Hyun Oak Han (Helen)

Founder and CEO, CLIO Cosmetics


Winning women Asia-Pacific China Toyoshima

Helen received her master's degree from the Department of Sociology at Yonsei University, and started her first career as a researcher at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology.  

Founding the CLIO Cosmetics company at the age of 33, she innovatively developed color cosmetics with outsourcing companies in Europe and pioneered the professional makeup cosmetics market in Korea. Helen continued her high-quality innovation through joint development with Korean outsourcing companies. She successfully led the Korean cosmetics market by introducing innovative products, such as “baked eye shadow” — for the first time in Korea — and “tattoo eyebrow,” which lasts for seven days. In the 2000s, CLIO Art Cosmetics, which applied artwork of artists to cosmetic containers, became a prelude to beauty and art collaboration in Korea. By bringing marketing innovation to the Korean cosmetics market, CLIO Cosmetics grew from a small company with sales of US$0.9m in 1997 to a medium-sized blue-chip company with sales worth US$171m in 2017. CLIO has won 92 beauty awards, and 9 health and beauty awards. With its proven growth and transparency, CLIO was listed on KOSDAQ, Korea Exchange, in November 2016. 

Through her entrepreneurial venture, Helen conducted a variety of activities that positively impact local and national economies. These include promoting public interest and implementing responsible management, such as donations for underprivileged women and children. CLIO’s talent-oriented management philosophy of “people are the future” helped it achieve a 30% average annual employment growth rate in 2013–17. Helen created jobs to secure greater opportunities for women. And through various HR training strategies, she achieved a 76% female employment rate and was recognized as the best employer for job creation.

“We aim to become a global market leader through innovation and make every woman in the world carry at least one of our products in their cosmetics pouch. Therefore, we will endeavor with the mission to provide confidence and joy to customers by being the No. 1 trendsetting color cosmetics company.”