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Feb 22, 2017 (updated : Oct 1, 2020)

How To Be Ulzzang - Makeup and Fashion Tips for 2021

Put your best face forward with these beauty and fashion tips to look ulzzang in 2021!

Korean beauty trends have been gaining popularity in recent years, not only in its country of origin South Korea but also in other nations including the Philippines. Filipinos are known to be versatile, creative, and we are very open when it comes to new things that we think will have a positive effect on us. Well, we have been colonized multiple times in the past, which made us culturally-diverse and open for new ideas from other countries to add to our own. One of those trends from Korea that caught our attention is the ulzzang makeup and fashion. What is ulzzang, by the way? For the benefit of those who aren't really familiar with this new trend, we're doing a short recap.

What is Ulzzang?

Ulzzang, which literally means "best face" in Korean, refers to the makeup and fashion trend where ladies, as well as men, look their best in pictures through the use of makeup, distinct hairstyles, accessories such as contact lenses, photo editors like Photoshop, and using the right filters that will enhance their beauty.

While the ulzzang trend is only aimed to make people feel great about their appearance, critics say that it encourages deception as the women and men who are into this trend make themselves very beautiful so they end up looking so different from how they look like in real life.

Now that we are clear with the definition, let's get to work!

Ulzzang Makeup

To look like an ulzzang, you must know this important ulzzang makeup tip: Prep your skin!

Before anything else, make sure your skin is ready for the slew of makeup products that you'll be applying a little later. Also, you need to do this to achieve that envy-worthy, flawless skin ulzzangs boast. How to prep the skin for ulzzang makeup, you ask?

First, cleanse and moisturize your skin to provide an even canvas to work with. For even smoother skin, you may prefer to undergo some exfoliation. You can also exfoliate your lips to achieve plump and pinkish kissers. Next, we'll be applying makeup! Don't forget to apply the products evenly to avoid it from looking patchy. Here's a step-by-step guide in ulzzang makeup application:

The Base

1. Primer

To start with ulzzang makeup, you have to apply a layer of smoothening primer. This will keep the makeup in place, as well as make the skin looking poreless and smooth. One of those highly recommended products for making the skin looking radiant is the Innisfree No-Sebum Blur Primer. It provides a blur effect to cover those fine lines, wrinkles and pores to achieve flawless skin.

2. Foundation

The next step is to apply a layer of foundation using a kabuki brush or a damp makeup sponge. Your goal is to look like an ulzzang, which is characterized by their dewy, healthy-looking skin. In that case, a foundation that will leave you looking flat and matte is a no-no. The Etude House Double Lasting Foundation makes the skin look glowing and radiant thanks to its nourishing, lightweight formula.

3. Concealer

For those dark under-eye circles, stubborn blemishes, acne marks, and big pores that managed to escape both the primer and foundation, you must apply some high-coverage concealer. This will complete your overall flawless look by blurring out those skin imperfections. The Korean product the SAEM Cover Perfection Tip Concealer can do just that. Why not give it a try?

The Eye Area

4. Eyebrows

Having thick, straight eyebrows has been a popular trend in Korea because it gives off a youthful and innocent vibe. To make your brows look natural, choose an eyebrow pencil that is two shades lighter than your hair color, and draw feathery strokes on your eyebrows. Fill in the bottom of the arch to make the brows look straighter. You can easily achieve this type of brow through the help of the Etude House Tint My 4-Tip Brow. Thanks to its unique applicator design, you can have those thick and straight eyebrows in no time!

5. Eyeshadow

For ulzzang makeup, you must opt for an eyeshadow palette with bright-colored, pastel-like shades. It will make you look chic and cute like an ulzzang instead of looking too dramatic or seductive. The Etude House Play Color Eyes Cherry Blossom comes with 10 highly-pigmented shades that consist of warm pinks, peach tones, beiges, and reds. This will lend a warm, glowing look fit for an ulzzang girl.

6. Eye Liner

Korean makeup uses eyeliners for achieving a more defined eye look. It also creates the illusion of bigger eyes, which is a foundation of the ulzzang look. Moreover, it can make your eyelashes look fuller and thicker. Apply the liner as close to the lash line as you can to look ulzzang. Brown eyeliners, as well as black ones, are the most common for this trend. The TONYMOLY Backgel Eye Liner is available in both shades and promises to create a smokey or cat-eye look that lasts all day.

7. Highlighter

Highlighters can also aid in making the eyes look bigger. For that ulzzang look, apply some highlighter on the eyelid as well as in the inner corner of the eyes. It has a brightening effect and makes the eyes look cute and fresh. The Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Liquid Highlighter boasts a creamy formula that brings out the skin's natural radiance. It can also be applied to the cheekbones and other parts of the face that you want to highlight.

8. Mascara

The eyelashes play a significant role in beautifying the eyes. Thick, full, and curly lashes, which can be easily achieved using the right mascara if you are not born with them, are one of the defining factors of an ulzzang. The Innisfree Skinny Microcara can provide naturally-curled eyelashes using its micro brush that coats even the smallest lashes. However, if you still crave for more thickness and fullness, you may want to use some wispy false eyelashes. Just don't forget to not get it too thick so you won't miss the real essence of an ulzzang.

The Cheeks and Lips

9. Blush

Unlike the Western style of makeup, the ulzzang beauty trend doesn't involve complicated contouring. Here, you have to emphasize your cheekbones using a blusher for that natural flush. In 2020, we've seen a change in how ulzzangs apply their blush. Instead of the usual way which goes from the apples of the cheeks to the ears, you must take a blush brush and sweep the color high on the cheeks, right on top of the cheekbones, and dust the remaining blush across the nose bridge for that "drunk" look.

10. Lip Tint

In achieving that ulzzang look, you must know how to do gradient lips. Basically, this trend involves coloring only the inner part of the lip with a darker shade of tint and blending it towards the edges. The color must be focusing at the center resulting in an ombre-like effect. Beginners will usually find it hard to do, but with the help of LANEIGE Two Tone Tint Lip Bar, it will all be easy-peasy. This lip tint combines two pigments in one bar so you won't have to spend a great deal of time blending it into your skin tone.

Ulzzang Hairstyles

Actually, there is no hardcore rule of thumb for ulzzang hairstyles. However, you must always remember that the ulzzang trend focuses on being young and carefree while looking pretty at the same time. Here are some of the latest hair trends for ulzzangs in 2020:

1. Messy Bun

No doubt, there's no other hairstyle that would make you look like you've spent minimal effort in preparing it other than the messy bun. Most girls, not just ulzzangs, usually put their hair into a bun when they're at home to take the strands out of the face. It's like our go-to hairstyle for a carefree day. For ulzzangs, though, it can signify cuteness and simplicity.

2. Half-Pony with Bangs

The half-pony hairstyle is very easy to do. Just tie a part of your hair, and you're all set! Make sure to pair it with bangs and leave it messy enough to look like an ulzzang. You'll surely look pretty and chic with this type of hairstyle.

3. Textured Waves

Beachy waves are making rounds on social media as this hairstyle can make you look like you just arrived from a summer vacation at the beach. It looks trendy and doesn't need a lot of maintenance. Plus, if you have natural curls, you can sport this look effortlessly.

4. Oval-shaped Bob

While a lot of ulzzangs prefer having long hair, there are still some who are brave enough to have their hair cut into a bob. Short hair makes you look youthful while an oval-shaped bob creates the illusion of having a smaller face, which ulzzangs want to achieve.

5. Long, Straight Hair

If you are lucky enough to have sleek and straight hair, you don't have to get those curls to look like an ulzzang. Some ulzzang girls flaunt their long tresses on Instagram and get praised for it.

Ulzzang Fashion

Lastly, you'll need the perfect clothes. While there's really no rulebook for ulzzang fashion, you still have to go effortlessly casual but cute to look like one. The whole point of the ulzzang look is not to look curated and perfect, which basically means you have to rely on your own fashion sense for this one. However, you might want to accept some ulzzang fashion tips:

1. Wear Loose Clothes

Whether to choose to wear a sweater or a shirt, make sure you're picking a loose-fitted one. Why? Loose clothes tend to make you look like you jumped out of bed. You will also look effortless and youthful plus these big-sized clothes will make you look petite. Your options range from a big jacket, a loose button-up shirt, pajama tops, or a huge fluffy sweater.

2. Choose Pastel-colored Clothes

Cute, pastel-colored clothes are a distinct feature of Korean fashion. Pastel colors like subtle pinks, blues, yellows and greens must be your first choice when choosing clothes. Wear that baby pink sweater or light blue shirt in your wardrobe to look ulzzang!

3. Opt for a Floral Dress

If you want to go with a more feminine route by wearing a dress, choose one that will make you look chic. Usually, ulzzangs opt to wear frilly or floral dresses that accentuate their feminine side and make them look elegant.

4. Pick the Right Footwear

Footwear for ulzzangs may range from sneakers to heels. However, sneakers paired with high socks are the most common choice for ulzzang girls because it is comfy to wear and versatile. You can pair sneakers with both jeans or skirts or even mini dress. Choose basic-colored sneakers such as white to complement your colorful top.

5. Wear Cute Accessories

As a finishing touch to your overall ulzzang fashion, you must wear the right accessories. Bucket hats are extremely popular and trendy right now among the most fashionable ulzzang girls. Other accessories can include cute bags, round glasses, and cute berets.

Start Snapping!

Finally, it's picture time! To get the perfect Ulzzang picture, here are some valuable tips:

1. Find the Perfect Lighting

You may want to prefer natural lighting, which is the best one if you ask us. Obviously, this works with outdoor photoshoots. The best time to do outdoor snapping would be in the morning or a few hours before sunset, as this is when the light is softer and less harsh.

However, if you don't want to do an outdoor photoshoot, you can always do one at home with a ring light or a lamp. In order to diffuse the light of the lamp, cover it with a white handkerchief. The resulting light won't look too harsh on the face. As much as possible, make use of two lamps facing your face, so you don't cast any shadows. With the right light, you can easily take selfies with cutesy poses like sticking your tongue out, poking your cheek, or even pouting.

2. Look for a Good Background

Backgrounds must be well picked. You may not realize it, but people who look through your pictures can easily spot what's in your background. Surely, you don't want your catchy-in-a-bad-way background to steal the attention from your beautiful selfie or full-body picture. The usual setting for ulzzangs is a bedroom with some posters on the wall or a bed with nice bedding. But, you can also take photos on the couch or in the kitchen. Just be creative and keep your eyes open for possible nice backgrounds for your photoshoot.

3. Ask Help From A Friend

What's better than having a friend that's good at photography? If you have one in your friend's list, then you're lucky as they already know how to get the correct angles to make you look cute. If not, you can always tell them how you want the photos to come out. Ask them to position the camera a little bit above your eyes and pointing downwards. You can also tell them to take the photo a little to your side instead of facing you straight on.

4. Create Your Concept

To show your creative and imaginative side, you can think of a concept. This basically means you set up a storyline. A good example of a scenario is you casually sipping a cup of coffee in the kitchen, or you just got out of bed. Perhaps you want to strike a pose against a wall with works of art. The concept you make will greatly reveal how artistic you are, so think hard and be quirky!

5. Edit To Perfection

When it comes to editing, Instagram filters or Photoshop could be of great help. With the filters, you can just choose one that softens the image and adjusts its saturation. For that ulzzang look, opt for cooler-toned filters. On the other hand, if you are blessed with great Photoshop skills, you adjust the saturation even more and add a soft-focus filter to make it more dreamy and ethereal- like a real ulzzang!


Now that your ulzzang makeup and fashion look has been beautifully photographed and edited with the right filters, you can post it on all your social media accounts! You're sure to get a ton of likes on Instagram, and maybe even more compliments on Facebook. Who knows, you might even get an invitation for a fashion shoot or even a modeling stint.

Ulzzang makeup and fashion isn't that hard to pull off when you have the time and patience to set it all up. Sometimes all you truly need is a good photographer or your own selfie-taking skills, a great hair and makeup day, and you might accidentally take an ulzzang shot! Just remember to be creative and have fun with it!