Rhyu works for consultancy firm Inside the Raum in the US, specialising in beauty brands and products making the leap from ever-innovative Korea across to western markets.
What are the latest K-beauty trends?
Texture still remains a big trend in K-Beauty in Korea. For example, Amore Pacific launched an Essential Creme Fluid product that has been flying off the shelves. This is a product that has the moisturizing abilities of a heavier cream with the light texture of a fluid/emulsion.
Visual cues are also trending in K-Beauty. For example, Kailijumei is a clear lipstick that changes color when applied based on the temperature of your lips. It has also little bits of flowers suspended inside the lipstick giving strong visual cues and making it a fun, beautiful lip product. This is actually made in China but this product has been blowing up the internet and social in Korea so this is a big trend to watch.
How are the trends evolving globally?
Currently China and Southeast Asia has been a more mature market for K-Beauty products. No surprise given their geographic proximity and impact of Hallyu (Korean wave). But the current geopolitical instability between China and Korea has already impacted Korean importers especially Korean beauty stocks like Amore Pacific.
These companies and brands have been heavily reliant on China as their main market but with this new political tension I believe they will ramp up efforts to diversify their portfolio and focus more on other regions, notably US, Europe, and Middle East.
What are the K-trends that may affect the European market in future?
K-Beauty doesn't have the same kind of fervor in Europe as in the US currently but I do believe that Korean brands will invest more in Europe so expect to see similar multi-functional based products, anti-pollution trends, and unique textures proliferating across Europe in the near future.
Join CosmeticsDesign and other panelists, including a Mintel analyst, for a presentation session on K-Beauty in the West at the upcoming Cosmoprof Bologna show, 11.15am on Saturday 18 March