Maybelline: Korean beauty ideals

Mingkwan Na Nagara
Mindshare China

Maybelline was a latecomer to China's massive BB cream cosmetic trend, but work with local beauty bloggers helped it regain young women's loyalty.


Despite being an international leader in the field of cosmetics, L'Oréal China's Maybelline brand had stumbled upon a major hurdle with its entry into the Chinese market. Maybelline's BB (blemish balm) cream was a very late entrant. The market was already saturated by Korean brands that had associated the concept of real Asian beauty with Korean cosmetics.

A fascination with Korean dramas had created a wave of girls inspired to copy and adapt the styles of Korean celebrities. Specifically, there was a style known as the 'nude look', which used BB cream as its base product. For this reason, several Korean brands had entered the Chinese market with considerable ease, as being from Korea was all a brand needed to build credentials with consumers.