This Is How Korean Girls Give Good Brow

Photo: Via Stylenanda.
When I first moved to Korea, I was overwhelmed by all the ways I was seemingly unfit to show myself in public. Four years of undergrad in a college town like Boston had taught me that last night’s makeup and a floppy bun paired with oversized sunglasses was an actual look.
But, when I landed in this new world of beauty, I dove into my research — collegiate laziness be damned. I was intrigued by all the different regimens and upkeep, and I knew I had a lot of catching up to do. I still don’t believe in washing my face (it’s not a Korean thing, but I’m also not kidding), but I won’t ever say no to a spa facial or at least a pore-vacuum quickie. (If you haven’t had your pores hoovered, you haven’t lived.)
Korea’s got the beauty game on lock, and I’m glad the world’s finally caught on to what’s going on here because it’s on a whole other level. My reports on the beauty landscape of Korea will land monthly, so let me know what you want to hear about, and I’ll confirm if the rumors are true. No, couple’s plastic surgery is not really a thing...yet. But, straight eyebrows? That’s totally real.
In the Americas, women tend to favor a bold, arched brow, but in Korea, a softer, straight brow is the face framer of choice. Of course, it’s a stretch to say that straight eyebrows are exclusively a Korean look; celebs like Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, and Jessica Alba all sport some seriously straight brows. But, the Korean take on the straight brow is softer and not as bold. The reason being that straight, lighter brows lend a youthful innocence to the face. It was a tad disturbing to realize that the logic behind this trend is that it mimics the brows of tweens, but I also realize that Korean women default to the straight brow because it’s not a far departure from our natural brow shape. Asian women are not typically born with arched brows, and tweezing to get them there just makes us look kinda mean.
Want to learn how to create this look yourself? Click through to find the products and instruction you need to put your brows on the straight and mellow.
1 of 6
To achieve the Korean straight brow, you’ll need an eyebrow razor, slant-tip eyebrow pencil (a few shades lighter than your hair), and a brow spoolie. Several Korean makeup brands sell eyebrow stencils to make the drawing easier, and they’re a great option if you’re new to the world of straight brows. Eventually, you’ll want to wean yourself off them, though, because your brows will look more natural if you freehand them.

Innisfree Eco Beauty Tool Eyebrow Self Kits, $16.99, available at KollectionK.
2 of 6
If your brows are pretty much straight or very sparse, you can skip the razor. I know, the thought of taking a razor to the eye area is crazy, but it won’t be tufts of eyebrow hair you’re removing — just a little cleanup and shaping. Ideally, try to get your hands on a “flamingo” razor with a long, straight edge. Any Japanese and Korean beauty stores will sell them, and you can also order them online.

Line up the razor parallel to your eye. Rake the razor up and down to clean up stray hairs and to create a straight top-of-brow. You’re essentially razoring away any arch in the brow.

Etude House Flamingo Razor, $1.74 at KollectionK.
3 of 6
To fill in your brow, you could use a brow powder or mascara, but I find that a brow pencil allows for more control in creating a straight line. Go a few shades lighter than your actual hair color — unless you’re blonde, in which case you should go with a dark-blonde or light-brown shade. If you have black hair, do not use a black eyebrow pencil. Instead, use a gray shade; I promise it won’t look like you’re aging in the eyebrow. It’ll create a softer look while still adding definition to your brows.

I suggest getting your hands on a Korean eyebrow pencil. This product is made of powder that’s been pressed into a stick, and it has a dry, almost-chalky texture that goes on matte and light, which is ideal for this type of brow. The slanted tip also makes it easier to draw in short strokes for a straight, thick brow.

Most eyebrows dip a bit in the front, so draw a line straight out from the highest point of your brow. Fill in the empty space and sparse areas. Take the brow line out to where the eye ends. Some brows will look better if they end tapered and straight out, while some will look better tapered and angled down toward the end. Experiment and see what fits your face.

Holika Holika Wonder Drawing 24HR Auto Eyebrow Pencil, $5.19 at KollectionK.
4 of 6
For the finishing touch, use a spoolie brush to direct brow hairs in the direction of natural growth, and blend away so it doesn’t look like you drew your eyebrows on with a stencil (especially if you used a stencil).

e.l.f. Cosmetics Essential Eyelash & Brow Wand, $1.99, available at e.l.f. Cosmetics.
5 of 6
Photo: Via Stylenanda.
And, that is how you master the Korean straight-brow trend. Pretty, right?
6 of 6
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!