Beauty

How to wear pastel eyeliner the Korean way

‘Eye’ know you’ll love this ultra-soft, ultra-feminine and ultra ‘Ulzzang’ way of applying pale pastel eyeliner. Read on for all the tips and tricks you need, plus a simple 3-step guide that’s perfect for the office
 

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So 얼짱! (Google is your best friend) Images: 3CE

Pale pink peepers are perfectly pretty and ultra Ulzzang – think Min Ah of Girl’s Day and Son Na Eun of A-Pink. (For the uninitiated, ulzzang is a Kool Korean kid’s street slang for Insta-popular bloggers with the “best face”. You learn something new every day!)

At first blush, pink might seem like an obvious choice for the eyes – it’s fun, flirty and feminine. Well, it’s not. In fact, it’s one of the most unwearable shadow shades on the colour wheel – but if you’re still reading this we assume you’re up for a challenge!

1. WHEN NOT TO WEAR PINK EYELINER

Some crucial caveats: If you know you’re going to be pulling an office all-nighter, give pink the pink slip – the shade is only going to draw attention to tired, bloodshot eyes.

By the same token, don’t wear pink if you’re susceptible to swelling or orbital irritation; hold off the pink until your eyes are back to their best.

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2. SELECT YOUR SHADE OF PINK CAREFULLY

If you’re willing to give pink eyeliner a shot, we recommend applying with a very light hand, and only on the outer half of your lids.

Here’s why. Think of pink as a “puffing” agent. Going all the way into the inner corners will only create the illusion of inflamed tear ducts – not a good look, to put it mildly.

The precise shade of pink matters, too. Again, refer to the pink-as-puffy maxim. Frosty formulas are highlighting colours; that’s why shimmery shades are usually used for the brow bone, for instance. As such, it would be prudent to steer clear of iridescent pigments; the light-reflective optics will only amplify the pink’s propensity to produce puffiness.

HOW TO APPLY PINK EYELINER, THE K-BEAUTY WAY

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First, marshall your makeup tools. As previously mentioned, pearly pinks will make your peepers puffy. I much prefer pencils in a pure matte finish; Stylenanda’s terrific Three Concept Eyes Creamy Waterproof Eyeliner in #9 Wow Pink is perfect.

STEP 1. Run the tip of your pencil across your lids, keeping it very close to your upper lash line.

You may allow it to dry without blending for a really cool, retro-modern colour blocking effect, but a more “palette-able” way of wearing pink is to layer on a palette with a combination of complementary hues in neutral pinks and milky creams; try Nars’s delightful new Dual-Intensity eyeshadow palette ($110). This delicate diffusion of colour creates a soft wash that’s very Korean indeed.  

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STEP 2. What you do is to use a small natural-bristled brush to sweep the hero pink hue onto your upper lids, tracing over the line created using your matte pink pencil.  

STEP 3. Next, swirl your brush with a warm chocolate from your quad and blend into the socket; the rich russet base will add complexity and dimension to your pop of pink. For a festive flourish, pat in a sparkly silver accent on the V-shaped inner corners.

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BONUS: All that pink around the eyes may leave your features looking top-heavy. Balance out your look by perfecting the planes of your face with an illuminating powder.

Texture-wise, I like juxtaposing the matte pink liner with a satiny finishing powder like Dior’s Les Neiges de Diorsnow Colour Correcting Radiance Compact Powder in Rainbow ($90) – just remember to keep the colour within the V-shaped wedge between your temples and the highest plane of your cheekbones, and avoid bringing the blush too close to your nose. (Ruddy red noses are reserved for Rudolph.)

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And finally, I urge you to go the whole hog and do the matchy-matchy thing. Slick on a juicy jolt of gloss in a complementary pink by way of say, Chanel’s Rouge Allure Gloss in #15 Sensible ($46). Now, go out and paint the town pink!

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