Men wearing make-up driving K-beauty boom

Men wearing makeup – once a practice unique to TV stars and celebrities – is becoming a part of popular culture in South Korea.

As an increasing number of South Korean men are purchasing clothes, cosmetics, and other beauty products to take care of their looks, cosmetics goods for men are expanding both in terms of variety and sales.

Olive Young, a major South Korean cosmetics store, said sales of cosmetics for men increased by 30 per cent last year compared to the year before.

Cosmetics for men are going beyond BB creams and cushions to include coloured lip balms, eyebrow products, concealers and eyebrow-hair scissors.

A coloured lip balm for men, for instance, has seen sales skyrocket 16-fold over the last two years, according to Olive Young. Sales of makeup cushions and BB creams have increased by 30 per cent as the number of men wearing make-up burgeons.

Drawing eyebrows, once a practice unique to women, is now spreading among men, as seen by the fact that sales of eyebrow products for men have increased by 25 per cent over the last two years.


An increasing number of eyebrow-hair scissors, nipple bands, and body hair removers are being developed for men as well.

“Makeup is now becoming a tool to express one’s confidence, leading to increased demand for various cosmetic products for men,” said Olive Young.

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