Not Just a Pretty Face – Korea is Leading the Global Cosmetics Industry
Whenever I ask my friends what they want from Korea, they always respond, “makeup.” Korean cosmetics are high in quality but remain affordable. And with great packaging like this, they really are pretty sweet:
Photo Credit: Tony Moly
Last year, Marie Claire wrote that Korea is about 12 years ahead of the United States in terms of skincare technology, and how in the skincare world, “South Korea has become the new France.”
For example, many industry experts and fashion media credit Korea as being the first to get on board with BB cream, a product that is a combination of tinted moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation and an overall makeup base. Now many high-end cosmetics brands, such as Bobbi Brown, have developed their own BB creams.
Korea’s international stars have helped evangelize the products to audiences beyond Korea as well. In much the same way that Harajuku put Japan’s beauty and fashion scene on the global stage, K-pop groups like 2ne1 have brought recognition of Korean cosmetics to their fans across Asia and the world.
Boy bands have also helped take products like BB cream and eyeliner outside of the women-only category, popularizing them among men.
Photo Credit: Etude House
As such, large international cosmetics companies have taken notice.
Coty Inc., an emerging leader in beauty, recently announced a joint venture with LG Household & Health Care (LG H&H) to create Coty Korea. The partnership will help both companies strengthen their presence in Asia and strategically build a cosmetics and skincare business worldwide.
Coty was created in Paris in 1904 and is credited with founding the modern fragrance market. The Coty Prestige brand portfolio includes Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and more. The Coty Beauty brand portfolio is even more widely distributed and includes adidas, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga.
Photo Credit: JustJared
LG H&H was founded in 1947 and is a subsidiary of LG. It focuses on areas like household goods, cosmetics and beverages. As far as cosmetics, it owns the FACESHOP, a leading standalone cosmetics shop.
With partnerships like this, the Korean cosmetics industry can look forward to only bigger and better things.