The Boys of the Moment: A Visual Guide to the Top 5 Beauty Looks of BTS
Enlisted into the BTS ARMY yet? The Bangtan Boys stormed the U.S. over the last few weeks, appearing on practically every late night and daytime talk show and dominating the American Music Awards. In addition to killer moves, addictive tunes, and an ever-changing style, it’s the K-Pop sensation’s edgy beauty looks that have us all crazy inspired. Here, the top five beauty looks of BTS (and how to re-create them on yourself).
Like most millennial girls with Internet, I am li-ter-al-ly obsessed with BTS. Of all the pop groups in the world, they really do have the entire package: killer stage presence, a hit Steve Aoki remix, out-of-this-world fashion sense, and — most importantly, IMO — crazy inspiring beauty.
I’m not even talkin’ natural beauty; I could actually write a doctoral dissertation on BTS’s hair and makeup looks throughout the years. Honestly, I’m not even sure if I want to be their makeup artist or just take classes from their current MUAs so I can gain their magical powers. While all seven members are wildly handsome in their own right (obv), BTS is constantly coming out with jaw-dropping beauty transformations that leave their fans nothing short of inspired. (It’s no wonder Korean brand VT cosmetics teamed up with them to release a line of collagen pacts this fall.)
Here, I’m breaking down the top 5 beauty looks of BTS that helped catapult them to worldwide superstardom — from punked out pop to glitter glam — plus ways you can DIY their looks at home.
#5 War of Hormone (2014): Punk Goes K-Pop
I love this punky concept! It’s so playful and carefree, with adorable fashion to boot. Real talk, I want every single one of these outfits.
First of all: HELLO, HAIR! V’s purple-tinted, choppy ’do truly had me considering a pixie cut, while Jungkook’s jet-black, mega-fluffy front fringe reminded me of how badly I’d been wanting to take my locks to the dark side. (I didn’t take the plunge until a year later, but I haven’t looked back).
RM goes through some eye makeup experimentation, serving some seriously goth-inspired eye contouring. Come through, spooky king!
For a safe-for-work version of this look, lightly apply a red-toned shadow (like Missha’s Modern Shadow Shimmer in SRD03 Burnt Cinnamon) in the socket of the eye with a fluffy blending brush. For some extra oomph, apply a shimmery, nude cream shadow to the center of the lid.
#4 Run (2015): Boots & Bowl Cuts
Uh, clearly I like the punk-inspired concepts.
This era sees the group returning to their boyish charm with some hair color that is to die for, like Jimin’s vibrant orange cut. Makeup is kept really minimal and is skin-focused, some light brown shadow built up around the eyes + directly under the aegyo-sal (that cutesy bit of fat under the eyes) to enhance a youthful appearance.
What makes this a top-5’er for me, though? Tattoos. As a semi-tattooed person, I loved seeing the makeup extend beyond their faces in RM’s hand “tattoos.” It’s stereotypical but really ties the “bad boy” concept together.
Fake tattoos are a super fun and easy way to add edge to your look. Using a super precise eyeliner pen, carefully draw out your design and let dry for a few seconds. Lightly dust with your favorite colorless powder and BAM — commitment-free tats!
#3 I Need U (2015): I Need U(r) Glow
We’re taking a bit of an aesthetic detour with this concept, and it’s so, so good. The low-contrast imagery? Yes. Floral motifs? DOUBLE YES.
Sure, there’s the occasional warm eyeshadow moment here and there, but what this makeup is really about is complexion. All the stops were pulled to create a youthful, lit-from-within look to the skin. Sticking to the ethereal theme, glow-promoting products (such as The Face Shop’s Highlighter Beam) were tapped across the eyes and skin to add fullness, shine, and volume to the face.
Creamy products not your style? Opt for a finely milled powder illuminator (like JungSaemMool’s Essential Powder Illuminator) to lightly dust over the face’s high points for a similar effect.
#2 Blood Sweat, & Tears (2016): All Smoked Out
This remains one of my all-time faves for one reason and one reason only: EYESHADOW. I mean, come on! Contoured, smoked out eyeshadow? WITH additional glittery realness? What’s not to love? BTS basically stole and improved everyone’s go-to club look, and I’m not even mad about it.
We also see members’ features being extremely feminized using traditional women’s beauty techniques. Lips and skin were kept muted, but highlighted.
Venturing in a totally, completely out-of-the-box concept proved to be successful for the group. By heavily promoting femininity and sensuality rather than their typical “boyish” charm, they managed to inspire literally hundreds of thousands of “Blood, Sweat, & Tears”-related tutorials on YouTube.
#1 Fire (2016): Because Your Hair Color Is Smokin’
I know: This is not the most makeup-y era. But oh, is it my absolute favorite.
This had both my fashion-loving and beauty-obsessed brain buzzing; everyone is wearing something special, whether it be from Japanese streetwear brands or luxury designers like Saint Laurent.
Makeup was kept extremely subtle so as not to overpower the garments — any changes in appearance were made to enhance the effect of the clothes, making the concept all the more powerful.
As always, we saw ma-JOR changes in hair, including a black-to-platinum transition in Jin. (If someone can LMK how they keep their hair from falling out, that would be great *cries in split ends*.)
I may be a little biased, but this era includes my all-time favorite look on any member: If you know me at all, you know I am absolutely obsessed with RM’s weird, blue/green/blue-green/green-blue Caesar/undercut hybrid. There’s no rhyme or reason as to why this should have ever been conceptualized by a professional hair stylist, but oh, boy, am I glad it was.
This era as a whole expresses the power of utilizing beauty to amplify whatever look you’re aiming for, as well as the power of combining fashion and beauty to fully express yourself. For that reason, it’s my fave.
So who’s your bias? And what are your fave beauty looks of BTS?