Deciphering K-Beauty’s Mul-gwang, That Juicy, Wet-Sheen Look

song hye kyo korean actress in mul gwang ad


If you’ve visit Korea, watched Korean dramas, or followed K-pop at all in the past decade, one thing you’ll notice — other than the thick, straight brows ubiquitous on both men and women — is the dewy, juicy, almost wet-looking skin favored by all the women. It’s probably no coincidence that this preferred complexion arose around the same time BB creams shot to popularity. In its early incarnations, BB creams gave you an instant mul-gwang look in just one application.

Mul-gwang literally translates into “water-light.” This is the umbrella term that refers to the dewy, super hydrated, water-sheen-like skin Korean women favor. And while the term mul-gwang is used to refer to all manner of highlighted skin, there are gradations of dewiness within mul-gwang that range from super glossy, almost Vaseline-like to a more subtle, lit-from-within glow. Here, a little glossary:


Kkul-gwang: a hyper-glossy, almost greasy shine, like you spread honey all over your face (kkul means honey).

Chok-gwang: a juicy, almost wet shine to the face.

Yun-gwang: also known as 3D-gwang, this is the most similar to strobing, with a strategic sheen on the high planes of the face.

Sok-gwang: a lit-from-within glow, like the healthy glow you get from drinking lots of water and eating tons of veggies. Sometimes called bon-gwang.

Want to get your mul-gwang on? Read about how to do it here.


6 thoughts on “Deciphering K-Beauty’s Mul-gwang, That Juicy, Wet-Sheen Look

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