I attended the Indie Beauty Expo in NYC a couple of days ago, and It was beauty overload to say the least! I found out about the expo while in a Google rabbit hole search, for who knows what. As a beauty entrepreneur, I was shocked (and embarrassed) that I hadn't heard of it. I shared the event details with my peers in a private Facebook group, they too hadn't heard of it! I decided to apply for a press pass, crossed my fingers, and hoped I would get in, because a 2 day pass is $695, and mama is not made of money. After I submitted the form for a press pass I kind of forgot about it, then just a few short days later, I received an email that I was accepted! The only bummer was that it was only one pass, so I had to go it alone, hence the lack of quality photos (sorry guys).
If you are wondering what the Indie Beauty Expo is, it is a platform that celebrates and connects independent beauty brands and entrepreneurs. The Indie Beauty Expo was founded by celebrity Esthetician Jillian Wright and entrepreneur Nader Naeymi-Rad back in 2015, and since then it has grown exponentially. IBE takes place annually in New York, Dallas, London, and Los Angeles. Since their debut, IBE has increased their platform to include series, partnerships, and events that focus on networking, and connecting beauty entrepreneurs with qualified solution providers. The series include: Beauty Independent, BeautyXSummit, ShopTheExpo, and UpLink Live.
I had no idea what to expect going into this event. I went the first day, about an hour after it started. It was not too busy and easy to move around, and have conversations, which I love. I have been to IBS multiple times, this was much smaller, and much nicer. The decor/set up was esthetically pleasing, each brand had unique displays to represent themselves, sadly the brands that were more eye-catching and elaborate had more traffic. I researched the lineup before attending so I already had a strategic plan, but of course I made some detours, and I made some great connections because of it.
Before I get into my standout brands from IBE, I'd like to applaud all of the Indie Brands that participated in this event. I am an Entrepreneur and Spa Owner, and I have been an exhibitor at events like this. It isn't easy. Putting yourself out there, explaining (and sometimes defending) your brand to the masses, and creating awareness about your brand is exhausting both mentally and physically. I had some very valuable and interesting conversations with people that are so passionate about what they do, it truly moved me, and was my favorite take away from IBE by far.
One major element that was a common thread at IBE: Clean Beauty! Pretty much every brand I spoke with was focused on clean, non-toxic products, which leads me to believe that clean beauty is not a trend, it's a revolution.
My favorite brands from the Indie Beauty Expo:
1. A Wholesome Glow Husband and wife Blake and Carmen are #marriagegoals ! I absolutely adored them, their story, and of course their products. From their website: "Blake and Carmen are proud to be dairy farmers living in upstate New York, growing food to help feed people everywhere. Their love for animals, nature and the simplicity of country life is evident in how they live their lives." Like me, Carmen is an Esthetician and Spa Owner. Her husband Blake was raised on a farm, so they combined their two passions to create A Wholesome Glow! I tested out the scrubs and oils- and was sent home with some goodies too. All of the ingredients in their products are grown on their farm, Twin Mill Farms, and the surrounding area. These two have something very special, and I can't wait to see where A Wholesome Glow takes them.
2. Solara Suncare I've used Solara Suncare products in the past, so when I saw their name on the list of exhibitors, naturally i was excited! I was finally going to meet the woman behind it all. I had been chatting with Stephanie, the founder, for a couple of months on Instagram, and we got to meet face to face, it's always cool to meet someone from IG IRL, right? Stephanie is a mom on a mission, and I love that about her. Her drive and passion to create safer suncare products for her children was what propelled her into the creation of Solara Suncare. Their proprietary formulas break sunscreen boundaries. I especially love the fact that the products are not only suncare, but high-performing skincare as well, and it's good for the whole family. I've personally used Solara Suncare products on myself and my children, and I don't have to wonder "what the heck is in this bottle" because the labels are 100% transparent.
3. MASK skincare Right away I was intrigued by the packaging, and the energy at their booth. I instantly started chatting up the founder, who was just launching that day ( btw, I met others just launching that day too). I asked her why she developed this line of masks, and she explained that she always had problematic skin, and finally decided to take matters into her own hands. Since the show I have tried the masks, and I am absolutely sold on this product, and I will be purchasing again. They all contain Full Spectrum CBD Oil which calms inflammation. From MASK skincare website: "All MĀSKs have hyaluronic acid, which is an amazing hydrating anti-aging ingredient. Instead of using normal distilled water like most masks, we are using mostly different hydrosols to add some more richness to it. Every ingredient is all natural and is ranked a 1 on the EWG database to make everything completely safe for your skin." So head on over to their website and stock up, because something tells me they are going to sell out!
4. Kakadu Dream Where are my Instagram peeps? This one's for you. The Kakadu Dream booth was like finding an Oasis in the Dessert. Why, you ask? Because by the time I had reached them, I'd been walking around for hours in horrible shoes and loads of freebies that were weighing me down ( I know, poor me). When I saw a bed in the middle of the expo, I knew these had to be my people. Two pretty and chipper young ladies greeted me with Australian accents and invited me to lay on the bed, they even snapped this photo of me! Then Mandi the founder of Kakadu Dream and I really dove in and I learned a lot about digital detoxing, and the Kakadu Plum.
First, let's take a look at the Kakadu Plum: A bio-available and active extract of Kakadu Plum is found in every product, arguably the MVP of beauty ingredients. This native Australian superfruit has the richest Vitamin C content on earth, brightens the complexion, reduces hyperpigmentation, and protects the skin from on-going daily environmental stress.
It contains gallic acid to help restore the skin’s natural barrier, and is anti-bacterial for blemish-free skin.
Ellagic acid helps restore skin elasticity, and is a potent anti-inflammatory—crucial to treat micro-inflammation from daily blue light exposure.
Kakadu Plum is the true model of a socially responsible, sustainable crop. Long used for traditional medicine and healing, isolated indigenous communities cultivate and harvest the fruit of the wild-growing tree, creating jobs and establishing horticulture as a sustainable industry in remote areas.
So yeah, it's basically a freaking miracle fruit. And Mandi is super knowledgable, and an Esthetician, so she definitely knows her stuff when it comes to skin. The products are formulated to support the skins nighttime process, and they are vegan and cruelty free. I also learned that blue lights (like from our phones), penetrate deeper than UVA/UVB and can cause a lot of skin damage. That is some scary stuff! Luckily we have Kakadu Dream to help us repair, restore, and protect!