New Makeup Inspo & an Updated Playlist — Thanks K-Pop Summer Comebacks!
From queen Chung Ha to newcomers like Somi, these bops will inspire a million lewks.
So we’ve officially hit the halfway point for the year, and I truly do feel so blessed by the K-pop world in 2019. I’ve had a steady stream of bops coming in both from artists and groups that I love and even newer faces on the scene that have been a long time coming.
We know what we’re here for, so let’s dive into some of the more recent comebacks from top K-pop artists and potentially bring some freshness to your beauty routines as well as your playlists.
“Snapping” by Chung Ha
Chung Ha is back. Will there ever be a Chung Ha release that I won’t gush about? Maybe, but today is not that day. I spent so much of my first time watching this video literally yelling that I had to go back and listen to the song itself. Her talent is off the charts, and the fact that she does so much of her own choreography really is next level. There were so many looks to choose from in this video (the black pantsuit near the end is everything to me), but the opening of the music video shows one of my personal favorite kinds of makeup to do on people.
I’ve heard from people a lot of the time that makeup that is more “glam” can be really intimidating as there is this idea that it needs to be super precise and technical, but honestly, most of us aren’t going to state dinners or debutante balls when we’re trying to get dressed up. It’s likely going to be a bar, club, restaurant, or somewhere else that’s relatively dimly lit, and I’ve seen countless occasions where people are worried about their eyeshadow being too dark or their lipstick being too bright only to find that it ends up being way more subtle once you’re not in fluorescent bathroom lighting.
This more grunge style of glam is perfect for most occasions, and the first few times you do it, it may feel like a lot makeup everywhere on your face. The first time I do this on any of my friends, they always express how nervous they are about how much makeup I’m putting on and that they don’t want to look crazy. They also always switch their profile pictures on social media to ones they take that night because they love how their makeup looks. It’s gonna be OK, I promise; you can always wipe it off if it really feels too over-the-top, but I think you’ll be surprised at how much you can get away with.
We’ve got everything going on here, from glitter on the lid and a cat-eye that’s brought all the way into the inner waterline in that Cleopatra-esque style, to metallic eyeshadow smoked out above the crease and pretty far down below the lash line. My best tips for first-timers would be to keep the lips simple (if only to just save some time) — don’t rush to do this under a time constraint when you’re still figuring it out — and pile on the mascara. There is no such thing as too much mascara in this realm.
“Birthday” by Somi
Yes, that’s right, Jeon Somi finally freakin’ debuted, y’all. If you’re not familiar, she was on the first season of the competition show Produce 101 that had the nation vote on K-pop trainees to form a temporary girl group known as I.O.I. (get it, 101 and I.O.I). Think of American Idol but on steroids for a K-pop group — and Somi took the top spot with over 850,000 votes. Fast forward to this girl group coming to an end, snagging numerous TV show spots, and switching from one major entertainment company to another — it’s about time this girl debuted after spending years in the spotlight as a performer with no music to truly call her own.
Her debut single “Birthday” is bounce-y, a little edgy (courtesy of The Black Label under YG Entertainment), and the music video is a neon dream. I’m obsessed with the hot pink crushed velvet convertible in the first half of the video. Somi kicks things off in a punk-ish school uniform and this makeup look that is the perfect example of how to pull off pink eyeshadow.
Every spring and summer there’s a slew of pink, orange, and coral eyeshadows that launch, and I see a lot of apprehension every year about pulling off these kinds of shades. I admit, it can be a bit of a delicate balance between looking fresh for spring and looking like you’re starting to get an eye infection. Somi’s makeup artist did a great job of keeping the pink shade mostly in her upper lid region and not bringing it too far down under her eye or too near the inner corner — that’s when you can start running the risk of looking like you’re having a bout of hay fever.
I think the super bright and punchy reddish-fuchsia lip is what ironically helps balance out the look. It may seem counterintuitive to do a bold lip with bright eyeshadow, but the contrast between the depth of color on the lips and relatively lighter eyeshadow can make the whole look a little more cohesive and the task of wearing these spring shades feel way less intimidating.
“Uh Oh” by (G)I-dle
I will never get over how awkward the name of this group is in English. I think they intended for it to be pronounced “Gee Idle,” but the parenthesis and random dash are kind of awkward, to say the least. I promise in Korean it makes a lot more sense. Regardless, they kicked things off only a year ago and have quickly become one of the most successful groups among the newest crop of idols and are definitely one of my favorite newcomers.
“Uh Oh” screams ’90s so hard, and I can almost feel myself back in my living room watching the Power Rangers movie on VHS with Mountain Dew Livewire in one had and my knock-off Zune in the other. I’m a sucker for any music that has this kind of beat to it, and I’m also a sucker for ’90s makeup in general. The thing that really got me about Minnie’s look (besides the massive hoop earrings) was the lip color — the ’90s lip was all about the earth tones, so brown/tan lipstick with all different undertones was the absolute thing, usually paired with a dark lip liner that you barely blended in.
The look here is definitely a bit more updated with a modern cat-eye and the fluttery lashes and fuller brows peeking out from under her bangs. (Disclaimer: No one misses ’90s eyebrows.) The lip color is in that neutral/tan category with some pink tones mixed in, which makes it feel more contemporary, especially without the aforementioned lip liner. The early 2000s were way on the other end of the spectrum, with nude lips that basically looked like concealer on your mouth, so I’m glad we’re heading back in this direction.
When you’re swatching a brown or tan lip in Sephora or your nearest makeup boutique, it may seem way dark and scary on your hand, but trust me, give brown lipstick a chance. Even if you select a more tan or beige lipstick, something that’s more skin-toned and the same depth or slightly deeper than your complexion will be flattering on just about everyone.
“No One” by Lee Hi
Lee Hi got her start on K-Pop Star, which was another reality competition show, and after starting off pretty strong, she has been absent for a while from the music scene. I could not be happier to have her back, and she definitely is bringing more of a grownup sound with “No One.”
I’m realizing that I’m talking about a lot about pinks in this article (floral tones for spring, groundbreaking I know), but when I get questions from people who are struggling to figure out how to coordinate their eyeshadow colors with their lips and the rest of the face, my answer nine times out of 10 is just go monochromatic.
You can definitely vary up the intensity of the colors throughout your look while keeping the general undertone the same (i.e. going for a super orangey-red eyeshadow paired with a blue-toned, apple red lipstick might be a little more difficult to put together), but when all else fails you can literally just use the same color throughout. This is also a great way to minimize makeup when you’re traveling — if you can find an eyeshadow and lipstick or lip tint that match, you can try out the age old trick of using the lip product as your blush. Definitely test out the lipstick-as-blush thing before any big occasions though, as there is a chance that you could end up with some irritation if you have very sensitive skin. I’ve only seen it happen once personally, but I still feel like I have to put that out there.
Are you excited about Somi and her debut? Are there any new releases that y’all have been blasting in your car lately? Sound off below — I always need more additions to my gym playlist! Have a great week and wear your sunscreen 🙂