My co-writer, Alice Farinas, and I had such a wonderful time at this event last year, discovering so many wonderful indie beauty companies and products, that we were chomping at the bit to go back for more finds to share with you. The Indie Beauty Expo (“IBE” from here on out) had a little bit of a different layout and vibe this time, (perhaps run by a new team?,) but we found equally wonderful people and beauty lines as we did in 2016. (Here’s what we wrote about last year’s: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/beautyevent-indie-beauty-expo.) If you are an aficionado of independent beauty brands, as we are, or are in that business at all, this was the place to be all last week!
The location moved to the always beautiful California Market Center in downtown LA this time. It was up in the Penthouse, which had tons of space. I always like not being crowded; that way, we were able to give each company our complete attention as they explained their lines to us. We ran into so many old pals, and made wonderful new ones. As competitive as the beauty world may be, everyone was there for the same goal—making the world more beautiful!
And I sooo appreciated that every single rep looked his or (mainly) her absolute best. I’ve never been surrounded by so much flawless skin!!! I could not stop complimenting everyone! (I always believe in giving people their kudos, even if they are total strangers! It’s the right thing to do. It doesn’t help someone if you just tell your friend, “Didn’t that girl have great hair?” Tell it to the girl herself, for goodness sake!)
There were not as many services as there were last year, (we saw only one facial, and a brow shaping area,) but that was fine with us because we were very time-constrained that day; if we had stopped our forward progress to have anything done to us, that would have been many minutes taken away from the kind reps who were spending their valuable time to enlighten us about their brands.
We were impressed by so many products this year that we just cannot tell you about them all in this one column. But, I promise you, I will let you know about lots of the others in upcoming columns, (such as Beauty suggestions or Gift Guides for the various holidays,) so that you guys will always stay in the loop. We may even run across some of them in Gifting Suites! You never know.
Here are some of our favorites from this one:
Mixify Polish Kit—I love this make-your-own-nail-polish kit so much that I already own one! It’s so fun and easy, which makes it’s perfect to share with your friends at a pajama party. (Or anytime, actually.) But I love it so much that I just play with it by myself. More custom-blended (by my very own hands) polishes for moi! www.mixifypolish.com
CelleCle Skincare—In my Golden Globes suites coverage, I already raved about this wonderful skin care line that is designed to protect you from the environment, as well as improve and maintain beautiful complexions. At the IBE, Brittany, my adorable New Best Friend who did my facial at that other event, clued Alice into their Detox Bright, which is a cream-to-foam masque. Ali loved that it “brightens, oxygenates, and detoxifies your skin.” Brit gave us each a convenient little travel kit, and Alice said she can’t wait to try the whole line, and achieve “a smoother and glowing appearance.” www.cellecleskincare.com
Melanie Mills Hollywood Body Make-up—If there’s anyone we should trust about body make-up, it’s a former make-up artist on Dancing With The Stars, don’t you think? Melanie Mills is just that, and we were impressed with her range of hues in her Gleam line. It’s body make-up that’s also a moisturizer, so it gives you a gorgeous glow. Besides seeing the results on my very own arms, I was happy that she confirmed that my love for Derek Hough is not misplaced; we both adore that boy! So how could I not trust her with my looks, as well? www.melaniemillshollywood.com
Botanic Farm Pearl Shining Primer—Our heads were spinning when we came upon this group of skin care lines, with a variety of products the likes of which I have never seen, even with all my years in the business!!! But as soon as we spotted this very special primer, the rest faded away for us. (For the time being, that is.) It really does appear to be a cut above the rest. And the push-down dispenser is so much fun to use! www.botanicfarm.us
Parodi Hand and Foot Creams–This duo of hand and foot creams was developed by a former hairstylist from Switzerland. She realized that she and her colleagues had their hands in water for a good part of the day, so they needed to start protecting them from the drying effects of hat task. This cream’s moisturizing effect creates a barrier that will continue working throughout the day. Their foot cream has the same properties, but it’s formulated for the tougher skin on our tootsies. Alice said, “These are great products to start and end your day with.” www.parodicare.com
Dermaflash—We were both very interested in learning about this easy hand-held device that gets rid of dead skin cells on your face. (And peach-fuzz, too, ladies!) Alice explains that this non-surgical resurfacing system “leaves your skin with a beautiful glow; your friends will ask what you got done. But this can be your own little secret!” www.dermaflash.com
Reina Rebelde—This affordable cosmetics line, (which was founded by a lawyer,) was designed specifically for Hispanic/Latina women. Alice, being Cubana, was thrilled to discover it! She said, “The colors, which are vibrant and spicy with lots of depth, as we Latina women are, are such a testament to us! And the kits are beautifully put together.” But this Caucasian gal feels that all the products are for every female. Their shiny “Lip Brilliance” has already moved up to be my numero uno lipgloss!!! www.reinarebelde.com
Allira Naturals—What began as a mother’s quest to help her little daughter, who had eczema, now benefits us all. This line of natural products for sensitive skin has its roots in Australia, and the founder has a beautiful complexion herself. www.alliranaturals.com
SuaVecita Hair Care—As total California girls now, (even though we’re both from the east coast originally,) we appreciated that this line is home-grown right here in Santa Ana. We also loved that they have so many products! There’s everything from dry shampoo to pomade to firm-hold hairspray to you name it! But Alice went the most nuts over their unique Grooming Spray which she said “can be used on its own to refresh your curls, or with the pomade to get an edgier look.” www.suavecita.com
Unwash—I’ve been reading about hair “co-washing” systems for awhile now. As total hair girls, Alice and I were keen to learn about this brand in person. Alice said that the bio-cleansing conditioner, which works as a shampoo and conditioner in one, “saves time in the shower,” and is “a wonderfully easy regime to get great healthy hair.” www.unwash.com
Hue Noir—When Alice noticed this cosmetics company’s “signature red and black make-up bags, in a luxuriously soft fabric,” she ran right over to this table! I’m so glad she did because we got to meet perhaps the most fun group of ladies in the whole place! We could have just hung with them for the rest of the day. They all also looked fabulous, so of course we trusted their line of make-up, which she pointed-out was “created for all different women of color.” She added that their “gorgeous color of Rebellious lipstick is for all skin tones,” including ours!!! www.huenoir.com
7 Wonders Masks—This line of masks from Korea has so many different varieties, in two different textures, and for so many types of skin situations, that it almost made my head spin! www.leaderscosmeticsusa.com/collections/7-wonders-coconut-masks
[Note: Speaking of beauty, I will be live-tweeting the SAG Awards on Sunday evening, including discussing everyone’s looks, of course. So, if you don’t already follow me on Twitter, this would be the time to do it. @MajorCelebrity. I usually begin tweeting with the arrivals, but I will be coming from a fabulous fashion brunch, so please forgive me if I begin a bit later than usual. “See” you there. And on Monday, I’ll let you know if the people I voted for win! (Actually, I may be telling you all about it on Tuesday instead; right after the SAGs on Sunday night is Miss Universe! As a televised beauty pageant fan, even just to rag on everybody, that does not leave me a lot of time for writing that night. But we’ll see.)]