Becoming a mom changed me in two significant ways: 1) I’m less judgmental of other parents because you never know what kind of baby you’re going to have, and what kind of parent you’re going to be; 2) I care about my skin more than ever. Unfortunately, with a newborn, I was also fresh out of extra time for skincare and makeup. Here are the useful and time-saving K-beauty solutions that are as efficient as they are effective (and convenient to boot). Don’t go through your postpartum year without them.
If you’re someone who relishes sleep like I do, I’m sorry. Chances are, you’re not going to get any the first couple months. The good news is that there are products that will help your undereyes get the extra TLC they need with this new change in routine. Cosrx has an Apple Zone Power Patch that covers the entire undereye and cheek area. It’s not quite as good as sleep, but it’s close.
Even if you never gave much thought to them, consider them now. You’ll never have the time to apply BB cream or foundation with sponges or brushes, much less clean them afterwards. Plus, your fingers should stay clean and makeup-free if you’re handling a newborn. Stick a cushion compact in your diaper bag for quick fix before you head out and when you’re on the road.
True story: I once spent an entire Saturday afternoon with my husband and baby on Garosugil, a fashionable shopping and dining district in Gangnam, only to return home and discover that I had drawn in just one eyebrow (and it wasn’t even my “good” eyebrow). The truth is, when you’re getting ready to leave the house with a baby, her needs take precedence over yours. After that incident, I decided that I needed semi-permanent eyebrow tattooing. The caveat: semi-tattooing eyebrows can set you back 200,000 won (170 USD) or more here in Seoul. For a quicker fix, try the eyebrow tint from Etude House or a tattoo pen from Clio—it lasts just a couple days and is easy on your wallet. Low commitment (unlike motherhood).
Stray hair fixer
Hard truth: your hair is going to be a wreck. Most women lose a lot of hair postpartum—some by the handful. It’s normal, but that doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. After shedding a lot in my third and fourth postpartum months, I finally started regenerating tiny new flyaway hairs—I look like I’m constantly gripping one of those electrostatic generator from the children’s science museum. I’m not alone in this struggle. A lot of women I know have gotten bangs to cover their messy hairline or worn their hair in a ponytail to cover bald spots. If you can’t rock bangs or other hair schemes, don’t worry, there’s a gel for that. Often referred to as “stray hair fixers” (잔머리픽서), these gels, meant to tame stray hairs and wispies, look nearly identical to mascara wands. Brush the gel directly onto the problem area via wand and let it work. It feels securely “set” without looking or feeling crunchy like some hair gels can. I’ve had great results with the Hot Styling Hair Fixer from Purebess.
Intensive hand treatments
Pre-baby, I never bought a single hand moisturizer, and my hands were fine. Post-baby, I find myself whipping out the sanitizer constantly for the sake of the tiny immature immune system I’m dealing with all day. With newborns especially, you’ll be washing your hands a whole lot more than you’re used to. Rigorous disinfecting, coupled with dry seasons, can leave your hands in scaly turmoil. Lather up in intense hand creams and pamper with hand masks, if time allows. Innisfree has line of cute purse-friendly (in both size and in budget) hand creams with special natural ingredients like honey. Tony Moly’s Lovely Peach Hand Mask will leave your hands extra soft and sweet enough to eat. And Skinfood carries a popular two-step “rich butter” hand mask that comes with gloves to seal in extra moisture. So you’ve got options.