If your skincare regimen is incomplete without sheet masks, snail cream or green tea serum, and your make-up table is littered with cosmetics in adorable packaging, you are probably familiar with the cult phenomenon that is K Beauty. The trend is not new in India, gaining traction since 2015 through niche audiences. Now, it is very much part of the mainstream: earlier this year, the addition of brands like Innisfree and The Face Shop resulted in a 15% increase in skin care sales on Nykaa, an online beauty retailer.
These South East Asian products will be the focus of India’s first K BeautyCon, to be held in Chennai starting September 20. The original BeautyCon, which is annually held in Los Angeles, New York and London, has been described as “Sephora meets Coachella” — basically, a two-day experiential trade show with more than 200 brands and tens of thousands of visitors. While we are yet to host one of these, this seems like a good place to start.
“Most Korean brands are familiar with the Chennai market. They say that a large portion of their Indian sales come from here,” marvels Nitesh Rohit, founder of K-BeautyCon. This is not surprising to those familiar with the city’s demographic — we are, after all, home to the largest Korean expat population in India, thanks to Korean conglomerates, such as Samsung, LG, Kotra, Lotte and Hyundai, which have operations here. “Several products that are not yet marketed in the country will be featured — like Coony, KeKei, Lock, KLAIRS and Limese,” he adds.
If you want to experiment with the products, but do not know where to start, head to the masterclass by Cosrx. Makeup is more up your alley? Rosario Belmonte, a Milan and India-based artist, will show you the ropes. For those who know their cushion compacts from their powder cleanser, there will be a chance to show off your knowledge in quizzes. In addition to panel discussions on fashion blogging, there will also be fun activities that involve glamming up your BFF or significant other. And if you want to try new brands and put into action the tips and tricks from experts, head to the pop-up stores. To add to the experience, K-Pop band Namu will also perform at the mall next Saturday. Get ready to put your best KBeauty face forward!
K-BeautyCon takes place from September 20 to 21, from 3 pm to 7 pm, at Palladium, Velachery. Free entry.