An Emphasis on Partnerships
Celebrity endorsement holds more weight in Asia, where a star’s flawless skin or bouncy hair is attributed to the brilliance of a product rather than the artistry of the team of beauty experts behind the transformation. The K-pop and K-beauty partnership remains strong and we’re seeing endorsement strategies now include celebrity input at the formulation stage, solidifying the product’s credibility with fans. This, coupled with potential retweets, likes and shares from millions of followers across the celebrity’s social channels, has become a no-brainer for boosting sales.
South Korean men are more likely to buy cosmetics than those in any other country—from eyeliner to popsicle-stained lip tint—and many Korean cosmetics brands have figured out how to capture both sexes of the tween and teen generation through K-pop.
So, it makes sense that not one but the entire 11 members of Korean boy band Wanna One are the current spokesmodels for Innisfree’s range of Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Masks.
According to the brand’s head of marketing Dohwee Hwang, “By collaborating with Wanna One, we thought Innisfree could become a brand that best understands the Millennial code.”
Each of the seven-color clay masks provides a customized solution for various skin concerns; yellow for brightening, blue for hydrating, pink for revitalizing, green for controlling blemishes, purple for soothing, white for smoothing and black for purifying.
The idea is that each guy represents a skin type and personality that the younger generation is more likely to relate to than perhaps just the one brand ambassador. Furthermore, these guys have had a say in what went into the formula so the personalization trend continues to be really prominent.
Other trend influencers in this arena include online e-commerce hubs like Peach and Lily, which have gone beyond being a space for shoppers to just buy K-beauty products, by offering an interactive way to review and share product preferences.
This has become an ideal way for brands with limited marketing budgets to get their products out there. In particular, the Peach and Lily “best of” awards concept allows subscribers to flag up products they have had impressive results with or were excited by.
Among the new innovations flagged was The Lotus Essence, a toner comprised of 89% lotus leaf extract rather than water.
What’s interesting about this product is that the white lotus leaf is harvested from the pond of the Jeju Beophwan Temple and includes high concentrations of natural antibiotics and flavinoids which claim to protect the skin from free radicals and help it to heal itself. Another flagged SKU was Dr. Dream Radiance Powder Essence, a dry powder with tiny capsules of eucalyptus extract and rose stem cells that promise to keep vitamin C fresh and melt into a hydrating liquid on applying.
Acne treatments are a major category in Asia, and Acne Spot Dots by Peach Slices is catering to this demand. The dots feature hydrocolloid technology that helps to flatten blemishes overnight. These small, translucent patches come in a variety of sizes and act as a protective cover over the treated area to help reduce inflammation.
Snail cream demand is also alive and well with Mizon’s Repair Cream, formulated with 92% snail extract to hydrate and reduce the appearance of acne scarring and blemishes.
Finally, many pore-clearing clay masks on the market can strip skin dry. The solution? Femmue’s Gypsy Rose Calming Mask’s primary ingredient, kaolin clay, which draws out dirt, grime and blackheads while the bluebell, clove, lemon, rosehip, jasmine, amber and muskrose extracts, and green tea oils nourish pores.
The K-beauty phenomenon is more than five years old, but shows no signs of losing its popularity.