Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What makeup does SM Entertainment use on their idols?


After researching for quite some time, I am finally ready to share this post with everyone. Today, I will be sharing my research on what makeup SM Entertainment, A Korean Entertainment company, uses on their idols. I like to think of this post as a piece of ratchet investigative journalism because I cannot 100% conclude this is the makeup SM idols use, but I can give some propelling evidence.

Also, before we begin, any links with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links.


Right now, the Korean beauty industry is booming due to their specialization in natural looking makeup. When idols go on music shows, most of the comments under their performance videos are not in regard to their talent, but how beautiful they all are. And trust me when I say this, THEY ARE BEYOND TALENTED.

I used to buy a lot of Korean beauty products, thinking that using them I would look as beautiful as an idol. Therefore, I always believed Korean idols wore BB Creams when they perform. However, a few years ago, I was watching Hyuna (formerly of 4MINUTE ;_;) and saw she was wearing a BB Cream which left a very obvious white cast on her face, video here. Which made me ask the question...What kind of makeup do idols actually wear?

This started my journey to the truth...


I was surprised to learn that Korean makeup artists use more American/European makeup than Korean Makeup. With that being said, Korean makeup artists tend to stick to luxury makeup brands including MAC, Giorgio Armani, Makeup Forever, etc (I will talk about all the makeup later).


Here is the fun part...the evidence! I flew countless videos and pictures to find who does their makeup and what products they are using. I even tried to look through the Korean Dispatch!

In public photos and videos, brand names are often than not blurred out, but luckily, I was able to determine several of the products they used.

At the moment, I have twenty tabs open containing photos, Instagrams, videos, etc. If you see something that is incorrect or something that you recognize, let me know so I can add it/change it!


I will now pull up a bunch of photos and screen grabs of videos showing the makeup they use. Let us start with the photo that started it all, a photo of EXO's D.O (Kyungsoo) doing his makeup...


The leftmost photo is the first photo I found that left me shook. He was using MAC makeup! All the circles are the things I know. The red circles (this color) are the MAC Studio Sculpt Foundations and the yellow circles (this color) are of the MAC Studio Finish Concealer. The blue circle (this color) is a small container of the Bioderma Micellar Water*. While pink circle (this color) in the rightmost photo is what I assume to be a Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow Brush.

That is photo is the one that convinced me to go out and buy the MAC foundation and concealer. Crazy huh?

Now I could only find one photo of a Super Junior member getting his makeup done and one photo of a Shinee member getting his makeup done. I watched their music show backstage videos as well as searched for their makeup artists. So if you have any photos of them with makeup, please send them to me so I can add them in this post.


In the leftmost photo, the red circle (this color) is what I believe to be the original Makeup Forever HD Foundation before they changed the formula and name. The yellow circle (this color) is the L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray. In the rightmost photo, containing Shinee's Jonghyun, the green circle (this color) is that I think is the Benetint from Benefit*.

A note on the hairspray, I looked through more photos of Jonghyun and one of Amber's Ranting Monkey videos and they ALL use that hairspray. That is officially THE hairspray in my opinion.

Moving on to the girl groups, I had a lot more success with Girls' Generation and some of their sister groups

The first thing I wanted to bring up is HamjiBack who is the makeup artist of Girls' Generation's Taeyeon, Yoona, and Tiffany. She has an Instagram, here, where she shares all the looks she does and some of the products she uses. She also has a YouTube channel here, where she shares some of her makeup looks like Taeyeon's "I" and Tiffany's.

In this video, Taeyeon is getting ready for a performance of her song "I" and watchers get to meet Seo-K, a.k.a HamjiBack. I was able to pinpoint a few products she uses.


The red circle (this color) is what I am assuming to be a MAC Eye Shadow in the color Saddle, it can also be Soft Brown or Soba. The yellow circle (this color) looks like the Nature Republic Intense Touch Mascara*.  I am very glad to have read the comments because a few commenters on the video said the beautiful glitter, the pink circle (this color), Seo used on Taeyeon is the Makeup Forever Glitter in Gold 1 - Metallic Yellow Gold.

Our good friend to the show, Hyoyeon, really reached her arm out for us. She had her own show on OnStyle, where she unconsciously shared one of SNSD's dressing tables during their Party era (here) and she exposed Tiffany's makeup trunk (here and here).


The red circle (this color) is the Tony Moly Peach Hand Cream*. The yellow circle (this color) is The Face Shop Lovely Me:ex Pastel Cushion Blusher* in Pink. The green circle (this color) is the Makeup Forever Aqua Rouge Liquid Lipstick in 16 Fuschia. Then the blue circle (this color) is what I deduced to be the Dior Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Foundation. Took some research, but I found it ^_^.

[ADDED NOTE] The duo/trio eyeshadows below The Face Shop Blusher is what I believe to be the Sephora MicroSmooth Baked Eyeshadow Trios.

Let's now expose Tiffany's makeup trunk, this will take some


The red circle (this color) is the Fresh Lip Treatment Sunscreen* in Ruby. The yellow circle (this color) contains a few of the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. The light blue (this color) is the Dior foundation mentioned above. The green circle (this color) is the Rosebud Salve. The dark blue (this color) is a MAC Skinfinish Natural. The white circle is a MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow Palette. The pink circle (this color), also the brown circle (this color), is the IPKN Luxury Radiant Cover Cushion*. The black circle (this color) is a sample of the IPKN Jelly Fit BB Cream*.


Starting with the leftmost photo, in the red circles (this color) are the YSL Glossy Stain Lip Colors. The yellow circle (this color) houses a few MAC Lipsticks. The green circle (this color) are the Chanel Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colors. The light blue color (this color) are the Etude House Lip Tints*. The pink circle (this color) is the Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System* [lmao, it is a face mist]. The dark blue circle (this color) is what I thought was the Clinique Cheek Pop, but now I think it is the Tony Moly Crystal Blusher*.

I read through some of the comments and a commenter named Jae Hee, helped me out a ton in distinguishing products!

Now for the greatest discovery, which is not really a discovery if you are an f(x) fan, but Luna literally threw the rope to reel us in with her YouTube series, Luna's Alphabet !!

In all her videos where he showcased her beauty tips, she shares the names and unblurs the actual products she uses! Idk, but this makes me extremely excited. I am going to link a few videos below, but I want to say that the takeaway is that she uses a lot of high-end/luxury Western products. She does use a few Korean products, and to be fair, she did travel to NYC and bought products she could not get in Korea.

To share gratitude towards Luna for her bright and charitable character, please follow here on her Instagram here and ask SM Entertainment for an f(x) comeback on Twitter!


Speaking of Instagram I thought I would finish off by sharing some other little bits that I found for this post.

One of Red Velvet's makeup artist — Ko Woori
A makeup artist that did Sooyoung's makeup — 오윤희


It is pretty obvious that the Korean makeup artists who do the makeup of SM Entertainment idols are just like other makeup artists around the world. They just love makeup and will use the best of the best.

One thing I was asking is throughout this entire search was definitely "I use the same things, how come I don't look like that?" It is was quite clear that skin care plays a HUGE role in makeup application for these idols. Having beautiful skin is essential to having beautiful makeup.

So, I guess that great skincare = great makeup was the lesson learned from this entire post and that L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray is the ultimate hairspray.

Other Credits

Onew PNG by I Am Jocy 
Taeyeon PNG by michiru92
Irene PNG by PhotoPOP-K 
D.O PNG by Sarah-Cees
Baekhyun  PNG by baeksociu

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please give lots of love to SM idols in the future!

If you liked the post, please pin the image below ^_^

Who is your favorite Korean idol/song? + What are some of your favorite Korean beauty products?

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