Beauty and the boys

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SEVENTEEN member DK locks fingers with a fan during a fan meet sponsored by cosmetics brand The SAEM.

By Cecille Santillan Visto

APPOINTING male ambassadors for Korean beauty brands is more common than ever. Customers strolling through the Seoul shopping district of Myeongdong can attest that they are often lured into stores by men endorsers of make-up and skin care lines rather than their women counterparts. The strategy may have seemed odd several years back, but today it has become the norm, especially for Korean cosmetics.

The SAEM, one of the biggest beauty brands in Korea, has chosen the 13-member K-pop group Seventeen as its global ambassadors to fight neck-and-neck with other equally powerful K-pop group advocating other brands.

And at the fan signing event organized by The SAEM at Robinson’s Galleria on Sept. 30, it was obvious that the Korean company made the right choice.

Filipino buyers were more obviously receptive to the brand and its products, no small thanks to the endorsers, comprised of group leader S. Coups, Woozi, Wonwoo, Mingyu, Hoshi, DK, Jeonghan, Dino, Seungkwan, Vernon, Joshua, The8 and Jun.

Although a relatively new player, entering the global market only in 2010, and the Philippines only in June 2018, it has become a household name locally due to its affiliation with the K-pop group. From its flagship store at SM Aura, it has since opened seven other stores in different Metro Manila malls and will have two additional outlets before yearend. They are also looking at expanding nationwide. It has stores in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, among other Asian countries, Kazakhstan, Russia, and even Mongolia. It now has over 500 stores in Korea and overseas.

During the open event hosted by former U-Kiss member Alexander Lee and radio personality Grace Lee, Seventeen fans who were unable to score tickets to the Ideal Cut concert that weekend were nonetheless given the rare opportunity to see them up close.

Even luckier were 200 fans who were chosen from among the thousands who joined the fan sign raffle. These fans were able to personally get signed posters from the group, with a free hi-touch to boot.

It was sheer pandemonium at the Activity Center of the mall but it was, for most fans, a happy kind of chaos. Amidst the shrieking, Seventeen performed the “Harakeke” dance. Harakeke, which is the main ingredient of the SAEM’s Urban Eco Harakeke line, is a plant native to New Zealand which is said to be a powerful hydrating agent. Its extracts can moisturize and protect skin from dehydration.

The SAEM has a complete line of “eco-friendly” body, cleansing, and skin care products for both women and men in their teens to their late 40s. It also has an extensive make-up, pack and mask, and perfume line and Seventeen excitedly informed their fans that they swear by these products. Vernon added that The SAEM’s scents are his personal favorites as “they smell so good.” Prior to the fan signing, they were even given the chance to shop for their favorite The SAEM products.

The performers said that they make sure to consistently take care of their skin despite their hectic schedule, and their “go to” The SAEM products include moisturizers and hand creams. They also intimated that they use face masks before concerts to ensure that they look refreshed.

During the program, The SAEM showed a birthday video prepared by fans for Jeonghan, a band member who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Oct. 4. The celebrant was ecstatic when the thousands of fans in the venue sang for him as Mr. Lee presented him with his birthday cake.

The program was short and sweet, and although it was very difficult to hear what the Seventeen members were saying, the chance to see the group for free was well appreciated by fans.

But if anything, Seventeen’s fan signing event proved that beauty is no longer confined to the ladies, and legions of fans supporting their K-pop idols can certainly push a brand from obscurity to popularity.