April 24, 2015

How Japanese and Korean Makeup and Beauty is Influencing the US Market

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Japanese and Korean Makeup and Beauty

I was testing out Lancome Shine Lover Lipstick this week and I was thinking how Japanese and Korean makeup and beauty is influencing the US Market lately! I’m seeing so many products popping up lately inspired by makeup products inspired by Korean beauty products in particular.

Recently, Lisa Elridge became the new Lancome Makeup Creative Director and you can see many of the releases from the brand such as Shine Lover Lipstick and the new Miracle Cushion Liquid Cushion Compact are very much inspired by products popular in the Asia market. Apparently Lisa has been very much inspired by Korean beauty lately!

Don’t get me wrong the US has long since been inspired by the Asian market but lately I’m seeing it even more in the beauty market.

Recently, the Stila Summer 2015 Collection includes a five shade release of Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush shades. This is a water-based blush that comes in a netted pot delivery system. If it seems familiar that would be because Etude House launched their Lock ā€˜n Summer Cushion Blusher last year!

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush

Etude House Lock 'n Summer Cushion Blusher

Etude House Lock ‘n Summer Cushion Blusher

Etude House Hey Yo Pink Lock 'n Summer Cushion Blusher

Etude House Lock ‘n Summer Cushion Blusher

Lancome’s biggest launch this year is their new Miracle Cushion Liquid Cushion Compact which sales represents are referring to as “the first of its kind!” and of course, words like innovative are being tossed around but cushion is NOT a new product as many mid and budget brands in Korea such as Holika Holika, Etude House, and others have already since released a version nearly two years earlier in the US market. Although I have to admit products particularly cushion makeup that can be purchased for $10-$20 within Korea are unusually higher here in the US especially when brands like Lancome are releasing their own variations at a whooping $46 compared to Etude House’s Magic Cushion at $18.

Lancome Miracle Cushion Liquid Cushion Compact

Lancome Miracle Cushion Liquid Cushion Compact

Etude House Lock n' Summer Precious Mineral Proof Any Cushion8

Etude House Lock n’ Summer Precious Mineral Proof Any Cushion

Etude House Precious Mineral Magic Any Cushion5

Etude House Precious Mineral Magic Any Cushion

Holika Holika Face 2 Change Moist Cushion BB 6

Holika Holika Face 2 Change Moist Cushion BB

Holika Holika Face 2 Change Moist Cushion BB

Holika Holika Face 2 Change Moist Cushion BB

Forever 21 is obviously also inspired by the “cutesy” and kawaii releases we’ve seen from Korean brand Etude House and Baviphat! Take a look at these hand creams below! The owl looks very much like Etude House’s Etude House Missing U Hand Cream and the cute Strawberry looks a lot like some of Baviphats offerings such as the Baviphat Mango Magic Brightening Mask. And of course, there’s also a few Tony Moly dupes in here too!

forever 21 hand cream

Etude House Eagle Owl Missing U Hand Cream

Etude House Eagle Owl Missing U Hand Cream

Baviphat Lemon Whitening Sleeping Pack 6

Baviphat Lemon Whitening Sleeping Pack

Baviphat Mango Magic Brightening Mask 003

Baviphat Mango Magic Brightening Mask

Baviphat Peach Magic Lip Tint 2

Baviphat Peach Magic Lip Tint

I find it intriguing that our beauty market is becoming more and more obsessed with Asian beauty! Why? Because its taken so damn long! I’ve been blogging since 2007 and when I started blogging beauty most of what I featured was Japanese brands and later Korean. So here we in 2015 and FINALLY we’re seeing a bigger interest in Asian makeup and beauty.

You’ll also find that many stores within the US are starting to carry Asian beauty brands! Walmart carries an entire range of My Beauty Diary Sheet Masks which are a very popular sheet mask range in Taiwan! Urban Outfitters carries tons and tons of brands from Korea like Holika Holika, Peripera, and many others! And let’s not forget more and more shops are opening up within the US! Skinfood, The Face Shop, and many other Korean brands have their own stores.

Needless to say Asian beauty and makeup is not only influencing the US market but also dominating it. As a long time collector, fan, and user of Asian makeup, beauty, and skincare I’m so excited to see this evolution and I love seeing more and more of my favorite brands readily available in US stores!

It’s exciting.

As we progress into Fall 2015 I think we’ll see the beauty market become even more influenced by Korean brands in particular and I, for one, can’t wait! Although I could deal without the price jacks!

What do you think of the Asian beauty market becoming more prominent in your US purchases?

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About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Gillie

    I’m skeptical, and a pessimist.

    One of the things I love about K-Beauty is that the ingredients are more plant-based and less chemical, while the price tag isn’t going to give anyone a heart attack. I battled angry, rashy skin for years, but since I switched to K-Beauty brands, my skin has improved significantly. I definitely notice a difference on the rare occasion I use something I bought at CVS.

    So, I’m a sucker for a cute package, but a change in packaging isn’t going to make me switch back – they’d have to change the formula, too, which I don’t see happening anytime soon.

  • Kimmwc03

    I’m excited to see more Japanese and Korean makeup brands readily available in the US (like Tony Moly at Sephora). I also like the influence on brands that are already sold in the US.

  • Butakimu

    I say “FINALLY!”. The packaging of Asian products has always been much more innovative. It would be awesome if we could also get our hands on Asian beauty products easily in the North America.

    I see The Face Shop finally opening in BC, Canada, but why isn’t Etude House, Skin Food, Holika Holika…etc open their own physical store here too? :'(

  • Lissa

    Lancome really irritates me by saying their Miracle Cushion compact is “the first of its kind!” Almay came out with a cushion foundation about 10-years ago. I didn’t care for it, since I thought it was really messy and difficult to apply, but Lancome does need to get it right.

  • BeautyandtheCat

    I’m happy to see more Asian brands and product concepts in the U.S. But it’s often still better to order from Asia due to the price markup. It’s funny how the trend has gown exponentially in the last year when I can remember you blogging about Japanese and Korean makeup for YEARS before that (yes, I’ve followed you for years šŸ™‚ ). –Angela

  • Eve

    I’m mostly excited that more Asian brands are coming to the U.S. The increased prices are sometimes worth it just to have a quick fix without the month long wait for shipping. Well, when the increase is like $5-10 anyway. Not like some crazy price increases I’ve seen. Hell no I’m not paying 3 or 4 times as much for a product that’s like $12. I’d rather pay shipping and wait a month.

  • Eve

    On a sort of related note, I’ve also noticed that most companies have had an epiphany that not all warm toned skin tones are mediums. Which is really nice, and I’ve been wondering if that may be in part due to the Asian market influence. That was one of the reasons I started purchasing makeup from Asia. All the warms over here were too dark. Anywho, love your blog and I’m still waiting for U.S. companies to start putting out products with some of the more risque(to the U.S. market) ingredients like snail slime.

  • Genevieve

    I think it is great to see influences from cultures other than your own. It widens the market and leads to different products to suit everyone. It also helps to keep the major brands on their toes. Too many of them have been releasing sub-standard products lately. Plant based products would be better for us generally I think.

  • Pamela

    And you, muse, got me to try the Japanese products. I love them, and I thank you.

  • Katherine T.

    I am SO SUPER excited to see more Japanese and Korean brands coming into the USA market!! I refuse to order direct from the Asian brands because shipping costs are high, and I can’t sample or return stuff. I’m SO glad Sephora, ULTA, Target are starting to carry some lines. And the USA market is so huge and untapped, that I can see the Asian companies setting up shop directly. I think many of the Asian skin and makeup products to be so much more innovative, with superior ingredients/formulas, and so much more affordable than the USA products or USA dupes. Not to mention super-cute packaging. From ULTA, I got the Hada Labo Tokyo sunscreens, and from Sephora, I got Belif creams and Dr. Jart BB creams. Muse, thanks so much for being so far-sighted and ahead of the curve, one of the reasons I read your blog is to look at Asian skincare/makeup

  • Katherine T.

    Oh, I just went into Urban Outfitters’ website and squealed! I’ve always wanted to try some of these Asian brands. And if I order online, it sounds like the Urban Outfitters store near me will accept returns too

  • Charlotte

    Now we just need the K beauty brands to become more readily available in the UK and Europe! Not one branch of any of those stores that you have mentioned – even in London and shops (even Urban Outfitters) do not stock them. The only way we can get out mitts on them (especially since Memebox cruelly abandoned us) is ordering online from Korea, which is great price-wise but takes so damn long!

  • Reehana

    I wish the beauty industry here would finally be influenced by Japanese style sunscreen. I HATE putting sunscreen on my face so much because it’s SO greasy and nasty feeling! When I was in japan 2 years ago sunscreen was my #1 must buy and I definitely stocked up on it.

  • FashionJitsu

    My thesis in college was about cosmetic companies expanding into Asia (essentially creating products for the Asian market.) That was in 1999 or so! *LOL* I’m so excited to see this shift and influence becoming so prominent!

  • HapaGirl

    I LOVE Asian beauty – it’s one of the reasons why I also fell in love with your blog and have been a loyal reader for a long time. I love the coverage you give to Asian beauty products and I can absolutely see the trends that caught on first in Asia are now becoming popular here in the US market. It’s a brilliant move for US companies because Asian cosmetics and skincare have a huge reach – but they also remain affordable and relatively nimble in their abilities to respond to market trends (and create their own trends as well). I see lots of Western companies jumping on the same bandwagon, like Argan oil, without fostering much diversity or multiplicity in the trends like Asian brands are able to. But affordability is a huge advantage for Asian brands, as well as the high quality that they’re able to pack into a relatively cheap product. I wish Western brands would expand that niche, mid-range (price-wise) market like Asian brands such as Etude, Tony Moly, and lots of the Japanese drugstore brands.

    • Isabella Muse

      aw thanks hapagirl! šŸ™‚ I agree completely! Although the trend is catching on it’s at a way higher price tag. The appeal of the Asian market is high quality, beautifully packaged item as a far cheaper price tag. Once they reach our market the quality does (sometimes) remain but the price is dramatically increased šŸ™

  • Annie

    It’s really exciting to see Korean beauty trends spreading to the rest of the world! Here in Sweden I noticed The Body Shop just introduced a sleeping mask, it’s pretty pricey so I haven’t tried it yet, but I love sleeping masks and have tried many Korean ones so I’ll be getting it next pay day.

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi Annie! We just got it here as well! Curious about it!