Beauty

I tried 4 Korean beauty trends — and here's what happened

Glowing skin and big doe eyes? I'm sold.

By Mari Santos
I tried 4 Korean beauty trends — and here's what happened

Everywhere you look, the Korean beauty industry is making an impact. Since BB cream arrived in America in 2011, stateside makeup lovers have grown obsessed with Korean beauty (or K-beauty, for short), from its innovative products to its unconventional techniques. With a heavy focus on skin care and keeping the face looking flawless but never overdone, K-beauty has serious mainstream appeal.

K-beauty is all about youthfulness — or at least trying to capture that bright-eyed, fresh-faced vibe and applying it to your makeup routine. Want to try out some of the most popular Korean makeup trends in a simple, everyday look? Look no further.

Start fresh.

Korean beauty is all maintaining the "look" of youthfulness. And that means you want to start with clean, moisturised skin so your makeup doesn't cake and make you appear older.

Apply liquid liner to the upper lash line.

Puppy eyeliner is a simpler, cleaner take on eyeliner that gives the eyes a rounded, youthful appearance. All it involves is changing the direction of your flick — instead of directing the eyeliner upward like a traditional cat-eye, simply drag the liner down toward your cheek.

Then flick it downward.

Those who have upper eyelids that naturally slope downward will see that going with, rather than against, their natural shape makes their eyes appear larger and rounder, compared to the more feline-inspired cat-eye, which elongates the eye for a more sultry look.

It's amazing how much this technique really makes a difference.

My eyes now appear brighter and more rounded, all using just a bit of liner in an unexpected way.

Use a fluffy brush to apply a little colour to your cheek.

While this hue is becoming more popular in the West, it's always been a go-to colour in Asian markets. To really play up your natural flush, place the orange blush higher on the cheekbone — which can really help "lift" a rounder face. Generally, Korean beauty trends favour a V-line jaw, so this blush placement is in line with achieving that look.

A little colour goes a long way.

As you can see, the orange blush made my complexion more warm and flattering, while the placement has applied a more "V" shape to my face.

Moisturise your pout.

The logic behind gradient lips is this: By minimising the mouth, the eyes appear bigger, creating a more youthful appearance. So to start, apply an ample coat of lip balm.

Then, conceal the lips.

It may seem odd, but the next step is to add concealer to the whole lip area. This helps minimise the mouth, which in turn make the eyes look larger.

Soften the look with a little gloss.

Instead of using a lipstick in the centre of my lips, I used lip gloss for a less dramatic contrast. And I chose a light pink colour because not only is it pretty, but the end result is more seamless. To get the gradient effect, concentrate on applying the colour inward and in the centre of the mouth.

Brighten up areas you want to spotlight.

Before I began, I used BB cream to cover up any blemishes. Next, I applied highlighter to my cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and Cupid’s bow, which are pretty standard highlighting points. But Korean beauty is more about creating glow as opposed to a heavy contour, so this look skips the dark shading you might otherwise use. Bonus: Adding highlighter to these key areas will make your skin look youthful and healthy.

Voilà! My face is transformed.

Four Korean beauty trends, all rolled into one warm, pretty look that's perfect for any season.

Before and After

The takeaway: Korean beauty trends are great if you want to switch up your look from time to time — and they don't take much more effort than a typical makeup routine! I love the heavy focus on the skin and find that puppy eyeliner works really well with my eye shape. Cat-eye and contouring naysayers, definitely give this look a try.

SOURCE: Cosmopolitan US RELATED VIDEO: This Japanese mascara is unstoppable, literally.

  • Author: Mari Santos