Sometimes genius strikes like a lightning bolt, and sometimes you just stumble upon game-changing switch-ups by accident. When it comes to K-beauty hacks, the journey isn’t important, all that matters is that you get there. So we’ve pored over all of our collective knowledge and gathered our top 10 paradigm-shifting hacks that will absolutely change the way you think about and use your favorite K-beauty products. Get your life!
Are you paranoid about ensuring you’re giving yourself the maximum protection when it comes to your sunscreen? Or maybe you’re just looking for a no-fuss, no-muss way to get all that goodness onto your skin? Work smarter, not harder, and follow this genius sun protection hack!
Instead of squirting a dollop into your hands and rubbing your face like a distracted monkey, we have a little more elegant way to go about it. Apply the required amount of sunscreen onto your face — or the way Fiddy Snails does it by applying a line of sunscreen along her three longest fingers — and then tap, tap, tap in with a spare cushion puff. This will ensure both an even application and a mess-free, easy breezy way to make sure that you’re doing all that you can to protect your skin from those harmful rays!
This hack will give even those with the heaviest hands a fresh natural makeup look while maintaining your skin’s youthfulness. Beauty guru Samantha Ravndahl had a popular video expounding on the genius of a “reverse makeup” hack her friend had shared with her. In this video Samatha did a full face of makeup including dark bronzer, blush, and highlighter, and then went in over it with her foundation, which resulted in a soft, oh-so sweet diffused makeup look that hit the perfect sweet spot between au natural and just right. Similarly I’ve been doing the same thing for years by combining that technique with the sunscreen-cushion puff hack above!
For this hack, apply your makeup as you usually would. Then apply your sunscreen on top of your finished makeup look (excluding the eyes, of course!) using the sunscreen-cushion hack in #1 above. This hack has the added benefit of not just being aesthetically pleasing but also giving your skin a completely undisturbed application of sun protection. You won’t have to worry that you’re rubbing off all that great shelter from the sun as you’re buffing out your blush!
This hack comes from our very own editor in chief Anna M. Park. If you’ve ever excitedly opened a fresh new cushion compact only to discover it makes you look like a ghost, you’ll understand her pain. Or if you find yourself between cushion shades but are still yearning for those awesome cushion benefits (whether it be a glowy finish, a perfect matte, or that smooth coverage), do what Anna does and take a little from column A, a little from column B.
“I love experimenting with new cushion compacts, but it’s so hard to find one in my skin tone, right in between a 23 and 25,” says Anna. “And it’s not like I can give away a cushion compact I’ve tested like I could with, say, a toner or serum. So I was super excited when I discovered that by mixing just a dab of a slightly darker foundation with a 23 cushion, I’m able to match my skin tone without sacrificing the benefits of the cushion compact.”
How does she pull off this game-changer? Just follow these simple steps:
1. Pump a little dollop of the foundation on the back of your hand.
2. Then press the cushion puff into your cushion to pick up product.
3. Very lightly dab the puff into the dollop of foundation and pat on your face as usual. The two shades should blend evenly on your face as you pat.
This is great news for the many of us who don’t fall into the very narrow shade ranges typically found in cushion compacts. And if you’re wondering how the cushion fares after being mixed, don’t worry! Anna tells us: “I’ve tried this with many different cushion and foundation combinations, and I find that adding in the foundation generally doesn’t take away from the cushion formula: matte finishes stay matte, dewy finishes stay dewy. My fav combo is the Romand Perfect Innerlighting Cushion in 23 with Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.”
That high-shimmer IG baddie glow is giving way to a more subtle, dewy, “my skin but moisturized AF and radiant” gleam, and you can kill two birds with one stone to get today’s most coveted complexion look. Instead of coating your cheeks with texture revealing, pore-enhancing powders, treat your skin to nourishing goodies to get that glow!
We love setting the overall canvas of the skin with a high-impact serum first, such as AZN Labs Afterglow Ampoule. This potent serum contains astaxanthin, which is an absolutely bonkers-level antioxidant. No really, it is amazeballs, and so many have already fallen in love. It contains 550 times more antioxidant activity than vitamin E, 1,000 times more than CoQ10, and a whopping 6,000 times more than vitamin C! Plus the enriched formula gives skin an instantaneous glow.
Putting this serum on your face will already give you a leg up in the dewy department, but then to give yourself the ultimate “I just spent $500 at the spa and you can’t tell me nothin'” glow, mix your favorite tube of BB cream with a few drops of your favorite oil. (We suggest SanDaWha’s Extra Virgin Camellia Oil.) While the oil keeps your skin supple and hydrated, it will also cast a gorgeous lit-from-within sheen that lasts. You won’t just be faking a glow, you’ll be quite literally making a glow!
If you’ve got an eyeshadow primer laying around, it’s got another trick up its sleeve. If you’re a glasses or sunglasses wearer, you know the annoyance of the dreaded slip as your glasses steadily creep down your nose. You also know the ugly dimples they leave once you remove them (sunglasses, you’re the worst offender!).
To combat those pinch marks and stop the slide, apply a few dabs of a tackier consistency eyelid primer to the sides of the nose bridge to prevent the marks and migration!
Not loving the essence of a particular sheet mask? Or maybe you have one you enjoy but aren’t crazy about the scent. Remember, masks are for anywhere you have skin! Don’t just limit yourself to the neck up. Our favorite mask repurpose is to treat our feet, especially in summer when sun exposure and plain ol’ environmental exposure has your feet in need of some TLC.
Cut your mask in half and lay them on the tops of your feet while you relax and settle in for a little rest before those tootsies hit the pavement! Repurposed sheet masks are also great for the back of your hands, the tops of the shoulders, and décolletage areas, a few places that get a lot of exposure, especially in the warmer months.
Can you set your watch by your hormonal acne? Start preparing for the monthly war before the battle has even begun by getting serious about exfoliation in the weeks leading up to your period. Gentle exfoliation — whether AHA, BHA, or physical — will help clear the pores, lessening the likelihood of massive whopper zits and making the ones you do get easier to treat. (COSRX Pimple Patches, anyone??)
As you get closer to D-Day, ramp up the anti-inflammatory ingredients as well to help soothe and hydrate skin before the breakouts start. We love Centella asiatica, snail, and propolis to help keep a hormonal pimple a bit more manageable , and to also help lessen the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation once your zit has healed.
If you have a cream that you otherwise love, but don’t love the tacky feeling it leaves behind, your answer may be as simple as a rapid-fire layering application. Letting your serums and essences fully dry between steps and then parking a heavy cream on top might make for an unpleasant sticky feel, but simply blending your steps together one after another and quickly laying down your top layer is enough to cut the clingy feel and soften the stick into a smooth velvety canvas.
And don’t worry about your products losing effectiveness if you blend — mixing them together is just fine thanks to the varying molecule sizes and spaces between those molecules. Everything will have a chance to do its thing!
If your skin is feeling dry by midday, maybe it’s time to trade your morning wash for a skin softener instead. Your skin didn’t actually do much to get dirty as you slept and washing it in the morning isn’t an absolute necessity, so if it’s not working for you, feel free to bid it adieu.
A simple swipe of your favorite softener (or toner) and then heading right into your normal morning routine might be just the thing to set your skin on the right track. We’ve even known people to have an improvement in breakouts after skipping the sink in the daytime, probably due to the preservation of their moisture barrier in the AM!
Your scalp is skin, too, and it deserves the same loving care you give your face and the rest of your body. If you’ve got a watery toner you didn’t love for your face or a spare one you’re not sure what to do with, don’t just toss it! One of the best ways to repurpose a toner is by decanting it into a misting spray bottle and giving your scalp a shot of goodness. What didn’t work for your face may work wonders as a cooler, hydrator, or just a good ol’ fashioned soother for in-between shampoos.
If you’re into hot yoga or spin class and aren’t able to shower right away, spritzing your scalp with your repurposed toner is everything! And as more experts bemoan the overuse of follicle-clogging dry shampoos, a hydrating toner may be just the thing you need for a healthier, less oil-producing scalp. You might just find yourself shopping for scalp-only toners in addition to your old favorite face toner! (We personally love the Truezyme Healing Multi Tonic for our scalps.)
Have you tried any of these game-changing beauty hacks or do you have some of your own? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments!