It takes only four steps: The secret to eyeliner the K-Beauty way

When I was younger and starting out with makeup, my mother would tell me to go easy on the eyeliner. It will make you look mataray, old, and unrecognizable, she warned me, and considering the eyeliner styles that her generation was used to, I do get what she means.

The beauty world has changed a lot since then though, and experts have come up with new and modern ways to give your peepers definition without fitting into any of the above descriptions. In fact, a trending Korean eyeliner technique is specifically designed to make you look young and fresh! Plus, it’s so much easier to do than evening out wings for the perfect cat eye so we definitely recommend this even for beginners. Channel your favorite K-pop star in just four easy steps!

Step 1: Tightline the upper lashline.

Eyeliner application is often a struggle for monolids like me because they can easily take up what little lid area we actually have. To give the illusion of fully lined eyes without having to sacrifice prime eyeshadow space, focus on tightlining the upper lid. Use felt-tip or fine-brushed liners for a more precise application and so it’s a bit easier to apply in between your upper lashes.

Step 2: Make a bolder line that travels south  

Line your eyes as normal and follow the natural curves of your eye shape. When you get to lining the lower lid though, apply it from roughly the middle of your eyes up to the outer corners. You may want to soften the line and smudge it a bit if you want a more lived-in look.

Step 3: Extend the liner on the upper lashline.

And if you’re wondering how much of an extension we’re talking about here, it’s generally a good idea to extend it to about the length of your eyebrow. You’ll want it to curve ever so slightly upwards, kind of like a winged liner without as much of the sudden upward angle.

Step 4: (Optional) Contour the undereye area

It sounds ridiculous at first, but the finished look proves that it gives more dimension to the eyes. The practice of making aegyo-sal or a little eye pouch actually lends to the “wide-eyed and innocent” look that takes years off your face. After applying concealer to correct any dark discolorations, use a pale beige or cream-colored eyeshadow (with minimal or no shimmer) to trace the curve below your lower lashline (the base of your eyeball). Right underneath, lightly apply a contour stick to create that puffy look, focusing application on the middle of the undereye area. Blend out any harsh lines.

The end result

This Korean eyeliner technique makes eyes look bigger and longer without looking too sharp. It’s the polar opposite of the thick, angular and fierce eyeliner styles that Western makeup is known for. Complete the look with a dewy base and gradient lips for a full-on K-beauty inspired look.

Do you think eyeliner makes you look older? Would you consider trying this technique? What other Korean makeup techniques do you want to see featured?