Cushions Compacts, the decade’s packaging phenomenon

The K-Beauty blockbuster has spread like wildfire, in Asia first and then more particularly in China where it was quickly adopted because of the strong influence of K-Beauty and almost similar beauty routines. Then since 2015, it has made its way in the offerings of almost all major Western beauty brands, which have exploited its benefits – and its hype – by adapting it to ‘local uses’. What is the picture like today, and more particularly, what is the next step for this unique product? A round table organized on April 26 at 02:30 pm at the Konrad Hotel in Seoul by Gérald Martines, In.Signes, with the main players in the sector will try to answer these questions.

Gérald Martines

No one ignores today that the famous ‘Cushion Compacts’ were, and still are to date, a phenomenon like no other in the Beauty Industry..
This concept, initially devised in the mid-2000s by the Korean Group Amore Pacific, had required at the time several years of thorough R&D work, resulting in the filing of more than twenty patents. First launched in 2008 by IOPE, one of the many brands of the Group, the ‘Air Cushion Compact’ was an immediate success: Korean women could not wait to put their hands on this miracle, all-in-one product, combining skincare, make up and sun care properties thus leading to significant time-savings in their daily make-up routine – one of the most sophisticated, and therefore most time consuming in the world. What’s more, this small-size, practical, on-the-go case allowed them to make quick and easy touch-ups for a flawless look throughout the day.

Amore Pacific cleverly surfed on the success wave and expanded the concept to about twenty products, sold by thirteen of its brands in more than ten countries. By the end of 2014, fifty million units had been sold, a figure that broke the hundred-million mark in 2016. Today, more than one out of two Korean woman uses this product solely for her face routine.

The fourth generation

This Korean bestseller then went Global, starting with Asia, and more particularly China, where it was immediately adopted due to the strong influence of K-Beauty, and almost similar beauty routines. And since 2015 it has made its way in the portfolios of virtually all major Western beauty Brands, who took advantage of its benefits – and its hype – adapting it to ‘local uses’.

The recent evolution of the category followed two independent directions:

1) Usages: Cushions were harnessed for other complexion, skincare and suncare applications, they were put to use for men and children products… and even for fragrance, through a diversification of formulas;

2) The pack technology which is today in its fourth generation:
– Distribution and application modes have become more diversified and sophisticated;
– The geometry of packs has become more flexible: their thickness (initially a bit too massive) became slimmer, more elegant and travel friendly;
– The shape has overcome the prerequisite for circular forms, originally imposed by airtight requirements, and is also now available in various sizes;
– Last but not least packs have become more affordable, through a value analysis process that simplified their architecture, and therefore made them more accessible to a greater number of Brands.

It seems that we are far from having reached the development limits of this concept, which undoubtedly will stand as a milestone in the history of cosmetic innovation.