SEOUL: South Korea is socially conservative and male-dominated, with a mandatory two-year military conscription for men. It's also the male makeup capital of the world.
A global market research firm says South Korea accounted for more than a fifth of the world's male skincare products, even though the country has just 19 million men.
South Korean men who use makeup say it gives them confidence in a society where a popular catchphrase is "appearance is power."
In a Seoul cafe, a young woman takes some lipstick out of her purse and casually applies it to her male companion's lips. A male security guard watches an apartment-building lobby from behind a layer of makeup. And Korean Air holds once-a-year makeup classes for male flight attendants.