Korean Makeup Artist Tips from K-Drama RECORD OF YOUTH

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Aired from September 7 to October 27, 2020 on tvN and Netflix, Korean TV series Record of Youth revolves around young adults facing career and family problems while pursuing their dreams in the entertainment industry.

Park So-dam from Oscar-winning Korean movie Parasite plays An Jeong-ha, a junior makeup artist. She befriends her idol Sa Hye-jun (played by Park Bo-gum), an up-and-coming model-turned-actor from a humble background, and Won Hae-hyo (played by Byeon Woo-seok), Hye-jun’s wealthy best friend who’s often compared to Hye-jun by the media. Romance blossoms between Jeong-ha and Hye-jun, but their love is put to the test by Hye-jun’s rise to stardom and Hae-hyo’s feelings for Jeong-ha.

Not only does Record of Youth resonate with those who’ve just entered the workforce, it also gives viewers a glimpse into Korea’s acting and makeup industries. As a professional MUA, Jeong-ha definitely has a few tricks up her sleeves. If you want to become one, learn from her!

1. Sanitize your hands and tools. Jeong-ha initially gains the trust of Hae-hyo’s mom because she sanitizes her hands before doing her makeup. Such personal hygiene practices are especially important during the pandemic.

2. Prop up tools and organize them well. Time matters, especially for bridal, runway and show makeup. Make sure your items are neatly arranged and easy to access and pack. Place all tools on a towel, and prepare an insulated mat for hair crimpers and curling tongs.

3. Remove all hand jewelry and keep your nails short. This is to ensure your client won’t get hurt or feel uncomfortable during the makeup session.

4. Drape your client with a cape. This is to prevent makeup fallout from ruining your client’s outfit, and to prevent tools − especially those that emit heat − from hurting your client.

5. Don’t drop your products or tools. Remember when Jeong-ha first does makeup for Hye-jun and drops her skin care bottle? This made her look unprofessional. Keep spares in your supply in case a brush or puff drops to the ground.

6. Understand the client’s needs before you start. Jeong-ha is occasionally scolded by clients who don’t like the results. It’s crucial to reach a mutual understanding with your client before you begin applying makeup. Observe the client’s skin type and facial features to decide which products to use and how to do their makeup. Check if the client has any allergies. Ask what occasion the makeup is for, as well as their preference and skin condition. Explain what you’ll do and give the client a heads up when you’re about to use a lash curler or tongs.

7. Keep client’s hair off face with crocodile and alligator clips. These are the most common types of hair clips to secure hair or to divide them into sections. Use hair Velcros to hold bangs, along with a large clip for a firmer grip.

8. Use white light rather than yellow light. Bright white light is better at showing flaws on the client’s skin and your makeup.

9. Stand at the same side of your client as your dominant hand. Your tools, which should be placed in front of your client, will be easier to reach this way.

10. Nourish client’s skin before applying makeup. The type of nourishment depends on the client’s skin condition. It usually involves toner, eye cream and face cream, but can also include serums and masks (no gel products, though, to prevent caking). Jeong-ha applies face patches on Hae-hyo before applying makeup, and she uses Dr Lacto’s calming cream for one of her clients with sensitive skin.

11. Sandwich the cotton pad between your fingers. When using a cotton pad to wipe away makeup or apply toner, place your middle finger over the cotton pad and your index and ring fingers under it. Press your middle finger against the client’s skin. When removing makeup, wipe once and fold up the cotton pad so you’ll always use a fresh clean side. Do not rub back and forth.

12. Use ring finger to apply cream. This technique is so you won’t press too hard on skin.

13. Utilize your hand and wrist areas. Squeeze liquid foundation onto your palm and dab a few times with a brush to better control the amount for application. Warm up the tip of an eyeliner pencil with body heat by drawing a few lines on your wrist before application. Use your wrist and forearm to test out shades.

14. Look into the mirror from time to time. Regularly check the balance, position and amount of product used.

15. Dispose waste frequently. Get rid of used cotton pads, cotton buds and tissues, so they don’t block or contaminate your tools.

16. When using a sponge, dab gently in a quick motion, twisting a little as you remove the sponge. This is to ensure that you don’t dab away product or leave traces on skin.

17. When using a cream concealer, apply with a small brush and tap gently with your ring finger to blend well. This is how Jeong-ha conceals Hye-jun’s cut near his eye during their first makeup session.

18. Wear a small powder puff on your pinky to prevent the side of your hand from ruining client’s makeup. Wear it as soon as you’ve powdered your client’s face and before moving onto point makeup.

19. Use hair conditioner to keep makeup brushes soft. Jeong-ha’s colleague Soo-bin is scolded for not using conditioner after cleansing the brushes.

20. Use individual lashes instead of full lashes for a more natural look. Individual lashes may be harder to apply, but they definitely allow for more customization.

21. Carry an antihistamine with you. Be prepared, just in case clients have allergic reactions.

Apart from tips for MUAs, Record of Youth also offers a few hair dyeing and skin care tricks:

22. Apply some oil on hair before dyeing. It helps the dye job and protects hair from damage.

23. Mix hair dye ingredients in a bowl and apply with a comb. This technique ensures even application.

24. When using hand cream, start with the back of your hand. It should feel less greasy on the palms.

25. Remove makeup before going to sleep. Jeong-ha uses Dr Lacto’s cleansing foam to clear away Hye-jun’s makeup while he slumbers.

Practice makes perfect. All the best to improving your makeup skills!


Record of Youth OST is available on YesAsia.com.


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