The Basics of Korean Contouring

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Koreans might prefer soft, natural-looking make-up but this doesn’t mean that they don’t contour. In fact, they often do! The only difference is that when they contour their faces, the outcome isn’t as chiseled and sharp like the usual Western way of contouring. Contouring in Korea is done so that their faces appear smaller and so that they can achieve the ideal “V-line” face shape for a more youthful appearance.

Before learning the basics of Korean contouring, it’s important that you determine your face shape first. Contouring is different for every person which is why defining the shape beforehand is a vital step. This will allow you to find the technique and stroke that will complement your face shape.

So, what face shape do you have?


You are oval-shaped if your face is longer than it is wider. Your jaw and chin tend to be smooth rather than sharp.

Korean celebrity with a long face shape: Kim Taeyeon of Girls' Generation (and Banila Co's muse!)


Those who are round-shaped have faces that are of the same width and length. The jaw and chin appear to be smooth, with no sharp points along them.

Korean celebrity with a round face: Ahn Sohee, former member of Wonder Girls


Similar to those with round faces, square-shaped ones also have the same face width and length. Also, the widths of the hairline and jaw line are usually even.

Korean celebrity with a square face: Choi Sooyoung of Girls' Generation


Heart-shaped faces have wider cheeks compared to their hairline. The chin is also a bit narrow and pointed at the end.

Korean celebrity with a heart face: Goo Hara, former member of KARA

Have you determined your face shape? Then it’s time to move on to the basics of contouring...the Korean way! So whip out your So Contouring and So Strobing products as you refer to the face chart below to see where your contour and highlight should be, depending on your face shape.

Notice that the Korean way is much more different than that of the Western way of contouring. Instead of heavily contouring the hollows of their cheeks or jaw lines, the Koreans prefer to simply add depth to their faces. By doing so, their faces appear to be smaller and much more youthful. So if you’re not about having sharp jaw lines and prefer a more natural contour, try it the Korean way! It’s quick, easy and ideal even for an everyday make-up look!

Stay tuned for a special blog post dedicated to our latest product release, the So Contouring Collection!


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