3 High-Low Beauty Techniques That Make All The Difference

Started from the bottom now we're hot!

I love shortcuts as much as the next lazy girl, but for all my lackadaisical habits, I don’t want anyone to think I’m actually lazy.

Mostly, I don’t want to sacrifice punctuality because I take forever to primp and preen. I also want to take care of myself so I’ve always got an able body and a good face base to begin with. However, ease and effortlessness are not without their own rituals. Everyone has their particulars when it comes to what works for them--but I’ve developed a couple of tricks to help my hapless self look good for good.

1. Face Cleansing The Almost Korean Way

After all the hype about the 10 to 12 steps of Korean skin care, I finally decided to try it... sort of. I incorporated a toner/essence and a serum into my daily routine, and sometimes I use sleeping masks. I've also taken to double cleansing (makeup removal with oil first, cleanser second), which seemed natural after transitioning out of the oil cleansing method.

How to cleanse: Froth your face with cleanser and begin massaging, moving from the center of your face to the outside in circular motions. This stimulates blood circulation and promotes lymphatic drainage. Your lymph system is like the garbage receptacle of your skin--you have to physically take out the trash by wringing out fluids via massage. Not only will this process make you glow-y, it will reduce fluid retention (boo bloating!). Some folks swear it has a slimming effect. (Sure, maybe if you do it every day for like a decade...)

I’ve also realized how important it is to pay attention to your neck and chest when you’re young so you don’t get weird neck wrinkles (most likely from looking down at your smartphone). I incorporate an upward sweeping motion on my neck when cleansing and treat it just like the skin on my face.

Once I've finished cleansing, I pat dry with a towel and grab my toner. I picked up a bottle of Misscha Time Revolution Essence after hearing enough praise. As someone who doesn’t mess with toner on the regular I had no idea how to mess with “essence.”

Essences are pretty much a vitamin/treatment-enriched water you’re supposed to let absorb into your skin, rather than an astringent liquid to clean up what your cleanser left behind. Using cotton pads to “press” essence into your skin mostly wastes product (and they ain’t cheap, let me tell you), so I find that the most effective application is to mist it on your face and pat it in with your fingers. This is also the fanciest way.

Everything else goes on top of that--serums, treatments, moisturizers (generally in that order). It adds some time to your skin care routine, but trust me, that a mini facial massage plus some light patting (slapping, if you’re me sometimes) is a surefire wake-me-up.

2. V-Shaped Under-Eye Concealer Application

I started to notice under-eye circles and redness in my mid twenties. For some reason, no concealer seemed to eradicate the shadows unless it was caked on, which is equally as bad a look.

Turns out I was doing it wrong. Taking a little tip from contour-tionists, I now apply concealer in a V shape below my eye, with the tip just touching the apples of my cheeks. This allows the concealer to create a brightened dimension on my face, using light trickery and math, probably.

3. Natural Brow Definition In Minutes

I know super-defined brows are a thing, but not everyone wants the Kardashian treatment. With a well-placed line of brow pencil or powder you can brush your way to natural definition.

While I’m not reaching Death Becomes Her levels of obsessive vanity, I like to mix high-low habits with my skin care and makeup. After all, if you’re starting out on the right foot, there’s less to improve on.

Do you guys have any beauty rituals that keep you looking plush? Any stupidly simple application tips that will make me want to jump off a cliff for having not thought of it before? You can tell me, I won’t throw myself off of anything, I promise. I’ll try most things short of modern day live embalming (way short)!