[Weekender] DIY beauty products
Published : Apr 18, 2014 - 21:19
Updated : Apr 18, 2014 - 21:21
Cosmetic blogger Choi Eun-ji makes a face mist using leftover toner that’s been sitting on her dressing table for months. Mixing it with purified water bought for 1,500 won ($1.40) at a pharmacy, she creates one of her staple beauty items at one-quarter of the price of face mists sold in shops.

“I don’t need to worry about skin problems because it has fewer preservatives and made with the toner I’ve been using,” she said in an email interview with The Korea Herald.

She is one of the beauty product consumers who modify the functions of existing products for their specific needs. She also turned powder eye shadow into cream shadow by blending power with face oil and eye cream. Now she doesn’t have to deal with dust from the powder and carries it in her pouch.

The Greek cosmetic brand Korres recently held a “do-it-yourself” cosmetic class here, drawing some 20 frugal, creative cosmetic users. Using basic products such as body butter, lip balm, eye shadow and serum, the participants made customized solid perfumes and face mists featuring different scents and colors.

“I added a white rose scent to the solid perfume base. I can use it as a solid perfume, a lip balm and a moisturizer that I can apply on dry spots,” said a blogger who participated in the event on March 13 in Seoul.

To make solid perfume, customers mixed beeswax and carrier oil like jojoba or almond oil with leftover body butter to make the solid base. They added their signature scent, blending their favorite perfume and colors of their choice from eye shadow powder.

The effort also reduces the carbon footprint of skin care product consumption. Users can recycle half-used products or expired products that they are reluctant to put on their face. Tips for reusing such products are easily found online. Some of the tips include using expired face oil as hair essence; mixing old perfume with ethanol and using it as an aroma home diffuser; and having a manicure by mixing color eye shadow with transparent nail polish.

Cosmetic brands have been introducing multipurpose products that target customers who would otherwise mix different products for more effective use.

The products have been in the skin care market for many years, but blemish balm ― better known as BB cream, which was originally made to cover blemishes at dermatologists’ offices ― has risen to the fore. BB cream became popular in Korea a few years ago and is now the most favored alternative to the traditional makeup base and foundation around the world.

San Francisco-based cosmetics brand Benefit introduced a new type of BB cream in March. The Big Easy balm helps users cut down multiple makeup steps by offering natural coverage like BB cream, sun protection and the velvety finish that one gets from powder.

“We create or update products based on customer reviews and this is one of them. Customers have always wanted to create the look as if it’s done by a professional makeup artist. The Big Easy delivers the professional touch in a simple step,” said Lee Sol, PR manager at the Korea office of Benefit.

The lip pencil Double Double by Cathy Cat enables users to use it as a lipstick and a lip liner at the same time. Users can draw a lip line using the edge part of the pencil. With the flat surface, they can color their lips. Moreover, they can create natural gradation using the cushion on the tip of the lip pencil.

“We developed the product with advice from a group of top Korean makeup artists who understand what makes cosmetics effective and easy to use,” said a manager at Cathy Cat.

By Lee Woo-young (