[Republished and adapted with permission from IMA – Imogen Matthews.]

It’s the first time that In-Cosmetics has come to London since 2002 and a lot has happened. Not least, the growth of the show. This year, there are nearly 800 exhibitors, and many use In-Cosmetics as a launch pad for their ingredients. A staggering 106 of these were being showcased at the Innovation Zone.

I’m covering the Marketing Trends presentations in a two-part series the will bring you the most significant happenings in global beauty today. Part one focuses on the astonishing new product developments in the Asian markets as detailed by research companies Mintel and Information & Inspiration.


South Korea is probably the most influential beauty market worldwide valued at $11.5 billion with a CAGR of 6% over the next 5 years (Mintel). Facial skincare and complexion foundations are the most active in NPD terms, accounting for more than 90% of South Korean new beauty launches.

Asian beauty has always been about pure, fair, glowing, dewy, oval (as in face shapes), porcelain, and pearlescent. If an Asian thinks you look like a peeled boiled egg—take it as a compliment! Skin glow is a big trend in South Korea (and other Asian countries). “Chok chok” is the look that many South Korean women strive for—it means “just out of the shower or bath” dewiness and glow, which can now be delivered using beauty products. In China, glow is also highly rated but it’s about looking healthy and rosy.


The first step of the skincare regime is a water essence. These are lightweight and pure formulations and are starting to feature added claims such as exfoliation.

Oils are making a comeback in different formulations, such as oil serum, bi-phase water and oil and double layering oil. Oils are also used in other product categories, e.g., Tony Moly Multi Use Sun Oil, and Two Cool for School Cheek Peekaboo Oil Tint.

Ingredients are being used to spotlight products: ceramides, centella asiatica, propolis, seawater and fermented water are all starting to be featured. Black ingredients are also popular, such as black olive, black charcoal, and black green tea.


In 2011, Japan was the first company to launch a camera with touch-up capabilities before the concept of selfies had even been thought of. Now, Asian women are addicted to taking selfies, using technology and beauty products to achieve the perfect face.

“No photoshop” is catching on – it’s about achieving a beautiful selfie with make-up and no camera filters, e.g., using Integrate Beauty Filter Foundation by Shiseido, a loose mineral product, “like a beautifying app.”

The “Apple Zone” is the most important facial zone for Asian women who want to emphasize their cheekbones using highlighting products. It’s as much about highlighting as creating a healthy glow. Tapping into this trend is Estée Lauder who have launched a dedicated “apple zone” cream into the Chinese market.

Tone Up cream is a new hybrid product that is so popular that I wonder if it has the potential to be as big as the BB cream that took the global beauty market by storm. It’s a multitasking product that is used as the perfect base, can protect against the sun, help with wrinkles and skin whitening.

The very latest creams come with an applicator, e.g., Dior Snow and LaNeige both have sponges to apply for perfect results.


Bloggers are at the forefront of this trend for mixing, matching and modifying skincare and makeup products to get their own color, shade, or skincare effect.

Brands, of course, are quick to note the trend with some interesting developments:

LaNeige Two Tone Lip Bar has been a huge success and is already on its second generation of packaging. The two shades can be used separately and/or together to build up color intensity and create individual shades.

Pony Effect is a customizing lip palette that enables the user to mix her shades on an “artist’s palette.”

Naturally, this trend is spawning new possibilities for tools and applicators, giving consumers control over the look and feel of their desired products.

Read Part 2 of the In-Cosmetics highlights.