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.