How to do your eyebrows the K-Beauty way

Move over, Instagram brows - Korean straight brows are in. They're perfect for creating a look that's sweet, innocent, and oh-so young! Naturally, they pair well with Hallyu-inspired gradient lips and puppy eyeliner. If you've attempted it before and ended up with a solid block instead of feathery frames, we're here to help you, dear reader, to achieve your K-Drama goals. Snagging an oppa on the side is just a plus!

The gray line represents my actual brow shape. The brown line represents my initial guide line.

The gray line represents my actual brow shape. The brown line represents my initial guide line.

Step 1: Drawing a straight shape

When the trend first started, K-beauty brows were too straight and looked ridiculously cartoonish. Makeup artists since learned to soften the angles to create a more natural look while still keeping that straight shape they love.

To get the straight brow look, de-emphasizing the arch is key. This means you may have to ignore your natural brow shape, but don't pluck or shave any hairs unless you're absolutely sure you wanna stick to this look. Start by drawing a guide line below the brow that levels the tail and head. Since I have a bit of natural arching, I fill in higher than the natural head and lower than the actual tail of my brows.

It helps to imagine your brow extending to infinity! Seriously! So mine aren’t perfectly level, as it’s definitely on a bit of an upward angle. This is the guide line that works for me because it hides the most of my arches short of me actually shaving them off. Experiment with what works best on your face.

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Step 2: Avoid sharp angles

Draw the top line softly tapering towards the tail. If your brows have a high arch, you'll need to fill the area to create a gentle slope. Try to feather the head as well, again to avoid the illusion of sharp angles.

Completely ignoring my natural brow shape, I’ve filled in the head way above where any hairs exist. I’ve also filled the topline a little lower than my natural arches to keep everything straight. The topline should softly merge with the bottom line at the tail. 

Chose a warm, reddish brow product. You may also opt for a very soft gray if red bothers you.

Chose a warm, reddish brow product. You may also opt for a very soft gray if red bothers you.

Optional: Use a warm, reddish hue

When I talk to people about Korean brow products, it’s often a point of annoyance for Pinays that there's so much red in the colors. I’ve seen this myself: K brands will often have a wider collection of brown and reddish brown brow products while other items advertised as grey will still have some hint of red in them. Pinays are often wary of this because of the oft-heard beauty tip to use brow products that are two shades lighter than your (oftentimes black) hair, and to avoid too much red coloring.

So why do Koreans like red tones in their eyebrows? Simple, it just looks more natural to them. Black and grey brows are often green-heavy, and this clashes and contrasts heavily against their generally pale skin tones. It tends to look heavy and unnatural even if they sport black hair.

We don’t need to go as red as they do, especially since Pinay skin tones are usually deeper and warmer. Just a whisper of red is enough, but I’d still caution against green-heavy black/grey brows! Explore liquid brow pens, which offer translucent pigmentation – we love K-Palette! Do avoid brow pomades, which are pigment-heavy and make brows look too solid rather than light and feathery. If black hairs showing up against reddish brows bother you, try topping with brow mascara. Here are some of our picks that won’t break the bank.

Overall, an innocent feel.

Overall, an innocent feel.

Getting the K-beauty kilay right takes some practice, especially since we’re so used to arching our brows. Personally, my hands were so used to enhancing my arches, that it took me a while to make them look soft and straight. It’s worth the practice, I’d say! Not only is it super trendy, changing my brows changes my appearance so much that I feel I’ve unlocked a ton of new makeup looks. I personally love drawing straight brows when I want my face to match the inner kindness and innocence radiating from my golden heart. 

Are you ready to try the K-beauty kilay? For those already doing it, do share your own tips (and fave K-beauty brow products) in the comments!

Header image via Pony