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NOW READING TrendsOnTap: The Best K-Pop Makeup Inspo to Kick Off Your Year
January 22, 2019

TrendsOnTap: The Best K-Pop Makeup Inspo to Kick Off Your Year

Need a little beauty inspo for the new year? Look no further than the hottest K-pop comebacks to light the way for some killer K-pop makeup trends. It’s the perfect way to inject some optimism (and Pantone color of the year Living Coral) into 2019.


Y’all. I am overwhelmed. Usually the top of the year can be a little slow on the K-pop scene, and my favorite artists and groups don’t pop off until at least a few weeks or a month or so into the year. That is not the case this year whatsoever; my playlists are overflowing, and I could not be happier.


I wanted to highlight some of my favorite releases and music videos so far to provide some fresh jams for your commute or workouts and fresh K-pop makeup trends for the top of the year. New year, new me, right?


k-pop makeup trends
Chung Ha in “Gotta Go”


“Sunrise” by Gfriend


Gfriend is always one of the groups that I keep my eye on, and the talent level of these girls, especially when it comes to choreography, is absolutely insane.



Their makeup has been relatively simple and clean (anyone ready for Kingdom Hearts 3?) throughout their career, and it’s not something I’ve paid much attention to, but with their newest release “Sunrise,” I really liked the look that they went for because it seemed very representative of what I’m seeing a lot of in Korea right now.


k-pop makeup trends


The makeup was kept pretty consistent across all the girls. Sowon gives us a good look at what looks to be an orange-y brown-toned shadow blended up from the lashline to peek out just above the visible crease with a slightly more neutral brown smoked around the upper and lower lashline to give some dimension.


For a music video, it’s honestly a pretty simple look, and I think more of the easy style of makeup is something popping up a lot in Korea, especially with the super orange or pink leaning tones. The Pantone color for 2019 is Living Coral, so that might be where the inspo is coming from.


k-pop makeup trends


Eunha has a slight variation on this look. She has a little bit more visible lid space, so it looks like the makeup artist went in with a black eye pencil and smudged out the line ever so slightly. If liner is a must-have item for you, then you can opt for the version on her and adopt it to suit your style. It’s the perfect of example of taking a trend and changing it a little to make it more comfortable to wear and/or more flattering on different features. I’ve never been the best at super precise liner, so this softly smudged but still very defined style of eyeliner is what I tend to go for when applying liner.


“%% (Eung Eung)” by Apink



I will always love “Mr. Chu” and “Luv,” but it looks like the cute, “fairy” era of Apink is a past chapter now. I don’t know how to describe the style of the current vibe of “I’m So Sick” and now “%% (Eung Eung)” (which also could just be translated as “Yes Yes” because the “eung” here is used in Korean as an agreeing vocalization, similar to how we use “uh huh” in English), but I absolutely love the dance-y, more mature vibe of it all.


k-pop makeup trends


Eunji has on a slightly amped-up version of the previously discussed look with a distinctly orange and brown eyeshadow combo. I love this color on her; it looks almost exactly like the swatches of Pantone Living Coral, but the color makes me think of a classy version of Tang to be honest. The ’90s would be proud. It looks like the artist opted for brown liner instead of black to help keep the look high impact and on the softer side.


k-pop makeup trends


Hayoung, on the other hand, has moved on to the hot pink end of the spectrum and had her eyes match her black and pink outfit. What I love the most about this look is the classic aegyo sal highlight under her eyes. If you look at the rest of her eye makeup, it’s not anything super avant garde, but the glitter adds a huge impact for something that doesn’t take a lot of time or makeup know-how to apply well. We’ve got the Crystal Pearl Eye Stick from meloMELI that would be the exact type of product you would want for something like this.


“벌써 12시” (“Gotta Go”) by Chung Ha



My queen, my bias, my everything; Chung Ha is back and she just keeps getting better. This is her first time going into a darker sound, and I expected the makeup to follow suit, but I was surprised at how little she was wearing, especially in terms of color on her eyes. She’s got the sheerest wash of a warm-toned — or should I say coral-toned — brown in her crease, and it’s really about the lips and brows from there.


I watched a video where she was speaking about her makeup, and her makeup artist actually contoured under her aegyo sal to give her eyes more dimension. I know, the thought of putting darkness intentionally under your eyes can sound like a horrifying idea, but sheer really is the name of the game here.


k-pop makeup trends
Chung Ha


This also looks like one of the things I tell my friends to do all the time when you’re traveling or want to minimize products. Take an eyeshadow blending brush and use your contour shade or bronzer you’d use on your face (the Too Cool for School Shading compact still remains a staple) as a color through your crease with a bare lid. You’ll get some extra dimension to your eyes and more bang for your buck from something you probably have already.


k-pop makeup trends


On stage, Chung Ha has on some liner and that lower lashline sparkle, which has really become a staple for idol makeup over recent years, and such a killer shade on her lips. She said that the color for her lips is actually way darker in the tube, and it’s sheered out on her lips, which I think is a brilliant way to use up some colors that may feel too full on when applied at 100% saturation. She also mentioned that she likes her makeup artist to darken the mole on her nose since it gets covered by foundation, which I really love. Embrace what you’ve got!


This year is definitely starting off right for K-pop and we’re not even through the first month. I cannot wait for the Produce 48 girls to promote as IZ*ONE in Japan next month! Are there any artists or groups y’all are waiting for? What K-pop makeup trends are you excited to try?



Born in Korea and raised in Washington, Leo is another 20-something member of the K-Beauty Squad that is as committed to his love of skincare as he is to wine and cheese covered snack foods. After working as an educator and trainer in the beauty industry, he joined the team at Beautytap to continue sharing his knowledge and passion for skincare and all things chok-chok. During his free time, he’s been spotted in the wild bingeing Netflix shows, blasting K-pop while playing video games, or (much more rarely) leaving his hovel to venture forth in search of cocktails and Korean BBQ.




I feel like Chungha is the Queen of sparkle under her eyes. I forgot which song she was performing, but she winked and BAM! SPARKLE! It was reeeeeeeeeeally pretty!

I also love APink’s makeup! All of the ladies are so beautiful! I always wanted to try the highlight under the aegyosal, but it makes my eyes look smaller.. So I gave up on that dream. 😞


hoping for more extravagant makeup for the males. XD


MISS CHUNGHA IS THAT GIRL! Hoping for a Chungha Taemin Sunmi special stage before I die 🤣


Our taste in Kpop is so similar, bless you. Girl groups need more love!!

'My queen, my bias, my everything' ME TOO. I'm so glad she finally got her first win. Plus Apink's comeback has me BALD. This new direction they're going is so interesting! Girl crush with just a sprinkle of that Apink cuteness!

Don't even get me started on IZ*ONE. I was already 48 trash before PD48 aired, and now I have a group where my fandoms collide. I'm just trying to figure out what version of their Japanese single to order...

Back on track to the makeup, Sowon's look... Read more


OK, I know very few other K-pop songs other than BTS\'s, but thank you for introducing me to that Chung Ha song. I LOVE! I so need a playlist from you Leo Louie