Korean Makeup: Eye See What You Did There

K메컵 (16).JPG

Also known as why I always have a lighter hand when using eye shadow.

So a couple of days ago I wrote a post on Korean makeup, specifically the current eyebrow trend in Korea (I feel like I shouldn’t really call it a trend since it’s been going on for a long time now, but humour me). You can check out the eyebrows post here.

Today I want to talk about the difference in eye makeup between Korean and Western style makeup. Korean eye makeup does not have distinctive characteristics and differences from Western makeup like eyebrows do, but I’ll do my best to outline the biggest differences.

So what’s the deal with Korean eye makeup?

Let’s talk eye makeup:

It’s pretty obvious that Asians have different eye shapes from Westerners, the biggest difference being the 홑꺼풀 “mono lid” vs 쌍꺼풀 “double lid” eye shape.

Double lid is what we call eyes that have a distinct crease that you can see above the lashline. Monolid is what we call eyes that don’t have that crease. Generally double lids are preferred in Korea, which is why double lid surgery is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in Korea. It’s done so often that I’ve even heard people say that double lid surgery isn’t even considered plastic surgery anymore.


Below are pictures of Kyeong Ree of Nine Muses and Seolhyun of AoA; they both have double lids.

Picture of Kyeong Ree/경리 of Nine Muses
Picture of Seolhyun/설현 of AoA

Now these are pictures of Ahn So-hee and Gain, both who have monolids.

Picture of So-hee Ahn/안소희
Gain/가인 of Brown Eyed Girls

Hopefully those pictures help understanding the difference between mono lids and double lids.

But back to the topic of eye makeup.

Eye makeup in Korea tends to be a lot more subtle. Brown and beige shadows are the most common, and my go-to daily makeup look since I started doing makeup consists of applying a light shimmery cream/beige to my entire lid, applying a darker shade of brown closer to my lash line, maybe a little bit of a darker shade blended into the outer corner of my eye, and liquid eyeliner.

The most common makeup look is a natural looking look that a lot of people like to call “한듯 안한듯” which translates to “no makeup makeup.” For those of you that aren’t sure what that is, it’s makeup that looks as if you don’t have any makeup on, but enhances your natural looks. This is mainly why neutral and brown tones are so popular for eye makeup.

Then there’s the famous 애교살. I dunno a direct translation for the word, but I know that it refers to the bags under your eyes. Whereas in Western culture bags are undesireable, Koreans actually find it attractive. It gives you a youthful and cute look, so a lot of people will use shading (contouring) and highlighting on their 애교살/bags in order to accentuate them. There’s even a surgical procedure to insert more 애교살, kinda like a small fat implant.

And when it comes to eyeliner, when going for a “한듯 안한듯” look, you would only line your upper lash line for the most natural effect, and you might slightly elongate your eyeliner to make your eyes look bigger.

When it comes to lashes, I personally don’t apply falsies on a daily basis, because for me, falsies are something very special I wear when I want that extra oomph. So on an average day, you would curl your lashes, and apply a generous coat of mascara. I’ve noticed lately a lot of Korean makeup brands making mascara with thinner wands/applicators to make it easier to apply on sparse lashes which are common in Asians.


In the last post I didn’t post a makeup look because I felt like doing a whole makeup look just for eyebrows was silly, but this time I did a more Korean makeup look with the straight brows and the subtle eye makeup. I also did a little bit of blush, shading (contouring), and lips, which I’ll talk about in future posts.


K메컵 (7)

K메컵 (13)
I pulled out the eyeliner in a straight line rather than a cat eye wing, like I usually do
K메컵 (12)
Please excuse my eyebrows, I know they’re really patchy and awful 😥

K메컵 (1) - Copy


I actually hadn’t really tried drawing my eyebrows straight like this before, and I felt like I looked so different when I looked in my mirror. But surprisingly enough, I actually ended up liking how I looked in this, and I might try actually wearing my brows like this someday.


And this is it for Korean Makeup – eyes!

I hope you enjoyed learning more about KBeauty and eye makeup trends. I’m really enjoying writing these posts because I think about the differences in makeup styles when I’m doing my makeup, or watching beauty gurus on YouTube. It’s fun to share these things.


And now as I said I would do for every Korean Makeup post, I’ll link one of my favourite Korean YouTube beauty gurus.

Dayeong’s Beauty Drawing

Since we talked about mono lids today, I wanted to link a beauty YouTuber that has monolids so you could see what makeup looks you can wear with mono lids.

I really like Dayeong (or Dayeom) because she has a really attractive face and her makeup looks range from very subtle and girly to bold and smokey.


How about you try a Korean makeup look next time you want something simple?


Yours Truly,


Also known as Hey June.





18 thoughts on “Korean Makeup: Eye See What You Did There

  1. I really like the simplicity of the current Korean eye makeup trends. You show it off well! 🙂
    For my fellow non-Korean speakers, 애교살 is “aegyosal,” right? The romanized word was actually becoming somewhat popular in the “western” world in the past year or so. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post! I’m not that good with makeup so it’s a good think I like the more natural look anyways. Even though I have double eyelids, they’re still nothing like a westerner’s, plus they’re uneven and I sweat off my eyeshadow throughout the day 😑


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