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That’s ‘sick!’: K-pop beauty trends to try

SHINee's Key and Taemin

Makeup in K-pop does not just make the face of an idol look prettier. Sometimes, it invokes certain emotions, making the idol even more desirable. Here are some K-pop beauty trends to try now.

‘Sickest’ trend
Red-lined eyes, pale foundation, melancholic expression and anything that will make your idol look gorgeously unwell is called byojaku makeup. The word means “weak” or “sick” in Japanese. And yes, this trend started in Japan around 2015, but we’re seeing more of this in K-pop lately. SHINee’s Key and Taemin took to this trend during the promotions of their studio album, “Hard,” and ran with it.
SHINee's Key and Taemin
SHINee’s Key and Taemin sported the red blush under the eyes making them look beautiful and fragile. @BUMKEYK | Instagram
Ateez’s Yeosang held back a little bit and went for a more subtle approach. This beauty trend just makes you want to take care of them and give them whatever they want.
Yeosang went for soft and subtle look. @ATEEZ_OFFICIAL | Instagram
Clumped eyelashes


We find mascara comb wands in makeup brush sets. It automatically tells us that clumped eyelashes are a definite no-no. Such is no longer the case, as idols this year have embraced the clumped eyelashes trend with enthusiasm. We’ve seen Momo of Twice sport this look.
Momo looks cute and precious. @momo | Instagram
Sun-kissed cheeks
Koreans are not one to go overboard with blush. Hence, a toned-down caramel blush to achieve a sun-kissed look makes sense to those who want to look like they enjoyed a bit of time under the sun.
Twice’s Yeji looks divine in this look. The nude color goes very well with her honey-colored skin.
Itzy’s Yeji shows what perfection looks like. —@ITZY.ALL.IN.US | Instagram
Itzy’s Yeji shows what perfection looks like. —@ITZY.ALL.IN.US | Instagram
Bye, glass skin
It took years but we’re finally saying goodbye to glass skin. While that trend made skin look moisturized and healthy, it left other people’s faces looking oily. Hence, we welcome the comeback of the matte finish.
Take Blackpink Jennie’s lead and say good bye to overly shiny faces that reflect light.
Jennie leads the way in makeup trends. @JennieRubyJane | Instagram
Face jewels
Music videos and promotions are the perfect excuse for K-pop idols to experiment with their looks. It’s not strange to see an idol with a dark, distinctive line on the eyelids or other parts of the face, just to see if the trend picks up. But face jewels don’t only look good up close, they also glitter under the spotlight, catching the viewer’s attention.
It points to an interesting feature, making others notice what they haven’t before. You can see variations of face jewels on stage in different shapes and colors.

Check out Aespa’s Karina for her fun, colorful face baubles.


It’s a queen thing to wear jewels. Karina is one such queen. @AESPA_OFFICIAL | Instagram
No-makeup makeup
The K-pop industry has not outgrown the desire to look beautiful naturally. Thus, we still get a no-makeup look trend in 2023. It highlights the best points of the face and embraces the qualities that youth offers.
We are in love with NewJeans’ Minji’s look of no blush, eyeshadow or liners, making her look her age. She’s 19, in case you’re wondering.
Newjeans’ Minji’s no-makeup makeup makes her look her age. Fresh and pretty @NEWJEANS_OFFICIAL | Instagram
Colored lenses

It’s not exactly a makeup trend, but colored contact lenses do complement the makeup that idols wear onstage. They have the power to make the idol look mesmerizing.

Stray Kids’ Han Ji-sung likes to wear them for music videos and stage performances, adding to his fierceness on stage.


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Stray Kids Han Ji-sung looks fiercer onstage and videos with his colored lenses. @realstraykids | Instagram
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