MakeUp in Seoul, on April 6 & 7, 2016: “the place to be!”

In five months MakeUp in Seoul will open its doors! And the whole Asian make-up and skincare industry is already getting prepared for the event. Probably never before in the history of this country, an economic sector will have generated such a keen interest at all levels, from ingredient suppliers to end consumers, including manufacturers specialized in formulation, packaging and accessories, and of course brands, be they Chinese, American or European.

As a proof, the successive openings in a few months of several research and development centres, by for example Estée Lauder and Intercos, not to mention the “hiring frenzy” of Western companies. A frenzy that is bleeding Korea dry of its chemical engineers. Without forgetting also the growing craze for what has become a must in Asia, “Korean Beauty”, which is hypnotizing hundreds of thousands of Asian women, in particular Chinese, who return from Seoul every weekend with their suitcases full of beauty products.


Yes, definitely, South Korea has not finished surprising us. A country considered, twenty-five years ago, as a “developing” country. Quite unbelievable when you see the gone through road, but actually comforting, for those whose only watchword is “work”.

A state diploma for make-up artists!

Because Korean people work hard, and the make-up industry is no exception. Make-up schools abound and students are really eager to succeed. The Korean state, unlike others (work that one out for yourself!), as a primary principle, seeks first to help wisely the entire economic fabric by supporting financially, among other helps, local companies in their conquest of foreign markets, by participating to what can help promote a particular sector. As a proof, the decision – directly concerning the training of young people to careers in the beauty sector – of creating of a specific diploma, which will concern only the profession of makeup artists.

2015-11-03As of January 1st 2016, it will be possible to obtain this degree, whereas, up to now a simple diploma as a professional hairdresser was enough to practise in the trade and claim being a make-up artist with actually no legitimacy for this activity. This is therefore an important step for Korea, a step which can only strengthen a sector whose economic impact for this country continues to increase. Good news, welcomed by the entire profession and, in particular, Mrs. Sae-Hee Oh, President of the largest Korean Association of MakeUp Artists who organized in Seoul last week one of its great annual contest to which the team of MakeUp in Seoul had been invited.

Creativity: a matter of genes!

“We are in a constant state of survival!” This phrase, expressed quite regularly by Koreans is surely one of the reasons for this creativity that can be seen at every street corner, in every page of magazines, in every outlet of these famous streets dedicated, over hundreds of meters, to “Beauty”. Whether in the field of airless systems, foundations, “cushions” or applicators of all sorts, Korea never stops amazing and surprising us! “Not a month goes by without several new products appearing on store shelves!” explains a consultant specialized in product watch in Korea. The latest find of these “devils” Koreans: the make-up trend, which consists in making-up like if you had a hangover! Usually it’s the opposite: makeup is used to hide signs of fatigue and skin flaws. While here, it consists in amplifying dark circles and creating a dull complexion and finally give a “used” look at one’s make-up. This is aptly called the “Hangover” look. And on top of it they have a sense of humour!

2015-11-04No wonder then that big Western cosmetic companies also want to ride the Korean wave. The latest example, is the opening by the Italian company Intercos of its Innovation Centre located in the highly technological R&D complex of the “Pangyo Techno Valley”; this centre will be in charge of designing formulas, developing new raw materials, of packaging innovation and finally of discovering new market trends. The centre will also support the cosmetics division of the Group, CRB. “We intend to strengthen our position and know-how by entering this specific market of South Korea, a country, which is expanding its influence on beauty trends, packaging and formula innovation not only in Asia, but also at a global level,” explained officials at Intercos.

A contagious atmosphere

Indeed one can speak of “contagion”. “Korea transmitted its virus to us,” some even say! This healthy contagion will be one of the highlights of the next MakeUp in Seoul trade show, which will take place for the first time on two levels on 6 & 7 April 2016 at the Conrad Hotel. The meeting place of top Asian and European suppliers.