The Erborian co-founders reveal Korean shopping habits and the need-to-know beauty trends. WGSN Senior Beauty Editor Theresa Yee reports
If you haven’t already heard about Erborian, then this is a beauty brand you need to check out. Erborian is one of my favourite skincare brands.
Founded by Hojung Lee, a Korean scientist based in Seoul, and Katalin Berenvi, who is based in Paris, Erborian uses traditional Korean herbs and ingredients in all their skincare products. The brand is rapidly expanding globally, with three standalone stores already opened in Paris, Moscow and now Seoul.
In the second part of this exclusive interview, I got the lowdown on Korean shopping habits, beauty trends and what Korean consumers demand from their beauty brands. If you missed part one of the interview, where we covered everything from products to the brand’s global expansion, check it out here.
WGSN: Hello ladies, can you tell me a bit about what Korean women look for when purchasing products?
Hojung Lee: Young Korean women are daring when it comes to trying out new products. They are reactive consumers that like to try out things and share their opinions on the internet. However, they are also smart shoppers. They mix and match brands and look for best-selling products instead of purchasing solely from one brand. Korean women still want whitening products but they want to look natural too. They want to look as if they are not wearing any make-up even though they are.
WGSN: What are the most sought-after beauty products in Korea?
Hojung Lee: The cushion compact is very famous in Korea. Next year, we will launch a cushion compact in two shades, one for European skin and one for Asian skin. The make-up result is very spectacular. It has a very light texture and an oil-in-water formulation to create a fresh look.
WGSN: Beauty and wellness are linked more closely now than ever before. Are you seeing this trend in Korea too?
Hojung Lee: Yes, it’s a worldwide trend. In some of the cosmetic shops in Seoul, the brands have a fresh juice bar inside the store. Also, there are a lot of new lifestyle focus stores popping up in Seoul that sell organic cosmetics alongside clothes and coffee. There is a strong link between beauty and health in Korea.
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