Korean women know exactly what to do to get that much-desired look. So what is their secret? Enter Aegyo-sal.
What is Aegyo-sal?
More and more women in Korea are visiting aesthetic clinics hoping to achieve puffy, expressive eyes. Aegyo-sal, translated as ‘cute eye fat,’ is a Korean term that refers to fatty deposits just beneath your lower eyelid. While many of you may be putting in a lot of effort every morning to remove your eye bags, Aegyo-sal are precisely what Korean women are trying to create, even artificially, either through makeup techniques, commercial filler, or cosmetic surgeries.
Why is Aegyo-sal so popular?
A puffy eye look is a popular trend in Korea. People consider these Aegyo-sal as an important feature to look younger and cheery, thus making them more attractive. The expression “Aegyo” itself refers to acting cute and charming; they believe that by having Aegyo-sal, one could achieve child-like allure, looking innocent and adorable at the same time.
According to a well-known plastic surgeon who we interviewed recently “young people tend to have a natural bulge in the upper part of their lower eyelids.” Although this bulge may seem like simple fat deposits, it is in fact a dynamic muscle. The Orbicularis muscle, responsible for closing eyelids during blinking, is fuller and highly developed during the youth, and especially when smiling. However, the fullness of it is lost as one ages.
This explains why Aegyo-sal fulfills the desire of Korean women to have a baby face. Furthermore, having Aegyo-sal does actually create an illusion that your eyes are bigger. The vast majority of female K-drama and K-pop stars constantly undergo medical procedures to create and maintain these puffy eyes in order to make themselves look more expressive.
How do you create Aegyo-sal and what will it cost you?
There are four main methods as described below:
1. Commercial Filler injection
One popular method is using Derma filler. Derma filler is a hyaluronic acid filler that is widely used to add volume to other parts of the face such as lips and cheek. Before the filler is injected, anaesthetic cream is applied to numb the area. Once injected, it restores volume and makes the under-eye skin look puffier by stimulating collagen production and filling empty spaces. While injecting the filler, a medical expertise of a specialist is required to shape the fillers so that the form and size of Aegyo-sal are consistent. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and costs about $1,000.
The side effects are almost none existent. These fillers last from 9 months to 2 years, which means it will be removed naturally without having to artificially get rid of. However, if you are unsatisfied with the Aegyo-sal created by the filler, you could use Hyaluronidase, an acid that breaks down Hyaluronic acid, to dissolve it.
The three most popular dermal filler products injected to form Aegyo-sal are Juvederm, Restylane, and Elansse.
- In those with eyebags or loose undereye skin injecting fillers may end up accentuating their eyebags or their loose undereye skin sag.
- After injection, prick marks and mild swelling may be visible for two to three days.
- Bruise marks, if visible, may take from 5 days to 1 week to subside.
2. Fat grafting
This method involves transferring one’s fat tissue from other parts of the body to right beneath the lower eyelid to create volume. Unlike commercial fillers, fat grafting is semi-permanent. Although it lasts longer than a filler, there is a high chance that it will be reabsorbed into the body after some time. Furthermore, often times it appears too thick and lumpy, which is why most patients prefer hyaluronic acid fillers over fat grafting.
3. Aegyo-sal cosmetic surgery
The surgical procedure is carried out in two steps:
First, a small incision of 2-3 mm is made in the area below the eyelashes. Then, 0.5cm flat strip of Alloderm (decellularized tissue matrix) is inserted into the incision. The Alloderm graft acts as a scaffolding around which patient’s own tissue can grow, and the natural orbicularis roll is replicated in this matrix, making the eyes look expressive and younger. The look is accentuated when smiling.
This method of making Aegyo-sal is permanent. It is considered a minor surgery since it only takes about 30 minutes. Sutures are removed after several days and only 3 days after the surgery, you are able to return back to your usual everyday activities.
4. Aegyo- sal Make-up
For those who may not have the propensity to spend on the procedures listed above or undergo any invasive procedure, make-up can be used to create the Aegyo sal look. This could be done by shading the undereye area with a brown eye shadow and highlighting the section right above (highlighting and countouring). This creates a bulge effect, making the undereye appear protruding.
There are numerous free tutorials on the internet teaching how to draw Aegyo-sal. Through repeated trial-and-error, you’ll find you can easily achieve the Aegyo-sal look thereby make yourself appear more cheerful and lively.
There are also some cosmetic products specifically designed for your Aegyo-sal. For instance, little sticky strips of tapes are fixed on the skin under the eye to create a temporary bulge above the tape. This tape looks natural since it is transparent when stuck on skin.
Every girl wants a perfect smile, and Aegyo-sal is undoubtedly an important element in achieving that lively, smiley, adorable look. In modern Korea, it is still considered as an essential factor for appearing youthful. However, too much Aegyo-sal is undesirable, since it appears unnatural and distracting. Furthermore, Aegyo-sal on wrinkled and loose skin could often times worsen the aged, sleepy-eyed look. Thus, it is always important to maintain a balance.
After all, who would find wrinkly, weather-beaten, out-of-proportion sausage-like Aegyo-sal attractive?