When it comes to browsing through street style images, there are those of us who have a keen eye for fashion, roaming streets of New York City, Paris, Florence, and London for the perfect “ah-ha” sartorial moment. And then there are those with a careful eye for beauty, taking mental snapshots of monochromatic nude looks, graphic cat eyes, a devilishly red pout, or sultry eyes.
In Asia, you’ll have plenty of those “ah-ha” beauty moments. Inspired by innocent, youthful makeup, it’s not hard to spot a girl in Seoul sporting the aegyo-sal. And just when you think you’ve seen every variation of the cat eye, a K-pop artist reinvents the structured flick, creating unwavering lines with equal thickness, in the lower lids.
We gathered some of the most popular makeup trends popping out of Asia and asked Charlotte Cho, founder of SokoGlam.com and Korean skincare and makeup curator and enthusiast, to provide some pointers for achieving these beauty beacons.
The Classic Aegyo-sal: Loosely translated in Korean to “cute and beautiful,” the aegyo-sal is every Korean girl’s go-to look. While we in the States might flinch at the sight of an under-eye bag, they are embraced in Korea. You basically contour the “baby fat” (we don’t mind calling it that instead!) under your eyes with a light brown shadow or bronzer.
To contour the under-eye baby fat, smile really hard, as if this was the next best thing in your makeup routine, because it is. Next, line the inner corners of your eyes or tear ducts with a shimmery cream-colored or light pink shadow up until where you started contouring your eyes. With a blending brush or a clean finger, make sure the brown shadow and shimmery pink shadow are well blended. To complete the look, shape the brows in a straight-ish line, which is very popular in Korea. This goes along with the sweet, innocent, and youthful look.
Products used: Etude House Dear Girls Cute Eyes Maker
Korean Street Makeup: Like Beyonce, we’d also like to wake up looking gorgeous with a neutral eye and peachy cheeks. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much effort to throw the no-makeup makeup look together. Marked by defined, straight brows, nude lids, dewy skin, and peachy doll-like cheeks, Korean street makeup is about truly looking effortless.
Apply mascara to curled lashes and thinly lined the eyes, then add depth to the lids by applying a combination of shadows from the LORAC Pro Palette and added a hint of color to the cheeks—but not too much. You don’t want to detract from the main focus of this look, which is the dewy skin. On the lips, apply a natural pink color, not far from the shade of your original lip color.
Products used: LORAC Pro Palette
K-Pop Artist and Gradient Lips: Whether you’re heading to a bachelorette party or just a fun night out in town, you’ll be sure to turn heads with this spotlight-stealing look. This K-pop look is anything but conventional. With dramatic top and bottom lashes and glittery specs on the lower lids to boot, there are no limits to this revamped smoky eye.
Instead of black, use a creamy gray shadow halfway up the lids and take a black gel liner to create a thick cat eye on the top and bottom lash line, connecting the flicks. Then, apply a lush set of lashes to the top lash line and three individual lashes to the bottom lash line. Using the lash glue, apply three nail art glitters to each eye on the outer corners. Next, we apply some bronzer in a three-shape motion to create dimension.
To achieve the gradient lip, put some concealer on the lips. It might look ghostly at first, but once you add a rich lip color to the middle and inner lip area, there’s a nice contrast of colors.
Nail Art Glitter
Model: Cynthia Zhang
Makeup by Charlotte Cho and Diana Xiao
Photographed by Marietta Leung