When we think of bulges underneath our eyes, such as bags, they’re usually something unattractive that we want to get rid of by daubing on countless cucumbers, cosmetic eye creams and moisturizers. If that’s the case, how could having a bulge underneath the eyes possibly be desirable or even cute? Well, there’s a difference between an “eye bag” and a “love band” or Aegyosal (애교살) – the Korean term for creating volume on the lower eyelid through cosmetic surgery or makeup techniques.
The difference between the unattractive eye bag and attractive Korean love band is all about location. Eye bags are usually bulges beneath the lower eyelid in the tear trough area, while aegyosal is above this area and directly on the lower eyelid.
Why Do Some Korean Women Want Aegyosal?
To boost their aegyo powers and appeal. Aegyosal is mash up of two Korean words – Aegyo an expression to describe a behavioral charm that is cute, lovely and innocent, and Sal, meaning flesh (muscle & fat). Together it means something close to “cute eye fat” in English or cosmetically referred to as Korean Love Band. The concept of aegyo is hard to explain (Simon & Martina do a good job describing it), but it’s a defining, and often positively associated characteristic of young Korean females. It’s an innocent and cute childlike allure that some Korean women consciously tap into in order to communicate, attract and influence, while rendering many Korean men powerless against its charm. This type of femininity is not uniquely Korean, but Korean entertainment culture has popularized it.
Having aegyosal around ones eyes has the physical effect of making one look more angelic, cute and also accents the eyes to make them appear bigger.
How to Create a Love Band or Aegyosal?
1) Korean Love Band via Derma Filler or Fat Injection – Temporary
A derma filler is a hyaluronic acid based gel, such as Restylane, that is injected in the lower eyelid area by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to create the volume. The benefit is that it’s temporary (9 months and in some cases 2 years), so if you decide it doesn’t suit you, it will naturally go away, or you can come back for a touch up.
An alternative method is to use a fat graft, which is semi-permanent. Fat is taken from one part of the body and prepared to be injected into the area. This can last longer than a filler, but there is a chance the body can reabsorb it, so a touch up may be required.
Practitioner skill and expertise really come into play with fillers because the shape and consistency from fillers is not easily controllable.
2) Korean Love Band via Surgical Implant – Permanent
Example procedure from Dr. Kleiman Plastic Surgery
This is a surgical method using artificial dermis (fake tissue such as alloderm) that is inserted and secured into place via a small incision of 2~3mm in the area below the eyes. It takes approximately 30 minutes for the procedure and the effect is permanently maintained. Patients can continue normal daily activities 3~4 days after the surgery.
Before and After
Before and After photos from ITEM Plastic Surgery in Gangnam, Seoul.