Air cushion driving Korea sales

Market research firm Euromonitor says a new cosmetic product is taking South Korea by storm.

Market research firm Euromonitor says a new cosmetic product is taking South Korea by storm. The air cushion is a liquid foundation soaked into a sponge and features a make-up base, sun protection and skin moisturiser all in one. It comes in a pressed-powder-like compact. In Korea it drove up the sales value of colour cosmetics by 11% in 2013 and more companies are now capitalising on the trend, which is heading into overseas markets, the analyst said.

“There are three major reasons why the air cushion is so popular,” said Minji Kim, a research analyst at Euromonitor. “It is multifunctional; it provides good coverage yet feels light on the skin – this is important as summer can be very humid and hot in South Korea; and it gives a natural look, which is in line with the current make-up trend in the country.”

When AmorePacific brand Iope launched Air Cushion in 2008, it had little impact on the colour cosmetics scene, added Kim, because the brand had a limited distribution channel. But when Iope expanded through the home shopping channel, sales burgeoned and the brand overtook Sulwhasoo as the country’s number one facial make-up brand in 2013. AmorePacific has since launched air cushions under its other brands such as Hera and Lirikos, along with Men’s Air Cushion, while other domestic players such as LG Household and Healthcare have also jumped onto the bandwagon with their own air cushions.

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