The new appetite of Korean brands in the United States

Korean brands have taken the US market by storm, rising by 30% in the USA. New K-Beauty websites have emerged (Soko Glam), K-Beauty stores are mushrooming in the country (Aritaum, Club Clio, Too cool for School,) and retailers are adopting entire K-Beauty sections in their stores (Birchbox, Nordstrom).
The conference and roundtable, which will take place on September 20, from 4 pm to 5 pm at MakeUp in NewYork, will attempt to demonstrate how the Beauty sector is constantly challenged by new brands coming from Korea, with innovative packagings and cost effective Asian suppliers.

In just few years the cosmetics world has become totally addict to the strong influence of K-Beauty. We can see several reasons behind this:

– K- Beauty introduced a new appealing sense of “skincartainment” combining amazing textures in super great packagings, new beauty routines and an ideal glow finish. In the face of our western sense of cosmetics, these disruptive products were a chance for customers to discover new experiences and emotions.

-K- Beauty brought up a way to deliciously instill a natural spirit combined to natural ingredients in a very sensory, emotional way. Indeed cosmetics that nourish the skin, skin super foods benefits are very important nowadays on the Korean market. Brands have been able to develop products with colored formulas, delicious textures and addictive fragrances that really connect skin & emotion in unique ways.

Where are markets heading to?

So, what does K-Beauty have more to offer today? Where are markets heading to?

1- Flexible, easy to use, smart products: Cushion foundations and BB creams have been the number one products driving this trend coming from the Korean market, which combines in one product, skincare & makeup. The cosmetics market keeps moving in that direction, with stick formats (for UV protection, foundation, makeup base but also cleansers and care), through amazing compacts with multiple makeup functions without forgetting the power of mist formulas which are becoming real additions to travel products.

2- Healthy, minimalistic, sensitive-skin oriented products: Due to the raise in pollution concerns and environmental aggressions, sensitive skin issues are becoming a key concern in Korea. By translating the French dermo cosmetics codes to K- Beauty products, Korean brands have developed the “cica” world which is expanding from skincare to makeup. The idea behind, is to solve all kinds of skin conditions with clean & minimalistic formulas. Fewer ingredients, less chemicals, natural ingredients such as Centella Asiatica or Madecassoside are promoted to soothe and revitalize but also minimize all other skin conditions, including acne scars.

3- Customization, DIY, experience & personalization: Korean customers have always favored products’ mixing and customization in order to achieve the expected level of comfort, care and glow. Nowadays following recent changes in cosmetic regulations, the production of cosmetics in select shops is authorized and possible. Therefore creating your lipstick shades, selecting your favorite packaging design and getting your specific moisturizer after an in-store skin analysis, – for a very affordable price – is now possible in many places. In addition brands are strongly promoting the DIY approach with a makeup palette to complement with all types of makeup categories, from face to eye brows and lips but also mixable formulas ranging from color pigments to skincare boosters.

On line, or offline, Korea is the leading country for this specific trend promoting a unique in-store experience for the highest customer service and benefits. Because what we also need to keep in mind, is that shopping in Korea remains a very exciting experience with very unique and innovative retailing spaces.

Conferences/Round tables: Wednesday 20 september – 4:00 pm – 05:00 pm

“The K-Beauty Trend: The growing influence of Korean brands in the US”
Roundtable moderated by Karen Young and Leila Rochet Podvin
With k-beauty websites, Korean companies (brands and supplier)
– Florence Bernardin, Information & Inspiration
– Charlotte Cho, Co-Founder & Chief Curator SokoGlam
– Katalin Berenyi, Co-Founder of Erborian
– Edmer Bodmer, Head of US Marketing, Aritaum, Amore Pacific