Worldwide globalization has brought the concept of Beauty between the East and the West closer to a single denominator with common desirable traits being wide almond-shaped eyes, double eyelids, small sharp nose and full luscious lips to name a few. As most Asians are not born with such features, many have turned to clever make-up, simple aesthetic procedures and even plastic surgery to bring themselves closer to these benchmarks of Beauty.
However, no matter how small the world had become, pockets of conflicting views that stemmed from cultural differences still exist today. For instance, Western ladies generally prefer a more sculptural look with high, well-defined cheekbones while most Asian women would love to have a subtle fullness over the buccal region; a feature they associate with youth and vitality. However, one of the strangest and hottest new trend that had started in Korea and slowly creeping into other parts of Asia may seem baffling to the uninitiated.
Every morning, most of us would spend quite a fair bit of time daubing eye creams, moisturizers and concealers in a determined effort to downplay any eye bags that threaten to scream “I probably should not go pub crawling on a weeknight”. However, strangely enough, many Korean beauty aficionados are doing just the opposite and engaging in everything they can to make their under-eye skin plumper.
Why on earth would girls want bigger eye bags, you may find yourself asking this question?
Unlike real eye bags which can make one appear tired and haggard, what is desired is essentially a fullness immediately under the lash line that creates puffiness under the lower eyelid; accentuated and giving a youthful and friendlier look when the bearer breaks into a smile. “Anatomically, this look is naturally achieved by hypertrophied orbicularis oculi, the two tiny strips of under eye muscles which become more pronounced when one smiles,” explained plastic surgeon and senior consultant, Dr. Tan Ying Chien from The Sloane Clinic. “This is a highly desired feature in Korea and slowly gaining popularity in the rest of Asia, with many ladies going great lengths to re-create this unique look.”
Koreans call youthful lower eyelid fullness “aegyo-sal” which is loosely translated as ‘eye smiles’ or ‘cute skin’ as the direct translation for “aegyo” is cute and charming. In other Mandarin speaking cities of Asia such as Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, this trait goes by the very poetic moniker of “wo-chan”, which literally means a ‘silkworm lying on its side’.
As RSB is always on the forefront of all aesthetic tips and tricks, let us teach you how to get these smiley bits!
Make-up makeover magic
Here are some clever make-up tips to help create or enhance your lower eyelid fullness. Rub some medium brown eye shadow (if your skin tone is light brown) or tan eye shadow (if your skin tone is fair) with a soft brush or flat sponge make-up Q-tip to start off your preparation. Make sure the eye shadow used is one shade darker than your skin tone. Then, blow on the brush or Q-Tip to relieve some of the powder. Squint your eyes as though you are smiling with just only eyes and notice the flesh gathered below your bottom lash line, almost like a small pouch of fat. Apply the eye shadow just below this pouch and rub lightly to blend it in. Next, dab on some pale peach or white eye shadow, preferably in a creamy form and apply this to your bottom lash line to create the illusion of fleshier under eye muscles. If you are good with small scissors, before applying the make-up as above, create a crease with sticky double eyelid tape and apply accordingly ( in the correct, desired position that’s it!)
Natural Fillers for a natural look
Natural Fillers which are made of hyaluronic acid gel that closely resembles the body’s own hyaluronic acid can be safely injected to create prominence to mimic hypertrophied orbicularis oculi muscles that give “aegyo sal” smile eyes. Restylane® is FDA-approved and is of the correct consistency to create the desired natural fullness to revitalize your appearance. “Apart from the choice of filler used, the skills of the injector play a far more important role in the final results achieved,” warns Dr. Toby Hui, medical consultant with The Sloane Clinic. “I had come across quite a few botched-up jobs looking to be salvaged that instead of having friendly smiley eyes, one ended up with two fat sausages that squeezed the eyes into an awful squint when one attempt to smile.”
Lower lid blepharoplasty
In cases whereby surgery is required to correct unsightly eye bags, “aegyo sal” can be created within the same setting for total lower eyelid rejuvenation. Using the same incision site created for the lower blepharoplasty, the surgeon can create youthful lower eyelid fullness by suspending the orbicularis oculi muscle back to its original position before muscle atrophy sets in. About 8 to 12 weeks post-surgery, the final appearance can be further improved by tightening the overlying skin to erase out wrinkling and fine lines with Thermage Eyes, an FDA approved treatment that utilizes radiofrequency waves to remodel and regenerate collagen to give aging skin a new lease of life.
Arm Candy or Excess Baggage? To each his own, I say!