Korean Men Makeup Habbit: Males Unwilling to Leave the House Without It?

The makeup industry in South Korea has progressively seen an expansion in its customer base, but instead of women and young girls buying up the product, it is the men who are creating a boom in the industry.

Despite having a reputation for strong masculine values and a mandatory 2-year military service requirement, a growing number of Korean men are beginning to become avid purchasers of makeup.

The trend, however, isn't too shocking to other Koreans, whose culture places a large emphasis on physical appearances.

"Appearance is power," the common catch phrase amongst other Koreans says.

"Having a clean, neat face makes you look sophisticated and creates an image that you can handle yourself well," Cho Won-hyuk, a 24-year-old Korean college student told the Associated Press. "Your appearance matters, so when I wear makeup on special occasions, it makes me more confident."

Part of Won-hyuk's routine includes applying foundation to his skin and using a dark pencil liner to distinguish the lines of his eyebrows. According to some, South Korea has become the male makeup capital of the world.

"South Korean men spent $495.5 million on skincare last year, accounting for nearly 21 percent of global sales, according to global market research firm Euromonitor International," AP reported.

While few American men agree that putting makeup on equates to social power, even Korean women have become accustomed to the fact that men are now willing to take better care of their skin. Some women have even come to expect it.

The same could also not be said for American women, who were more concerned with having to share the bathroom mirror than having their men with softer skin.

"Can you imagine what time in the bathroom must be like for couples putting on their face in the morning?" Rebecca Hansbrough asked on the NPR blog. "Hand to hand combat, a truce or loving compromise."