As a makeup artist always looking to create, my inspiration always begins with friends and peers who work backstage around the world. I knew Seoul would be an eye-opener but when I found out fellow celebrity makeup artist, Saem Mool Jung had an academy focused on art and the highest training for any professional makeup artist, I knew I had to visit.
The school is located in Gangnam and surprisingly easy to find. All you have to do is take the subway line to either Gangham Gu Office Station or the Apgujeong Rodeo Station. If you keep walking towards the Hak Dong Junction, you’ll see a sign for Jung Saem Mool Art & Academy. The décor was just as I had imagined it to be, modern, sleek, and chic — of course right?
The curriculum offers many different programs you can choose from, whether beginner, expert or even from out of town. They cater to the international visitors who want to know about K-Beauty, and also expand their knowledge of global beauty. The classes range from two days to six months.
I took a one-day intensive course in K-Pop and K-Drama. Being that the class was for international students, I got to meet, Tera Loviana, an amazing artist from Indonesia. We found ourselves chatting about our industries along with what defines beauty in both our worlds, over Chinese food during lunch.
( See below for our pic together #INTERNATIONALBESTIES)
So what is K-Beauty?
K-pop beauty translates to much stronger makeup application. Think more everything: more eyes, more cheeks, and of course more glam! It’s the Korean pop singer makeup that all the girls in the streets are imitating. It’s essentially stage makeup made to pop on screen and while performing that’s not being worn as everyday makeup.
But even the K-Pop look tries to keep things looking as natural as possible. For instance, a Kim Kardashian makeup look is not acceptable. The aim is to still look the same person, just more enhanced, innocent and fun.
Key Beauty Notes:
Sunscreen is a must. It helps protect the skin from ultra-violets and is a primary step in daily Korean skincare routines. Brighter skin is achieved with the help of pearl illuminizing foundations. When starting your base, you want to make sure you focus on the inner part of the face and apply makeup to the thickest parts of your cheeks and forehead. Makeup is meant to look like skin. It’s all about evening out the skin tone and not covering the entire face.
East senior director makeup artist for Jung Saem Mool Academy was our incredible instructor. Her work has been featured in Elle, Harpers Bazaar, and on countless Korean celebrities for campaigns and editorials. She uses soft and delicate movements to work the makeup in to always get ultra-glowy results.
My four favorite beauty tricks:
- Applying a nude/white/cream stick shadow underneath the eye, gives the appearance of bigger, brighter and more youthful-looking eyes. It also helps to draw the whites of the eye.
ATWBeauty Tip: For a wearable everyday look, apply it to the inner eye corner to brighten and lift.
- Play up the lash line!When it comes to K-Pop, it’s all about a fierce lash line. Stick to brownish/reddish shadows and use a shadow to blend liner lines and create a softer, more natural look. The water line is a must. I always say: curl curl curl lashes! Apply falsies to both top and bottom last lines and try cutting the strips or using individuals. Asian women tend to not have bottom lashes, so the lashes on the bottom instantly add drama for the K-pop look.
- Go for a cream blush. Cream blushes give off a softer, airbrush effect and wearing it right above the cheekbones is the hottest thing right now. I saw this trend all over Japan and Korea. I’m currently obsessed with Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato: Sakura Creme Cheek color. The bright pink color instantly brightens up the face.
- It’s all about the gradient lip. Ombre lip is huge in the states right now. But in Korea the focus is all on the inner center of the mouth.
Tints are a popular beauty find at all the major beauty stores in Korea and an easy way to achieve this look. Simply take the tint and apply it right to the center of your mouth. Both top and bottom lip should be coated heavily. Then use a lip brush or your fingers to spread the color outward like a stain. It’s very easy to do and gives you that innocent, doll-like touch that women in Asia love. Would you try it?
A little video of my experience below.
For more information on Jung Saem Mool Art & Academy visit http://www.jsmacademy.com
JUNG SAEM MOOL Art & Academy
Address: (2F, Chungdam-dong) 760, Seolleung-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea (135-948)
T E L: (+82)2-6242-8100
Pictures: Stephanie Flor