The Unilever-owned luxury vegan beauty brand is distributed by Shinsegae International, a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle retailer from South Korea.
The Phantom Volumising Glossy Balm debuted last April with eight shades.
According to the retailer, response to the product has been “explosive” and underwent cycles of stock depletion and replenishment.
The product has gone viral across the social media sphere for its plumping and glossy effect on the lips, also known as the ‘tanghulu effect’, referencing a popular candied fruit snack.
In addition to its efficacy and functionality, the Phantom Volumising Glossy Balm has captured consumer attention for its vegan formula.
Hourglass’s vegan credentials are most appreciated by younger consumers, who are growing more conscious of their beauty purchases.
Interest in the product have continued to remain high. From July to August this year, sales of the balm increased nearly 15 times compared to the same period last year, becoming the brand’s best-selling product.
Moreover, sales through duty-free shops are rapidly increasing, said the retailer. This is despite woes in the travel retail space reported by other beauty players.
“As overseas travel routes open and foreign tourists begin to increase, future sales are expected to increase,” said Shinsegae.
The company is now introducing four new shades as it keeps up with consumer demand. The newly launch lip colours are anticipated to be aligned with the upcoming fall season trends.
Bucking summer trends
Hourglass has also observed high interest in its Vanish Airbrush Primer, a foundation makeup base. Compared to the previous year, the sales of the primer grew by nine times from June to July.
Shinsegae noted that the summer season is typically considered an off season for colour cosmetics, underscoring the strength of Hourglass in the competitive Korean beauty market.
However, the primer’s sebum controlling properties and ability to extend the wear of foundation helped to increase its desirability.
Furthermore, the brand also launched its latest product, Veil Hydrating Skin Tint, in Korea at the start of the summer season.
The new product is a lightweight skin care-makeup hybrid product that has been clinically proven to boost skin’s moisture levels by 52%, according to the brand.
It is formulated with 94% naturally derived ingredients including hyaluronic acid, plant-based squalene, meadowfoam seed oil, and a rambutan blend.
This new launch, along with interest in Phantom Volumising Glossy Balm and Vanish Airbrush Primer has helped to drive the brand’s total sales growth of 286% year-on-year over the same period.