K-beauty and K-fashion Trends Influenced by KPOP Stars

KPOP is not just about the music. It is also a synergy of the idols, songs, dances, fashion, costume, and overall aesthetics. And the fandom created by KPOP takes on an important role in the general movement of the Korean Wave, or what they call Hallyu. How does it happen? 

In the past few years, KPOP rose as a global phenomenon not just in Asia, but also in North America and Europe. With this kind of recognition and popularity, the growth of several South Korean industries was made possible. Therefore, you can say that KPOP helped the Korean government promote its cultural assets. The fans are now pursuing the “Korean Dream” as they get to know its customs and traditions. They don’t just ingest Hallyu contents, they also experience and participate in it.

kpop world map
Source: @TwitterData in Collaboration with KPOP Radar (https://twitter.com/TwitterData/status/1308194736910499847)

Back in 2017, a survey concluded that the purpose of visit of 1 out of 13 tourists coming to Korea is BTS. They are the biggest KPOP boy group in the world right now, contributing billions of dollars to South Korea’s economy. Their loyal supporters called ARMYs, like all other KPOP fandoms, engage in the Korean culture like Korean language, K-food, K-drama, K-beauty, and K-fashion. In which you can agree that KPOP influences people from all over the world to follow trends set by Korean standards.

K-Beauty Trends

Koreans are known for their smooth and flawless skin, which made way for non-Koreans to get to know the K-beauty industry. They asked questions like “What beauty products are they using?” and “What are their make-up and skincare routines?” So in 2014, Charlotte Cho (founder of Soko Glam) introduced the famous 10-step Skincare Routine to the world, which made everyone curious. Since then, K-beauty have become a huge part of the global beauty industry.

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Korean 10-step Skincare Routine, source: ukbeautyroom.com

But recently, new products are being developed to improve the quality of K-beauty. People started veering away from the struggle of doing 10 steps for their skincare regimen. There are now 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 products that decreases the work of your beauty routines. Here are 4 beauty tips and trends from KPOP idols that you might want to try for yourself:

Starting in 2020 up to this current year, KPOP idols began sporting the fierce look. They now prefer using darker tones, instead of the subtle orange-y and pink tones. Especially in lipsticks, they use shades like earthy red, deep mauve, and chestnut brown, which gives sharp and chic finishes.

Hwasa makeup
Hwasa’s look in “Twit” song Era, Source: pinterest.com (https://images.app.goo.gl/NVqY7U69awqvkZKN8)

MAMAMOO’s Hwasa is known for her charismatic stage presence, where her make-up plays a huge role. She gives off a bold aura by just creating a striking flick through her eye liner. And completes her style with a dark or bright shade of red lipstick.

exo baekhyun
EXO Baekhyun, @oldschool1035 at Twitter (https://twitter.com/oldschool1035/status/906426642234408961)

Korean men are also good at taking care of their skin to make it flawless. As for EXO’s Baekhyun, he focuses on cleansing and follows the double cleansing step in the 10-step skincare routine. But anything beyond that is withdrawn, as washing his face too much irritates his skin. The steps that come after are toning, putting lotion, and then finishing it with moisturizer.

As KPOP idols continuously wear make-up, TWICE’s Jihyo takes her make-up removal routine seriously. It consists of three steps. First, she uses eye make-up removal to take off her eye liner and mascara. Second, to avoid irritation on skin, she gently massages her face with cleansing milk to remove the rest of her make-up. And lastly, she rinses with a water-based cleanser to moisten her face from remaining dirt and sweat that is still settled in her skin.

twice Jihyo
TWICE Jihyo selfie, @twicetagram (https://www.instagram.com/p/CLtzwyDrnBo/)

After the make-up removal, she will proceed with skincare routine with only 3 steps: tone, essence, and moisturize. She finalizes everything with facial oil. But it’s different for her morning routine as she uses plain water instead of cleansing products.

Glittery make-up is the beauty craze in Korea that started in 2020. And until now, KPOP idol stylists continue to experiment with different shiny and glimmering adornments to decorate their clients. Materials like crystals, glitters, rhinestones, and sparkling face decors are used for this purpose.

One good example is this style of GOT7’s Bambam during their Not By The Moon comeback. It creates an effect that could be used for highlighting and even holographic purposes. Ahgases, or GOT7 fans, call this style “angel-like” together with his white hair and outfit during this era.

bambam glittery cheeks got7
GOT7 Bambam Not By The Moon Era, Source: kpopchingu.com

K-beauty started a lot of trends like having glass skin, using cushion foundation, BB cream, and more. There are variety of ways on “how” to use them for yourself, as long as you understand your own skin and its needs. But if you want to go by K-beauty’s main philosophy, it is “Skin first, Make-up second.”

K-Fashion Trends

According to LYST, a fashion search engine, “KPOP idols are major global fashion influencers.” Such a great recognition for the K-fashion industry. Well, it is undeniable that KPOP created their own identity in terms of fashion. It can be seen mostly through their airport, stage, and music video outfits.

Streetwear Fashion

KPOP idols embrace different fashion styles. But it is mostly dominated by downtown streetwear fashion, both on casual days and at work. It shows in their choice of clothing brands, which are largely based in Korea. These famous clothing brands include IRENEISGOOD Label, Ader Error, MIXXMIX, Off White, and SUPREME.

Somi supreme
Jeon Somi wears SUPREME clothing brand, Source: thekrazemagazine.com (http://www.thekrazemagazine.com/latest-updates/2018/7/16/popular-streetwear-brands-trending-amongst-idols)
chanyeol wearing off white
EXO’s Chanyeol wears OFF WHITE clothing brand, @Exo_beagles Fansite (http://www.thekrazemagazine.com/latest-updates/2018/7/16/popular-streetwear-brands-trending-amongst-idols)

Talking about KPOP fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is the unique, edgy style incorporated with a variety of bold and bright colors. It’s mostly urban-style clothing that is very flexible to mix and match. Do you want to try your own KPOP style? If you want to look closely to a KPOP idol’s personal choice of clothes, you can emulate their airport outfits. But to have a wider perspective of K-fashion trends, let’s examine two KPOP groups considered as the biggest fashion influencers:

Being the biggest KPOP band in the world, people are all eyes on the fashion styles of every member of BTS. In terms of personal clothing, they have different preferences. First, eldest member Jin complements well with luxury clothes like GIVENCHY. On the other hand, member SUGA loves a minimalistic style like brands Fear of God and Mastermind. Fashionista member and leader RM shows off Yamamoto and WTAPS on his Twitter and Weverse platform posts. J-hope is good at matching streetwear clothing with brands KAWS and SUPREME. And Jimin always looks good on his YSL and Chanel clothing choices. Member V is popular for wearing luxury brand GUCCI from head to foot. Lastly, maknae member Jungkook is not afraid to sport unisex clothing from Carhatt and H&M.

With their phenomenal success, the biggest clothing brands in the global fashion industry are lining up to sign them for an endorsement or even product exposure on important events like award shows. BTS have worn luxury brands like Alexander Mcqueen and GUCCI while attending American award shows like BBMA and AMA. It’s always a different look every time they show up on the red carpet.

BTS Gucci
BTS wearing GUCCI from head to foot, 2018 BBMA Red Carpet, Source: vogue.com (https://www.vogue.com/article/bts-gucci-billboard-music-awards-red-carpet)

In terms of influence, BTS’ fashion can set up a new trend. One example is when Jungkook showed up at Gimpo International Airport wearing a modern hanbok. It trended on real time and sold out as soon as the fans found out about the brand. Up to this day, clothing brands find ways to make their own unique take on this new style.

jungkook modern hanbok
BTS Jungkook wearing “modernized hanbok” Source: star.fnnews.com (left), zijangsa.com (right)

BLACKPINK belongs to YG Entertainment, which is known for their extremely fashionable groups like 2NE1 and BigBang. They kick off unique fashion trends during their peak in the second era of KPOP around the years 2008-2012. Aside from the signature urban-style clothing, they also use a lot, but not too much fashion accessories and embellishments.

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Blackpink New Japan Album Cover Version in 2018, Source: blog.trazy.com

With their huge influence to the K-fashion industry, world-renowned brands are quick to get BLACKPINK members as ambassadors: Jennie for Chanel, Lisa for CELINE, Jisoo for Dior, and Rose for Saint Laurent. In essence, their fashion philosophy stems from their individuality. That is why it works, they express themselves through the clothes and accessories they wear.

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Jordan Strauss, Invision for Universal Music Group, AP IMAGES Source: stylecaster.com (https://stylecaster.com/blackpink-merchandise/)

If you want to take one step towards the K-beauty and K-fashion industry, you should know where to acquire the beauty and fashion products. And there’s no better place to get them than in their home country, South Korea. With the help of consolidating, personal shopping, and worldwide shipping services of businesses like DELIVERED KOREA (delivered.co.kr), the whole process will be easier to complete.

The impact of Korean pop culture to the rest of the world is becoming extensive each day. Thanks to the Hallyu stars, both artists and actors, who successfully broke cultural barriers. As a fan, immersing yourself to the K-culture fulfills the whole experience.