More Beauty Korean-isms!

Posted on July 21, 2010


Following the 1st post in my “Korean Ideas of Beauty” series, “Korean Lines” (click on the link to read) which explored Korean names for body ‘lines,’ comes my second installment to the series.

South Korean culture provides a fabulous wealth of Korean-isms, which I love to explore, and for this post, I’ll be talking more about certain beauty and fashion terms which describe fashionable looks in modern K-Culture.

Honey Thighs

UEE Afterschool
Tiffany SNSD
Hyuna 4-Minute











Something, that probably should have been included in my “Korean Body Lines,” but which I forgot about is the term “Honey thighs,”  which isn’t a derogatory term in modern Korean culture (well I don’t think so) – although some netizens have found controversy with the term, as you can read HERE via All K Pop- instead, it’s a high compliment praising women who have immaculate ,thin looking thighs with no cellulite. K-Poppers blessed with “Honey Thighs,” include (the queen of Honey Thighs) UEE from Afterschool, Tiffany from SNSD (Girl’s Generation) and Hyuna of 4-Minute. Humph, people can call me Honey Thighs any day if it’s such a compliment!


Goo Hye Sun
Park Han Byul
Male Ulzzang











No Beauty Korean-ism dictionary would be complete without mentioning the Korean craze of Ulzzangs; you can read a full description of the meaning behind this look HERE, but in its simplest Korean to English translation it just means “best face.” However, don’t let these simple words define the, sometimes strange, culture of Ulzzang(ing?) as to look Ulzzang you must have BIG pupils, double eye-lids, fair/white skin, and a ‘cute’ nose and mouth- also, guys can be considered one too.

If you google “Ulzzang,” you’ll find many tutorials on how to look like an Ulzzang, and here’s where the strange side of things comes in, because, there are some girls out there who aren’t natural Ulzzangs, but use heavy make up and even Photoshop to achieve the look. If you just google “Before and After Ulzzang” you’ll find some scary pictures. Furthermore, at times, they looks like manga girls come  to life, which just screams “Fetish!” to me.

Lastly, the best Ulzzangs in Korea, in my opinion, are those who are naturally beautiful in this way and it seems that Korean culture agrees with me on this one, as many people have become famous simply for having an Ulzzang face- as you can see from the pics I’ve included above!

Circle Lenses

Circle Lenses

Part of the DNA of being or looking like an Ulzzang are having big pupils- circles lenses, help you achieve that look by being a contact lens which really overemphasis and creates a bigger looking pupil, you can see some before and after pics of using the lenses HERE. Some Korean stars use these lenses on a daily basis- to the point that, without them, they look like a whole other person! The only time I’ve used contact lenses was before I had laser eye surgery, and whilst I enjoy the look on other people- I just think circle lenses=dry eyes >< ouch!

Eye Smile


I had too much time on my hands...

So, what’s the Korean Eye Smile all about? Cos it’s slightly different to the Western idea of “Smiling with your eyes” where you project happiness and beauty through your eyes as you smile (yeah I can’t quite do that either!); in Korean culture, an eye smile occurs when you smile and your eyes naturally arch into a half-moon shape. In layman terms, you smile, but your eyes end up half squinting at the same time! Which rather seems odd when Koreans go to great lengths to make their eyes appear bigger and even have surgery to do so- all that effort gone to waste.

But to be honest, I love me a Korean eye smile any day, since it seems to convey beauty, innocence and friendliness all in one go (I wish I had an eye smile, rather than a stink eye LOL), and you too can achieve an eye smile -even me- just smile and really squint, hard. I’m of course joking because if you try doing so you might come off looking fake, crazy or even show too much teeth, but come on, whose to say these Korean celebs aren’t practicing their “eye smiles” in such a way at home, in front of the mirror? 😉 Oh and you know who has the most AWESOME eye smile? My baby nephew! Shame I haven’t got a picture of him to show you- boy’s gonna be a heart breaker!


With or Without Aegyo-Sal?

Have you ever looked at a Korean celebrity and thought “Dude, you need to get your eye bags sorted- here’s some Clinique eye cream (read my review on that HERE lol).” Well, as strange as it may seem to us Non-Koreans who have a daily battle to get rid of our eye bags, South Koreans are actually fighting hard to gain some and if they don’t have any, they’ll ‘make’ some by surgery; but, hold on a minute, they don’t want just any kind of tired eye-bags, oh no my friends, they want some “Aegyo-Sal.” Eye bags that aren’t the dark, droopy ones we know of but little plump eye bags-. My question here though, is if you have Aegyo-Sal and get dark eye bags, will that mean you’ll get double the eye bags? Not a good look if so!

Apparently these Aegyo-Sal babies mean the difference between normal looking eyes and eyes that look youthful and ‘charming’- looking at the above “With or without Aegyo-Sal” picture, do you think this rings true? For me, Aegyo-Sal is something very unique to Korea, and I’ve never seen a Korean without them. Looking at the above pictures, they do seem to make a bit of a difference by making people appear more youthful etc, but don’t these qualities all just tie in with the Korean love of Ulzzang type beauty?

Hey, I can get me some Aegyo-Sal, if I smile hard enough, and you know what else I can get if I smile hard enough too- I’d be a few steps away from being Ulzzang (JOKING, I don’t want to be a fake ulzzang- it would be scary!)

Hope, you’ve enjoyed this post- my next post is gonna be slightly different as it won’t be as charming towards Korean Beauty culture, as these last two posts have, as I’m gonna looking at the negative aspects of what is regarded as Beauty in Korea! 🙂

Source:,, kdramaqueen,