Korean Beauty lifehacks - tips for time and budget management
“Tips and tricks” is perhaps my most favorite type of reading. I love learning new ways of doing things smarter, faster, and better. I’ve been playing around with Korean cosmetics and skincare for close to two years now, and am ready to share my own personal little secrets on how to make the most out of your time and products.
Tip #1: Let the layers sink in!
This might be the most obvious one of the bunch, but I was guilty of piling on all the products in order but without waiting in between layers. You would be surprised what a difference just 10-20 seconds can make. This doesn’t mean your routine has to take forever - just use creativity. For example, I apply toner and serum, then brush my teeth while those soak in. Then follow with lotion, get dressed, and so on. You will notice that your skin feels lighter and treatments do not pill.
Tip #2: Full routines are not just for the face
Hands, neck and chest need love too, and sometimes even more so than the face. Using all of your steps, including regular exfoliation, can make a dramatic difference in those areas. Even if it’s only a few times a week, you will be surprised at how great hands can look after a peeling gel, serum, lotion and a night mask.
Tip #3: Use products on more than one area
Eye patches can plump up wrinkles and brighten your overall look, but did you know they are also great on foreheads and nasolabial folds? Most jars only have 1-2 months of shelf life after opening, so using them on more than just the eye area can help finish off the jar before the product expires.
Sheet masks are typically still full of essence/serum after the indicated 20 minutes of use - fold them in half and apply to the neck for another 10 minutes or so. Just don’t save them for another day - that’s not hygienic. Get all you can out of each sheet and promptly discard. If there’s any extra serum left in the envelope, slather it onto your hands, chest and/or legs.
Eye cream makes an excellent neck treatment. The skin around the eyes and on the neck is more delicate and less oily than the rest of the face, so special products are often needed to truly nurture it. I have a hard time using up all of the eye cream (especially this Etude House one) before expiration dates since the eye area doesn’t take much product. The rich texture and high amount of nutrients in good quality eye creams work wonders on the neck.
Aloe gel does a wonderful job at preparing the skin for exfoliation by plumping up the dead cells and making them slough off easier. Apply a thick layer to clean skin, wait 5-10 minutes (consider it a mask), remove and then use a peeling gel as usual. Enjoy a glowing, clean skin that’s ready to absorb all the goodness of your skincare routine.
Tip #4: Hack your makeup
If your favorite BB cream feels too heavy (especially in the warm months), mix it with a drop of aloe gel before applying - it will go on lighter and smoother, and the gel will provide extra hydration. It’s probably my favorite makeup tip for looking natural while still improving the visual appearance of skin.
Concealer makes an excellent eyeshadow base. Seriously, try it - apply a bit to your eyelids, blend with your fingers, then proceed with your eye makeup. This works as well as any eye primer I’ve ever tried, and again helps you finish off the makeup before it expires.
Tip #5: Be lazy wisely
Having a lazy skincare day might mean going to bed with makeup on for some of you (I shudder as I type this), but there are much more enjoyable ways to take an occasional night off from a long routine.
Invest in a good quality all in one product (my current favorite is HYGGEE). Yes, you still have to wash your face, but after that all you need is ONE step. Slather this magic toner-serum-lotion-in-one on and go to bed (or do the same on a lazy morning). Voila - healthy, glowing skin for only a minute of your time.
And a little bonus tip - know how to read the dates and all of those wonderful jars and tubes. If you see the Korean word "제조," the date afterwards is the date of manufacture. If you see the Korean word "까지," the date after it is the expiration date. Knowing the difference can save you from unnecessary concerns about receiving expired products.