The Ultimate Korean Style Guide!
Welcome to our Ultimate Korean Style guide! Myself and Tash would be showcasing the classical “Ulzzang” look (Updated in conjunction with our Trend guide for Korea 2018) and how you and me could achieve these looks together!
We basically just compiled everything we had about Korean style and makeup into one ginormous article just for the fun of it, and hope you readers would learn something interesting from what we compiled and researched!
Anyways, before we continue on with our style guide, I always thought to myself that knowing the culture of the country before doing the makeup itself is quintessential to perfecting the correct style and je nais se quoi (or rather, vibe) that the intended style is trying to go about.
I always pictured Korean culture as a mixture of many things. It is traditional yet Modern at the same time. It is their landscape of being restricted, yet wanting to feel free at the same time that correctly represents their style of expression in terms of makeup, fashion, food and everything else. You see a technologically superior country yet traditional and very hierarchical society that is balancing on traditional values imposed by the older generations of the country, and the ever-growing western influence affecting the perception of the younger generations. Korea to me is a classic example of East meets West. Where their Younger generations are struggling to find a new identity, and the identity they have created oddly enough, is amalgamated with the traditional values they are straying from, and the western influence they have picked up upon.
Ok that was boringly long, but you get my point. I feel that Korean makeup is aligned with their culture, in the sense that it adheres to traditional standards of Beauty (In their case, highlighting features of their face for a more natural appearance), yet pursue trends that are more avant garde, bold and foreign in nature.
So without me babbling on for another minute like a History Teacher, lets jump right into the meat instead!
Korean hairstyles are usually favoured by many around the world, giving off that cutesy ‘vibe’ similar to that of the Japanese, albeit more curvier and shorter. Some Hairstyles pop into my mind when the word “Korean hairstyle” is mentioned:
Classic Korean Perm
Often seen on many Korean Celebrities, the funnily named “instant noodle-esque” is the nickname they gave for this cute crumple curls on the head. It gives a innocent, youthful, and feminine appearance that guys seem to fawn over. Taking a walk down Gangnam, you could easily see why many people associate this hairstyle as “that Korean Hair”, along with the usual Auburn dye that Korean girls love.
Wet Hair Look
Ahhh the typical Wet hair look. I always hated it in my opinion, especially on guys. But seriously, Korean Girls pull this one off really well. Most likely because of their nicer weather and better conditioning routines. It really compliments the youthful and dewy look they want to achieve!
Beautiful Korean Hair colors: Iridescent Metallic Dyes
This is more like a world-wide trend, but it seems like Hipster crowd of Korea is embracing this with their arms wide open.
Beautiful Korean hair colours: Auburn
Koreans love Auburn, maybe because of the shimmering al-naturale looking contrast between their hair and skin. It kinda gives off that sort of innocent angelic vibe, according to one of my guy friends.
Recommended hair stylists in Singapore: (Not sponsored, based on Experience)
- Pro Trim Korean Salon @ Jurong East JEM
With years of experience in korean styling, many of the Korean stylists are experienced stylists who have designed hairstyles for korean singers and artists when they were working in prestigious Salons in Seoul.
- LeeKaJa Korean Salon @ Mandarin Gallery (if you ballin’)
LeeKaJa is one of Korea’s most well-known salon chains frequented by top korean celebrities as it opened outlet in Singapore. It has impressed with a relaxing cafe ambience, amazing service and even free flow wine for customers of the salon.
Dewy skin is defined as having a “glowy” and “radiant” skin that emanates a sort of reflective glow on the person. At least in my case, having Dewy skin makes me look slightly younger, Moisturising and softening any fine lines and imperfections on my skin. Making me appear much more healthier and fit (than I’ll ever be)!
To really maintain and achieve that all-so-delicious Dewy skin, a few things have to be done consistently and correctly: (Nothing comes without a price!)
Having a strong Cleansing-Exfoliating-Moisturizing regimen
Having a daily routine to Cleanse-Exfoliate-Moisturise (let’s call it CEM for short) your skin everyday is important to achieve that constant Dewy look. There are products out there that are all-in-one cleansers, but for my case, I mainly use the La Prairie line to do my CEM after a workout, or before bed.
Eating Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Now I have no idea why my Sister Tash hates Salads and fruits, but it’s honestly quintessential to achieving a Dewy skin! A little experiment that I internally conducted in my head is comparing between myself and Trish’s skin “Dewiness” over the course of several months. We both used the same product line for our CEM and we both had almost the same cleaning habits (thanks Mom), and we often slept around the same time as well. After several months of un-scientific measurements, it was obvious that diet had played a role in the “dewyness” of our skin! As my skin was noticeably more dewier and shinier than that of my Sister. She of course denies this…
If you had read that long text above, you would have seen that sleep is also a factor that plays a part in the dewiness of your skin. Sleep is something everybody wants, yet get so little off. I can’t say from experience as I do sleep very (thanks to this blog and my store) little, but research has shown that sleep can affect skin health due to an inflammatory response from the lack of sleep, leading to increased acne breakouts and skin sensitivities.
Sunscreening is pretty important as it prevents your skin from drying up, along with the prevention skin cancer as well from it’s UV protection properties. It is important to have sunscreens on (and a decent one) if you can, otherwise, your Skin health would be affected.
Apply Essential Oils
Ok not many people do this, maybe because they hate the smell or what not. But I grew up with essential oils around the house, and my Mom would constantly use Lavender for almost any sort of minor medical problem you could think of. Well I am not saying that you should use Essential Oils for everything however, you could use it to help moisturise your face quickly, especially in a cold office setting where you need to get back to work fast. Lavender works best for me, but there are many other oils with proven benefits you could experiment with as well.
So Conclusion: Take care of your skin.
Straight and Demure Eyebrows
Koreans generally like to achieve a light-ish eyebrow look (lighter than your Natural Hair, to accentuate facial details), that is both subtle and complementary to other facial features. Their eyebrows tend to not stand out too much when compared to the other features of their face, giving a really demure looking look.
Other than the colour of their brows, they also have tend to have the all-so-famous Straight eyebrow look that everybody was raving about years ago. Although I do like the look of it, I find too inflexible when I would want to try other styles and stuff, or maybe I am just too OCD.
The right way of doing the legendary Straight brow is as follows:
- Shave all downward Hairs
- Trim of any remaining Hair at the bottom of your brow
- Achieve a thicker and more wholesome look by using a Pen
Checkout this really cool video on how to go about it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph8uulFW4x8
The less “garang” (Garang = Hardcore in Singlish) way of doing it would be to just use makeup alone:
- Brush your Eyebrows
- Use your favourite Concealer to cover off Excess Hair
- Draw a straight line to connect your Arching Brows
- Use an natural Eyeshadow shade to finish the look
Here’s how to go about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M-FmmQLh-Y
So Conclusion: Do whatever that floats your boat with this one.
Eyes are the doors to your heart, it is extremely important in a complete and beautiful makeup. Koreans are good at giving eyes a little bit extra spirit and vividness, giving a bubbly and cutesy look.
Here is how I would do my eye shadow routine to match that of Korean celebrities:
- Apply on some Concealer ( I’m using Shiseido Eye zone corrector)
- Extend the eyeline out, align with inner corner of your eyes. The end of the extension should form a straight line.
- Draw the eyeline from the inner corners, and join the end.
- Visualize a triangle, make a tiny black at the mid-length of your eye, and then fill it in.
- Highlight the under eye area Using a light-pink highlighter / crayon pencil with a pearly sheen (not shimmery!)
- You should apply eyeliner first to avoid it getting smudged or messed up later.
- Take a matte light-coloured eyeshadow and fill in the sockets of your eye.
- Make sure you curl your lashes using a good curler before applying mascara.
To really accentuate that Dewy glow, what one could do is to use a cream blush much like the shade as shown above.
I would say for certain that Korean Ulzzangs fawn over Light blushes a lot.
Now there are alot of other brands that offer similar shades (like the new innisfree line; as of me writing now), but typically, this is what many would associate with Korean lipsticks. Below are a few shades that are also atypical to a classic Korean look:
Generally, Pastel Colors are commonplace among many Korean Ulzzangs, opting for Cute-ish looking Hues and sharp and symmetrical designs.
However, as you can see above, Sharp colors are still a mainstay in certain designs.
A product I swear by when it comes to Nail Polish is Three Beauty’s new Gel Fusion line, some pictures are as shown:
In fact, I like it so much to the point where I actually made arrangements with the brand itself and they have allowed me to become their distributor online! You can check it out and purchase it at our store here on the Website or check out why I am really digging in my review here.
To top it all off, the ultimate guide is more like a quick guide on what the classical Korean look would look like in our opinion. Of course, 15 Years down the line the entire look might change completely, but as of 2018 (plus the updated that is released now). We created the best possible guide we could ever compile so as to help people who are experimenting with their own styles be more creative (notice how we try not to say; you need to use this product or that product) with cosmetics.
Thank you for reading till this far down…. As a reward I’ll let you on a little secret… We would be having discounts on Friday….. And….. we’ll be having a big charity event sometime during the end of April to fight off against Animal Cruelty. For updates, do subscribe to this Email letter (You can choose what you want to receive, we no spam :D) to receive updates on that charity event or any other new blog posts!
Trish & Tash