Air cushion compact cosmetics going from strength to strength

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Air cushion compact cosmetics going from strength to strength

Related tags Estée lauder companies Cosmetics Lvmh Amorepacific

Along with BB and CC creams, compact cushion foundation packaging is one of the key beauty innovations which launched Korean cosmetics so firmly into the global arena in recent years. Here, we take a look at the ongoing momentum behind the trend, and what’s up ahead.

What’s the fuss?

The ‘cushion format’ describes the presentation of powders, foundations and alphabet creams in an aerated format with a sponge applicator, in packaging reminiscent of a compact powder case rather than tubes or bottles.

It allows for even coverage, and reduces the amount of time involved in the cosmetics application routine.

AmorePacific is widely credited with its introduction, and it’s seen staggering popularity in Korea, which has now started to spread across the global market with increasing momentum: three in four Korean women aged 20-50 have reportedly tried a cushion foundation, 80% of them having repurchased it.

Indeed, according to the Korea Herald, AmorePacific sold 33 million cushion foundations in 2015 for a cumulative total of 80 million units.

With the product type enjoying enormous success in Korea and across the APAC region more widely, western brands are now very much getting on board.

Around the world

L’Oréal, Bobbi Brown, Philosophy, Dior, Estee Lauder and Lancome are just some of the major name beauty players in the West that have already added the product type to their offerings.

Dior’s launch of its cushion products came about through an explicit partnership with AmorePacific last summer, indicating that the band is keen to assert the ‘authenticity’ of its product.

“Our ‘cushion’ technology is appreciated by one of the world’s most respected luxury brand companies and a powerhouse in the global beauty industry,”​ Shim Sang-bae, president of AmorePacific, stated in response to the agreement.

New innovations - like airtight packaging from Bobbi Brown, and sanitising metal plaques from Givenchy - suggest brands are now keen to start differentiating their offerings to gain an advantage in the lucrative segment.

YSL Beaute and MAC are the two latest brands tipped to launch their own version of the product in coming months, confirming that appetite for compact cushions is far from reaching its peak.

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