Lilian Min
August 18, 2015 12:55 pm

Makeup’s purpose is inherent in the name: It’s fantasy, a way to change surface-level features and thus transform the overall impression of your face. But what constitutes beauty differs from country to country, and thus makeup trends are subjected to that same regionality. Enter: Hangover makeup.

Real talk, when most of us look in the mirror after a long night out, we’re not thinking “Ooh, we’re looking super cute right now.” Eyeshadow and eyeliner smear; mascara cakes and flakes; lipstick fades and slides off; and of course, that combination of alcohol consumption and presumably a poor night’s sleep lends itself to puffy eyes. For most Western countries, puffy eyes are terrible and to be soothed immediately with cucumber slices and/or falling back in bed for another hour (or few hours) of shut eye — hence the idea of “beauty sleep.”

But that isn’t the case in some East Asian countries, where puffy eyes are seen as a “cute,” softening feature. Much has been made of beauty trends in the region, which aim for a very specific ideal: Pale skin, delicate features, and rounded, softened eyes. As beauty guru Michelle Phan explains:

“Charming fat” doesn’t translate quite well, but well, what do these puffy eyes actually look like? We consulted Instagram for some examples.

This user’s “hangover makeup” is luminous; the puffiness under the eye really isn’t that noticeable, and it’s certainly not the blurred eye makeup mess most of us associate with the words “hangover makeup”:

In fact, it looks like this user has the wrong idea about hangover makeup. It’s not about looking drunk and/or tired — a fact that should be evident by the fact that major Asian beauty companies like Etude House create swelling and dark circle-removing products:

Ultimately, hangover makeup seems to be a term lost in cultural translation. While it’ll probably continue to be (mis)used, at least we can tell ourselves we’re kind of playing into a beauty trend when we wake up like this:

Related reading:

Millions of people are watching this woman take off her makeup

I have makeup guilt. It’s a real thing, and it’s OK

(Image via.)

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