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Blanding in Kbeauty

March 22, 2023

Blanding in K-Beauty

Blanding in Kbeauty 


Lauren discusses the issue of blanding in K-Beauty with more brands undergoing complete logo and design transformation in an attempt to modernise. But are they losing their creativity and uniqueness in the process? 



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What is Blanding?

  • “If branding is about differentiation, then blanding is the exact opposite.” 
  • Recognisable due to the use of modern and simple products and packaging. 
  • Logos are often written in thin, san serif lines


Why Are K-Beauty Brands Blanding?

  • What you like on Instagram fuels the algorithm, which reinforces your preferences with more related content. 
  • In this kind of environment it makes sense as a branding strategy for brands to try and align with their peers and existing brands. 
  • You don't want to stand out from the pack because this can be risky. 
  • It's also a strategy for reaching new audiences on social. 
  • Minimalist design aesthetic is shorthand for "clean" in K-beauty 
  • The concept of blanding has a history in fashion as well. The Fashion Law has some great graphics showing the change from brands to blands across the big luxury fashion houses
  • Pretty much everything you see trending on apps like Hwahae at the moment - that has a lot to do with this push towards clean, vegan, natural etc


Why Blanding Is Not a Great Idea 

  • As part of my work I consult with a lot of beauty brand owners, brands looking to manufacture in Korea. Coming up with a brand concept is really important for a lot of them 
  • For my own brand, Jelly Ko, I really wanted to have a very distinct brand identity that represented how we want consumers to feel when they use our products - playful, nostalgic and spoilt 


Blanding in Kbeauty

K-Beauty Brands Who Have Had a Modern Makeover 


  • In 2023, they've changed their logo to reflect the fact that they are pivoting away from China as their main market
  • They've dropped the Chinese characters and have modernised and simplified their packaging as well 
  • Sulwhasoo's parent company, Amore Pacific, also recently announced that they have signed on a new brand model, Tilda Swinton 
Blanding in Kbeauty


  • Innisfree's original logo really leant into the brand concept of a clean, fresh green space or natural paradise, which was where the name was taken from 
  • Like Sulwhasoo, they've also undergone a re-branding exercise in 2023 with a new logo and newer, minimalist packaging.
  • The reaction to the new branding and image has been lukewarm on social media across both English and Korean speaking media



  • Another Amore Pacific-owned brand that has undergone wholescale change to their brand and concept in recent years
  • The brand has changed it's name from Etude House to simply 'Etude' 
  • Not only have they changed their logo and princess aesthetic but the entire collection looks vastly different than it did in the early 2010s. 

 Blanding in Kbeauty

Beauty of Joseon

  • Had very distinctive packaging and a traditional Korean style logo  when teh brand first launched. The Dynasty Cream in particular was covered in 'Hanji', Korean style paper 
  • Changed that recently to reflect their more global audience 
  • Obviously hasn’t hurt their business so maybe it was the right move 



  • Half / Half - the newer stuff is very similar to a lot of products on the market
  • However, the branding itself was fairly minimal to start with, as the brand really gained traction when the era of mininalism was in full swing


Brands that haven’t blended

  • Skinfood - still retains the unique brand identity that made it famous
  • Banila Co - unfortunately their logo was blanded but the products themselves have stayed pretty true to the original brand identity and concept
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"Pretty much everything you see trending on beauty apps like Hwahae at the moment have the same aesthetic. A lot of this has to do with this push towards clean, vegan, natural"

Lauren Lee, Kbeauty Expert

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