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Ever since the Korean wave, or Hallyu, has spread across the globe, people have become curious about the makeup and skin care trends of these rising stars. What makes their skin glowing? How do they make their eyes look bigger?
Every woman wants to look like them.
South Korean makeup artist Oh Jieun said that women in her country loved to wear makeup when they went out, even if it was only for a short distance. The combination of natural brown colors are also a big preference in the country.
“People love to have a natural look with their makeup. The most important thing for them is actually healthy skin, so they have applied many skin care products before putting on makeup,” she said.
One of the hottest cosmetic products may be BB cream, which stands for blemish balm or beauty balm. The product, which is dubbed as the beauty secret of Korean celebrities, usually offers various functions such as foundation, moisturizer and sunscreen.
Oh Jieun said the cream is applied after cleansing the face with two toners. She said South Korean women usually applied thin powder on some oily parts of their face, while others who did not have oily faces did not put the powder on at all.
That’s it for simple daily makeup. Some South Korean girl bands still use natural makeup styles for most of their shows with an emphasis on either their lips or their eyes.
Another South Korean makeup artist, Lee Juhyeon, said the semi smoky eyes style was very popular in her home country as it could help make the eyes look bigger without giving a heavy look. She mentioned Sandara Park, a member of girl band 2NE1, as a celebrity who often applied perfect semi smoky eyes.
Though the stage makeup of the girl bands may look light and fresh, there are numerous steps to achieving their looks. During a workshop held by Korean cosmetic brand Etude House in Central Park shopping mall, Lee showed the stages that girl band members went through to apply their makeup.
“Makeup is an important thing in Korean celebrity. You can see that they have shiny faces,” she said.
She started by applying skin toner and emulsion to the face of the model in an effort to clean, moisturize and shine the skin. After that, spray facial mist is applied to make the makeup last longer.
“Use foundation brush to apply the BB cream. Apply it on the forehead first and continue with the other parts of the face, from inward to outward,” she said, while adding that the foundation brush was a popular makeup kit for both celebrities and the general public in Korea.
After that, put on some concealer to cover some acne or dark spots to make the face clean. Put on light powder in the T zone and Z zone, so the skin can look natural, and give the cheeks some blush. The next step is to apply a highlight to the small area under the eyes and the C zone to give a glowing effect.
There are several steps to applying semi smoky eyes. The eyebrows that shape the face’s impression get the first touch. Lee said to use eyebrow pencil to follow its natural line without trying to make it too thick. The next tool for the eyebrows is the browcara, which is used to dye the eyebrows.
“Choose natural color for eyebrows. South Koreans usually don’t make long and [highly arched] eyebrows, but short, oval and soft. As for browcara, you must pick a color that suits your hair,” she said.
Lee applied eye base cream to the top of the eyelids to make long lasting eye shadow. To make the eyes look more “open”, apply the color on the eyelids only. Choose natural colors like brown and put on just a bit of glitter to give a fresh look. She said the usage of eyeliner should not be too thick to maintain a natural look.
“Eyeliner from gel is better than the pencil because it is hard to fade and lasts longer,” she said.
For using false eyelashes, there are some tricks to make them look natural. First, use eyelash curler on the natural eyelashes before applying on the false eyelashes and use the curler on both of them before applying mascara.
The finishing touch is a bit of eyeliner glitter at the corner of the lower eyes. Put on natural and soft lipstick and spray the mist for a second time.
“If the makeup focuses on the eyes, then the lips should be soft and vice versa,” she said.
Etude House Indonesia makeup artist Astrid Tjahyanto said Jakarta has high humidity, pollution and road dust, so one of the most important things for Indonesians was cleansing routines.
“Acne and blackheads are caused by dirty skin. You will look good with any makeup if you have healthy and clean skin,” she said.
— Photos courtesy of Etude House