Meet the new gloss boss on the block: Rachel Torres. 😘
Finding (and creating) the perfect lip gloss isn’t easy. Creating a brand from scratch isn’t easy. Yet, over the past couple of months, we found one of our friends doing both and nailing it at the same time. Though we were first introduced to To Dew Today as our new go-to brand for lip-loving glosses, it has become much more than that in such a small amount of time, making both of us always so excited to see what’s coming next!
But enough chatter from us! We’re both beyond lucky and grateful that this brand’s very own gloss boss has come over to tell us her story, and so although we’d love to babble our mouths off about how much we love this brand (we’ve already purchased glosses for ourselves and will review them very, very soon), we’d love for you to read all about it from the She-EO herself! 💋
INTRODUCING: GLOSS BOSS RACHEL TORRES
I’m Rachel Torres and I used to be (as of now, I think that I will be using past-tense for this) a hair and makeup artist. I was a HMUA for 5 years, and with my job I found that a common problem I always had was what my client would touch up with after having applied the lipstick from my kit.
I usually would ask what the client would have on hand and I would pattern the shade from that, and sometimes they wouldn’t have lipstick at all (who’s to blame them; they pay for my service and products for a reason, right?). With that, I always knew I wanted to have my own simple lipstick line so that I would have something to give my client to touch up with during their event after we work together.
Let me expound on what I said: “former hair and makeup artist”. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, many events are cancelled and even if I have been invited to work for some shoots, I don’t feel safe going to a shoot in an alien environment alongside working with several people. Especially with my role in productions, I would have to get up close and personal with a model. Hence, I thought that this may be my sign to pack up this chapter of my career because it may be a while until I would feel comfortable to go back to work and shoots knowing that I come home to senior citizens and an infant.
It’s not all bad, only because I’m lucky enough that my parents are still willing to provide for me knowing my source of income took a halt. A few months into the pandemic, people started to have small Instagram businesses on the side: selling cookies, old clothes, stickers, bracelets, and hand-crafted products. I took this as a sign that maybe I could use this down time to finally start what I’ve been dreaming of—my own brand for beauty. Although it’s not as easy as finding the ingredients and popping them into the oven or something I could YouTube overnight. It took a few months and almost my whole bank account just to start and experiment on a few products.
THE LAUNCH OF TO DEW TODAY
In spite of the level of difficulty, I present my brain-child, my brand baby, To Dew Today. It is currently a small cosmetic and skin care brand, locally and Filipina made. I launched To Dew Today with the birth of the perfect gloss duo. Lip Dewis a subtle, shiny, clear gloss that is very moisturizing on the lips. The OG, on the other hand, is made with thicker consistency for those who want to pack in more gloss and shine. Both feel very nourishing on the lips because they’re pumped with Vitamin E and natural oils like sunflower oil and Moroccan argan oil. I made sure when making these two that they were vegan, paraben-free, and, of course, cruelty-free. (We don’t test on bunnies, we test on hunnies 🍯)
Just a few days ago, I officially unveiled my second set called the Brow and Groom (a cute play on the phrase Bride and Groom). They consist of an easy and clear brow gel called Brow Dew and the TDT Brow Soap, which I think is self explanatory. Brow soaps are very trendy now, with people going for the bushy brushed-up brow look. Although I never forget those who just want simple-to-use products, that is why I am first coming out with sets to make sure I tap both markets: those who are beginning and first playing with makeup while they have the time, and those who are makeup savvy and are adding to their collection.
A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAINS
Starting a beauty brand isn’t easy because people are so picky with what they put on their face. It’s even harder starting with lip products in the middle of a pandemic when everybody’s wearing a mask. This didn’t hinder me because my target market is younger people who are staying home, in online calls and meetings, and taking selfies. (I should emphasize that everybody should be staying home, not just my target market!)
With that, To Dew Today values confidence, individuality, and outspokenness—a few of the values underscored when taking a selfie. The first set of girls that I chose to represent the brand are girls who do their own thing, unapologetically who they are, and speak up for their own values and interests. Hopefully this radiates throughout my brand and that other people see these values from the way To Dew Today is presented.
WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING A SHE-EO?
The thought of Miranda Priestly of Devil Wears Prada comes to mind—the heels, the fabulous office. Or! The young Sophia Marlowe of the Netflix series Girlboss—easy, and lots of fun. Ugh, how I wish! I have to be brutally honest and say: it’s un-glamorously hard!
I don’t think about it–the label CEO–as I’m so busy focusing on the brand and working on its growth. Actually, I don’t even feel it. It doesn’t feel so strong-independent-woman and girl-boss-like when my bank account is depleting from the capital’s needs and I’m still trying to break even, which is still a looong way to go!
When you’re starting, especially starting a brand alone, there’s nothing easy and fabulous about being your own research and development team, social media manager, marketing director, and more. Everything’s on me, fortunately and unfortunately.
But you know what? I’m in my mid-20’s and alone I own my own cosmetic brand. That’s crazy! I could only dream of being a CEO of anything, really. I didn’t plan this, but life comes at us unexpectedly. I am so grateful for the growth of my brand, it’s slow but steady. I’m not in a rush to be at the top, I know I’m still in the process of building myself and my brand up, that’s why I accept my current state as well as my brand, and my bank account is in.
It may be un-glamorously hard, as I said, but I’m honestly having a lot of fun. I get to talk to so many people and I get to receive many positive feedback from customers which truly fills my heart. I appreciate all the help and support I’m getting from friends and strangers who buy from my brand and I can only hope to continue to produce good products to reach a larger audience to enjoy.
If any of her products caught your eye (as they should; because they’re GORGEOUS), do feel free to hop on over to To Dew Today’s Instagram (@todewtoday) to order for yourselves! Before we go, we wanted to give as many virtual hugs as our combined Internet bandwidths can allow to Rachel for letting us have an up-close look at her brainchild. Congratulations on the launch; we’re both so proud of you!
As usual, slay safe and stay cute, loves! 😘
A 20-something year old Cancer-Leo cusp, hobbyist, artist, and life-explorer who collects stickers and never sticks them anywhere.
Not even the new normal protocols can stop us from slaying (safely)!
Raise your hand if you haven’t worn makeup for the outside world since quarantine protocol was put in place! 🙋♀️🙋♀️🙋♀️🙋♀️
We see you! We too haven’t been able to put on our usual decked out glam since we don’t really have anywhere to go (nor anywhere we want to be, seeing as there’s a, y’know, pandemic); plus, there’s the added hassle of putting on a full face when you’re struggling with sticking to the essentials only rule whenever you go out.
With the new normal protocols in full swing globally, we’ve been stuck in a rut on how to put on stand-out faces because half our face is perpetually covered by a face mask nowadays. To ease the burden (and because we love playing with makeup), we’ve put together four looks that’s guaranteed to turn heads and have you batting your eyes at everyone you pass by! We know because we couldn’t resist doing it to ourselves. LOL!
HOLUP! We’ve got to lay a few ground rules before we get into the actual ~lewks~
EASY ON THE FOUNDATION. If you’ll constantly be reusing one or two masks (which you shouldn’t be doing, by the way. Always use a clean mask!), you don’t want your makeup sticking to it, right? That’s unhygienic, if anything, and harbors acne-causing bacteria, so ease up on using foundation south of your mask line. No one’s going to be able to see or tell any imperfections you might be trying to hide–a newfound upside to masks, honestly!
CONCEALER IS YOUR FRIEND. Opt to grab for concealers instead for the little imperfections that cannot be covered by your mask. These also make amazing base and primers for eyeshadow because the paleness of the concealer will really make your palette colors pop.
EYE CREAM IS YOUR SAVIOR. Your newest asset to invest in will be your peepers, darlings. Bat them at anyone and everyone! BUT, it your look won’t be as fresh or put together if you’ve got those designer eye bags hanging about (a la panda). So don’t forget to slather on some eye cream at night; you’re never too young to start incorporating it into your routine. Jazz loves the OLEHENRIKSEN Banana BrightEye Creme as part of her skincare routine. She also recommends the CONTEXT Vitamin C All Day Eye Creammixed into concealer for brighter eyes–wakeup before you makeup, sis! 👏
PUT DOWN THE LIPSTICK & GLOSS. We’re all mourning the disappearances of all of our winning hundred-watt smiles. Unfortunately, it’s one thing we need sacrifice for the greater good–or, well, until transparent face masks aren’t made of unmalleable and heat-inducing plastic. For now, we recommend foregoing the lipsticks, lip tints, and glosses. Having those constantly sticking to your mask isn’t going to help anyone and, most of all, would probably just annoy you all day. Save yourself the trouble and care for your lips by slathering on some hydrating lip balm instead so they still look irresistible and kissable when you take off your mask (only when absolutely necessary in public).
EYEBROWS. Your new favorite asset needs the perfect frame to shine through! How are you going to do that if your eyebrows are unruly, or overly plucked and not filled in?
JAZZ’S RED WINGS
I’ve always been one to keep it to a minimum with my makeup during the day, opting for precise can-cut-you wings and pretty lip colors and loving the versatile simplicity of it. That’s what I was thinking of when I was figuring out my day look for the new normal. Gone are the days that I can wear varying shades of red and pink and wine-stained lips for the sheer show of it. I’ve turned to the next best thing by playing with my eyes!
One thing you should know, my makeup kit is basically a jumble of warmth, as it is easy to use and very complimentary to my skintone. This look is so simple that you only need three types of products: eyeshadow, highlighter, and mascara!
SHIMMER ME GOLD. For this look, I basically layered and packed on shimmers after applying my concealer. You can start off by swiping on some highlighter, like mySundays Moderne Beauty Highlighter in Phoebe, across your whole lid and blending it just a tad beyond your crease towards your brow bone. Then, I lightly sweep on some BENEFIT COSMETICS GALifornia Blush across all of my lids. Do not be afraid to use whatever you can to achieve your look. Most makeup products are actually multifunctional–like paint, but for your face!
My last layer for shadow and shimmer is my favorite KAJA Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Trio in Orange Blossom–I got this from Sephora US via my cousin last year (Janelle, sis, thank you!)–which you can get on many Instagram shops that do pasabuy. I packed the coral gold (middle layer) on the middle of my lid until I got the poppin’ shine that I wanted. Don’t be afraid to build color and glitter–go off until you blind yourself in the mirror from all that shine sis!
Some dupes that I recommend you can also use are COLOURPOP Give It To Me Straight in Upfront and Candid, NATASHA DENONA in Morgana, and FENTY BEAUTYKillawatt in Ginger Binge and Moscow Mule. These are just a few really good recos but you are definitely not required to use the exact same ones. Any shimmers in warm toned gold, silvery pink, and coral with high glitter pigments will definitely do the job!
RED WINGS. The highlight of my look! So, I usually don’t stray from my signature precise black wings on a normal day, but this was too fun an experiment to pass up! What you’d want to do is take an eyeliner brush (or a lip brush if you don’t have any) and choose a mulled wine shade from your palette. I opted for the HUDA BEAUTY New Nude Palettein Spanked. Draw it on as you would using your gel liner or pen. I usually like to start from the middle of my eye and follow the contour of my eyelid until the corner. For your wing, just follow the natural corners of your eyes. If your palette is not pigmented enough, worry not, you just need to go in a couple of times, so just trace your initial lines to keep consistency. Also, remember to keep your hand steady by anchoring your pinky finger to your cheek.
I used a lip brush to apply highlighter on my waterline, using the same from Sundays Moderne Beauty, to give the illusion of wider eyes.
Don’t worry about the mess or the fall out. Pro tip: take a very thin cotton q-tip (you can get it from MINISO) and wet one tip with your toner or makeup water to refine and sharpen those edges.
VOLUME & LENGTH. Truth be told, since Igrew up onstage, I have a slight aversion to false eyelashes; I don’t really see the use for them when you’re out and about during the day. Personally, they are heavy, a bit of a hassle to use, and slightly painful to remove–thank God for volumizing mascara! I usually take an eyelash curler to my upper lashes before and after I swipe on some PERIPERA Ink Color Cara Volume Setting in Black Espresso to make sure it stays curled and not weighed down by the product. Do not curl too harshly either, you don’t want it awkward looking or accidentally pulling out your eyelashes. Make sure to apply from the roots and then rebrush with a clean mascara wand to avoid clumping. We want natural looking lashes, even if we’re faking volume and length.
JULIA’S POP OF PINK
As a teen, I thought it was the edgiest thing to abhor the use of pink only because I felt like it was so expected of me. I know, I know: cringe, right? Fast forward half a decade later and you have the present me: a Julia who’s so incredibly obsessed with anything pink and pastel that high school me would have probably looked at me and sneered. Luckily, I outgrew that embarrassing time in my life (thank God) and have embraced the color for what it is: fun, flirty, and sweet, with a dash of devilry all in one.
MIX BLUSH SHADES. Like Jazz said above, makeup is incredibly versatile. On especially lazy days when I don’t feel like thinking about what to do with my face (which is most of the time, if I’m being honest), I tend to reach for my blush, using it for a full monochromatic look that’s both quick to do and easy on the eyes–pun intended. I use a mixture of the two blushes in the Detail Cosmetics 4-in-1 Face Palette for the bulk of the look, sweeping it generously across the lids and under the lower lashline. Then, using the Vice Cosmetics Aura Blush and Glow Duo (what’s up, YoonKook stans?), I take the deeper pink shade to define the crease. That’s literally it. What’d I tell ya? Quick, right?
SPRINKLE ON THE SHIMMER. This purchase, like most of my makeup purchases, was an impulse buy because of a recommendation from a friend–a fancier way of saying “Nabudol na naman ako dahil sa IG stories ni Shawn.” This 6-piece shimmer palette from Shopee was literally under P200 at the time, so I can’t be bothered to feel bad about it. LOL! Stick your pinky into the reddish pan (you could use a brush, but I find that fingers deliver a fuller, more vibrant effect) and tap it from below the center of your crease to the inner corner.
EYELINER. Those that know me know that I hate drawing my eyeliner from the inside, so I personally recommend taking it from the edge of your lower lash line first, then flicking upwards. This is because when I draw from the inside out, I tend to increase pressure on the way to the corner of my eye, making the weight distribution of my line less precise and more likely to accidentally sploot into a much bigger wing than I wanted. When you have the length that you want, bring it down gently to the base of your lashes, then line lightly down the lash line. Fill in the blanks, and then you’re good to go! I like to use the Maybelline HyperSharp Power Black Liner; I discovered this way back in college and have absolutely no intention of replacing it anytime soon because of its impressive pigment, staying power, and ability to stay alive despite me using it on a daily basis for about six months–the only forever I believe in. Charot!
MASCARA. Another absolute favorite of mine is the Heroine Make Volume and Curl Mascara. This gives crazy definition and doesn’t even smear post-hagulgol. I don’t do anything interesting with this aside from applying them onto curled lashes, but I will say this: avoid the awkward L-shaped crimp by continuously curling your lashes as you move upwards. Basically, you need to apply pressure to your lashes in multiple spots: on the base, in the center, and towards the end. Make those peepers pretty, people!
JAZZ’S SHINING SHIMMERING GLAM
For those of you who are in love with nude colors in a blush pink tone, like me, then this one’s for you. I haven’t had a lot of chances to play with my HUDA BEAUTY New Nude Palette, so this evening look I chose to do was a perfect chance for me to do just that. The moment I had set my eyes on this, I knew I was in love with the marbleized pressed glitter and heavily pigmented pans of color. You would have heard me squeal with joy! Normally, I wouldn’t have been able to afford it (hehehe) but one of my gracious titas gave it to me after many, many bouts of convincing and numerous “pleases with cherries on top”.
Majority of this lewk is centered on eyeshadow–so for the love of God, please apply concealer to your lids so the colors pop more. A note to all: for less fall out, I taped the corners of my eyes. Also, if you know me personally, I love gradients on my eyes using the same-color-family eyeshadow! So I usually leave my inner corners the lightest shade for this to happen.
ALL ABOUT THA’ BASE. Don’t wait too long for the concealer to dry and lightly swipe a bone colored base, for this palette it was called Bare, so that the pigment sticks. Make sure that you cover your lids, your crease, and just halfway before your brow bone. Do the same with the buttery matte in a pinkish brown shade called Tickle–but apply only to your crease and lids.
COLORIZE. Apply and constantly blend a deep purple shade (Love Bite) on your mid-crease and focusing on your outer lids to add depth and definition to your lids. Again, don’t be afraid to build color and define your crease using a C eyeshadow brush. If it’s one thing I learned from stage makeup, lights of any kind eat color. So, if you want it to be poppin’, then build that color, ghorl. Using a blending brush, apply the satiny glitter shade Kinky (or any shimmery purple for that matter); blend from your mid-lids to the outer lids. Using a lip brush, gently apply a very thin layer of the deep purple from the center of your lower lash line to the corner of your eye, then blend it out so you don’t have a harsh line.
SHINE, BABY, SHINE. Gently pat on a mix of bold red pressed glitter (Excite) and purple-y pink marbleized glitter (Fantasy) to the middle of your lids. I’m warning you: the fallout from the pressed glitter is real. You’ll want to be very careful when doing this. I say pat and press it in, not swipe, so that you get all that pigmented goodness in there. Not sure when to stop? My answer to that would be when you deem it so!
Pro tip:For any excess fall out that may have been inevitable, you can use tape to lightly remove it from your skin. Using tape will lessen the risk of ruining your base.
SHARPEN THOSE WINGS. After the demise of the initial design for Maybelline Hypersharp (you know the one, with the metallic purple packaging), I’m currently using the L’OREAL Flash Cat Eye by Infallible as it is basically the same as the former and is so easy to hold and use. Also, the life of this eyeliner is so long–and that’s saying something because I use it everyday. You can use the tape you’ve placed on the corners of your eyes to help with your wing first and draw it. I usually start from the middle of my lids then follow the contour of my eyelid until the corner. Fill in any empty spaces. If you want cattier eyes, you can tightline from the inner corner until you meet your initial starting point.
BAT THEM LASHES. You can add faux lashes to this look to give it an extra oomph in the glam diva department. Gurl, I really wanted to use my HUDA BEAUTY Faux Samantha Lashes, but alas I had run out of glue! So, due to my little oversight, I opted for my ever trusty eye lash curler and my handy GLOSSIER Lash Slick–applying two coats this time for added volume, and making sure I applied from my roots. I really love this product from Glossier because it is one of only a very few handpicked products that don’t weigh my lashes down and defeat the purpose of the curler. I also applied mascara to my lower lashes to widen my eyes.
JULIA’S SULTRY SMOKEY EYE
For this look, I used shades found mostly in the Morphe x James Charles palette, my most recentimpulsive purchase when I splurged a little too hard on The Makeup Store MNL a couple paydays ago. If you don’t have it, don’t despair! Because this is such a neutral look, any brownish palette you have lying around will do the trick just fine.
EYESHADOW. Start off with a light, tan transition shade and blend it all over the lid, extending it out towards the brow bone and up from your lower lash line–like a guide for the bold, winged liner that we’ll apply later! Then, take an orange shade all over the lid and under the lower lash line to add a pop of warmth. Next, take a darker brown shade and accentuate the outer third of your eyes to add a bit more definition, blending this gently into the crease. Then, take a black eyeshadow and accentuate even further, focusing more on the edges, the outer corner of your upper lash line, and the bottom corner of your lower lash line. Give the center of your lids a little pop of shimmer with a golden shade, then you’re done!
If you want to give it that extra pearlescent gleam, I also popped on the creamy pressed Single Shadow Shimmer in WH01 from The Saem (bought from their branch in Glorietta) over the center of the golden shade to give it an extra oomph when the light hits you just right! This single shadow pot is one of my ultimate favorites in my makeup kit because it gives you a gentle sparkle that can easily build up intensity, so I’m free to pile more on when I’m feeling extra (i.e always). I will say, however, that the gold has a cooler undertone to it, so the way it reflects in the light is more greenish than I initially accounted for.
EYELINER. My all-time favorite step is–if it isn’t so painfully obvious yet–drawing on a long wing. As per my usual routine, I start from the outside in; I take my Maybelline HyperSharp Power Black Liner from the outer edge of my lower lash line and flick upwards, gradually releasing pressure towards the end of the wing to help create the sharp corner. Then, I connect the line to the center of my lid and fill in the gap! When you’re happy with your feline flick, go back in with the black eyeshadow to help blend the corners into the wing.
LASHES AND MASCARA. I honestly never put on falsies until the quarantine started and I got too bored doing nothing, so I started playing around with them–oh boy, are they a struggle! I’m using cheap lashes from MINISO, as well as some MINISO lash glue, but do yourselves a favor and get a much, much better quality pair, as these are a little difficult to work with. Not a bad option for beginners looking for affordable training wheels though, but if you can do better, do better. Don’t forget to curl your real lashes before applying the falsies, then bind them together with mascara! For this look, I actually used two: Maybelline’s The Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara for building up intensity at the base of my upper and lower lashes, then the Heroine Make Volume and Curl Mascara for lengthening and defining each lash.
For the Maybelline products and Heroine Make products mentioned, you can shop them online on Calyxta!
We truly hope this lends you a hand in looking glam in our new normal world! We know there’s a lot going on, but maybe makeup will be just what you need to lift your spirits.
Let us know in the comments below what looks you’ve tried out or are eyeing to do!
We continuously hope for your safety! So slay from home, babes!
A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.
A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.
For beauty lovers with a soft spot for K-Pop, here’s a list of memorable looks from 2019 – 2020 to inspire your next #MOTD.
Truth be told, I’m not the kind of K-Pop stan who is constantly in the know about recent comebacks or MVs (unless the group was one of my ults, of course). But with the quarantine still on-going and my work-related duties on pause, I’ve had too much time to myself; so much so that I’ve spent hours and hours of my days just scouring YouTube for something to keep me occupied.
That’s how I came about making this list: going through the top 2019 – 2020 MV releases and thinking to myself, “Damn, she looks good!” As someone who loves to experiment with makeup in her spare time, I had so much fun putting this list together and I hope it fuels your makeup obsession as much as it did mine.
EDIT: I wasn’t originally planning on recreating these looks, but I couldn’t resist! Scroll down to the end of the article to see how I fared. Judge me gently, please.
BLACKPINK – Kill This Love
With a (very) underwhelming number of original songs since their debut way back in 2016, it truly makes you wonder what BLACKPINK is up to inside the prison that is the ever-problematic YG dungeon–perhaps they’ve been taught to knit instead? Jokes aside, I’m part of the heavily polarized population that actually loves BP, from their few yet explosive songs to their gorgeous styling to the high quality productions to their undeniable stage presence.
Despite the “Lazy Jennie” controversy, I can’t deny how fond of her I still am–especially since she knows how to work a look. The way Jennie’s piercing ruby lid is topped with a metallic stripe down the middle really takes this dramatic look to another level; like borderline clown makeup so stylish that it might even make Pennywise shed a tear. It’s been a little more than a year since this song came out, but her makeup is still top of mind when I think of genuinely memorable looks. You just don’t see this kind of makeup often, you know?
I honestly considered moving on to the next video with just one mention, but Jisoo’s ethereal wet-look was too good not to include. I remember audibly gasping the first time I saw this scene, and even though it leans more on the natural side, the combination of under-eye shimmer, scattered rhinestones, wet edges, and the S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G horizon backdrop was more than enough to burn the image of Jisoo’s majestic countenance into my brain and keep it there. The reflection in the black water, the contrast of the black against a burning sun, the flayed fabric billowing behind her, and the glossy pink coral-esque headpiece truly came together in one of the most visually appealing sets I’ve seen in a while.
CHUNGHA – Stay Tonight
Chungha is one of the K-Pop artists that I’m always excited to see come back because she doesn’t disappoint–I don’t think she knows how! From her iconic waacking dance style to her captivating choreography to her fierce stage presence, I could go on and on singing her praises because she really is that b***h.
In ‘Stay Tonight’, every change in her look brings a vastly different appeal; it was so difficult to choose just one, so naturally, I chose three.
The metallic emerald lid blended into a salmon crease was a particularly interesting look for me, as the brilliance of the green shadow was something I hadn’t immediately noticed until she squinted. Paired with the nose and lip rings, this easily became one of my favorite looks on her; it’s grungier yet stays classy, darker yet irrefutably gorgeous–a feat when you consider how difficult it is to find a good green shadow in the first place, let alone work it.
Her romantic dewy look with glossy crimson eyes and a bold red lip boldly contrasting her all-white ensemble, as well as her unconventional pearl-topped lid in complement to her netted top, definitely don’t lag far behind as each look perfectly shows how dynamic her image can be. It just goes to show how capable of an artist she is, morphing seamlessly from her bright-eyed ‘Roller Coaster’ days, to her girl-next-door tropical ‘Love You’ looks, and now to a heavy-bass club track with ‘Stay Tonight’ that features so many mesmerizing sides of her that leaves me itching for more.
Chungha had already made it so difficult to be bored of her before this release, but now with new infectious beats, eye-catching visuals, and game-changing male backup dancers in heels bigger than my life goals, she’s proven how eager she is to push the boundaries of K-Pop and topple it.
ITZY – Icy
There’s just something about Ryujin’s pink-on-pink-on-pink look that I can’t quite let go off. Despite their more recent comeback with ‘Wannabe’ (another bop that deserves a spot on your daebak playlist), I find this look to be the first image I think of when I hear her name. Her styling was done so coherently from head to toe that I didn’t even dare mention ITZY without bringing this up. Her outfits were loud in both pattern and color, but the stylist always made sure to keep a pop of pink. The addition of the dandruff-but-make-it-cute hair glitter was also a detail I really appreciated, making me want to dye my hair pink STAT just so I can dust some on myself and be as daintily badass as her.
Had this look been on anyone else but her, I may not have featured it at all. What makes it truly distinctive to me is the fact that it was on Ryujin, a member known for her calm stoicism and tomboyish manner. As someone who adores girls that don’t seem bound into a specific category, I was thrilled to see her take on such a bright look and dominate it.
This second look was something I only noticed when I was fetching screenshots since it appeared too quickly that my eyes didn’t register it the first time. Yeji’s iridescent liner accent was so entrancing that I had to go back for it–took a good couple of tries for that photo, mind you. It’s impressive how such a subtle detail, like a sliver of glitter, takes the whole look to the more confident I-don’t-give-a-damn level that their song projects. Plus, the color it turns as the light hits it also matches well with her jacket completely. Don’t you just love attention to detail? But let’s be real: Yeji can make anything look amazing.
Red Velvet – Psycho
I’ve been obsessed with this song for so long that I wouldn’t be surprised if the neighbors are plotting to break into the house just to tell me to turn it off. It’s such a contagious song from beat to choreography, and I always find myself drifting back to it whenever I pop open my Spotify before I shower. Red Velvet’s duality was always an aspect I found fascinating about them, and I love how boldly this was presented with their looks.
As a proud junkie of all things shiny, Seulgi’s subtle green shadow with chunky glitter is something I need to achieve for myself. It’s both wearable and characteristic, interesting yet not overblown–perfect for turning Euphoria-esque looks that are lowkey enough to be enjoyed at family reunions without drawing the ire of your opinionated titas. Those that want to be a little more glitzy will love Irene’s golden halo eyeshadow; its intense sparkle yet classy tone make it perfect for looks of luxury (fluffy headpiece and chunky jewelry optional).
Glitter aside, I also really appreciated how well they wore their vampy, modernized Victorian looks in stark contrast to their youthful rendition of flapper dresses. The deep, gothic lip that all the members wore was perfection, driving the two-faced love that sat at the core of this song deep into my memory. Wendy’s was particularly memorable, having paired it with platinum hair and a deliberately colorless base.
(G)I-DLE – Oh my god
To be completely honest, I never cared much for (G)I-DLE until this song. I didn’t even know it was pronounced like ‘idle’ and not ‘gee-idol‘ until after my shock-induced research. Trust me when I say I sat through a full five minutes of silent contemplation on how stubbornly I slept on this talent for so long.
The track itself is incredibly intriguing, bouncing seamlessly between hypnotic melodies, to light, plucky tones until it plummets into a deep, trap-based hook, jostling my entire soul in under a minute. This degree of darkness (overall concept-wise) is something that isn’t often seen in K-Pop, which leans into the fact that this group has openly mentioned creating a genre specifically for themselves; needless to say, I was floored. Anyone that STILL thinks K-Pop is just for canned cutesy or pretty concepts can redirect themselves to this video and choke.
Concept and execution aside, this release also gave us stunning looks. The intensity of Minnie’s dark brown smokeylid plus the braids, the blunt bangs, and her hospital-patient-meets-purgatory-chic was such a smart look for her. The added drama of a heavy smoked out lid plus her innate acting skills really gave both her start and end the strength to captivate the viewer through the entire narrative and sell it.
As the symbol of purity, Miyeon’s dainty, fairylike look hit the nail right on the head. The softness about her, from the subtle shadow and glistening pout to the small stone tears, and even to the hazy, sparkle-filled cinematography truly brought out her natural innocent charm–such a cute look to replicate!
I definitely do not claim to be a makeup artist, but I tried my best! Hahaha! Let me know what you think in the comments!
Aaaand that’s all for now! What did you think? Did I miss any iconic lewks from this past year? Let me know below!