Stand tall among giants: Rapid innovation helps Taiwan’s 1028 Cosmetics keep pace with Korean, Japanese pioneers

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

1028 Cosmetics reformulated its hero product, Extend Curl Waterproof Mascara, to cater to even short and sparse eyelashes. ©1028 Cosmetics
1028 Cosmetics reformulated its hero product, Extend Curl Waterproof Mascara, to cater to even short and sparse eyelashes. ©1028 Cosmetics

Related tags Taiwan Colour cosmetics Makeup

1028 Cosmetics says that Taiwanese brands can carve a niche for themselves in a rapidly evolving industry through “strong innovative energy and all-round product development”.

While Japan and South Korea are often seen as frontrunners in the cosmetics industry, Sydney Sun, General Manager of 1028 Cosmetics, believes that Taiwanese brands can secure market share by keeping up with trends and having a comprehensive product range.

“Consumer demands are constantly changing. Sometimes they follow Japanese or Korean trends, and sometimes they pursue a more natural makeup look.1028 Cosmetics is able to occupy a spot in the drugstore cosmetics market because we can quickly grasp market trends and launch new products every season to maintain consumer interest.

“Continuing to innovate while upholding high product quality is the primary goal of our development process. We not only focus on colour cosmetics, but also on the improvement of makeup tools such as brushes and sponges, makeup remover, and other personal care products, so that consumers can have an easier and more pleasant overall experience,” Sun told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.

On the topic of colour cosmetics trends, the brand expects the natural, flawless makeup look to thrive in the next two years. At the same time, bold, statement-making colours will likely be used in products such as mascara and eyeliner to emphasise personal style.

“We believe the cosmetics industry will develop in three directions — multifunctional, partitioned, and diversity. People will no longer be satisfied with a single-function product. For example, they will hope to have a colour-correction effect while using concealer or setting powder.

“Also, consumers will expect different parts of the face to be catered for by specific products, such as setting powder for the under-eye area, specialised concealer for dark circles, partial concealer brushes, etc.”

Sun added that cosmetics brands only need to put effort into their ingredients, but also other aspects like fragrance and packaging design to make their products attractive enough to catch the consumers’ eye.

1028 Cosmetics is currently available in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, China, and Japan, with plans to enter other South East Asian (SEA) markets in the near future.

“It has always been our long-term goal to continuously expand overseas and seek more possibilities to raise brand awareness. Since we have already launched in several North East Asia markets, the next step will be to expand in the SEA region, such as Thailand and Vietnam, from 2025 onwards.

“We are committed to becoming a comprehensive Taiwanese cosmetics company, with products ranging from makeup and skin care to fragrances and beauty tools; and to increase our brand power and market share through diversified development.”

Resting on laurels not an option

Sales of 1028 Cosmetics’ hero product, Extend Curl Waterproof Mascara, have exceeded over 1m units since its launch in Taiwan five years ago.

Despite its best-selling performance, the brand had been working on upgrading and reformulating the mascara.

Through 3D polymer technology and a slim-straight brush, the Extend Curl Waterproof Mascara EX, which claims to be moister and better adheres to even short and sparse eyelashes, was recently introduced after years of modification.

“Although the material and makeup effect of the original Extend Curl Waterproof Mascara was close to perfection, we didn’t want to be complacent. Moreover, we wanted to create not just a cosmetic product, but also a fashionable item. Thus, we also renewed the packaging with a trendy look.

“When expanding product lines, 1028 Cosmetics abides by the core concept of popularity and trendiness. We also consider many factors during product development, focusing on suitability for oriental skin types, and ensuring a variety of colour options to meet the needs of the entire Asian market. For example, Taiwanese consumers pay more attention to oil control and long-wear when selecting a makeup base due to the climate,” ​Sun shared. 

In addition, the brand is looking to push out a new product called Super Slim Curl Waterproof Mascara in Q4 this year. The product is said to be easily attached to the root of each eyelash, and is especially suited for people with short and messy eyelashes.

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