Why the East is beauty’s hottest destination
While Japanese brands such as Shiseido and Shu Uemura have long been household names in the UK, it’s South Korea and its continuous haul of beauty booty that is at the forefront of the industry. The innovative formulations are said to be seven years ahead of the rest of the world. Their 17-step routine is hailed as not only the most effective but also the most fun, bringing colour and design to our bathrooms and our social media feeds.
“Once, Western brands led the way, now the axis of influence has shifted and due to a combination of factors South Korea has become the global leader in beauty innovation in a relatively short period of time. The country’s strengths in digital technology plus significant government investment in R&D has led to a growing number of manufacturers (Samsung and LG have beauty divisions) highly responsive to trends and constantly creating globally influential products. SoKo has an advantageous geographic location, close to China and its large population. With diplomatic and trade relations between China and Japan on the cool side, SoKo is happily fulfilling China’s beauty demands,” explains BeautyMart Founder Millie Kendall.
“Additionally, global locations with large indigenous Korean populations such as New York and LA, where annual K-Con events take place, help feed the K-Beauty phenomenon. The huge influence of K-Pop (remember Gangam style?) and Korean TV dramas, have led to strong celebrity influence via social media. Korean model and TV presenter, Irene Kim, who hosts the fashion TV show K-Style, has nearly a million Instagram followers and is signed to Estée Lauder as a Global Beauty Contributor,” she adds.
With innovations including BB creams, CC creams, cushion compacts, sheet masks, sleep-packs, blotting papers and snail facials, it’s safe to say SoKo beauty is killing it and we can’t wait for the next product launch. But until that happens here’s what to check out now.