Hyungsik, Super Junior’s Donghae

Korean men are just as adept in the art of maquillage as their lady friends. So if your man doesn’t mind going for the quintessential Hallyu pretty boy look for a day, Celine suggests getting the right brows first, which are straight (of course) and thick.

Try: Etude House Brow Kit, $18.90

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