Today we’re going to talk about Korean-style makeup contouring, which is very different from the Western-style makeup contouring that you may already know about. The goal of Korean contouring is to create a dainty, V-line jaw and chin while defining the upper nose bridge and slimming the overall appearance of the face.Western contouring you may be familiar with focusing heavily on carving out cheekbones and slimming the nose.
Typically, the desired contours are achieved through heavy use of shimmery and matte powders, but today I’m going to outline a different approach to makeup contouring that will leave your skin fresh, dewy and perfectly contoured like your favorite k-pop star.
Step One: BB Cream Base
Once you’ve completed your skincare routine, moisten a puff or makeup sponge and apply your favorite BB cream or foundation all over. Starting with a good even skin tone is very important in makeup contouring. I prefer to use the Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish BB Cream because it’s light, blendable and doesn’t oxidize on my face like so many other Korean BB creams. It also adds some extra hydration for a naturally glowing finish. This cream can also be blended with a bit of matte foundation to serve as concealer for any dark spots or blemishes.
Step Two: Highlight, Contour and Blend
Time for makeup contouring! This step might sound complicated, but trust me, it isn’t! This step is usually carried out with a few different shimmery and matte powders, but to simplify the process, we’re going to do something different. I always reach for the Delight 18 Smallist Cream for this step instead of powders. I love this product because it’s hydrating, easy to apply and it never looks cakey. My favorite thing about the Smallist Cream, though, is the fact that it comes with both a “Plus” (highlighter) and “Minus” (contour) cream, so there’s only one product to buy!
To begin your makeup contouring, first you should grab the Plus cream to highlight under your eyes and between your brows in an upside-down triangle. Then, apply a thin stripe of highlighter down the centre of your nose and dab a small circle of it on your chin. Lightly blend this with the same damp makeup sponge from earlier.
Then, it’s finally makeup contouring time! Your face might look a little ghostly at this point, but it won’t last long, I promise. The goal here is to slim your chin and jawline, creating the ideal “V” shape, and to highlight your nose. So, grab the Minus cream and lightly dot it underneath your cheekbones and on either side of the highlighted portion of your chin. Then, lightly swipe a bit of Minus cream along either side of the highlighted portion of your nose. Remember, a little goes a long way! Gently blend this outward with a damp sponge.
Step Three: More Highlights and Final Touches
Once everything is blended, apply thin layers of your Smallist Plus cream to the upper cheekbones, brow bone, bridge of the nose and the chin for additional highlighting.
To really achieve full Korean makeup contouring look, you can fill in your hairline for a more “perfected” look. Dab a bit of Minus cream or a powder that matches your hair color along your hairline to fill it in, then blend with a fluffy brush. This will make your face appear smaller while making your hair look fuller.
If you want to go for the full k-pop star face aside from makeup contouring, I suggest using a bit of matte powder to achieve a straight brow, then polishing up your look with a touch of orange blush, a swipe of shimmer on your eyelids and a rosy, dewy pink balm on your lips.
This is a look that can be worn by all skin types, from dry to oily. If you have especially oily skin, though, I do recommend lightly buffing a translucent, sebum-controlling powder over your entire face. This will help combat any sheen your face develops throughout the day without making your skin look too matte.
And you’re done! Contouring your face the Korean way should leave you with a luminous, dewy and dainty look. What are your favorite makeup contouring tricks?
THE FULL STEP BY STEP GUIDE