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NOW READING Channel Your Inner Korean Drama Heroine With Classic Ulzzang Style
June 21, 2019

Channel Your Inner Korean Drama Heroine With Classic Ulzzang Style

If you’ve ever wondered how it is that seemingly every woman in Korea always looks so put-together, even in jeans and a T-shirt, we’ve got the answer. It’s called ulzzang style, and we’re here to break it down for you.


Maybe this isn’t true for everyone, but there is just something about Seoul that made me want to be a fashionista. I don’t know what it is, but seriously, everyone looks like a fashion model. Even people who wore something as simple as an oversized sweatshirt dress looked like the most put-together people on the planet.


I admit, I’m not the most fashion-conscious person. I live in Lululemon leggings and Nike slides. And before I moved to Korea, my attire consisted of regular ol’ jeans and T-shirts. But living in Korea made me want to look fashionable, to embrace ulzzang style.


If you’ve spent any considerable amount of time browsing the K-web, you’ve probably come across the phrase ulzzang, or 얼짱 in Hangul. It means “good looking” or “best face” in Korean, but basically, the word describes a person who is attractive, stylish, and has some level or internet fame — basically, a hipster/influencer hybrid of sorts or even a K-drama heroine. They are fashion-forward and typically at the forefront of makeup trends. If you’ve ever browsed the hashtag #Kfashion on Instagram, you’ll see the ulzzang look in full effect.




But the ulzzang look isn’t just about being well-dressed. It’s quite specific. There are rules here, folks. Let’s talk about how we can embrace the classic ulzzang look!


The ulzzang face


Ulzzang makeup tends to lean more on the “cute” side — think, glowy, dewy skin, puppy-dog eyes, and gradient lips. For your own ulzzang look, take your favorite shimmery eyeshadow (go with a champagne hue for darker skin tones or pink for lighter skin tones) on a fluffy brush. Using a windshield wiper motion, apply a light wash of the color to your lid.


Then take your favorite liquid eyeliner (mine forever is the Clio Kill Black pen), and apply it as close to your lash line as possible. Instead of flicking the end of the liner upwards into a wing, draw it down towards the lower lash line to create that signature puppy-dog look.



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Don’t worry about all the contour and highlight — that’s not the look we’re going for here. Instead, apply a rose-tinted blush directly onto the apples of your cheeks. Then dot the inside of your lips with a cherry-red lip tint and use your finger to blur and blend it.


Apply some mascara, run a bit of product through your brows, and BOOM. For a super ulzzang look, add in some colored contacts.


Ulzzang fashion


Now that we’ve got our makeup covered, you’re gonna wanna head over to my favorite K-clothing store for inspiration (or shopping, whatever floats your boat). Click on the New Arrivals link under the fashion tab and take a look. All of the styles you see are what’s currently popular in Korea, aka ulzzang style because ulzzangs only wear the latest in fashion. Keep an eye out for the outfits that fit your current style. For me, that’s leggings and a T-shirt, or a cute maxi dress.




Korean fashion is all about mixing proportions and silhouettes — it’s the key to looking fashionably chic. So if you’re going to wear a crop top, pair it with wide-legged culottes or a maxi skirt. You can’t go wrong with a pair of skinny jeans, an oversized T-shirt, and sneakers — the oversized shirt is KEY here. It’s like the cornerstone of ulzzang style. The key to making it look fashionable instead of like a bum is to tuck the shirt into the front of your pants/shorts/skirt. If your shirt is more fitted, throw on an oversized jean jacket instead.



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The ulzzang accessories


No ulzzang look is complete without accessories. But no flash here. Right now, ulzzang style is going through a bit of a minimalist period, so look for jewelry styles with modern shapes and angles. Layer on gold-toned necklaces underneath an oversized button-up, or for those lucky to have pierced ears (I don’t, SOB), go all out with these beautiful dangling star earrings.



How do you feel about embracing ulzzang style? Let me know in the comments!




Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.