Lazy Girl K-Beauty Hacks
We all know that Korean skin care involves several steps and even though we view our routines as essential, let's be real: there's a lazy girl (or boy) in all of us.
In our introduction to the 10 step Korean routine, I denoted the 5 steps you can manage to get away with on a daily basis. However, there are days you want to do even less than the bare minimum (or nothing, period). Whether you're a workaholic, busy parent, or college student - I totally get it, and as your resident lazy girl - I’m here for you.
Read on for some of my favorite time-saving, do-the-least k-beauty hacks!
- Cleansing water & cleansing sticks
- Mist products
- Multitasking products
- Overnight products
- Makeup & sunscreen
Alternative Cleansers: Waters and Sticks
You’ve heard me rave about cleansing water in a few posts now, but here I go, once again praising the unsung hero of K-Beauty. I love cleansing water because it just does so much for you by doing so little. Cleansing waters are basically micellar waters on steroids; packed with ingredients to cleanse away makeup, dirt, and pollution while often toning or moisturizing as well. You can use cleansing water as a standalone step when you want to forego a double cleanse (but really, do your double cleanse if you can), or as an additional step to your routine. Make sure the cleansing water is purposed as rinse-free if you’re replacing your double cleanse. I like to use cleansing water on my face but also on my neck and decolletage since I find it a lot easier to target these areas with cleansing water. Simply soak some cotton rounds and go to town.
Another alternative to your typical double cleanse is using a cleansing stick. These are solid cleansers which come in the form of a tube - making them super easy to travel with or stick in your bag for an on-the-go cleanse (such as after the gym). Cleansing sticks can be used to replace your double cleanse or used as your water-based cleanser if you find that you still need a first cleansing step. If the cleansing stick is not formulated with enough oils to breakdown your oil based makeup, you might still want to add an oil cleansing step prior to using it. The ingredients within the stick will dictate whether or not it's effective enough to use as a double cleanser and your mileage may vary if you're using it exclusively to double cleanse. Cleansing sticks should be applied directly onto your face and rinsed clean.
Note: Despite the appeal, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using makeup wipes to cleanse unless you plan to wash your face afterwards. These can be formulated with unsavory chemicals which should not stay on your face, and may do more harm than good. Like any product, please research and review the ingredients list before putting anything onto your face!
Popular cleansing waters:
Popular cleansing sticks:
Doing the Mist
Mists are totally having a moment right now. Mist products are another lovely K-Beauty hack which can save precious seconds in your day. I’ve seen many products make their way into a bottle to be sprayed onto your skin. Mists are super quick and effective at distributing product if you’re in a hurry. It only takes a moment to mist on your new favorite toner, essence, or even serum. Hydrating facial mists are also becoming popular in Korean beauty (Elizabeth and I love them). They are great for adding a bit of dew to your face at any time or place such as in your air conditioned office, a day at the beach, or post-gym. Simply spray the product all over your face in a circular motion, then gently pat into skin.
Tip: if you have a toner, first treatment essence, or any other product that is water-like in consistency, I recommend decanting it into a spray bottle or travel-sized mist bottle for an easy on-the-go spritz. This is a great travel tip as well which will save you space in your luggage and get you through security with no problem. You can try this with any product as long as its consistency isn’t too thick! If you're feeling brave (or just especially lazy) you can also combine products with similar consistencies into the same bottle to shorten your routine!
Popular mist products:
All-In-One Time Savers
I’m in love with multitasking products. As I mentioned in my routine post when I discussed the cult favorite Son & Park Beauty Water, this particular cleansing water cleanses, tones, and exfoliates all at once. At risk of sounding like a broken record, cleansing water is one awesome example of a multi-step product in one. I’m definitely team multi-tasking and step-saving products; they just make life so much easier. Nowadays you can find almost any combination of steps created with the intent of condensing your routine and making Korean beauty more appealing to the masses. The idea here is that the ingredients packed into the product cover a wide range of effects and thus work simultaneously to help your skin look its best. We’ve all got something to do or somewhere to be (sometimes it’s just to bed), and these products help get you there even quicker.
Popular All-In-One Products:
- MISSHA Near Skin Simple Therapy Essence Lotion (Essence, Moisturizer)
- RE:P Nutrinature All-In-One Multitem (Toner, Essence, Emulsion)
- COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Cream (Exfoliant, Moisturizer)
- Peach Slices Citrus-Honey Aqua Glow (Serum, Moisturizer)
- Whamisa Green Tea Serum Toner (Serum, Toner)
- Erborian Yuza Double Lotion (Facial Oil, Moisturizer)
Working While You Sleep
As the theme of this post, I’m all about products that work for you without you having to do much. My favorite way to have my products work is while I sleep; this is where overnight products like sleeping masks and acne treatments come in.
When it comes to sleeping masks or packs, there’s such a wide range of this product that can do just about everything for you while you sleep except, maybe, hit your snooze button. Sleeping masks (really just another type of moisturizer) are an amazing way to provide the same benefits as sheet masks but without the time commitment. (My mom gets off work late and often doesn't have time for a full routine - this is how I introduced her to K-Beauty.) I think it's awesome that you can find a mask to supplement your routine with effects to brighten, moisturize, minimize pores, or even exfoliate your skin while you get your beauty rest. Just apply the mask at the end of your routine before hitting the hay, and wash it off with your morning cleanse.
Sleeping masks can help achieve various effects:
- Even skin tone: COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Mask
- Brighten: MIZON Goodnight White Sleeping Mask
- Moisturize: Laniege Water Sleeping Mask
- Minimize Pores, Tighten Skin: Lioele V-Line Sleeping Pack
- Exfoliate: Make P:rem Peel me. Radiance Peeling Sleeping Pack
- Lip Mask: Laniege Lip Sleeping Mask
As I’ve mentioned in my routine post as well, I love using acne patches or spot treatments overnight. These babies work similarly to a band aid, they protect the wound from outside stimulus then either suck out fluid from whiteheads or flatten out pimples. They take a while to work their magic so what better time to pop one on then while you sleep? I'd recommend having it on for at least 7-8 hours if possible.
Favorite acne patches:
I can’t finish off this list without mentioning cushion foundations. These are the ultimate lazy girl’s k-beauty hack for applying flawless foundation. Cushion foundations are a Korean beauty staple and are starting to make their way into the American makeup market as well (looking at you, L’oreal True Match Lumi Cushion). These compacts contain liquid foundation in a compact cushion form. Yes, you read that right. No, you don’t need a beauty blender or brush to apply this foundation. Simply press the applicator puff that comes with the compact into the cushion and apply right onto your face. You'll get buildable, even coverage and a natural finish for that flawless, no-makeup look. The puff imparts as little or as much coverage as you desire and it's so easy to apply - making these compacts great for makeup novices and junkies alike. The cushion compact is small enough to slip into your purse for easy touch-ups, despite it containing full liquid coverage. The only downside to these products is they are limited in shade ranges, so my fellow brown skin girls have to look long and hard for ones that work for us.
I personally use the MISSHA M Magic Cushion in shade #27 (3rd darkest out of 4); for reference I’m closest to NC42-NC45 in MAC. I love the dewy but flawless coverage and the super easy application of this cushion compact. I've found that if a shade is close enough to your skin tone, it still tends to blend in seemlessly with your natural skin tone.
Innisfree is changing the cushion foundation game with the new US release of their My Compact. It has 14 shades and two finishes - dewy and matte! The compact is also customizable with a bevy of cute designs. I tried their compact out at KCon this year and was quite impressed. They weren't available for purchase then but I would definitely like to get my hands on one in the future now that they are sold through their US website.
Lastly, I couldn’t forget sunscreen. We all know how important sunscreen is, but if at any time you forget to put on sunscreen, sunscreen can also be found in Korean cushion foundations and bb creams as a fail-safe. This should not replace your normal sunscreen application, but it makes it a lot easier to reapply sunscreen and your makeup all at once. It should also be mentioned that when Korean brands include sunscreen in makeup, they do it right. You won’t see a measly SPF 15 as found in American products. Nope, Koreans go all in with SPF 40+ / PA +++ protection.
These are my current favorite K-Beauty hacks. The tips I've listed may save you time, but should still provide the same benefits as a full-fledged 10 step routine. If you use any of these tips or have others in your repertoire, please share them in the comments. We’d love to hear about it!