If you're a fan of Korean dramas, you've probably noticed that beauty game is pretty highly variable. In some dramas, it's all about the neon coral gloss stain, while in others, a pale pink lip tint is the look du jour... or maybe one happens to prefer the tiniest dab of eyeliner, while another goes all out with the cat eye swoops — it all depends on the character, drama-type, and setting. That said, there's one constant beauty trick through out all of our favorite dramas (besides the ultra-dewy skin, of course) — and it's light brown eyeshadow. Sure, it may sound like something of an unexciting, plain Jane-esque makeup accoutrement — but boy is it ubiquitous.
Of course, it's not in every drama, but it's in a fair handful of them — you'll see the look on everyone from the ultra-honest TV reporter, to the aspiring pianist, to the international superstar, to the undercover vampire. After all, it's just plain flattering and a great way to naturally add definition to the eyes, while still keeping things neutral and natural. Also, I'm no expert, but based off of personal experience, I'd hazard a guess that the minimal eyeshadow look is especially flattering for those of us with Asian eyes — this isn't true for all Asian folks, but I know I've always struggled with eyeshadow-heavy looks.
No matter your ethnicity, though, if you're a fan of Korean beauty, it's well-worth giving a pale brown (or whatever shade happens to be a tone or two darker than your natural skin color) a try. I mean, take a look at it in action:
On Jun Ji Hyun in My Love from Another Star
Ji-hyun's character Cheon Song-yi was probably most famous for her expertly-deployed neon lip colors, but if you look closely, you'll notice that she's also rocking that barely-there eyeshadow.
On Shim Eun Kyung in Tomorrow's Cantabile
Aspiring pianist Seol Nae-il wasn't having a great day in this screenshot (she'd just lost a music competition) — but she still came armed with some on-point eye makeup.
On Kim Seol Hyun in Orange Marmalade
I've only just started watching Orange Marmalade, but Baek Ma Ri's got beauty game to spare, whether she's waking up from a nightmare about drinking the life blood of her classmate/crush, as seen above...
... appearing in said classmate/crushes' fantasies...
... or replenishing her strength with blood out of a disturbingly Capri Sun-esque tomato juice pouch.
On Gil Eun Hye in Orange Marmalade
Oh, and Ma Ri's sneaky classmate Jo Ah Ra also happens to go for the warm brown eyeshadow look as well.
As you can see, it's a pretty simple look to get — all it takes a light hand and some blending. Most of these characters have concentrated the shadow onto their mobile lid, with slim to none appearing over the crease — which is part of the reason it looks so natural. You'll also notice that there's a bit of an ombre effect going on in a lot of these looks, where a slightly darker eyeshadow is used directly on the lash line, which fades up into a lighter shade — again, it's a nice technique that keeps things looking drama-free (which is great for certain situations — and for all other situations, there's the new Naked Smoky Palette).
So, where to start on the shopping?
Lovely Me:ex Eyeshadow in Teddy Beige (which is apparently "ready to be gentle,") is kind of the cutest thing I've ever seen — and it's absolutely perfect for stealing your favorite stars' look. Here's how it looks on:
It's great for that low-impact touch of extra oomph. The only problem is, it's tough to find, unless you're lucky enough to live nearby The Face Shop.
MAC Eyeshadow in Soba also does quite nicely for the job, and it's a good deal easier to get a hold of — now, its only caveat is the $16 price tag. If that's a deal breaker for you, I've heard that Milani's Gel Eyeshadow in Bella Cappuccino is a near-perfect dupe, and it's only $4.49.
Neutral eyeshadow isn't exactly groundbreaking, but the ladies from all of our favorite dramas sure know how to do it right. Now, it's just time to take a leaf from their books!
Images: Orange Marmalade, My Love from Another Star, Cantabile Tomorrow/DramaFever; Rosie Narasaki