15 Korean Beauty Tips From K-Drama and K-Pop Stars

15 Korean Beauty Tips We Can Learn from Our Favourite K-Drama and K-Pop Stars

Feel like elevating your look this year? Take a page from some of the biggest names in South Korea right now.

When it comes to sharing beauty and skincare tips, nobody can walk the talk quite like Korean celebrities. These radiant beings have unlocked the secret to blemish-free, poreless skin that appears just as phenomenal in high-definition. 

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to have that Korean celebrity-approved glow, now is the time to immerse yourself into the wonderful world of Korean skincare — and yes, that goes for the men in our audience as well. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite K-drama and K-pop stars and the tried-and-tested beauty tips they can’t live without. Brace yourself for mind-blowing beauty! 

Also read: 13 Must-Try Korean Beauty Brands & Their Best-Selling Products

Top beauty and skincare tips from Korean celebrities we love

1. Follow the 4-2-4 cleansing routine (Bae Suzy)

Fresh off her leading role in the hit drama series Start-Up, Bae Suzy knows how to keep her skin flawlessly dewy. For her glowing skin, the popular singer and actress swears by the 4-2-4 cleansing method, which is a four-part skincare ritual similar to double cleansing. 

It involves four minutes of removing makeup by massaging cleansing oil on your face, then two minutes of applying a foam cleanser. Then, you take another four minutes to rinse your face with water: two minutes of lukewarm water, followed by two minutes of cold water. 

By thoroughly cleansing your face, the 4-2-4 method acts as a foundation for clear and healthy skin. If your skin has been properly cleansed during your beauty routine, then all the other products that you layer on are going to work effectively as well. 

2. Wear sunscreen (Nam Joo-hyuk) 

 

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Men shouldn’t be afraid of taking care of their skin in this day and age. Take it from Nam Joo-hyuk, the Start-Up and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo star who is known for his boyish good looks. In an interview with Korean fashion magazine High Cut, the model-turned-actor revealed his skincare tip: wearing SPF

“I started wearing sunscreen. I never forget to put it on, especially for outdoor filming,” Nam Joo-hyuk said.  

Sun protection has been proven to reduce the physical effects of aging. By applying SPF regularly, you protect your skin from harmful UV rays outdoors, which can result in wrinkles, sunburn, liver spots, or even worse, skin cancer. 

3. Maintain a youthful glow by moisturising (Hyun Bin)

 

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Some men age like fine wine, and who better exemplifies that than Hyun Bin? Throughout the years, the 38-year-old actor has traded his lanky build in Secret Garden for more beefed-up roles in Memories of the Alhambra and Crash Landing on You, but one thing about him has remained the same: his smooth, million-dollar complexion. 

In an interview for the 2018 film The Negotiation, Hyun Bin’s on-screen partner — and now, real-life partner — Son Ye-jin confessed that the first things she noticed about Hyun Bin were his “soft hair” and “smooth skin.” 

So, what’s Hyun Bin’s secret to his striking good looks? Keeping his skin well-moisturised, it turns out. Thankfully, we managed to track down the exact product he uses! 

Hyun Bin endorses Mediheal’s N.M.F Aquaring Ampoule Mask EX, a sheet mask that provides abundant moisture to dry skin and regulates sebum to minimise pores. It also contains hyaluronic acid and ceramide, which helps in retaining the moisture of your skin. So, when you can’t drink from the fountain of youth the way Hyun Bin clearly has, trying on the sheet mask that he uses might be the next best trick. 

Also read: Watch Hyun Bin All Day: Here’s A List Of All His Netflix Shows!

4. Simplify your beauty routine with a skincare diet (Son Ye-jin)

 

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Now, if you gravitate to the philosophy that “less is more,” then you’re going to love what Son Ye-jin has to say about her daily skincare routine. A minimal, fuss-free approach to skincare hits the sweet spot for the Crash Landing on You actress, who prefers using fewer steps to hydrate her naturally oily skin. 

“It’s impossible to do 10 steps,” Son Ye-jin said in an interview with Her World. “I think it depends on the person’s skin type. If you have very dry skin, even if you give a lot of nourishment, it might still be dry. So perhaps for those people, they need to do all 10 steps. But in my case, having too many steps is too much. I prefer something simple, around one to two steps.” 

 

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This regimen is also known as the “skincare diet.” It breaks down a complex 10-step routine to only the essential products that address what your skin truly needs. 

Keeping it simple has been working wonders for Son Ye-jin, as we can tell from her flawless, bare-faced glow on Instagram. Truly, South Korea’s beloved “Queen of Melodrama” hasn’t aged one bit. 

5. Use one sheet mask daily (Park Seo-joon)

 

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Perhaps the secret to playing a vice-chairman in his 30s (What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?) and then going on to play an underdog highschooler (Itaewon Class) isn’t just getting a different haircut. It’s in the poreless, ageless quality of one’s skin as well. 

See, if there’s anyone who can play a wide spectrum of roles convincingly, old or young, it’s Park Seo-joon. How does the “Master of Romantic Comedy” do it? According to an interview broadcasted on KBS2, the actor gets his age-defying glow by treating his face to one sheet mask per day. And boy, does it show! 

Also read: Chill With Park Seo-joon: Here Are All His Netflix Shows!

6. Alternatively, use two to three face masks a day (Park Min-young)

But why stop at one sheet mask when you can also do two or three? Park Min-young, who was Park Seo-joon’s co-star in What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?, keeps her skin plump and healthy by going through at least two to three face masks a day

“There are days when I have makeup on for many hours, so I try to take off my makeup every break I get in between filming and put on a mask. I can use up to two to three masks a day when filming,” Park Min-young told the Singaporean press in an event. 

7. Scratch that, create your own face masks (Song Hye-kyo)

 

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While she may be one of South Korea’s in-demand endorsers and the muse of Sulwhasoo, Song Hye-kyo still likes to get creative and make her own face masks at home. Once every two weeks, she blends a spoonful of powdered milk, honey, and one raw egg white. She carefully applies this mixture onto her face and leaves it on for 20 minutes, before rinsing with water. 

Honey is used as an ingredient for acne-prevention, while egg whites keep the skin tight and firm. We dare not doubt the effects of Song Hye-kyo’s masking technique, because she looks absolutely stunning! 

8. Wash your face with milk nightly (Song Joong-ki)

 

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Descendants of the Sun actor Song Joong-ki has many titles under his belt: Baeksang Arts Award-winner, Forbes Korea Power Celebrity, and published skincare author. Yes, you read that right. He wrote an entire book on skincare. You’re welcome, by the way. 

For his luminous and smooth skin, the 35-year-old actor admits to cleansing his face with milk every night. Before you dismiss it though, clearly, he must be onto something because he’s not the only Korean star who does this. Even SECRET’s Han Sun-wha likes to create her own face mask out of bean powder and milk. 

If you’d like to try this celebrity-approved step for yourself, we recommend dipping a cotton pad in milk and then gently wiping it across your face. But if you insist on dunking your face in a bowl of milk like a cat, well…it’s your life…

9. Drink four litres of water per day (IU)

 

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Staying hydrated is very crucial for South Korean pop stars, who need to be in tip-top shape despite their busy schedules. In fact, singer-songwriter IU drinks four litres of water over the course of a day for clearer skin. 

Drinking water does more than eliminate toxins from the body. It also improves your complexion and keeps it bright. By increasing your water intake, you are actually helping your skin maintain its moisture. So the more “elastic” or supple your skin feels, the fewer wrinkles you’ll see over time. 

10. Put on toner and lotion while travelling (Kim Taehyung from BTS)

 

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When they’re not dropping new albums or lighting up the stage with upbeat performances — and oh, just making pop music history in general — the members of BTS know how to look photoshoot-ready for every concept. In their global stadium tours, they’ve also picked up a few skincare tips along the way. 

To stay fresh and hydrated during long-haul flights, BTS vocalist Kim Taehyung (also known as V) likes to “dampen cotton pads with toner and put on lotion twice as much” on the plane, according to an interview with Allure

11. Give yourself smokey eyes (Park Jimin from BTS)

 

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Ah yes, Park Jimin, the king of smokey eye makeup. Made famous by his visuals in the “Blood Sweat & Tears” music video, Jimin’s smouldering, silvery stare has spawned so many makeup tutorials on YouTube to copy this iconic look. 

For this Korean beauty trend, we referred to Krystal Marie’s tips below: 

12. Keep a consistent skincare routine (Seulgi from Red Velvet)

 

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Experimenting with multiple beauty products is a fun activity for beauty vloggers and influencers — but a risk for K-pop idols, who can’t afford breakouts or sudden flare-ups right before a performance. That’s why consistency is key for Red Velvet’s lead vocalist and dancer Kang Seulgi, who likes to play it safe with her skincare regimen. 

“When our comeback approaches, I try to take really good care of my skin, so I tend to try everything that is famous,” Seulgi told Allure. “But I ended up realizing that my skin actually became worse because there were products that didn’t fit my skin. [Now,] I like to go with my usual products and routine because it helps balance my skin.”

Of course, you can still try that new line of Korean makeup you’ve been eyeing. Just make sure that you don’t have any meetings or life-changing interviews lined up! 

Also read: Wondering Why Your Skincare Routine Isn’t Working? Here’s What You Need to Know!

13. Apply warm eyeshadow (Seo Ye-ji)


We simply cannot talk about Korean makeup trends without discussing Seo Ye-ji. In 2020, the 30-year-old actress wowed everyone with her drop-dead gorgeous looks in the K-drama series It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. Her eye makeup looks soft and natural, while bringing out the charisma and intense personality of her character. 

How to recreate this glamorous aesthetic? Taking a cue from YouTube vlogger MONGABONG, you can use warm-toned shades — like coral, grey, copper, light pink, and brown — to form the base for your eye-shadow. 

Then apply over the previous shade a gold shimmer above and underneath your eyes, along with a matte brown shade to deepen the outer corners of your eye lids. A high-shine copper glitter applied to the centre of your eyelids will further add dimension to your look. 

Finish this with a nude matte lip, and you have a stunning complexion that can turn heads whenever you enter the room. 

14. Pair a sleek cat eye with red lipstick (Lisa from Blackpink)

 

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A good cat-eye will never let you down. Just ask our fellow BLINKs (a term to describe fans of South Korean girl group BLACKPINK), who know that Lisa’s trademark look comes together with a perfect fringe and winged eyeliner

The Thai-Korean dancer and rapper, who was crowned one of the “Most Beautiful Faces of 2020” by TC Candler, and MAC Cosmetics’ latest global beauty ambassador, completes her signature aesthetic with vivid, cherry-stained lipstick. This brings out a fierce and powerful look. It’s perfect for slaying the world stage! 

15. Experiment with bold and beautiful hair colours (Irene Kim)


Thinking of getting a new hairstyle this year? Consider Irene Kim for your ultimate hairspiration! 

A Korean-American model and beauty blogger, she’s known for kickstarting the “unicorn hair” trend in South Korea. Kaleidoscopic pastel colours are layered across her locks, from shimmery blue-purple to a bright pink bob. Meanwhile, the use of different tones provide depth to her hair, which appears lustrous and silky-smooth. Magnetic, isn’t it? 

BONUS: Transform your everyday look with Korean makeup techniques (Pony)

From recreating the looks of famous celebrities like Taylor Swift to rocking glittery eye makeup, South Korean beauty blogger and makeup artist Pony (Park Hye-min) is well-known for her ability to change her appearance with cosmetics. With more than 7.2 million followers on Instagram and 5.81 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, Pony’s beauty tips and techniques are a must-watch for any fan of K-beauty. Her step-by-step makeup tutorials come with English subtitles too, which make them very easy to follow! 

Also read: 22 K-Drama and K-Pop Stars with The Best Hairstyle and Colour

Did you enjoy this round-up of Korean beauty tips? For our personal recommendations of K-beauty products and cosmetics, you can also check out these top picks here. But if achieving a soft-to-touch and extra smooth skin texture with fewer steps is more your thing, then Japanese skincare might be up your alley. Either way, we hope you find what works best for you! 


Featured image credit: Gold Medalist | Facebook image credit: Management SOOP; Namoo Actors; VAST Entertainment 

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Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer based in Manila. When she was younger, she knew she wanted to write stories or go on adventures—and now, she's learning to do both. She enjoys reading books that spark her curiosity for new places.

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