The allure of K-beauty has amassed itself such a fandom that women from all walks of life draw makeup inspiration from the likes of Song Hye Kyo, Lee Sung-kyung and Park Sora. Thing is, what works on their fair and rosy Korean skin tones just does not work just as well for us (and sometimes make us look… bad). The key to ensuring that these K-trends flatters us lies in knowing how to pick the right tones for our non-Korean skin tones. We show how the four latest K-makeup trends can be inclusively ours here.
Photography: Raymond Lee/ Capsule Production
Styling: Jeanette Ejlersen
Makeup: Rina Sim
Hair: Christvian Goh, using Revlon Professional
Models: Nametha/ Looque & Min Min/ Mannequin
Even Korean women have realised that artificially engineered lashes are a lot of work, and it’s cooler to accept that some of us have scanty, poker-straight lashes. So, dump the extensions and falsies, and bring back the basics: a lash curler and black mascara, for natural-looking lashes.
Try: Hera Rich Long Lash Waterproof Mascara, $45. It has a long skinny wand to reach inner-corner lashes, and its curling formula gives lashes a light, natural lift without clumps.
Peachy corals – like Pantone’s 2019 colour of the year Living Coral – have always been hard to pull off on warmer skin tones. So how do we wing coral on eyes, cheeks and lips? “By using a cool-toned, pinky coral that takes away sallowness,” says Sim. “For darker skin like our model Nametha’s; a deeper, richer, terracotta.”
Try: Clinique Cheek Pop, $40. This powder blusher can be used as an eyeshadow to recreate a full-on coral look. It has shades, from light to deep, for different skin tones.
It’s a fun, statement colour that can be enjoyed by all skin tones – especially deeper ones. Reason being: the deeper your skin colour, the richer it is, so the more outstanding the colour looks. “Go for a warmer pink to complement the yellow undertones of most Asians; cool “bubblegum” pinks have the tendency to wash out these warmer skin tones out,” says makeup artist Rina Sim. One caveat though: warm pinks give the impression of yellow teeth, so remember to brush up before you pucker up. Bonus point for the matte finish = easier to manage and maintain than glossy, as it doesn’t smudge and requires very little touch-ups.
Try: Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Drama Matte Lipstick in Allegresse, $49, or Shiseido Modernmatte Powder Lipstick in Unfiltered, $46. Both are hydrating mattes.
Outfit: Sweatshirt, Giambattista Valli x H&M. Earrings, Swarovski.
Finding your right “nude” power shimmer is quite like finding your perfect nude lipstick. The trick is in the base colour of the colour, Sim shares. Because of how highly pigmented these shimmers are, you’ll want to avoid anything with a silvery tone; it’ll instantly wash you out. “Go for shades with yellow or pink reflects in them – this “matches” the shade better to your skin undertone,” she says. Champagne and pale gold are popular options for warmer Chinese skin, and rose gold for cooler undertones. Bronze shades with peach reflects work best for deep skin tones.
Since it’s a K-trend where the end result still makes women look pretty, the colour of the shimmer remains skin-like. Pack them on only on the inner half of your bare lids. Done.
Try: Tom Ford Beauty Cream Color for Eyes Eyeshadow, $77. Its two nude shades, a soft champagne, and a warm cocoa, suit most skin tones. It also has a lustrous, metallic shine.
Outfit: Dress, Pinko. Earrings, Bimba Y Lola.
This story first appeared in the November issue of Her World magazine.