K-beauty took the US beauty market by storm, with a combination of shock-value ingredients like snail slime and the over-the-top cuteness of panda masks and banana hand cream. In 2012, Korean beauty exports to the US totaled $59 million, according to the US Census Bureau. Last year, that number topped $511 million.
KOTRA NY x BeautyMatter recently hosted 2019 K-Beauty in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan, curating 40 up-and-coming beauty and fashion brands from Korea. K-Beauty has evolved from meteoric trend to mainstream beauty represented across price points and distribution channels. The latest wave of imports from Korea are heavy on science and technology and light on gimmicks. With longevity in mind, they are following in the steps of Amorepacific rather than Tonymoly.
BeautyMatter curated our favorite product picks from the 40 brands at the pop-up. Some brands are in the US markets while others are in process, but what these products share is innovation and efficacy.