Here’s How To Recreate IU's Best Beauty Looks

From glossy lips to monotone makeup

Happy Birthday, IU! The multi-talented Korean singer, songwriter and actress turns 31 on 16 May. It’s no secret that her role as bossy and beautiful Jang Man-Wol in the Dark Fantasy K-drama Hotel Del Luna has made us fall back in love with whimsical pieces and dramatic, vintage-inspired silhouettes. That said, we’re also equally smitten with her stylish take on all things beauty. Read on as we highlight our favourite beauty moments from the star and recommend the makeup picks you’ll need to recreate these looks.

Channelling cocoa

Chocolate brown is a tricky hue to pull off, but IU does it with ease. Following her unveiling as GQ Korea’s Woman of The Year in 2020, the media site published a stunning series of images of the singer in a variety of androgynous outfits by Gucci (P.S. She was named as the fashion house’s ambassador in 2020) and cool, cocoa-coloured makeup. This impactful look is a refreshing departure from IU’s usual ensembles, which tend to feature more feminine frocks, looser cuts and softer hues.

LA Colors Browie Wowie Tinted Brow Gel and Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Cushion SPF 40 Foundation

(Left) LA Colors Browie Wowie Tinted Brow Gel in Soft Brown, SGD9/~USD7. (Photo from: (Right) Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Cushion SPF 40 Foundation, SGD98/~USD72. (Photo from:

Recreate her look: Define your brows using LA COLORS Browie Wowie Tinted Brow Gel to achieve a more boyish aesthetic that’s similar to IU’s. This tinted brow gel’s micro-precision brush makes it easier for you to coat and define your brow hairs to make them look fuller and thicker. For a subtly radiant complexion just like hers, try Bobbi Brown’s Intensive Skin Serum Cushion, which provides your skin with medium to full coverage while protecting it against damaging UV rays and blue light.

Pastel press-on nails

IU Pastel Manicure in Hotel Del Luna

(Photo from:

It’s safe to say that IU’s Jang Man-Wol has made romantic, ruffled dresses and long wavy hair become part of her signature look in Hotel Del Luna. But beyond these, she’s also the queen of details and has been experimenting with different stylish manicure designs. Speaking of which, check out the beautiful immortal’s ensemble above, with her nails in pastel colours that complemented her bow-tie blouse and flared skirt.

Khaki Olives Press On Nails in Lavender Sky

Khaki Olives press-on nails in “Lavender Sky”, SGD66/~USD49 (Photo from:

Recreate her look: Take your manicure game to the next level with this lovely set of “Lavender Sky” press-on nail designs from Khaki Olives, which features a mint lavender and beige palette that’s complete with leaf illustrations.

Pink powered pout

Shine on, sister! The singer took to Instagram to share a compilation of her recent beauty looks, and one of them included a sparkling pink makeup look that was completed by silver chandelier earrings and an off-shoulder blouse. On her cheeks, she wore a glittery pink blush that featured more cool, bluish undertones. As for her lips, she went with a bright pink hue with a glossy texture to enhance her pout.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter and Clarins Lip Comfort Oil

(Left) Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in ‘Wattabrat’ (Photo from: Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in ‘Candy’, SGD36/~USD27 (Photo from:

Recreate her look: Try Fenty Beauty’s Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Wattabrat, which features a cream-to-powder finish and super-fine shimmer pigments. Then, nourish and add shine to your pout with Clarins’ Lip Comfort Oil in the shade Candy, which is infused with plant-based active ingredients to protect, plump and soften your lips.

Smokey auburn maven

Here’s another gorgeous look that we don’t see from IU every day! In 2019, the singer released a music video for her song The visitor. We saw her in a more mature get-up, which featured smokey, red-hued eyelids, dainty pearl earrings, and a printed wrap dress. 

Tarte Toasted Eyeshadow Palette and Gucci Beauty Rouge À Lèvres Liquide Mat Lip Colour

(Left) Tarte Toasted Eyeshadow Palette, SGD68/~USD50.23 (Photo from: (Right) Gucci Beauty Rouge À Lèvres Liquide Mat Lip Colour in Nellie Cherry, SGD65/~USD48 (Photo from:

Recreate her look: You can copy her look with the Tarte Toasted Eyeshadow Palette, which boasts 12 warm and cozy shades for you to play with — choose from vibrant mattes to lustrous sunset hues. To complete the look, glide the Gucci Beauty Rouge À Lèvres Liquide Mat Lip Colour in Nellie Cherry over your lips for a matching nudist red pout.

Trendsetting in tangerine

Orange has never looked this good. IU was almost unrecognisable in her cover for W Korea’s April 2021 issue. Dressed in a preppy, librarian-inspired outfit (we should’ve recognised her from her full Gucci get-up!), the singer also sported blue-coloured contacts and bright orange makeup. Once again, not a usual look that you’ll expect from her but that’s what makes it so delightful and fashion-forward to us too.

Hermes Silky Blush and Rouge Hermes Matte Lipstick

(Left) Rose Hermès Silky Blush in ‘Abricot’, SGD115/~USD86 (Photo from: hermè (Right) Rouge Hermès Matte Lipstick in ‘Rouge Exotique’, SGD63/~USD47 (Photo from: hermè

Recreate her look: Get a taste of tangerine with the Rose Hermès Silky Blush in Abricot, which features a velvety orange-pink hue and a semi-matte finish. Next, swipe the Rouge Hermès Matte Lipstick in Rouge Exotique for long-lasting colour.

Beauty icon in a classic red lip

Our dearest darling IU also joined Estee Lauder as its new global ambassador. The beauty brand released on their Instagram account the stunning photos of her, channeling a dreamy look. On her eyelids, she wore a pinkish eyeshadow with a hint of glitter. As for her lips, she went with a classic cherry red lippy that highlighted her plumpy lips.

Estée Lauder Lipstick and Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette

(Left) Estée Lauder in Satin Red, SGD57/~USD42 (Photo from: (Right) Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Pillow Talk shade, SGD95/~USD70. (Photo from:

Recreate her look: To cop her gorgeous look, try the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Pillow Talk, which highlights a shimmering pigment for an intense colour payoff. Then, flex your classic red pout with Estée Lauder Pure Color Creme Lipstick in uncontrollable shade, which features a rich red with a neutral undertone, for a long-wearing sheer satin finish.  

Main character glow in nude

Radiating the main character energy, indeed! IU starred as the cover story of Marie Claire Korea’s 31st-anniversary issue for March 2024. She graced the magazine's front page with a bold, fierce look with gold chains wrapped around her neck. The singer-actress glows in her goddess-like look with nude lipstick and brownish-coloured eyeshadow, that perfectly blended with her blonde hair. 

Gucci Beauty Rouge à Lèvres Mat Matte Lipstick and MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter

(Left) Gucci Beauty Rouge à Lèvres Mat Matte Lipstick, SGD65/~USD48 (Photo from: (Right) MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter/~SGD71/~USD52. (Photo from:

Recreate her look: Slay the perfect neutral pout just like IU’s with Gucci Beauty Rouge à Lèvres Mat Matte Lipstick in Frances Fire. This intensely hued piece gives a long-lasting matte finish and velvety feel. For a glowing aura, try the MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft & Gentle shade, which helps your face radiate a luminous and dazzling appearance. 

Which look of IU’s is your favourite?

(Cover photo from: @esteelauderkr and

This article was first published on 16 May 2022. Last updated: 14 May 2024.

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