7 Fabulous Hair & Makeup Trends of 2020 K-Pop

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Last week we looked at 2020’s biggest fashion trends in K-pop, from clean and crisp all-white ensembles to retro disco fashion. This time, we look at seven of the most popular hair and makeup trends that appeared in K-pop music videos and promotions this year.  

The Narcissa Malfoy

1 The Narcissa Malfoy Refund Sisters’ Lee Hyori in Don’t Touch Me, LOONA’s Heejin in Midnight, BlackPink’s Lisa in Lovesick Girls

Left to right: Refund Sisters’ Lee Hyori in Don’t Touch Me, LOONA’s Heejin in Midnight, BlackPink’s Lisa in Lovesick Girls

During the early months of the pandemic, many people cut and partially dyed their own hair, documenting it all on TikTok. This partially bleached look is reminiscent of none other than Narcissa Malfoy from the Harry Potter film series. Although the beloved franchise ended almost a decade ago, it seems Potterheads are still alive and well! 

The partially bleached look is the statement hair of the year. In K-pop MVs, we’ve seen countless variations of the trend, from Lee Hyori’s bleached fringe and crown in Refund Sisters’ Don’t Touch Me video to LOONA member Heejin’s more subtle blonde highlights in her promotional photos for Midnight. But no one has been more of a poster girl for this hairstyle than BlackPink’s Jennie with her bleached curtain bangs. Fans started emulating the look almost immediately after the much-awaited How You Like That dropped in June 2020. 

Try the trend:

Space Buns

2 Space Buns AKMU’s Lee Su-hyun in Alien, NATTY in NINETEENLeft to right: AKMU’s Lee Su-hyun in Alien, NATTY in NINETEEN

From smooth clean buns to uber messy and haphazard versions, we saw the rise of space buns in 2020. The hairstyle perfectly complemented Lee Su-hyun’s out-of-this-world concept for her solo debut in Alien. The singer donned a fun half-up version that contrasted well against her vibrant cyan-colored blunt bob. In the same vein, AleXa gave her space buns a punk and edgy twist by adding braided partings and embellishing them with spikes, which matched the dystopian setting of her Revolution video!

The look is super easy to recreate. Divide tresses in half to create high pigtails. Wrap hair around the bases of the pigtails to create the buns, and pin them in place with bobby pins. To add extra volume to the buns, use hair bun makers!

Try the trend:

Baby Braids

3 Baby Braids Momoland’s Ahin in Ready Or Not, BlackPink’s Rosé in How You Like That

Left to right: Momoland’s Ahin in Ready Or Not,  BlackPink’s Rosé in How You Like That

The baby braids trend was on the runway earlier this year with the likes of supermodel Kaia Gerber sporting them for a Max Mara show. In K-pop, BlackPink’s Rosé added texture to her silver tresses with this hairstyle during How You Like That promotions. OH MY GIRL member YooA incorporated boho vibes by tying red cords into her braids in her solo debut Bon Voyage.                                                                                

Baby braids are one of the easiest hairstyles to try out on this list. Take a couple of tresses, braid them and you’re done! For a subtle look, choose hair that’s near the nape, so braided hair peeks out with every movement. For added impact, use volumizing spray before you start braiding. 

Try the trend:

Hair Pins Galore

4 Hair Pins Galore Jamie in Apollo 11, Momoland’s Hyebin in Thumbs Up

Left to right: Jamie in Apollo 11, Momoland’s Hyebin in Thumbs Up

Layering hair pins, a Gen Z staple, is a look often seen on Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok! It’s no wonder that this trend was spotted on the youngest K-pop idols this year, from solo artist NATTY to Ningning of SM Entertainment’s newest group Aespa. 

There are a gazillion ways to try this trend, and it’ll instantly add a chic touch to your entire look! Keep it elegant and understated, like Jamie in her Apollo 11 music video, by layering on sleek gold-toned bobby pins. For the Gen Z crowd, take it up a notch like NATTY by opting for colorful acrylic hair pins!

Try the trend:

Graphic Liner

5 Graphic Liner Twice’s Tzuyu in I Can’t Stop Me, ITZY’s Chaeryeong in Not Shy, GFRIEND’s Eunha in Apple

Left to right: Twice’s Tzuyu in I Can’t Stop Me, ITZY’s Chaeryeong in Not Shy, GFRIEND’s Eunha in Apple

Last year, popular TV show Euphoria opened the floodgates for fun and unique eye makeup looks. Similarly, many K-pop idols experimented with graphic liners this year, from ITZY member Chaeryeong’s outlined cat-eye to HA:TFELT’s dotted floating eyeliner. 

This look is perfect for people with a magpie’s eye for detail. Go for a clean single swipe over the lids to emulate Tzuyu’s floating eyeliner look in Twice’s I Can’t Stop Me video, or inconspicuously dress up your usual cat eye with a backward flick like GFRIEND’s Eunha in Apple. All you need is waterproof eyeliner and, most importantly, a steady hand!

Try the trend:

Glam Vamp

6 Glam Vamp Bibi in I’m good at goodbyes, (G)I-DLE’s Soojin in Oh my god, Red Velvet’s Seulgi in Monster

Left to right: Bibi in I’m good at goodbyes, (G)I-DLE’s Soojin in Oh my god, RedVelvet’s Seulgi in Monster

Bold and beautiful, the glam vamp look is one of my ultimate favorites in K-pop this year. The dark washes of eye shadow over and under lids create a dramatic gothic aesthetic that I totally stand behind! Solo artist Bibi and BlackPink’s Jennie rocked an ultra-vampy look with red-toned washes under the lids. 

Many people stay away from smoky eye makeup because it looks hard to emulate, but that’s not true! The glam vamp look is great for those who don’t have steady hands and can’t master the graphic liner. The best way to achieve a smooth finish to smoky eyes is to blur the edges with an eye shadow that’s a shade lighter than your main eye shadow. Use clean brushes when blending.

Try the trend:

Freckle Decal

7 Freckle Decal Everglow’s Yiren in DUN DUN, Apink’s Chorong in Dumhdurum, APRIL’s Rachel in Lalalilala

Left to right: GFRIEND’s Sowon in Apple, Everglow’s Yiren in DUN DUN

It was only a couple of summers ago when everyone went gaga over faux freckles. This year, the K-pop world upped the ante and went for high-impact freckles, from the shiny rhinestones on Yiren in Everglow’s DUN DUN music video to the large lettering sported by Taeyeon in the Happy MV!

Wearing these accessories with a face mask may be challenging, but it’s a great way to add sparkle to your look for an impromptu Zoom photoshoot or a virtual party! Use eyelash glue and tweezers to precisely add sparkly freckles to your face. To remove, use tape to carefully take them off. 

Try the trend:

This year, changing up our hair and experimenting with various outlandish makeup looks that we wouldn’t normally wear have become common pastimes while we stay at home. Trying out the hair and makeup looks in K-pop’s colorful music videos provides a fun challenge and welcome distraction during this difficult time. 

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