In three months, MakeUp in Seoul…

Dynamism! This is probably what best characterizes the Korean people over the centuries. 2017 has come to an end! Long live 2018! In the Land of Calm Morning, people want to quickly forget the past months of tension with their Chinese neighbour and find an issue to this tug-of-war game with its other very close (too close) neighbour at its northern border. Events that obviously significantly impacted the country’s economy and more specifically the Beauty sphere. Almost all subcontractors in the make-up sector will suffered the brunt of it – some of them experiencing a drop in sales of between 10% and 30%. But “the situation is getting better” people say. A lot better even… It cannot be denied that this small dynamic country is “resourceful”. Among Asian countries, it remains “THE” the most innovative country in the make-up and skincare niche. And MakeUp in Seoul, (on April 25 and 26), bringing together once again the flower of Korean and global subcontractors in the sector, will be the perfect demonstration of it. Overview with Florence Bernardin, founder of the Information & Inspiration Agency and Expert in Asian cosmetic and beauty trends.


Florence Bernardin

MakeUp in…™: Where is the Korean market heading to?

Florence Bernardin: The Korean cosmetics market is currently ranked 8th largest market in the world. Industry watchers predicted cosmetics companies to recover their growth pace in the coming year thanks to efforts to diversify markets and launch new products. South Korean cosmetics makers’ efforts to tap into new markets, such as Vietnam, the United States and Europe, may boost their competitive edge down the road. But in any case Korea is now definitively considered as the beauty market leader for innovative products, trends but it is also praised for its retailing dynamism with very innovative customer’s approaches. From freshly blended lipsticks matching perfectly the skin tone (Laneige or Etude House), to the new exciting Olive & Young drugstore in Gangnam… or the Tamburin new art gallery style, shopping is much more than an adventure.


MakeUp in…™: The cosmetic world is looking at each next Korean beauty moves as the key to find new market successes. Is that right?

Florence Bernardin: Korean Influencers, bloggers, have become stars and promote new techniques and products, such as the craze for Lip Layering / Lip Contouring that is going viral! It’s the newest way to contour lips with intricate patterns to create fully shaped, fuller-looking lips!


MakeUp in…™: So what’s hot and new in the country right now?

Florence Bernardin:Glow has remained in 2017 the centre of attention providing not only new skincare glow boosting serums but also hybrids products such as Tone up creams and primers.
Cushion foundations were many women’s favourites because of their simple application and enabling easy touch-ups. However, sophisticated cosmetic addicts in Korea who always go one step further, want more advanced cosmetics. To answer consumer needs, many brands started launching Cushion foundations combined with other make-up product categories to offer perfect and comprehensive make-up products in a single, handy compact.
Matte Lipstick is definitely a hit in Korea! The lip market has seen lots of novelties. Classic lip gloss is still getting a reboot however there is an increasing trend towards a matte lipstick! Tinted matt, velvet matt, liquid, matte lacquer, smudged or perfectly lined… without forgetting the ongoing craze for lip tints.
Eye brows are also offered all sorts of products to create whatever desired image, from straight to angled and hair like strokes: mascara types but also semi-permanent pen-types brow-liners or comb-type liners to draw very fine hair-like strokes that look like real brows.
Eyelids are under the spotlights too, thanks to glitters now suited for any unconventional eye zone, just dab a little bit of your favourite, lovable glitter anywhere on the eyelids. It doesn’t matter if it got messy while applying; wear it roughly, out of any set eye make-up routine!
Temporary semi-permanent hair dyes that last 5 days to 2 weeks have been launched by many make-up brands. They are named “Hair tint treatments” and also deliver healthy haircare without damaging hair cuticles in addition to providing colour. Playing with colour has become fun to coordinate with make-up!


MakeUp in…™: Many of these trends will be reviewed by you at the conference you will give at MakeUp in Seoul ?

Florence Bernardin: Indeed, the theme will be “How does Korea influence the rest of the world?”. Because it’s always the case ! From cushion foundations to amazing sparkling textures, from “glass skin” to stroke brows, Korean beauty is influencing western countries in all directions. Strategists are keeping a close eye on K-Beauty for its inspiring trendy position, and this not just in cosmetics, but also in the food & beverages, fashion or retailing sectors.
So it will be exciting to have an overall look on: How the world has been influenced these last years by K-beauty and what might be the future coming up inspiring influences. What’s in and what’s hot from products to make-up results, from application techniques to packaging and design. What are the new experiences to fulfil amazingly pro-active customers? How the ideal Korean beauty criteria are shaking the beauty world?
Enjoy and get inspired!


MakeUp in Seoul – 25 & 26 April 2018 – Conrad Seoul Hotel