If you’re new to K-beauty, the idea of “plumping and shaping” the eyes might sound a bit strange to you. Here in the U.S. under-eye makeup usually means one thing and one thing only: concealer, while fun makeup is reserved for the top lids. But hey, YOLO, so why should your top lids have all the fun?
Aegyo sal, often translated as “eye smiles” or “cute skin,” has been trending in Korea for some time already. It’s inspired by that cute, puffy look your eyes get when you’re smiling.
To create the look, you essentially highlight the natural fat beneath your eyes with a light, shimmery shade and contour the area just below with a shade a bit darker than your skin tone. I know, this violates conventional wisdom in a multitude of ways. I had become so accustomed to the inverse (a dark shade on my lash line, a light concealer below) that I was, admittedly, more than a little scared to give this look a go. But I did. Multiple times, with many different eyeshadows, primers, pencils, you name it — and they all moved around and left me resembling a raccoon by mid-day. That was years ago, and by now I had just about given up on this look for good.
And then I found the Son and Park Plumping & Shaping Pencil Duo. This product might as well be called Aegyo Sal For Dummies because it simplifies the process of picking the right shades, textures, and placement into two easy steps. It contains both a contouring and highlighting shade, designed to accentuate that cute, youthful chubs you’ve been neglecting beneath the lower lash line.
The first step is to contour. But trust me, it’s not as scary as it sounds! A simple way to get your contour just right, every time, is to smile. While looking in the mirror, give yourself a little grin, and draw the taupe contouring shade onto the fold right below the place your eye naturally puffs out, starting from the inner corner and working outwards. If it looks too contoured for your liking, go ahead and blend a bit with your ring finger. Next, still smiling, take the light shade and sweep it across the puffy part of the eye and around the inner corner. And there you go. Aegyo sal as sweet as if you got it from your mama!
What I loved about this duo, aside from how cute my eyes looked, was how spot on Son and Park was with the texture. Texture is key when it comes to the ease of application and lasting power of a product. Many eyeshadows that I’ve attempted to create this look with ended up more smudged than subtle. The contouring shade of this product is a firm pencil in a natural enough shade to contour the area beneath the eye without making it look like you applied your eyeliner
drunk a bit too low. Even better, this pencil is firm enough that it stays where you apply it, and it stays like that for hours.
The other end of the duo is a smooth and creamy shadow stick with a shimmery finish. This end is more like a crayon, thick enough to apply the product in one simple swoop. The creamy texture allows the highlighter to be gentle enough not to irritate the delicate skin beneath the eye when applying.
Now that I’ve gotten over my fear and confusion regarding aegyo sal and how on earth makeup is applied to it, you might just catch me sporting this look on the regular. I love how it instantly brightens up the eye area and dresses up my no-makeup makeup look in a flash.