When summer hits its peak, I feel like my entire Instagram feed is a beautiful collage of my friends and various celebrities at the beach and traveling overseas. Not me. I’m hiding behind my blackout curtains staying away from the 100-plus degree weather because summer to me means scorching temperatures.
But on the flip side, it also means K-pop summer comebacks! My obsession with K-pop started with the debut of Girls Generation in 2007 and has completely taken over my gym/driving playlist to the point where I almost forget to listen to other music. The summer comebacks this year have been particularly abundant, and I am absolutely not complaining at all — the songs are so much fun, the looks are vibrant, and all the groups look phenomenal in the flood of music videos in the last few months. With KCON LA going on (I’m looking at the concert lineup and crying, wishing I could go lol), I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the beauty trends that have been popping up on the hottest K-pop idols this summer.
Of all the things that catch my eye when it comes to makeup, especially Korean makeup, I almost never take note of eyebrows. I feel like for the longest time the brows were just filled in softly, made as straight as possible and pretty much the same across the board. Because that’s been the trend for so many years, I was completely surprised when I saw so many feathered brows à la Glossier. Apink definitely turned some heads with their comeback for “I’m So Sick.” They’ve been super cutesy and girly for so long, so this change in concept to a darker, more mature sound was a change well received, and their brows underwent an equally startling transformation. If you look at Na Eun and Bomi’s brows, you can see just how much more feathery they are — you can really see each individual hair.
I personally love this kind of look, and I think on those mornings where you have very little time to get ready, a good brow and a few dabs of concealer can really make a huge impact in just a few minutes. On an evening where you have some extra time, go in with a product like the Etude House Tint My Brows Gel to get a base of soft color down. Then on the rushed mornings (which is basically every morning for most of us, let’s be honest), something like the A’Pieu Skinny Browcara to fluff out the hairs takes only a minute and will give your brows that definition.
Most of the summer looks that I see both in Korea and stateside typically use a light handed eyeshadow application. I hear/read the phrase “sheer wash of color” so many times that my soul checks out of my body when it’s uttered. Not this summer! I love MAMAMOO for their personality and vocals, and anyone who has any interest in K-pop knows that BLACKPINK came back with a vengeance this summer with their single “뚜두뚜두,” which has taken up permanent residence on my running playlist. Rosé is 100% my bias, and I was definitely surprised when her first look in the MV included an orange-rusty smoked-out eye.
That was until I saw the MAMAMOO music video for their summer comeback “Egotistic,” and Wheein was rocking eyeshadow that was literally red.
Sheer wash of color who? I love how bold these looks are and they almost remind me of the last stages of a sunset on a beach in California. The colors also reminded me of the Etude House Personal Color Palette Warm Tone Eyes that launched more recently, and the quality of the shadows has definitely taken a step up with this release. I love the variety of shades, and it’s definitely a palette that will transition really nicely into the fall. Just make sure to pair with a primer the like Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer; you do not want to be sweating off eyeshadow or it’ll start looking like Train to Busan real quick — and Halloween is still three months away.
Of all the trends that I see every summer, K-pop girl groups and pink lip tints always seem to pop up like an inseparable couple. Gradient lips have moved beyond a trend and have long been a staple within Korea, so that’s what I was expecting when summer comeback season arrived — but I was completely wrong. Take Hyolyn, formerly of girl group Sistar, who has branched out on her own, releasing singles that have been phenomenal. In her latest release “See Sea,” she has a full on purple lip and camo crop top that has me considering adding camo to my own wardrobe. And I hate camo. But that’s just how amazing she looks.
Chungha, formerly of girl group I.O.I. and music reality show Produce 101 (is anyone else watching Produce 48 this season? I’m obsessed), also released a single a few weeks ago entitled “Love U,” and honestly I love her so much lol. She has a red lip turned up to full saturation in the opening sequences of her music video that I’ve watched entirely too many times, and I am so bummed that I won’t be at KCON this weekend to see her perform. It’s amazing to see someone who grew up stateside go back to Korea and make a huge name for herself. If y’all haven’t checked out her music before, do yourself a favor; it’s like the second coming of BoA. During her live performances, you can see her rocking all these trends at once with coppery orange and red eyes, red lips to match, and brows fully fanned out.
Seungri has always been my bias for BIGBANG, and I was completely caught off guard when he brought Dr.Gloderm to the table. The diversity of products and the people behind the brand definitely caught my eye, and when I saw the photos from the launch event, I knew I had to get my hands on some of the products to try. I mean, come on, look at this skin. Maybe it’s because we’re the same age, but I had a serious “I must do everything in my power to look like that” moment.
Now let’s be honest: Vibrant, clear skin is always a trend anywhere in the world, no matter the season. However, I will say it is really awesome to see more and more men step into the beauty industry as the faces of brands and companies. If you haven’t read his interview with our K-Beauty Squad leader Anna, check it out here. So many times people ask me for advice on “men’s” skincare, and I cannot say this enough: There is no difference. Skin does not have a gender and anyone of any race, gender, or background can have any type of skin. We are all just trying to have balanced, healthy skin. The end.
Looking back on these trends, honestly this summer feels a bit like the “anti” summer as far as trends go. Dramatic eyes, full lip colors, and defined brows are often considered “fall” trends, but I think this really just goes to demonstrate that you can wear whatever looks you want regardless of what the season is — it’s all about confidence. After all, it’s just makeup and you’re going to take it off at the end of the day.
Will you be rocking any of these K-pop beauty trends? Are there are comebacks this season that y’all have been blasting in your car? Anyone going to KCON LA? If you’re gonna be there, check out the Beautytap booth! We’ll be there collab’ing with Swanicoco, so stop by and say hi!