As any beauty buff worth their salt will attest, a stroke of the right brush will do wonders for you. It might give way to a lilting blush lift, a perfectly snatched contour, or a lustrous strobe of colour on your eyelids. In fact, it’s a near-essential for fellow eye make-up enthusiasts. From ensuring your inner corner has just the right amount of glitter to controlling that cat-eye flick, the right tools are most definitely essential to executing the latest make-up trend to have hit the K-beauty sphere: a dark under eye shadow.
If you think about it, the trend may seem rather counterintuitive—why add dark shadows to the under eyes when we’re constantly working to correct our natural ones? Yet a flurry of South Korean artists—think the likes of Aespa’s Winter, Mamamoo’s Hwasa, Twice’s Momo and popular actors Han So-hee and Go Youn-jung—have since mastered the look. The trend sits in the same family as its more popular cousin, the plumping aegyo-sal. Instead, it serves to add depth to the face, highlighting the T-zone and nose bridge for a sharper, more defined look.
That being said, how exactly can we master the look? A little goes a long way, according to professional make-up artist Kenneth Chia, and the key tip would be to use a lighter eyeshadow colour than you’d usually think. And if some much-needed advice at mastering this trend is what you seek, look no further. Below, a comprehensive guide to what you should know before embarking on this bolder, dark under eye shadow trend, from adapting it to different skin tones to the brush types to wield, as advised by Chia.
1 / 6
What sort of eye shapes suit dark under eye shadows?
It actually suits every eye shape and is way more versatile to experiment with. In that regard, it is rather unlike the normal aegyo-sal trend that aims to make the wearer appear more cutesy, and hence requires specific eye shapes to work.
2 / 6
Can the dark under eye shadow look be employed for a natural, everyday look?
Yes, it can. Modern under eye shadow technically utilises very little black and by playing with dark browns, greys and mauves instead, you can achieve a brushed-out, more natural finish. According to Chia, since colours placed on the under eyes will always appear darker than you expect due to the natural shadows created by our lashes or eye shape, the trick would be to use a lighter colour than you would think and blend it out well. He also advises against full coverage concealers, so that your under eyes maintain a fresh and effortless look.
3 / 6
How would individuals with deeper complexions adopt the look?
Add light to emphasise darkness—like subtle highlights under the lash. It’s a reverse contouring technique that also creates depth and contrast on deeper skin tones. It’s also really important to colour correct the under eye area; a clean base will allow the added colours stand out more.
A piece of advice for anyone attempting this trend? Don’t be discouraged if you are trying to recreate a look seen on someone with really fair skin. Chia states that fairer skin reflects colour differently and will require a lighter hand. On the other hand, deeper skin tones give you the allowance to play with stronger, bolder hues.
4 / 6
Is there a specific brush type that should be used for the under eye area?
Three eye brushes are all you need, according to Chia. A pencil brush, a fluffy blending brush, and a liner brush. His preferred selects? Rephr’s brushes, which he touts as ideal for Asian features.
5 / 6
How do you achieve the look?
Start with a non-waterproof pencil like M.A.C. Cosmetic’s Eye Kohl Pencil in Costa Riche and add eyeshadow to create a halo of colour around the top and bottom lid. Follow up by sketching in the aegyo-sal area using a water resistant pencil. My pick of the lot would be Makeup For Ever Aqua Resist Eye Pencil. A pro-tip? Don’t use the pencil directly, but instead dab some colour on the back of your hand, before applying with a pencil brush for a more natural result.
6 / 6
How do you achieve the look?
Using a small brush, extend a shadow line along the bottom border of the aegyo-sal straight out towards the outer corner. Do not connect this shadow line with your upper lids. Use a a budge-proof liner such as KVD Beauty’s Tattoo Pencil in Axinite Brown to line your peepers and make sure to add mascara to both your top and bottom lashes. Heading out for the night? Add some specks of holographic glitter with an easy tubing product like 3CE Eye Switch and ta-da you’ve got your look for the evening too.