Photo: Seo Ok/ Instagram


Behind the glitz and glamour of popular K-pop girl groups are professionals who make sure these idols meet their fans’ expectations every time. One of them is Miss Seo Ok, who has been the official make-up artist for Girls’ Generation for about eight years. Next month, the 36-year-old Korean will be in town to conduct a one-day make-up workshop, supported by beauty salon Vaniday, on different applications and Girls’ Generation-inspired looks. The constantly evolving K-pop entertainment industry is known for its high standards and the specific images its artists have to maintain. In an e-mail interview with The New Paper, Miss Seo said “communication” is key when it comes to maintaining a fresh look for the eight-member group, set up in 2007.

She said: “I often discuss make-up with them. I think there is no ‘new’ make-up in the world, so I upgrade my skills and draw inspiration from popular and international celebrities.”Miss Seo is also influenced by their music – which she gets to preview before it is released publicly – and costumes.




Photo: Seo Ok/ Instagram



Rather than focusing on making the members, aged between 26 and 28, look younger, she uses an appropriate colour scheme for each individual based on their age and the gig. And for the release of Girls’ Generation’s 10th anniversary album, Holiday Night, last Friday, Miss Seo said she focused on amplifying each singer’s individual charms. In Korea, she receives numerous requests from fans on how to emulate their idols’ looks, the most popular ones being Taeyeon, Yoona and Tiffany. In April, she started her own YouTube channel Ok!Beauty, an English-subtitled beauty show that was No. 1 on Korean portal Naver, to share her tips with international viewers. Her top tip? Miss Seo said: “It is important to keep your skin clean. Also, I don’t use strong eye make-up. I just focus on natural eye make-up to make their eyes look clear (and bright).”




Photo: Seo Ok/ Instagram


When faced with time constraints during the group’s production shoots, Miss Seo, who was behind some of the memorable make-up styles for Girls’ Generation’s music videos such as Gee and I Got A Boy, would multitask with make-up products, such as using lipstick on cheeks. She realises the impact of her job and takes pride in it. She said: “If I make a mistake, I can hurt someone’s career. If I do my job well, I can boost someone’s career. I always do my best.”

Seo Ok’s Make Up Party

2 September, 1pm

Shine Auditorium, 
100, Beach Road

Tickets: $81.20 to $168 
from or 3158-8588


This article was first published in The New Paper, 8 August 2017.