In tough times people resort to small luxuries to compensate for letting go of big-budget plans or hobbies like traveling.
For example, two of the country's popular cosmetic brands, Amore Pacific and LG Household & Health Care, said recently that their third quarter sales rose 15.6 percent and 29.8 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.
However, it does not hurt to be thrifty in these times, especially if the quality of a product is guaranteed. Such consumer mentality explains the success of a growing number of cosmetic brands that are selling exclusively on home shopping channels. Some of them are selling like hotcakes because, even though they are cheaper at about 100,000 won a kit, their quality is also ensured by those who make them.
Most of these brands are collaborations between top-notch make-up artists and leading local mid-sized manufacturers, including Aekyung Industries Inc. and Enprani Corporation.
One such successful TV home shopping cosmetic brand is LUNA, created by a partnership between top make-up artist Cho Sung-ah and Aekyung Industries Inc., a well-known home, health and beauty goods production company. LUNA, launched in 2006, is also the first to tap that particular market.
"LUNA was top-ranked in sales among all products sold on GS Homeshopping during the last year. We sold more than 400,000 cosmetic sets," said a spokesperson for GS Homeshopping.
SEP (Simple, Easy and Perfect) joined the market early last year, but is quickly catching up with LUNA. SEP was established by leading make-up artist duo Son Dae-sik and Park Tae-yoon with cosmetics company Enprani Corp.
"Through combining the experience of Son and Park and Enprani's expertise in cosmetics production, we have created a nice teamwork which is appealing to women in their 20s," said an Enprani spokesperson.
Both LUNA and SEP emphasize their convenience and simplicity. Besides the instructions that are enclosed in their products, which often come in complete sets, consumers can catch demonstrations by the make-up artists themselves on TV.
Instead of just selling the products to the consumers, the artists aim at enabling ordinary women to do their make-up well and fast, the Aekyung official said.
"Basically, a set enables beginners like me to finish make-up by just following the guidelines. The kit has everything I need," said Lee Na-yeon, a 24-year-old student.
These brands have also been timely in presenting seasonally suitable products while challenging standard cosmetic products by coming up with unique items.
Under the concept of "Noble Make-up," a trend young Korean women are avidly following nowadays, Son and Park duo have recently presented a cosmetics kit that includes mineral loose powder foundation. CJ Homeshopping sold over 70,000 of them translating into over 7 billion won in sales.
LUNA also has been constantly renewing its line-up of products according to different themes, such as "Baby-face" "Small face" and "Three-dimensional."
"The kit keeps evolving as time passes, adapting to the consumers' needs," said Yoo Hye-mi, 27.
Some items from LUNA have received wild responses from buyers for their creativity. They include "Brush Foundation," a foundation that has a brush attached to it and "Cheek & Eye Print," a stamp-like blush and eye-shadow shaped like those of the cheek and the eye.
LICHT, created by model/actress Byun Jung-soo and KAREN, launched by popular make-up artist Kim Sun-jin, were also introduced on CJ Homeshopping last year and have been enjoying robust sales.