Enough with male lipstick already!


many times the actor does not get a choice and the make-up artists are told by the director to do it, just like on dazzlers


Yes, you are right the wardrobe and make up department decides what the actor/actress will look like for the role they will be playing but that can be debated. My daughter worked as a Production Assistant and most of the time she said the Director would tell them to change the actress/actor makeup, lipstick or clothes they were wearing.

But no matter what, as an actress or actor they have the right to voice their objection. My daughter told me an Asian main actress refused to do a scene the Director wanted her to do and left the set. Everyone said she ruined her career/ future, and maybe that would happen in other countries bc right now she has a main role in a very popular TV show here in the USA.

These male actors have the right to refuse to make ‘‘certain scenes’’ or wear those horrible ‘‘dark/pinkish’’ color lipstick (mainly on male actors).They have the right to speak out but they don’t, and it baffles the mind to know that they rather look ridiculous, than speak for themselves, and stop this ridiculous abuse to them. I call it abuse since I know most of them must really hate to see themselves with this dark colored lipstick.

In USA the male actors do wear makeup but they make sure the lipstick has no color most of the time a tint lip gloss. Some even refuse to wear the lip gloss. The same goes for the female actress that are always portrayed as ugly duckling/don’t know how to dress etc… Halfway through the drama they turn into this beautiful well dressed pretty girl.

The female actress needs to stop that vicious cycle already in dramas from SK. I myself refuse to watch any drama where i see the main actress in that kind roles, no matter how much I like the acting of that particular actress . We can help these actors/actress by voicing/writing our disapproval about these demeaning roles for the female character. Our male actors don’t need to look like they have darker color lipstick than the female actress.

We the ‘‘fans’’ need to be their voice and give them a helping hand.



US shows are somehow a bad example for “good” make up style in my opinion. Usually the females have tons of make up which sometimes make them look more like clowns than daily life people. The males usually are bodybuilder types way too much.

I see natural/decent make up mostly in European shows. Many European actors look like common daily life people (also no botox mask faces all the time); that’s why I usually prefer European shows over US shows (if the story suits my taste) and for Asian drama Chinese since so far all dramas I watched had fitting make up (often the male’s lip are even paler than they naturally are, especially in fantasy/historic dramas).

Wanna add something, wearing make up/lipstick in a show/movie is nothing compared to be forced into plastic surgery and must have make up in daily life so from that perspective fans shouldn’t watch K stuff with plastic surgery and shouldn’t listen to Kpop with plastic surgery singers. (Where is the loyalty towards other women? And why shouldn’t men suffer by lipstick when females suffer by surgery?)

There were 2 articles in a German magazine about the surgery topic in SK. It was written that 80% of the clinics clients are female and at least 1/3 of females between 19-29 years already did some kind of surgery. It is even considered “bad manner” when women wear glasses!!! while of course men are allowed to do so… Women should also not go outside without make up bc that is also considered “bad mannered”.

In the article was written that there is some kind of feministic movement that is sick of patriarchic role models and beauty dictatorship with surgeries, so some cut off their hairs and stop wearing make up. In the article she was an example for this kind of movement (she was quoted that her friends like it and think she is brave while her mother said she’s having a son now):

and a collcetion from and for young women (that looks kinda man-like):

Add for plastic surgery saying: Beautiful girls know BK plastic surgery clinic

(at least here in my EU country we ony have sexual dessous adds…and not plastic surgery adds…)

Here it’s said that it is common for men in Seoul to use make up:

Medics for plastic surgery (that don’t look like dolls by themselves :wink:

@ US shows
e.g. Revenge is a great show, but in later seasons the make up of almost all female characters was just terrible to bear.

example from an Italian show:

USA (sometimes Asian dramas, too, have that reddish style for females, but usually with less eyes make up so it’s not an overload):

In most US shows I watched the women appear like that, so even when the story is interesting/entertaining the make up isn’t.


YOUR last picture speaks volume about my own personal opinion. Look at the guy’s lips… no dark color lipstick or extremely pinkish, like they do in Asian dramas…A normal looking male face.

If the actress have tons of makeup it doesn’t face me at all. I myself wear tons of makeup, that’s a woman thing. I only dislike that these young actors look at times very ridiculous with this obviously way too pink or way too dark lipstick when they have to do a romantic scene. I feel it takes away a lot in a romantic female/male scene.

They are doing this way too often in dramas and in my OPINION (hope you respect that) is a total turned off when they are kissing. The color for male is Extreme while the female Barely has any lipstick. What gives?

Like I said, if as a fan if you like to see them with all that dark/pink lipstick; good for you. I respect that. But I don’t like it, and I hope you respect that too. My opinion is that fans need to speak out for the actors since lately this is getting so out of hand but if the fan doesn’t mind that’s okay, too.


Everone has an own taste, that’s fine :slight_smile:

I just doubt that regional aspects could be changed by international fans/viewers since movies etc. always reflect a country’s “common habit”.

Fortunately, it is easy for everyone to change the shows one wants to watch and thanks to the internet era one can find something from all over the world :fireworks:


This translates to “If you don’t like lipstick colour on male actors, stop watching k-drama”.
It’s a bit… uhm… how to say that… not nice.

What if we like 90% of the things in k-drama and we would like to express our opinion on the remaining parts we don’t like? We can’t do that?
By the way, lately broadcasting companies are getting very good money from international sales. (Just see how every k-drama now has one fully English song).
So I think that they may start to pay a little bit more attention to foreign fans as well.

In the 10% I would put:

  • evident pink/dark lipstick on males, partial lipstick (only inside) for women
  • short pants with no socks (for men), short clown pants and clunky men’s shoes (for women)
  • Tropes: they met as children, white truck of death, slipping and falling on the other person’s mouth/ in the other person’s arms, going abroad for studies and not contacting the significant other at all (not even a “like” on Facebook), aloof rich businessman with childhood mama/papa trauma and rare/weird diseases such as prosopagnosia
  • noble idiocy (I’m making you miserable for your own good, which I decided for you without your knowledge)
  • getting drunk (and puking) is romantic
  • stuffing mouth and talking with open mouth is funny

If these could be magically eliminated, I would be a happy viewer of k-dramas without any complaints.


When I first started watching Kdramas, Cdramas, and Jdramas, I was shocked by how natural the makeup looked. This is compared to the American shows I always watched. As for makeup in American shows, I don’t pay too much attention anymore because I am used to the more obvious makeup–I see it almost everyday around me. I personally don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, I am too lazy to spend time doing so and I don’t care if people see my facial ‘imperfections’. I will put on some lipstick for very important events, but I try to replicate the original color of my lips and enhance it.
But I must admit, the makeup in shows can be distracting if it isn’t done well. Sometimes, the makeup has been applied well, and it’s beautiful, other times, it just grabs my attention (not in a good way), especially if there is a closeup.


I second that. I would go back to watching the romantic dramas, which I no longer watch due to all the things you mention above.


:smiley: Yes, this bothers me to no end, especially the short pants and no socks thing for guys. I thought I was the only one. I guess it’s a fashion thing, but seriously, doesn’t the actor’s feet hurt? Isn’t it uncomfortable? That’s just my pet-peeve.

As for this, I find it a real turn-off. I get so uncomfortable when the character only drinks alcohol and water is only in two scenes. Drinking so much is not healthy for the liver. How do they down five bottles of soju in one sitting? Or three cans of beer right before? If there are going to be drinking scenes, at least they should be meaningful to the plot or the character development. A drink now and then, I understand, but to get drunk often? This is one aspect of Kdramas that I couldn’t understand for the life of me, until I read another thread on Viki about the drinking culture in SK.



I didn’t want to offend you or someone else.

And I didn’t want to start a discussion so I wrote that as accepting everone’s personal taste.

What I cannot bear is thinking about male that just being (maybe) forced into makeup/lipstick is a reason to protest but women being forced into plastic surgery etc. is right because they are women?

For me, many US shows are painful to watch because I see all those plastic surgery botox mask like faces, especially elder actresses almost never look natural (are still natural). So I only watch it when the story is really really good but I don’t think I or other fans could change that since it is common there - compared to here. It is way easier to find natural looking not 100% botox faces in European shows.

In one article about South Korea was written, that in Germany people have to explain why they dislike their own lookor why / if they do plastic surgery while in SK it has no “moral” aspect to do surgery for changing appearance. On the other hand it’s possible that people feel the need to do that because “everyone” does it, sometimes it also depends on the people around someone.

So if there is a discussion about fans that should “speak” for actors because actors can’t rise their own voice, why doesn’t that include the actresses as well?

Why not saying a woman is beautiful without surgery? Why must a woman usually look perfect and fit into a certain image? Why do women think about male actors feeling uncomfortable with dark lipstick but not about women who did plastic surgery?

Every surgery causes pain and side effects. I find it terrible when people do that to look like dolls.


I can’t see certain things independant from each other: I can’t watch a show with plastic surgery actors and enjoy it and ignore the fact that it’s a cruel method to change one’s appearance. So it has less to do with me thinking “oh that kiss scene looks awkward, that is not sexy anymore” but more like “these actors aren’t natural anymore and suffered”. Doesn’t matter for me if it is about a K actress or US actress /actors.


I don’t like the plastic surgery part either. It’s terrible if they are forced into it and it’s also terrible if it’s the society that deems it necessary - as I’ve read is the case in S.Korea.
But it’s not only women, men do it as well. Men don’t fix their eyes as much as women, you see many men with natural eyes. But all those upturned “French” noses, all those perfectly puffed lips are surely suspicious… And the abs? Do the actors really have the time to exercise that much, with their busy schedules, or are they given anabolics to achieve that buffed look?

When I started the thread, I wasn’t thinking of “poor actors who are forced to do that”. I never thought anyone was forced, because I know that top stars surely would have a say. I was thinking “the aesthetics of this country in this matter are not appealing to me”.
And it is something so easy to change. It’s actually changing a little as we speak.

Whereas the S.Korean culture of “perfection” and the perceived need to have plastic surgery is something much more serious, more deeply ingrained and difficult to change.
I didn’t mention it because when it’s not very obvious it doesn’t bother the drama viewer. You usually don’t know whether a particular actor has or hasn’t done it - unless someone mentions it in the comments, and even then, you don’t know whether it’s true.
There are cases, of course, when it’s too obvious (some triangular faces with an un-natural super-pointy chin, or some botched lips, especially on older actresses), then of course you can’t stop noticing it and it bothers you no end.


A bit late to the discussion but I am also one of those who find the over use of face make up on male Asian actors a bit tasteless ( to say it politely).
Some of them are extremely good looking without make up at all and the make up spoils whatever different and as a consequence interesting features they have on their faces. In order to understand what I’m saying, when I started watching Asian series I had a difficulty to distinguish who was who because most of the actors and actresses that turn to plastic surgery and then are over done with facial make up, end up looking all the same. The get all of them all about the same eyes, nose, lips and end up like replicas of each other. Something that is confusing and not appealing at all.

It would be needless to say that Asian actresses just spoil completely their faces when they change the shape of their eyes to something more Caucasian and I’m 100% against needless plastic surgeries especially if those are forced to the actors and actresses.

What Asian producers don’t really seem to understand is that what is appealing on their actors and actresses looks is these exact features that they are trying so hard to change. Especially their eyes that look - at least to my eyes- exotic and extremely beautiful.

I can’t help to wonder why Asian producers do this thing to their actors and actresses. It is like they hate all sort of individuality in the appearance of their stars and/or like they are ashamed of their Asian looks. How do they expect to promote Asian culture when they don’t appreciate for a start the authentic Asian looks of their stars?


There are some people who do have naturally red lips. The brittish actor Hugh Bonneville was teased for his red lips

As for plastic surgery, it’s not just asians who want a bit more mixed race look. In other parts of the world nose surgery to get a smaller caucation nose and all the skinbleaching products that is used. And white people getting buttimplants. Wanting to look good is nothing new and if you think you not only will look better but get bigger parts and earn more money as a actor/actress, then who are we to judge?

As for the men being androgynous I think that is for the younger audience. I too liked cute boys when I was in my teens and early twenties. I can still appreciate them.
Today I’m a bit older and men that scared me as a teen are gorgeous and masculine today (even with all this makeup lol) :heart_eyes:


One shouldn’t forget that plastic surgery is a large business for those who do it (the medics) so they want of course that their own business is promoted to earn more money than it would be possible as a medic who is actually saving lives and tries to help & cure ill or injured people.

It would be a more positive message for everyone to let people look more natural.

So for me criticising plastic surgery isn’t against the actors/actresses that may feel the need to do that but against the business industry behind.

In a way it is similar to athletes who feel the need to use also doping because others might do it as well. (I know it’s forbitten but that doesn’t mean they won’t do it and that every doping case will be detected).



You have great points in this discussion. Asian actors are not allowed to love themselves the way they were born, and it’s a shame to promote those kind of things. Excessive plastic surgeries that sometimes affect their beauty (if you see the actors when they started there was nothing wrong with them in the first place)…

I’m watching viki on my TV and recently started watching several dramas and the guys have the dark color lipstick on them, and the girls a light pink lipstick with the top lip not fully filled in, and I ask myself why?

Why we need to see an attractive actor with that dark lipstick, that in my opinion looks very ridiculous bc it doesn’t make them look better but on the contrary, IN MY OPINION, they look ridiculous. The color is almost a purple lipstick, and I pray this stops already. If you cover the top part of the face when they are kissing you can’t tell which one is the female bc they both have lipstick. Since the guy has so much lipstick they lose their attractiveness (to me), and I know many women must be turned off, too


Sometimes I dislike the shade of lipstick that actors wear. Even if the lipstick color is adding to the story.

In the Arthdal chronicles (not on Viki) for example, I didn’t mind the blue lipstick even though you see it badly smudged on an injured kid’s mouth at some point .

But when the main actor has the purple lipstick on - it’s so distracting. It’s really the wrong shade of purple. It kinda makes him look like a kid who ate or tried his mothers lipstick (I’ve seen both of those situations). His blood also completely looks like waterpaint. That, and the lipstick makes some scenes funny to me even though they shouldn’t be - I find myself smirking or cringing. I hope his lips won’t stay that color throughout the drama. (A couple episode later they change it luckily :slight_smile:)


Some examples;

This is about quite similar looking idols (I guess the selfies are always with app that changes the faces to a certain chibi look)

This is a comparison of a selfie app/no app pic of a girl that went missing (for whatever reason the police, media published only the selfie app pic and not a natural one, even though one may not recognize the girl irl by only having seen that selfie app pic before). That selfie app pic was in the media for weeks/months. At first some people thought she really looks like that:


@ rayshine

I’m also watching Arthdal Chronicles and it bothered me so much to see (soon ju ki?) Innocent man with that horrible purple looking lipstick. It turns out it was part of the story but I think they overdid the lipstick part, too. The purple crust he had was in his back, and i feel there was no need to add it in his lips.

The other one that’s killing me with the lipstick is the gorgeous guy from ABYSS at the beginning it was a subtle color and now ugh it’s too intense in color. What a turn off. I don’t get it bc you never see Lee Hyun Bin or Hyun Bin with so much lipstick. As a matter of fact, Lee Hyun Bin has never wore lipstick in any of his dramas or films I’ve watch.


I think that the combination of the blue blood, lips and scab is what made a Neanthal a Neanthal, which is why he also has that combo.

Yeah I noticed it too. They went full on fuchsia :joy:

Trends come and go. It’s a trend and it helps the actors be more attractive to commercial opportunities. Also, the choice of bright colors is not completely weird (for them) since they have a history with that, even back in the time of the three kingdoms.

I have no problem with it unless it’s really a ridiculous shade or really distracting. To each their own :smile_cat:


And here’s me, who always found ears that stand out very cute, it’s actually an attractive feature to me. Not cauliflower ears, but the dumbo kind. I really hope there won’t be a plastic surgery epidemic to have them altered, I’d be sad!

When I was younger I had complexes about my ass being too big, I wanted to be more tan etc, etc. Then I met south americans who really boosted my confidence, especially about my behind and my skin, and I realized something. Even if something isn’t attractive to you, or in your own culture, it can be somewhere else. So nowadays, when I’m unhappy with something, after being negative about it for a while I go “Oh well, it’s probably a nice feature somewhere in the world!”. :sunglasses: :joy: It has really helped me love and accept myself more.

Since I have my own and my cultures beauty standards I really can’t understand some of the beauty standards around the world, but I find it very liberating that they exist. Add to that personal and individual preferences and the concept of beauty widens even more (like me and ears, lol). It would be sad to see the whole world comform to one sole ideal, when beauty comes in so many shapes and forms. I too personally dislike the trend with too obvious lipstick on males in Kdramas, but maybe it’s liberating to others, idk? I always secretly agree when people complain in the timed comments. And then there will always be someone trying to explain it with “he has naturally red lips”, making me laugh.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m very well aware that natural red lips exist, I have them myself. People have many times asked me what lipstick I use and when I say it’s my natural colour, with transparent lipgloss over, some find it hard to believe. But that can’t be the case for EVERY male Kdrama actor. :joy: And many times the shade is far from natural, proven by the many pics in this thread.

On the other hand this discussion makes me wonder about makeup on girls. We are so used to girls having heavy makeup on, but maybe the guys hate it as much on us, as we do on them (at least some of us)? Fuchsia isn’t really a natural color on ANYONE. I’ve heard many guy friends say that they prefer their girls natural and that they hate the “puttied” look on girls. Maybe both genders don’t actually like excessive makeup, but the guys just gave up and accepted it?