K-media Assembles Top 5 Most Beautiful Actresses in Kim Hee Sun, Son Ye Jin, Han Ga In, Song Hye Kyo, and Kim Tae Hee


With Descendants of the Sun doing gangbuster prime time ratings, the best since You From Another Star two years ago, it gives K-media a chance to wax rhapsodic about the A-list actresses who continue to deliver in looks and/or ratings. A recent OSEN article has the balls to argue that the top 5 most beautiful face K-actresses with successes works are Kim Hee Sun, Son Ye Jin, Song Hye Kyo, Han Ga In, and Kim Tae Hee. It’s true these ladies all have representative dramas and today still land big roles to varying degrees of success.

Son Ye Jin’s Pirates, Kim Hee Sun’s buzzy Angry Mom and solid Wonderful Days, Song Hye Kyo in DotS and the well received That Winter, the Wind Blows, Han Ga In forever riding on The Moon Embraces the Sun‘s over 40% ratings at the peak, and Kim Tae Hee managing to bring eyeballs to Yongpal. In terms of looks, all five are definitely always mentioned in any top whatever list, and it’s pretty interesting to note that they don’t resemble each other at all, which goes to show that Korean viewers have certain standards of beauty but it’s not completely cookie cutter.

I think the most glaring omission on that OSEN list is Jeon Ji Hyun, who has hit after hit whether drama with YFAS or movies in Assassination and Thieves. In terms of pure facial beauty she’s definitely the visual top for me personally, but the more I watch Song Hye Kyo in DotS the more I see why she’s still popular two decades into her career. Kim Tae Hee I think wins on a balance of looks and brains, K-viewers still love a Seoul University grad even if she’s super toothy. She’ll forever have my goodwill thanks to a acting breakthrough performance in Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love.


K-media Assembles Top 5 Most Beautiful Actresses in Kim Hee Sun, Son Ye Jin, Han Ga In, Song Hye Kyo, and Kim Tae Hee — 68 Comments

  1. Personally, I think Son Ye Jin and Kim Tae Hee are #1 and #2 (respectively) at their prime. Son Ye Jin during her A Moment to Remember era and Kim Tae Hee circa Love Story in Harvard and IRIS era.

    I also think Jeon Ji Hyun beats Han Ga In in terms of visuals but she fits Korean beauty standards to a T so I can understand why she’s on the list. I just reeeeeaaaally appreciate JJH’s aura of tomboyishness/pretty that I don’t think the other 5 on the list has (or not to her extent anyway.)

    • Yes.. Son Ye Jin, for me, is still the best when it comes to beauty and acting. Everytime you look at her, the more you lend your eyes on her, her eyes says everything. Until now, her smiles are innocent. Dunno, but I always love her and she act like she’s really into it that makes my heart melt. 🙂

  2. I hopebthis comment senction not turned like NB or OH where everyone else put down kim tae hee called her overrated or anything else….
    Initially i dont get her hype..but slowly by watching her drama…i understand whybkorea love her so much….she smart, sweet and on top of that educated woman..
    Please beauty is subjective.. examplebeveryone spazzing song hye kyo …but i perhaps minority who found her overrated and not charming at all

    • Dont call me shk anti..i love her but srsly seeing how many people called her most beautiful woman and putting down fellow beauties realyy….
      Even i dare to say gong hyo jin, moon chae won or oh yeon seo prettier than song hye kyo

      • Nice additions. I agree those women are not only beautiful but very charming as well which enhances their beauty

    • SHK in naturally pretty and her beauty is timeless.

      However, in case of KTH, she has the looks and aura, even she is aging she still have her own aura that cannot beat by anyone else. and.. she has a good education background too..

  3. Song Hye Kyo is so bland looking ,she’s not ugly but she’s not as beautiful as some make her seem ,just like Kim tae hee..
    Again ,they’re not ugly but they’re also not goddesses or whatever.

  4. God, so far koala, dramabeans and kkuljaem remained purest comment senction regarding korea news…
    Nb used to be rational but now nevermind…kpopkfans more tolerable…pannchoa and oh place for delusional fanwar…allkpop and soompi perhaps the worst
    To every koala reader..thank you to keep rational and sane hahahaha

  5. I personally think all ladies above are beautiful. But Jeon Ji Hyun and Han Ga In are riding on My Sassy girl and The Moon that embraces sun for forever. Even thought Kim Tae Hee is so beautiful, her acting isnt par with Song Hye Kyo and Song Ye Jin. I have no interest in Kim Hee Sun becoz she always boasts her beauty saying she is in number one in korea etc. I prefer Song Hye Kyo better than in this set. What there are many beautiful and hardworking actresses.

    • I agree with han gain…but are you never checked to jun ji hyun acting work…she has hit film and drama..but undeniably my sassy girl and ywcfts are her representative works..and in term acting skill… she and son yejin superior than restvof this list

  6. I remember watching song hye gyo in Autumn tales, and thinking she was absolutely stunning, but honestly in DOTS I feel like song joong ki is prettier than her.

    I feel like her beauty hasn’t aged the way kim hee sun or han ga in or even jeon ji hyun

    but of course this is all superficial, and song hye gyo is still gorgeous and killing it on DOTS

  7. I get Son Yejin, Han Gain and Kim Taehee mixed up when I first getting into K-dramas…. I feel that they have the same type of beauty, even though I can easily differentiate them now.

  8. I have no qualms about this list although I do think there’re more beauties out there among K actresses. When I read the title of this blog, the one in the omission up in my mind is Jeong Ji Hyun. I’m glad Koala mentioned recognized her too. JJH not only has acting talents and beautiful, but also has a very good taste on style and fashion. I’m not her fan, but I can’t deny her charm. Some of these 5 actresses in the list have aged a bit. But they were all really beautiful when they were in their 20s. I think when Koreans rank beauty, they surely exclude those who have gone through PS. It’s not a secret that which K actresses have done PS and which never had.

  9. Yep, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
    And you can be a beauty with the help of cosmetics, the right attitude and fashion.
    In my eyes the six names mentioned above are beautiful but without the successes bar, I consider Lee Hyori, Jung hye Young , Park Si Yeon and there was this one I cannot remember what movie or drama she is.
    I think she’s not active anymore, she has big eyes and thick eyebrows.

  10. Kim Tae hee is my top choice… beauty and brains. beauty may be to each of their own but beauty and brains is hard to imitate. i give her my vote 😀

    • Completely agree. My definition of beauty isn’t only about the look. It’s too superficial and empty. Beauty with brain? that has different class all together :).

  11. sometimes when I watch SHK in DOTS, her side profile kinda looks like a chubbier version of Kim Soo Yeon. lol. Nota bad thing btw.

  12. Who would y’all say are the beauties for the younger K-actresses? (No younger than 1992 tho–I think those can be classified in an even younger age range than I’m thinking. For this list I’m thinking 1985-1990 roughly.)

    For me they are:

    Moon Chae Won
    Han Hyo Joo
    Lee Yeon Hee
    Go Ara

    P.S. I’m not putting Park Min Young cuz of the LARGE plastic surgery factor, lol. Sorry not sorry.

  13. It’s wonderful that we have many beautiful actresses in K-drama but to me the key factor will be that they must be able to portray their roles in the dramas effectively. Personally, I always have goodwill for Kim Tae Hee since watching her in Love Story in Harvard. That image of a kind, bubbly, smart, loving lady stays! Currently, I am very much taken by Moon Chae Won who is performing very well in Goodbye Mr Black.

  14. Kim tae hee is so overrated. She can’t act and she has the ugliest teeth ever. as knets say she can stick to her CF’s until she gets really old (in a few years)

    • KTH will be really OLD in a few years? This is one of the most WEIRD comments I’ve read lately. I’m not a particularly huge fan of hers, however, according to my dictionary, “really old” is not a person pushing 40 (in a few years, that is).
      Good Lord! How old are some of you, guys?

      • From what I’ve noticed on soompi too, I think a lot of people are not only young, but brainwashed too (“women age like milk”). Particularly those from more traditional countries where being a woman in the second half of 20s in already old.

        To be fair, according to korea (newspapers), women/actresses in their 30s are middle-aged. So according to such standards 40 is old.

        Oh well, I can only hope that all the people saying such stuff and being all mean will get a taste of their own medicine once they do reach such an age.

    • All the k-actresses listed above are over 30. None of them are below 30. So it’s a real shame there aren’t the equivalent representative with such good acting and star power as these k-actresses for the below thirties.

      • When I try to think of the actors who are popular for their looks and who also bring ratings, aren’t they actually mostly below 30? Okay Song joong ki is 31, and there’s hyun bin (though his last hit was secret garden wasn’t it?). I admit to following all this stuff casually, and I don’t follow the movie industry at all so maybe I’m completely off.
        But if I’m not it is a bit balanced I guess.

  15. Top 5 for me would be:
    1. Kim Yoo Jung (the most beautiful, no doubt)
    2. Shin Min Ah
    3. Lee Yeon Hee
    4. SHK
    5. Suzy
    Other: Han Ga In, Honey lee, Lee Sung-Kyung, Yoon So Hee, JJH

    • Okay i am only one who think lee yeon hee very average and top of that her acting skill is tragic
      Considered sponsor scandal currently discussed everywhere… i wonder if she also sponsored plus strong back up comp… she always got leading role opposite famous actor while her acting is abymssal

      • What about kim so hyun. She is not only pretty but a fantastic actress. If you talk about budding young actresses, my bet is on kim so hyun. Lately she bas been doing some amazing work and as for this list I think ha ji won and jun ji hyun should be included!

      • Speaking strictly of looks she’s got really pretty eyes, great bone structure and pretty smile. She has really dollish features. Her mouth can be a bit off. Her acting on the other hand wavers from great potential to WTH.

      • @Sammy
        Well, acting, looks, personality those are different. When you’re talking about looks, you’re talking about esthetics alone. A good personality can make a person look more attractive physically. There’s actually research on that lol. In the cases of Kim So Hyun and HJW they are not gorgeous in the conventional way, but something about them gives people good vibes, which makes them attractive. But HJW though can go from average to smoking hot, which is weird lol.

    • Some of these females need to get plastic duty along with their bf’s. What if they have children who will they resemble? Used to be a big SOUTH KOREA Fan of their Dramas but not anymore. Only certain ones

    • @whatever LMAO This is such a biased comment it’s not even funny ?
      Kim Yoo Jung most beautiful? In what world? She has flat nose, flat and wide face. She’s not even pretty.
      Meanwhile Kim So Hyun is always ranked high in beauty lists, she’s always the youngest in those lists. And a lot of Korean celebrities have praised her beauty. Crayon Pop’s manager even said she’s the most beautiful Korean celebrity he has ever seen. Kim So Hyun is definitely the #1 goddess of her generation, not weird-looking Kim Yoo Jung ?

  16. JUN JI HYUN 2014, KIM TAE HEE 2015 , SONG HYE GYO 2016… their dramas marked top in ratings thats why they remain always on top lists not only famed by their beauties.

  17. For me they are
    1. SHK
    2. Kim Hee Sun
    3. JJH
    4. KTH

    I am probably one of the only who don’t find HGI to be that pretty (esp. compared to the others)

    • You’re not the only one, I wouldn’t even call HGI pretty, let alone one of the prettiest. On top of that, she has no charm. Someone said her eye’s look like those of a strangled cat in Moon embracing the Sun and I thought that was a perfect description.

      KTH, I will never get why her beauty is so highly praised. She is pretty, but pedestrian kind of pretty. She also looks old her her age.

      I think SHK and JJH are equally beautiful but I wish SHK would update her style. Sometimes she looks so dated, especially with those bangs.

  18. I agree. Where is JJH, one of the most beautiful AND successful actresses in K-ent? And also, where is Shin Mi-nah? Not pretty enough for you, people who make lists?
    Although I agree with the names they chose, I really need to ask: Did they simply “forget” JJH or was she overlooked on purpose?

  19. All those women are pretty in their own way. SYJ took my breath away with her film with JIS. She was gorgeous when young. Everyone was saying how goddess KHS was but I never found her breath-takingly beautiful. KTH was pretty too in STH because she didn’t have typical Korean features. HGI always looked like a doll to me so she always appeared stiff in dramas. SHK pretty and delicate just like her character in Autumn in my heart. JJH is tall and has a good figure but acting-wise not great, she was better suited for films.

  20. I don’t think that son ye jin is that pretty hm but to be honest and for sure the top pretty is song hye kyo followed by jun ji hyun and kim tae hee. I found han ga in was in list as she had a sharp nose (which is very rare in korea) and her eyes-type were quite pretty which is not-korean-basic-eyes. And also found that somehow lee min jung resembles kim tae hee (or its just me) and kim yoo jung resembles jun ji hyun. Regardless the rank, its good to know that all of their beauty were not under the knives

  21. God everyone is talking about some or the other beauty. But where is ha ji won? My ultimate bias. Okey may be her last drama didn’t do well but that doesn’t make her less pretty or less famous. She has had some of the most popular dramas to her credit and she has been there since time immemorial. I remember seeing her when I was really very young and now when I am in my teens, she just seems the same to me. For me ha ji won is the prettiest and the most lovable korean actress. I don’t know why but I just love her off the camera too. Her interviews are just so awesome. And I guess if you are pretty deep inside then it reflects on your skin. Though I call ladies of her age aunt in my family. But for me ha ji won will always remain a unnie! And yes totally agree jun ji hyun should also be included in the list.

  22. Korean beauty standard, Well I dont get it. KTH has had teeth done and when she talks, all i see r her teeth. HGI is so lifeless. SHK has outdated hairstyle and looks much then SJK in dots. There r more beautiful actresses then those 3!

  23. having teeth done is not considered serious cosmetic nowadays as most of teenagers in the US have had orthodontics done based on dental health recommendation at some point. Although KTH isn’t considered astounding beauty in my dictionary, she’s still naturally pretty above average. Some ppl mentioned Ha Ji Wan and Lee Yeon Hee. HJW is an excellent actress but they are talking about physical beauty. She’s rumored to have some PS done. As to LYH, she isn’t an A list actress yet. So why should she be considered? Same reasons go for other names mentioned in other comments. Either these actresses are not natural beauty nor in the league of top-notch and sought-after actresses.

    • Korean vs West – i think in west, kids go thru braces/retainers to get teeth aligned. However, in Korea, they tend to use implant over teeth and it looks — weird to be honest as only their top teeth are more pronounced then bottom. ?

      • Aw what the heck! Implant is considered a procedure (kinda surgery) but brace/retainer orthodontic works are not. In the States, orthodontics are usually covered by insurance but implant is considered more costly and therefore average insurance policy has greater limits to cover this procedure.

  24. Loving Kim Tae Hee…hwating! ! Watching DOTS because of Song Joong Ki! Song Hye Kyo …just okay for me…just my preference ^_*:))

  25. Personally, SHK will always be my favorite. There’s just something about her that comes off very effortlessly classy and elegant. I do agree with some comments though about how she looks a bit dated compared to the others. SHK during Full House era was the best, imo, but I still find her captivatingly beautiful at times in DoTS.

    JJH, on the other hand, I don’t find her particularly beautiful face-wise but she has an aura and a way of carrying herself with confidence that does make her attractive. She was wonderful as Cheon Song Yi!

    I like KTH, loved her in certain roles in the past, and do stop to think about how pretty she is sometimes but to me she’s the conventional, simple type of pretty. I still prefer SHK’s classy, almost ethereal (imo) beauty over her.

    About Ha Ji Won, she doesn’t fit into the Korean stereotype of beauty I think but I don’t know, I really like her. She can be so badass in one project but then look so hot in red carpet appearances.

    As for the other names on the list, hmmm, I don’t really find them that special. I much prefer other actresses like Han Hyo Joo, Shin Min Ah, and Lee Min Jung.

  26. I really don’t know how to classify the levels of beauty of people. I don’t know if there’s someone that’s beautiful than the other, so I find all of them beautiful. I actually am captivated with Yoo In Na’s beauty though she’s might not be that beautiful to others. I would gladly appreciate if there’s someone who would reply (reasons why she’s not beautiful, why she won’t pass the standards of beauty, etc.)

    • Ohh, I forgot. She’s not as popular as them, so most likely, she’s not one of the most beautiful and I think, Inna’s beauty is ordinary compared to them.

      • Well yoo in ha has been listed in some articles and blogs that she must’ve had her beauty under the knife.

      • @Dianna Jun: Ohh, I’ve seen much articles about that and actually, I’m actually going to mention that thing. So, that’s the reason why many people don’t find her beautiful. Well, whether she did it or not, I’m still going to root for her. Also, she might really not be that beautiful if we are going to compare her to other actresses and she’s not as popular as them, really.
        [Sorry of I did comment twice.]

  27. @Dianna Jun: Ohh, I’ve seen much articles about that and actually, I’m actually going to mention that thing. So, that’s the reason why many people don’t find her beautiful. Well, whether she did it or not, I’m still going to root for her. Also, she might really not be that beautiful if we are going to compare her to other actresses and she’s not as popular as them, really.

    • I mean Park Shin Hye, the queen , natural beauty inside and out, plus talent. The queen of actress under 30. Nobody else.

  28. song hye kyo is the number one Korean beauty and the most successful as well in my opinion.think about all her amazing dramas? Autumn in my heart, full house, the winter the win blows,all in, among others. all her dramas are super hits because she is that talented. her beauty is natural,she looks so kind and genuine simply a class above her competition. having said that Kim tae hee takes the second place for me.

  29. all of the are so beautiful. kim tae hee acting maybe not the best but her beauty is undeniable. i was starstruck of her when she starred in IRIS. And that time lee byung hyun was so handsome for me except his personality. But han ga in come first place in my vocab cause until today i found her so pretty whenever i see her face. for song hye kyo, i love her in full house, her face is very beautiful and her feature standout for me but she is short. she is in third place after kth. For jun ji hyun, i found her really pretty during my sassy girl n my love from the star and during that time for me she was the most beautiful but now in legend of the blue sea i start notice her face is lacking compare to other three. She looks aged now. not sure maybe she less charming in this drama for me and now she look only pretty not stunningly beautiful as other.

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