The Korean beauty secret that could update your whole makeup routine

Mar 11, 2015 at 7:30 a.m. ET
Image: Rindoff/Dufour/French Select/Getty Images (K-Pop Star From Group 2NE1)

One of the most fascinating things about makeup and beauty are all of the different standards, trends and cultural preferences across the globe. While we here in the States are still obsessed as ever with extreme contouring, our girlfriends in Korea are doing things just a little differently.

With K-pop stars setting the tone, the contouring goal is less of a chiseled face, but more of a youthful, rounded face with a brightened center. The idea is to actually create the illusion of a smaller face by minimizing its perimeter while emphasizing your features. So, if want the appearance of a smaller face shape there a few things you can learn from this method. Here’s how to contour Korean style.

Please note: This tutorial is meant to demonstrate contouring in the style demonstrated by beauty trends pioneered in Korea but in no way is it intended to transform one's facial features into looking Korean.

Step 1:

Korean-style contouring Step 1 | Sheknows.com

First apply your regular foundation or BB cream as you normally would.

Step 2:

Korean-style contouring Step 2 | Sheknows.com

Now, using a concealer 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone, place in the following areas: between the brows, down the bridge of your nose, in triangles under your eyes, on the cupid's bow and the center of the chin.

Step 3:

Korean-style contouring Step 3 | Sheknows.com

Use a damp beautyblender to blend these areas out.

Step 4:

Korean-style contouring Step 4 | Sheknows.com

For our contour areas, use a foundation or concealer 1-2 shades darker than your skin tone and apply to the outer perimeter of the face.

Step 5:

Korean-style contouring Step 7 | Sheknows.com

Using a damp beautyblender, soften and blend these areas out.

Step 6:

Korean-style contouring Step 7 | Sheknows.com

Using a small concealer brush, contour only the top part of your nose, beginning from the eyebrow and going about halfway down.

Step 7:

Korean-style contouring Step 8 | Sheknows.com

Blend out your nose contour with a damp beautyblender.

Step 8:

Korean contouring

For that extra highlight radiating from the center of your face, use a liquid luminizer to further enhance your brighter areas.

Step 9:

Korean-style contouring Step 9 | Sheknows.com

Apply blush to only the very center of your cheeks, more toward the middle of the face.

Korean-style contouring: Finished

As you can see, I am also wearing K-pop-inspired makeup on my eyes and lips. The liner extends straight out from the eye, almost a bit downwards and the gradient lip effect was created with a lip stain, selectively applied toward the center only.

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