News & Analysis

Sephora Makes Positive Changes to K-Beauty Assortment

Back in April, I wrote a post on the definition of K-Beauty. So many brands were jumping on the bandwagon calling their products "K-Beauty" and retailers were adding a lot of non-Korean brands into their K-Beauty section. Sephora was one of them and I called them out for having Japanese brands like boscia and Tatcha in their K-Beauty section. This post resonated with readers and a lot of people agreed with the dilution of what it meant to be K-Beauty.

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News & Analysis

winners & losers: unilever buys carver korea

Last week, news broke that Dutch conglomerate Unilever bought Carver Korea for $2.7B. Carver Korea is a Korean cosmetics company best known for the brand A.H.C. (Aesthetic Hydration Cosmetics). Most of us in the States won't recognize it because its biggest market is China with much less awareness and presence in the US. 

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News & Analysis

Photo source: Innisfree.com

Photo source: Innisfree.com

will innisfree succeed in the us?

The title of this post is a question I've gotten a few times so here are a few reasons why I think Innisfree will do well in the US market.

THEY HAVE A STRONG AND COHESIVE BRAND STORY

Say what you will about whether or not Innisfree actually lives up to their brand story with their formulations, but their brand story is strong and cohesive. Touted as the first natural Korean beauty brand in Korea, Innisfree emphasizes ingredients of the earth, sourced from Jeju Island (described as the Hawaii of Korea) and their product lineup boasts things like Jeju volcanic clay, green tea, lava seawater and the like.

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News & Analysis

State of the union of k-beauty

To be honest, it's been a slow news cycle in the K-Beauty world. Perhaps it's because it's summer but there hasn't been much new news these days. So, I thought I would write a kind of state of the union in K-Beauty as I see it in the US. 

B2C IS ABOUT THE 3 HORSEMAN

The past few years have been witness to a deluge of new direct-to-consumer e-Commerce sites offering Korean beauty products but it's really all about the 3 Horseman.

Soko Glam, Peach & Lily, and Glow Recipe are really the three to watch and the ones that have made the most meaningful inroads in the US market. 

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Interview & Spotlight

Ju Rhyu's interview with Racked.com on the current state of k-beauty

Why No One Single Brand Is Winning K-Beauty

Back in April, when CVS announced that it would be launching an assortment of Korean beauty brands in 2,000 of its stores and online, a bunch of stories came out proclaiming that yes, finally! K-beauty is not just a fad and it is definitely here to stay.


News & Analysis

k-beauty is a fad, long live k-beauty

I often get asked if I think K-Beauty is a fad. My answer is yes. However, I do think that K-Beauty will live on. 

Let me explain.

US CONSUMERS WILL MOVE ON

The mass hysteria levels of K-Beauty in the press and media will most definitely die down. American consumers are fickle and have short attention spans. They will move on to the big next thing, whatever that may be. (Maybe Scandinavian skincare? Taiwanese skincare? Anyone have guesses?)

Brands like Dr. Jart and Laneige may be about as mainstream as Korean beauty brands get as standalone brands. (Also, side note: it's interesting that these two brands are not primarily positioning themselves as K-Beauty; that's more of a secondary message.)

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News & Analysis

cvs & k-beauty: from celebration to regret?

CVS announced they were going to carry K-Beauty in roughly 2,500 stores and many people cheered the news. Consumers cheered because now Korean beauty was going to be more easily accessible at affordable prices. Brands cheered because this meant increased and ongoing retailer acceptance of K-Beauty in the US mass market. 

What could go wrong? 

If you dig a bit deeper beyond the feel good press stories about the products that will now be available at CVS, you'll see that it could actually be bad for some brands. 

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