When it comes to makeup must-haves, blusher is your best friend - especially in this digitally-obsessed day and age, where Kylie and her Klan can be spotted smirking and simpering on social media with their scarily sculpted, mask-like miens.
Happily, a certain ex-colleague of mine (who's up to all sorts of shenanigans in Seoul) tells me that the favoured face-painting fad in Korea at the moment involves just the subtlest of shading on the cheekbones. The goal? Gorgeous glistening skin that's taut and "three-dimensional" - ultra-soft, ultra-feminine and ultra "Ulzzang" in the best way possible.
STUFF YOU NEED
Here's how, First, select your swag. Back away from intense jolts of cappuccino, chestnut or similarly saturated shades: Leave those potent pigments to the Kardiashians, please. Instead, makeup mavens I spoke to suggest tawny taupes or dusty pinks, which make for an incredibly pleasing pop against all skin tones.
Formula-wise, creamy concoctions are great if you're gunning for just this sort of nude and nubile K-Beauty-inspired look. The cushiony comfort of cream products makes them perfect for pampering parched skin, too. Take it from an expert: "Cream formulas are easier to blend with bare fingers, especially if your complexion is dry to begin with," says grooming guru Dollei Seah. "The wetness also means there's less chance of caking, plus you'll get an easily achievable dewy glow as well." Duly noted!
What to try, what to buy? Glad you asked. I'm officially obsessed with Make Up For Ever's excellent Pro Sculpting Palette, $80, a carefully calibrated four-shade compendium of complementary colours that are just breathtakingly blendable and beyond beautiful. Or peruse my personal pick of the prettiest powder-to-cream palettes, all of which will aid with nailing this natural-looking nude look.
HOW TO APPLY
On to application proper. Remember, what we want is the subtlest of shading on the cheekbones. To make your blush well nigh undetectable, brush it on under your go-to cushion compact or dewy-finish foundie, so the rosiness peeks through your skin like a bona fide flush. To do so, simply grab your go-to blusher brush and use brisk bouncing actions to buff in the darker shade. "Tap it in with clean fingertips and use the slanted edge of your brush to blend," advises Dollei. "Work it in slowly and avoid broad strokes so you don't end up with unsightly streakiness." Easy enough, right?
One more thing: Be sure to keep the hue high up on the cheeks. "Apply following the bony ridge along your natural cheekbones and not in the hollow below, as shadows in that region can make you look wan and worn out," notes my beauty buddy Larry Yeo. Top takeaway: Be careful when you're contouring your cheekbones if you're gaunt to begin with, as shading in your cheekbones may make you look exhausted and emaciated!
For the rest of us, here's how to get it right. Start from under the centre of your pupils and swirl up and outwards into your temples. This V-shaped wedge of colour along the "top shelf" of your cheekbones will lend a subtly lifted, superbly slenderising effect.
Contouring completed? Good. All that's left for you to do is to reach for an invigorating illuminator - try Bobbi Brown's bang-on trend and totally #DieDieMustBuy Nude Finish Illuminating Powder, $83 - to shine the light, so to speak, on selected areas of your face: Swipe along the highest plane of your cheekbones, down the nose bridge and under the eyes.
Optional last steps: Dot on your cupid's bow for poutier puckers; and finish with a dab in the middle of your chin. The iridescence will imbue your mien with a lovely, lit-from-within luminescence that's so very "yeppeun". Makes sense, yes? Good luck getting your K-Face on!
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