An interesting aspect of Korean society is the focus on appearance...Here are two articles that highlight Korean cosmetics...
Korean women used to be a few steps behind the global trend in terms of makeup and fashion. But now they are increasingly at the forefront.
Natural and transparent are today's buzz words and are now the trend in South Korea which ends years of covering up with thick layers of foundation, powder and color.
Today it's still cosmetics, but only the women themselves know how much. The trick of the transparent look is to use nearly the same number of layers but make it look as if their face is a clean palette.
While prominent, Western features used to be popular, some experts say, the pendulum is swinging back to the traditional Asian look. A prime example is seen in some recent commercials that showcase models without the double eyelids of Caucasians.
BTW I've read that on average most Korean women take over 30 minutes every morning to apply their makeup...
In a related stated...
According to an estimate by cosmetics manufacturers, the men'?s cosmetics market is growing by 7-8 percent a year, from $270 million in 2002 to over $330 million in 2004.
Competition is naturally getting fiercer. Apart from skin toners and moisturizers, more specialized preparations such as color cosmetics, masque packs, wax and hair dyes are finding a market. The metrosexual trend has interested many men in skincare, and their need for products is growing apace. Cosmetic manufacturers are aggressively marketing their products by using star male models such as Kwon Sang-woo, Cho In-sung, Rain and Daniel Henney to secure their share of the market.
What's interesting is that Unisex cosmetics are increasingly popular. Men's cosmetics once made up only 24 percent of cosmetics market. Now unisex lines including haircare, bodycare and massage packs have jumped by 43 percent
Experts say the boom in unisex cosmetics is mostly due to men in their 30s who start worrying about their skin and hair. That group also has the biggest purchasing power.
Why are men so concerned with their appearance?
Many feel that the large Korean firms like their management to act vibrant and appear youthful ...thus to stay competitive in the workplace many Korean as they age go to great effort to look younger.