S. Korea's beauty industry sees boost with lifting of mask mandates
Updated: 2022-05-19 14:08:05 KST
A new word appeared in conversations in South Korea during pandemic, the word "Magikkun" meaning mask fraud, refers to the difference between a person's looks with and without a mask.
The word even made it into the Guardian newspaper in relation to masks being able to hide the unfortunate parts of people's faces.
"I've heard the word Magikkun before. It's that confusion you get when you see a colleague with their mask off and find them unfamiliar."
"One of my colleagues who had interviewed someone for a job said he didn't recognize the new employee because he looked different with his mask off."
But with the recent lifting of the outdoor mask mandate this mask fraud phenomenon more likely to become a thing of the past.
Instead, some people are refocusing on their beauty,. with makeup.
"I am wearing a new type of personal makeup that highlights the eyes. Before the pandemic, people wore full makeup as all of their faces could be seen but since the outbreak of COVID-19, makeup trends have been shifting."
And now the lifting of the outdoor mask mandate will lead to another change in makeup trends.
"Wearing masks made people focus more on their eyes. So the demand for cosmetics like mascara and eyeliner soared during the pandemic. But now with people taking off their masks, makeup based on a personal color to boost the best parts of their faces is gaining attention."
Sales of cosmetics are seeing a rapid rise.
Data released by major department stores show that sales of cosmetic products at Lotte Department stores increased 20 percent with Hyundai and Shinsegae each seeing 25 percent increases in April compared to the same period last year.
The government's lifting of social gathering limits and mask mandates has largely driven the sales rise.
Some e-commerce platforms are also trying to expand beauty-related sectors.
One e-commerce platform is running an online beauty class where consumers can learn makeup tips and get recommendations for cosmetic products.
"During the pandemic, testing cosmetic products was not allowed at offline stores. So we decided to open a live beauty class where show hosts could try out and review new products while answering viewers' questions regarding the product."
She added with the weather becoming hotter and outdoor activities without mask-wearing increasing sales of cosmetics like sunscreen, lip products, and perfumes are expected to rise.
Lee Rae-hyun, Arirang News.