MakeUp in Seoul, at the heart of the cosmetic market with the strongest growth worldwide, is poised to be the key international appointment in make-up innovation!

In just over three months the second edition of MakeUp in Seoul will open its doors for two days at the Conrad Seoul Hotel at the heart of the main business area of the Korean capital. An event that already stands as the first Asian event in the beauty sector of the year 2015. The first because of the date, of course, but also the first and only, because of its specificity in both make-up and skincare, two closely intertwined areas that are showing their dynamism a little more each day, and with MakeUp in Seoul “#2” being the concrete expression. Amore Pacific, the “#1” in the Korean Beauty industry, will be the partner, for the second year in a row.Mrs. Eun-Im Lee, Director of the Hera Division (Amore Pacific Group), believes that “MakeUp in Seoul is an exclusive event that gives access to a wide range of international suppliers and that perfectly meets demand from the Asian beauty industry, where make-up is developing very rapidly under the increasing demand from Korean and Chinese women who are used to combining make-up and skincare products. They use increasingly more lipsticks, foundation, compact powders and mascaras.”

South Korea in the forefront

How, indeed, not consider more and more skincare products as part of colour cosmetics, especially in Asia, and even more so, South Korea. MakeUp in Seoul 2015 will be more than ever “THE” key appointment of this extraordinary momentum, which is literally overwhelming all other beauty sectors. South Korea, like in many other economic sectors, is undoubtedly starting to gain an international influence in the make-up and skincare market, whether at the level of formulation, packaging, applicators or accessories. Not a month, not a week, not a day go by without R&D departments of major international brands flying to South Korea to look for “The” good idea, “The” right formula, “The” innovative packaging who will revolutionize the market. Therefore what is more natural than to have this second edition of MakeUp in Seoul focus on make-up and skincare innovation? An innovation strongly boosted by extraordinary growth in Asia in recent months. A growth, which according to all statistical forecasts, should gain even more momentum in the coming years, driven in particular by the Chinese market (a two-hour flight from Seoul), that is recording a double-digit growth. “We have indeed directly benefited from the increase in Chinese demand, explains Mrs. Eun-Im Lee. The Group’s results were clearly impacted by this situation. The Hera brand is experiencing strong growth with KRW 450 billion in sales (+30%) this year along with a variety of strategic approaches and next year, sales could reach the KRW 500 billion mark in South Korea.” A recent Mintel study also highlights: “South Korea is one of the world’s most exciting and fast-paced beauty markets, introducing industry-leading innovations and setting trends globally. Whilst the UK and US beauty and personal care markets posted 2.1% and 3.9% year-on-year growth retrospectively, South Korea posted growth of a staggering 5.8%”.

Electronically, connected Beauty, digitization of retail outlets, mobile application of virtual make-up

In the wake of this unprecedented dynamics of the Asian make-up and skincare market, are now mushrooming electronic consumer devices and what is now generally referred to as, “Electro-Beauty” and “Connected Beauty”. “Practical reasons and a certain economic rationalism are encouraging consumers to carry out at home, beauty gestures traditionally performed by beauty therapists or doctors” recently explained the research firm Kline & Company in its survey, Beauty Devices: Global Market Analysis and Opportunities.

And if Beauty and Digital did not mix well for a long time in the past, explains a fresh note from the KGA firm, because e-commerce remained related to a cost driven market, not too conducive to a luxury environment, things are now dramatically changing. The entire beauty world is now getting connected, precisely to optimize personalized advice: Called “My Sephora”, the tool deployed across all the Sephora stores, allows beauty advisors equipped with a digital tablet, by scanning the loyalty card of a client, to access her entire purchase record and to implement a recommendation engine that will automatically propose products matching this record and the customer’s profile. Another novel tool used in Sephora store, the “Color Profile” application allows beauty advisors, again via a tablet, to capture the client’s colour complexion to then suggest the most appropriate products in terms of coverage, texture and finish. Also called “augmented reality make-up”, some applications allow the user to test new products by showing her face on her mobile with the make-up applied on the parts of the face concerned (lips, eyelashes, eyelids). Some technologies, such as “Makeup Genius” by L’Oréal allow the virtual make-up to follow the movements of the user’s face, like with a real mirror, thanks to camera sensors in her smartphone. And of course, MakeUp in Seoul will also focus on the digitization of retail outlets and on mobile applications of virtual make-up.

According to an article recently published in the newspaper La Croix, “Korea has become the most connected country in the world: its Internet beats speed records and 80% of the population has a smartphone (97% in the 18- 24 age group). Seoul, suddenly, appears like an experimental metropolis. A large distribution chain has installed “virtual supermarkets” on subway walls. In this case, pictures of shelves on which users click with their smartphone to order their products, which are then delivered to their home. Another example with “webtoons”, which are often free comics to read exclusively online and that attract 17 million readers a month (one third of the population!) While. 20% of 10-19 year olds use their smartphone more than seven hours a day, “Internet addiction” clinics have even seen the light… The country wants to move into higher gear, and intends to implement by 2020 a 5G Internet a thousand times faster than the current 4G, to download movies in one second, to interconnect a dozen smart objects or conduct 3D conversations with holograms”.

Air tightness, content preservation

This is the other phenomenon observed in recent months. Packaging innovations have undoubtedly gained momentum with, among others, the development of airtight cases associated to new product packaging and application methods such as Foundations but also new sophisticated sprayers. “We have been a pioneer in this field, emphasises Mrs. Eun-Im Lee. But that’s not all! Among HERA’s featured products, the UV Mist Cushion Foundation will stand as a high end luxury foundation with an innovative packaging to appeal luxury codes and we will create new communications strategies to present the beauty secrets of Korea women, called the “SEOULISTA”, to achieve a very pure and clean skin. And with the new advanced Rouge Holic Lipstick, due to be launched on January 1st, 2015, we have created 24 marvellous shades to meet highly demanding Korean customers along with new attractive packagings and progressive textures along with high performance pigments.”

Bridging continents

“This is the unique advantage of being present every three months on one of the four continents, explains Jean-Yves Bourgeois. We benefit from these experiences and we also let our events benefit from them on the four continents (North and South America, Europe and Asia). The same cannot be said by other events in the beauty industry. Besides, we intend to capitalize on this interactivity. And Brazil will be the guest of honour at the next MakeUp in Paris.”