I didn't think K-pop could exist without black eyeliner. But then, the power of pastels effectively dethroned the cat-eye's reign among Korean pop princesses. The new blushed and airbrushed look is all about pink as a neutral. Think skin that looks lit by an invisible halo, framed in fair locks of strawberry blonde or light brown. Hair in shades closer to skin color creates a washed-out, neutral base on which shimmery blooms of pink and coral highlight the eyes, cheeks, and lips. The effect reminds me of how rosy and coy Kirsten Dunst looked in a white wig as Marie Antoinette.
Makeup brands like 3 Concept Eyes and 16 Brand by Chosungah echo this look to a T. But, the girl group Red Velvet makes just about the strongest case for this dreamy, cotton-candy look. The rookie group — made up of Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy, and new addition Yeri — released the single "Ice Cream Cake" in mid-March. During that month, it was the most viewed K-pop music video in the world. It basically explodes with sugary confection and whimsical beauty looks. It’s K-pop meets Malibu Barbie through a Valencia filter.
I had a chance to be on set with the members of Red Velvet during the making of "Ice Cream Cake" and got to see first-hand how they got their dreamy, candy-land makeup looks. I also picked up a few surprisingly valuable tips that work outside of K-pop videos. Check 'em out, ahead.
(Disclaimer: The makeup artist arrived with an entire suitcase of products and tools, and these are just some of the items I witnessed being applied.)