Airtight compact cases: When packaging innovation changes the habits

Skincare make-up is constantly reinventing itself, and currently, products called “cushion compacts” confirm this fact. Liquid foundation formulas, under the influence of BB creams and their derivatives, are growing in popularity. However, for the preparation of the complexion, the use of a powder compact type packaging is often preferred because it enables an application with a sponge or another applicator and it also offers a built-in mirror.”For years, brands and suppliers have been reflecting on a compact make-up case capable of containing creamier or even liquid formulas. Estée Lauder, Clinique and Lancôme, over 15 years ago, had launched products in the form of rechargeable compacts but sales were not as successful as expected,” commented Nicolas Garnier (Toly).

In 2008 Amore Pacific, in Korea, developed new generation cases with a liquid formulation impregnated in a sponge, called “cushion”, which was collected by using a make-up applicator. Hence the name, Cushion Compact. The idea is simple: offer a dual opening system to enable both tightness and formula protection, while providing an efficient application system and the use of a mirror.

Amore Pacific’s “Color Control Cushion Compact” attracted many consumers as soon as it was launched and sales are still on the rise today. Since then, other brands have followed suit in the Korean market where cushion compacts can be found everywhere. “It seems every 6 seconds a compact is sold in Korea,” highlighted Nicolas Garnier (Toly). Cushion compact are essential to protect highly volatile ingredients present in liquid foundations, such as UV filters, mineral water or silicones. The popularity of these compacts is largely due to new formulas with refreshing properties that allow associating in a single application, a foundation and a skincare product.”

“It brings something new in the use of foundations and enables to propose a new method in the use of an already known product, the compact. The idea was to make nomadic, the application of this type of product. It is indeed difficult to carry around one’s foundation bottle,” Indicated Christine Ansari (CTK).

After the BB creams, Korea offers another innovation to the make-up market. “In Asia, consumers are very savvy about beauty products. Brands want to create trends, not just follow them. Strong market competition and the high standards set by consumers encourage creativity,” emphasised Christine Ansari (CTK).

“Cushion compacts” are available in Europe since 2012, but brands have been slow to follow the trend. ” Collcap introduced their product on the market very early with their partner Samwha, – competitor of Amore Pacific on compact-cushion -. But western brands were not familiar with the product and had doubts about the product’s use,” explained Guillaume Bichon (Collcap).

Since this year, popularity is increasing and brands are now very attracted by the product and many are in the process of developing ‘cushion’’ products, as evidenced by the launch of Lancôme’s “Miracle Cushion” in January 2015. ()

Meanwhile, second generation cushion compacts are in preparation, with and improved sealing a simpler gesture, and a more efficient sealing system. “Toly is about to launch a product with a twist-off cover, that enables to better protect the formula thanks to an improved tightness, added Nicolas Garnier. We have compressed the seal to improve tightness. Our innovations focus mainly on ergonomics, tightness and the filling mode to give the product improved qualities. In parallel we are working on an airless compact to offer a more hygienic, practical and tighter packaging for evermore volatile formulas,” he concluded.

“For our part, we have the opportunity to promote the key Korean trends to our client brands and give them the insight to understand these opportunities and how it might relate to their brand. Today this product is very popular which helps brands gain more latitude. At CTK, we worked on the behaviour of the formula to adapt the packaging. This helped us give life to different components, explained Christine Ansari. The magic happens when the formula and its packaging work in conjunction.” added Christine Ansari (CTK).

“We were able to introduce cushion compacts at an early stage on the European market (in 2012), but people’s interest in them mostly started in spring 2014, and orders increased in June 2014 at the MakeUp in Paris show. » Explained Guillaume Bichon from Collcap.

« With Samwha’s packs we can propose Cushion compacts with very good weight loss results. The production capacity was recently doubled to enable to produce 20 million units per year. The entire Manufacturing process, from production of the moulds to Decoration is done in house which enables a high reactivity in case of high increase of the demand!

It is a product with high added value, so it is still quite expensive and only masstige/premium brands were able to add it to their product offering. This is why some cushion compacts are being developed currently for the mass market. Some innovations will be launched in the first quarter of 2015, with improved characteristics in sizes and mode of application, to meet requirements in terms of cost and comfort during application.» added Guillaume Bichon (Collcap).

Lancôme’s product launch will be a good indicator of the product’s attractiveness on the market and of its potential. It remains to be seen whether the cushion compact will be as successful as BB creams. In Korea, small-size versions also exist to apply eyeshadow. This is therefore only the beginning of a great epic for the cushion compact… To be continued!