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Korean cosmetics use pop star appeal to compete with global giants


Cosmetic companies in South Korea have enlisted male K-pop icons in an effort to expand beyond its borders and take on the global giants like L'Oreal and Unilever across the continent.

According to Euromonitor, South Korean men spend $900 million a year on beauty products, more than a fifth of the global total and it is cosmetic companies like Amorepacific and LG Household & Healthcare that want to establish themselves as premium products, with a distinctly Asian sensibility.

"Cosmetics sales are said to mirror the popularity of Korean cultural exports, so K-pop stars are the best way to market our products," said Kim Hee-jeong, marketing manager of LG Household's The Face Shop, which has over 1,000 overseas stores.

For the region's young consumers who have been raised on K-pop, the metro-sexual appeal of South Korean boy bands like 2PM, Big Bang and Super Junior, are said to be a quality Western or Japanese competitors cannot deliver.

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