Before South Korean beauty came along, our makeup routines were pretty standard: base + blush + lipstick + mascara. But thanks to the K-beauty rigmarole that has entered our lives, our running list of quirky looks is growing longer and stronger! Below, we’ve rounded up five unconventional trends that have quickly become trademarks of Korean-style makeup. Step out of your comfort zone with these Hallyu beauty hacks!


Roughly translated, jamsu means “diving” or “submerging”—and it’s basically a very weird way to mattify your face. First, apply your makeup as usual. Set it with loose powder, then dunk your face into a basin full of cool water (#Whut). Hold it there for no longer than 30 seconds. Then come back up to the surface and pat your face dry. Apparently, the water-diving action produces a perfectly matte and budge-proof canvas. Never in our lives did we think of ever plunging our powdered faces into water—but Vogue says it works.

GET THE LOOK WITH: 3W Clinic Natural Make-Up Powder, now on sale at P288 (limited time only)


Sleep-deprived girls, rejoice! Puffy under-eyes are the hottest thing in Korea right now, odd as it might seem. Known as aegyo sal or “eye smiles,” this beauty trend involves accentuating the fatty deposits under your eyes for the illusion of a perpetually cheerful, youthful face. Some women even go as far as plastic surgery to achieve this look. Sans needle, others simply get the look by dabbing highlighter beneath the eyes to make the skin appear plumper.

GET THE LOOK WITH: Banila Co. So Strobing Pen, P865


While the West obsesses over the impeccably sculpted, velvet-matte face, South Koreans are all about a dewy canvas. Known to locals as kkul pi bu or “honey skin,” this trend plays into their preference for moist, fresh-looking makeup. You’ll rarely find mattifying bases in K-beauty brands, TBH. Instead, store shelves are laden with shimmer creams and pearl-infused primers for that ultra-hydrated glow.

GET THE LOOK WITH: DewyTree Pure Veil Pearl Cream, P949


Bored with the classic cat-eye? Have a crack at “puppy eyeliner” instead. Translated as gangaji nunmae in Korean, this liner trick makes your eyes appear larger and rounder by mimicking the look of a wide-eyed puppy. It’s basically the opposite of a lifted feline flick: instead of drawing a sharp upward line, extend your liner downwards and connect it with a line halfway across the lower lashline. Ta-da! You now have the eyes of a baby Pom. Who can resist?

GET THE LOOK WITH: Tony Moly Easy Touch Liquid Eye Liner, P278


As you can probably tell by now, K-beauty is fixated on the round and bright-eyed look. But if puppy eyeliner is too much work for you, there’s always ap-tei-um hyo-gwa (it’s okay, we can’t pronounce it either). This makeup technique involves dabbing shimmer on the inner corners of the eyes to make for a sweet and dollish effect. It’s a quick and easy way to add an extra somethin’ to your no-makeup makeup look. For the most natural finish, opt for a champagne shade.

GET THE LOOK WITH: Avant Scene Stardust, P696

Celeb photos: Instagram (@chaelincl, @yoona__lim, @jessica.syj, @dlwlrma) and Dewytree (Nam Gyu-ri)