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You’ve been using products that you know Korean stars like Song Hye-Kyo and Park Shin Hye use, but why is it that while their makeup appears airy, fresh, and natural, yours don’t look as great?

Your application methods may be making the difference. Amorepacific Beauty Trainer, Vivi Ahn, who heads a team that educates and trains the company’s makeup artists in Korea and around the world, shares the secrets of how makeup artists create the flawless looks on Korean celebrities.

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1. Your cushion application method is wrong

Different brands advocate a different application technique based on their product philosophy and design.

For instance, most people use their cushion by patting the product onto skin, but did you know that you can use the spreading technique for BB cushions from Etude House and Sulwhasoo? Simply dab your puff into the cushion and swipe the puff from the centre of the face outwards. This method works especially well for the cheeks area, while the patting technique can be used at the undereye area and the fold between the nose and cheeks.

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For BB cushions from Mamonde and Sulwhasoo, you can use the folding method to reach hard-to-reach and smaller areas such as the corner of the nose or eyelids. Fold the puff into half to create a smaller surface area to get to these areas.

When using the Etude House BB cushion, you can also consider spraying facial mist over the puff that’s dabbed with the foundation. This method will help you achieve a more dewy look.

Have a chat with a beauty advisor from the BB cushion brand you’re using to understand how to make the best out of your BB cushion by using the right technique for them.

2. You use too much makeup base

foundation according to different skin concerns

Vivi explains the difference between makeup base and primer. “Makeup base is used to brighten up your skin tone before makeup, while a primer is used for reducing the look of pores to achieve a better texture,” she explains.

A common mistake that people tend to make is to use too much makeup base. “If you use too much makeup base, you’ll end up looking very pale after you apply cushion, ” she says.

Instead, use very little makeup base at the start of your makeup routine – just enough to brighten up your complexion.


Try: Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur SPA15/PA+ (SGD27.90). This is a lightweight cream that provides a blurring effect on skin so it looks smoother and brighter.

3. You start drawing your eyeliner from the inner corner of your eyes

guide to eyeliner

The ideal eyeliner look in Korean makeup is thin and natural-looking. To achieve the Korean celeb makeup look, avoid thick eyeliner that appears too obvious.

For a natural Korean eyeliner look, Vivi advises to start drawing the eyeliner from the middle of the eyelids to the end of the eyelids. After drawing the line that you prefer (the current trend in Korea is to have a very subtle wing), naturally extend the line out from the middle to the first half of your eyes. Then, go over the eyeliner with a dark-coloured eyeshadow for a more natural look.


Try: Mamonde Easy Drawing Gel Eyeliner. Darker than pencil liner and more easy to control than liquid eyeliner, this gel eyeliner has a creamy texture that’s smudge-proof to make sure it lasts through the day. Psst, Mamonde will be coming to Singapore in January next year – look out for them!

4. You forget about the aegyo sal


The “aegyo sal” is sometimes called the “Korean love bands” and refers to a layer of fat deposits right under the eyes that gives women a kind and innocent look. This is not to be confused with eye bags, which makes you look tired.

Vivi says that the aegyo sal is an important feature in Korean makeup because it makes you look more youthful. While some people go under the knife to achieve aegyo sal, it is possible to do it with makeup. Simply tap pearl-coloured powder right under the eye area to accentuate your aegyo sal naturally.

For a more detailed tutorial on creating aegyo sal with makeup, check out this video where Laneige’s global trainer, Cat Koh shows us how it’s done. Forward the video to the 1:35 mark (or -3:52 mark) to start watching the tutorial immediately.

5. You rub your lips together to blend out lipstick


You may have the habit of rubbing your lips together after applying lipstick to spread the product out on your lips. However, if you’re creating the two-toned gradient lips, which is a signature look in Korean makeup, rubbing your lips together will ruin it.

After creating the gradient lips look, which usually features a nude shade on the outer half of the lips and a darker shade on the inner half, you should blend out the colour by closing and opening your lips repeatedly. “Just say ‘mmm pah, mmm pah’ to smack your lips together,” demonstrates Vivi.


Try: Laneige Two Tone Lip Bar (SGD34). This comes in two colours that are paired for you to make sure they complement each other to create the perfect gradient lips. Its bar shape makes it easy to use as it fits lips contours easily.

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