SBS K-Drama The Penthouse: War in Life recently became one of the most-watched Korean television shows of all time, and it’s all thanks to the crazy twists and unexpected plot lines. Of course, the plot would be nothing without villainess Cheon Seo Jin, played by Kim So Yeon.


Many viewers were shocked at how Kim So Yeon looked even more attractive in Penthouse than usual despite her unlikeable character, but Personal Image Makers TV says there’s actually a reason behind that. There’s no doubt that actress Kim So Yeon is beautiful on and off-screen, but there’s something particularly attractive about her when she’s playing a villain like Penthouse‘s Cheon Seo Jin.

According to image consultant Choi Ji Won, also known as Personal Image Makers TV on YouTube, Kim So Yeon has “winter-type” visuals that give her an “urban, chic, cold beauty“. Her 45°-angled cheeks and distinctive jawline give her a strong impression, as does her sharp nose.


That’s what makes her appearance look western and feel harmonized overall with cheeks and a jawline.

— Choi Ji Won, Personal Image Makers TV

Choi Ji Won contrasted the actress’s looks with another industry veteran: Song Hye Kyo. While Song Hye Kyo has “soft and curvy facial features“, Kim So Yeon’s are far more angular. The image consultant described Kim’s looks as “a distinctive and so-called linear ambiance“.

Song Hye Kyo

So, why do Kim So Yeon’s chic and sharp visuals shine the brightest when she plays a villain? Choi Ji Won explained that “actresses have to own their visual elements to persuade a character in dramas“. Combining expressive skills with one’s own beauty points is the best way to give off a convincing and alluring performance.


According to Choi Ji Won, a “winter-type” visual like Kim So Yeon looks best when acting out strong, femme-fatale roles because styling teams give villains “strong and linear” makeup looks that work perfectly with her features.


When she plays good characters, for example, her eyebrows are usually shaped with a low arch. When she plays Cheon Seo Jin, on the other hand, her arch is drawn higher, bringing attention to the crazed expressions in her eyes while “enhancing a sensual ambiance“. The image consultant says this brow look is also in line with how actresses are taught to use their facial muscles asymmetrically, raising and lowering just one eyebrow to express emotions more clearly.


These minute details shine more while she acts a villain who has a large scope of emotion.

— Choi Ji Won, Personal Image Makers TV

Don’t believe eyebrows can make that much of a difference? Just look at how Cheon Seo Jin would look with less arched brows—she completely loses her evil yet attractive edge.

| Personal Image Makers TV/YouTube