IOPE takes bio-science expertise to China
Having seen success in Korea with its air cushion innovation, IOPE is investing in the Chinese market with two stores in Shanghai and Beijing.
Looking to cater to the demand for high-functional products, the Amorepacific brand will offer a consultation service via a ‘BioLab’ store where skin experts will research and advise women about their skin.
The influence of Korean beauty has seen IOPE's cushion compact take off, attracting worldwide attention and revolutionizing the make-up routine for women.
The ‘Cushion’ refers to a make-up compact built with specially-designed urethane foam that safely contains and preserves make-up liquid comprised of foundation, sunscreen and skin care formula.
It has been a popular product in Korea for convenience and according to global research firm TNS Korea, 75% of Korean women have used or are currently using cushion products.
It is also said to have changed the make-up habits of Korean women by reducing the steps and time needed in creating the skin-looks they prefer, with many saying the Cushion is their sole base make-up product.
The power of K-beauty
Cosmetic companies in South Korea have been enlisting male K-pop icons of late in an effort to expand beyond its borders and take on the global giants like L'Oreal and Unilever across the continent.
Visiting Chinese shoppers in particular, are seeking out high street beauty brands advertised by K-pop stars, as well as department stores for higher-end brands.
South Korean men for example, spend $900 million a year on beauty products, more than a fifth of the global total and it is cosmetic companies like Amorepacific and LG Household & Healthcare that want to establish themselves as premium products, with a distinctly Asian sensibility.
"Cosmetics sales are said to mirror the popularity of Korean cultural exports, so K-pop stars are the best way to market our products," said Kim Hee-jeong, marketing manager of LG Household's The Face Shop, which has over 1,000 overseas stores.
For the region's young consumers who have been raised on K-pop, the metro-sexual appeal of South Korean boy bands like 2PM, Big Bang and Super Junior, are said to be a quality Western or Japanese competitors cannot deliver.