Korean Styled Contouring and ‘Puppy Eyeliner’ on Dark Skin

With the influx of snail/bee serums, BB creams, and cushion foundations into the North American market I’ve started to come across more information on Asian beauty. An industry that was previously overwhelming to me has become a lot more accessible.

I found this guide to Korean contouring on Reddit (makeupaddiction). A couple girls tried their hand at it and I was intrigued as to how it would look with my features.

Disclaimer: This look features an abysmal lack of Korean products.

A quick guide to ‘Korean Contouring.’ Source: http://www.refinery29.com/korean-contouring-tips#slide

For my facial oil I used Emu Oil, which I don’t quite think is they had in mind (as it’s quite a dry oil). But I find my other oils (almond/seabuckthorne), irritate my skin so it’ll have to do.

Step 1/2: 

I hemmed and hawed over which highlighter I should use, and ultimately decided on Benefit High Beam, which I used very liberally in through the centre of my face and in the triangular space under my eyes.

Step 3: 

With no Asian BB cream on hand I used Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB Cream in Medium Deep. It blended easily with the highlighted areas. But unlike the instructions I decided to take the BB cream to the edges of the face.

Step 4: 

I started by using Contour #2 from Laura Mercier’s Flawless Contouring Palette and then decided that it wasn’t dark enough and went in with #3. Tbh I don’t think contouring the entire perimeter of my face gives the heart-shaped effect they want. On me I felt like it just looked like I had been on a tropical getaway without sunscreen, which I’m sure would be a major no-no.

Step 5: 

I took my nose contour lower than the beauty diagram shows as I have a long nose.

Step 6: 

Nars Amour was applied low on the cheekbone and not very much up the side of the face.

[Other Steps] 

I used MAC Blacktrack Fluidline to draw the ‘puppy’ eyeliner. This essentially means dragging the brush down instead of flicking it up at the end as you would usually do with a cat-eye. Then I filled in the lower lashes with MAC Carbon eyeshadow and tightlined with Marc Jacobs Highlander Gel Crayon. I did try the lower lashes with a gel liner but found it looked better with a powder.

I had no Asian Beauty lip tints either so I had to make do with Benetint. Since it gives me almost no colour payoff, I applied some MAC Cherry Lipliner underneath and patted the Benetint on top. Unfortunately, with the Benetint I wasn’t able to achieve an ombre/just bitten look and it became just an all-over stain.

[Finished Look] 



"Puppy Dog" eyeliner close-up.
“Puppy” eyeliner close-up.


I really like aspects of Korean makeup and think many parts are more flattering than what I usually do.

– Cat-eyed/winged liner has become the norm and it’s nice to see a movement towards another style of eyeliner. I was extremely skeptical of how it would look on me but I really like it. I think it’s also very reminiscent of the way Indian Kajal looks, but a little more refined.

– Blush placement was unusual for me. And I hope, flattering.

– The highlighting ‘luminosity’ was overkill. Maybe just for my skin tone/texture I felt it just looked shiny as opposed to highlighted (especially in the photos I didn’t post). I think for me to really nail a Korean look I’d have to go completely matte, without any contour.

– I failed at trying straight eyebrows and had to use makeup remover to get rid of them quickly. It might be worth it to try having them shaped straight but I’m not willing to make that commitment even if it is ‘on trend’ and replacing arched brows.

[Asian Beauty Sources] 

Internationally renowned makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, recently went on an Asia tour and posted both a ‘Korean beauty haul video’ as well as a makeup tutorial.

Reddit.com/r/asianbeauty is also an amazing, friendly, and knowledgable community if you’re interested in learning more about Asian products and the reputable places to buy them.