I'm convinced that OH MY GIRL has the secret sauce to success. While I spent all of 2020 staying barely afloat, the talented septet was busy taking over the music charts with hits like "Nonstop" and "Dolphin" and sweeping up trophy after trophy during the end-of-year Korean award show season. Keeping in mind their second-place trophy from the popular Mnet reality competition show Queendom in 2019, it's safe to say they've been on a hot streak for quite some time now.
For many, including myself, OH MY GIRL's music was a much-needed dose of brightness and calmness during a tumultuous year. ("Nonstop" was one of my top-played songs of 2020 on Spotify, if you need proof.) The septet's latest single "Dun Dun Dance" proves to be no different, showcasing yet another catchy and experimental side of the girl group's discography. The members tell me the track is their first to incorporate a retro nu-disco genre, as well as an intriguing alien concept. "Rather than expressing aliens externally (appearance-wise), I was excited that we were able to interpret this concept through our unique OH MY GIRL perspective," member JIHO tells me via our email interview. (You'll see what she means when you watch the music video and witness the duality in action, I promise.)
For this comeback, they've been able to connect with their fans (lovingly called "Miracle") in-person. You can hear cheers on the videos of their music show circuit, an aspect of the K-pop idol life that went missing in the year of COVID. "We haven't been able to meet or see our fans for over a year, so that also made us really nervous and excited for this comeback," YOOA shares. "We really missed them so much," she adds. And what better way to reunite with fans than with an upbeat, disco-inspired summer anthem? (Don't be surprised if you start humming "I just wanna dun dun dance" at random times of the day.)
Of course, "Dun Dun Dance" represents only a small slice of OH MY GIRL's career. Since debuting in 2015 under WM Entertainment, they've explored countless concepts — including an enchanting fairytale for "Closer" and the rainbow house party that is "Coloring Book" — and experimented with various hair colors and makeup styles throughout the years. To celebrate their latest comeback, OH MY GIRL chatted with Allure not only about the new album, Dear OHMYGIRL, but also their favorite beauty moments from their careers thus far — sharing photos and selfies from those eras along the way. As a bonus, they also gave Allure exclusive shots from the physical Dear OHMYGIRL album that have never been released digitally, starting with this stunning shot of YOOA.
Allure: How do you think your music has evolved over the past year and how is that represented in this comeback?
YOOA: I think our fans and listeners felt that our music last year was a bit more hip than what is considered to be our signature OH MY GIRL sound. "Nonstop" was such a memorable song with its rhythmical bass, bright synth sound, and addicting hook, whereas "Dun Dun Dance" is a dance-pop track that takes on a nu-disco genre with a retro sensibility. This is the first time that our title song has a retro style and I hope that everyone [who listens to the track] enjoys it.
ARIN: In this comeback, you can definitely still feel the addictive hook, but I think we were able to highlight the song's upbeat and retro sensibility through OH MY GIRL's unique dance-pop sound. I hope that people who watch our stages can dance along with excitement to "Dun Dun Dance" and hum [along to] its melody.
Allure: How would you describe your new album Dear OHMYGIRL to a friend?
HYOJUNG: This is the first time our group's name has been included in the album title. I wanted to introduce this release even more to others because it contains OH MY GIRL's story. If you look at all of the tracks' lyrics, it feels as if they're telling a story about our members who have walked together all throughout these years.
ARIN: There's a song [on our album] for every mood and vibe. I told my friend to listen to "Dun Dun Dance" while driving because it's perfect for this season. I recommend listening to "My Doll" before you go to sleep because it gives you a sense of comfort by taking you away from the tiring reality [of life]. Instead, it makes you feel like you're dreaming a sweet, cozy dream. "Swan" expresses and highlights the members' vocals really well, so you'll be able to experience each of our different charms!
Allure: Were there any particularly special moments you experienced while preparing for this comeback?
BINNIE: We filmed this music video on Jeju Island and the natural scenery was so stunning wherever we went. There's a fun scene where I drive a classic car with YooA. While it was just for a short distance, it actually felt like I was on a [relaxing] drive.
SEUNGHEE: It was interesting that our music video shoot schedule was divided into alien outfits and human outfits, and I hope our fans had fun guessing which looks represent the "alien" and "human" concepts.
MIMI: I met an alpaca when filming the music video. It was so cute, but since it was such a short schedule, I didn't get the chance to spend time with the alpaca. I want to meet them again and get closer next time!
Allure: Who had the biggest change in terms of styling for this comeback, and in what ways?
MIMI: I have dyed my hair many different colors but this comeback marked the first time I've dyed my hair black since our debut. It felt incredibly strange and awkward to look in the mirror for a while.
SEUNGHEE: I think Arin had the biggest hair transformation. She usually holds onto her long, brown hair, but she replaced it with lively orange-red hair [for promotions]. She also chopped her hair prior to a medium bob for the "Dun Dun Dance" music video and photoshoots. Besides Arin, the rest of the members have also had a hairstyle change, so please look forward to it all!
YOOA: During our "Dun Dun Dance" promotions, I was contemplating whether I should chop my hair or not, but after much deliberation, I decided not to. I'm slightly sad that I didn't go through with it, but there's a sense of happiness and satisfaction in seeing Jiho's new short hair instead.
JIHO: Although our outfits [e.g. denim looks] this time are based on an "everyday" look, it's slightly different from my personal style. But our fans always look forward to and love seeing various looks and stage outfit changes that are different from our usual attire.
Allure: What kind of input did you have in terms of makeup, hair, or styling?
BINNIE: We brainstormed a lot together to see how we could style ourselves to match and elevate the brightness of ["Dun Dun Dance"]. So, what I thought of was a hair color that gives off a cool blue tone. I presented a draft of my idea to our company and they reflected my opinions. I often consult with the stylists, too, according to the look for each day.
Allure: What has been your favorite beauty look since your debut, and why did it resonate with you?
My favorite look was the white dress and crown I wore for our Windy Day album concept photos. The styling gave off the feeling of a fairytale princess with a free-spirited charm, which really reflected our music. The crown stood out even more because my hair was styled in loose, subtle waves. My hair color at the time was a natural shade of brown, but whenever the light hit my hair or a flash photo was taken, my hair would seem like an even lighter brown.
The hanbok I wore for our "Nonstop" stage at the Golden Disc Awards was memorable because it's a style that I can't wear often. All three elements — hair, accessories, and makeup — went well with the hanbok, which helped me express and immerse myself on stage. I also had the chance to style my hair with binyeo (a traditional Korean hairpin) and other extremely pretty floral pins. And I remember that a reddish eye shadow was used to line my eyes, which emphasized my eyes and looked attractive.
I was surprised that I was able to pull off lavender hair for our Nonstop era. It really suited the overall color palette and style of our title track [of the same name], and the color made me feel more free-spirited than usual and brought a different energy to the stage.
I really like my dark, hot pink hair with wispy, layered curls for this "Dun Dun Dance" comeback. Although I've had pink hair in the past, this is a different shade that paired nicely with this album concept and theme. Every single outfit that I wore matched really well with the pink — especially the contrasting black mini dress I wore for the album photo shoot.
I enjoyed the dancer concept for The Fifth Season album because the overall styling helped us present the clean, sophisticated, and delicate atmosphere of our music. Everything was balanced so that there wasn't a specific element (e.g. makeup, color palette, etc.) that was emphasized more than the others. My makeup was kept minimal with thin black eyeliner, pastel eyeshadows, and light brown brows to make sure that my natural features were highlighted.
Although my "Closer" look was not intense or eye-popping, I thought the way its delicate and subtle mood blended in with the song was really pretty. My makeup was kept extremely simple and light and I remember styling my hair in loose braids, making sure to leave out more baby hairs to emphasize a more youthful look.
During our album promotions for The Fifth Season, all the outfits, hair, and makeup expressed the softness and overall mood of our songs. One of the most memorable looks was the ballerina-like costume I wore for one of our Music Core performances. The ponytail I had matched well with the pink dress, and the two paired together made me think of spring. My makeup brought out the brightness and glowiness of my complexion, and we focused on using light pink eye shadows and coral lip shades for a more invigorated look. Those also happen to be my go-to eye and lip shades when we don't have a specific look to do.
Allure: Now that we've covered your favorite beauty moments, I'm curious to hear about the best beauty tip or secret you've learned so far.
HYOJUNG: I think cleansing is the most important step in skin care. For me, it's really important to choose a cleanser that's formulated for sensitive skin and contains mild ingredients that don't cause irritation. [My biggest skin-care] secret is that I allow my skin to rest on days when I don't have to wear makeup.
JIHO: I keep my skin hydrated by using moisturizing facial masks at least once a week. I also heard that it's key to leave hair treatments in for a couple of minutes so that the cuticles can absorb the nutrients before you wash them off.
MIMI: I take extra care of my hair because I tend to bleach and dye it frequently, so it's crucial that I do hair treatments consistently. And it's really important to take care of your scalp as well.
SEUNGHEE: Make sure you remove your makeup [thoroughly] and keep things minimal when it comes to skin-care products. I'm not sure if I'm the right person to provide tips, but since I tend to get breakouts, I make sure to apply and thinly layer mild, non-irritating lotions or moisturizers.
BINNIE: I personally don't enjoy putting on glitter, dark shadows, or thick eyeliners. So, if it's not necessary for the concept, I like to keep [my makeup] as light and clean as possible to bring out my natural charm.
YOOA: I really believe that your skin will be healthy if your body is healthy. I've been regularly drinking olive oil in the morning, which I feel has improved the appearance and hydration of my skin.
ARIN: I realized that my hair retains more volume when I wash my hair in the morning, before styling, as opposed to washing it the night before. My makeup tip is that your skin will not be as stressed if you apply your base/foundation on your cheeks and the bottom half of your face last. So apply your base to the upper half (nose and above) of your face and do your eye makeup, and then finish off your base on the cheeks and the bottom half of your face.
Allure: Finally, looking to the future, are there any concepts or beauty trends you haven’t tried yet, but would like to explore?
JIHO: I'm also really into '70s and '80s style these days so I want to try doing a photo shoot completely based on a retro-inspired theme. I really think that fashion during those eras was extremely captivating. I also want to explore vintage styling for a future concept of ours.
MIMI: I want to try cutting my hair down to a short bob someday. I think that will require a comeback concept that fits that hairstyle, so I'm waiting for the right moment to style my hair like that.
BINNIE: I've been wanting to try a bright, tropical-like hair color! I also can't wait until I grow out my hair a bit more so I can style my hair in different braids.
SEUNGHEE: I don't really have a particular look or trend in mind but I would love to try a chic or minimalistic concept. Maybe one day we can try a concept that blends both chic and minimalistic [elements].
While we all wait for the universe — and the ladies of OH MY GIRL themselves — to manifest these looks or album concepts into reality, I'll be rewatching this gorgeous "Dun Dun Dance" music video until further notice and dreaming about the day I can finally visit Jeju island myself.
These interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.
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Originally Appeared on Allure