Does a festival where you can meet YouTube stars, sample beauty products from new cosmetics lines, and consult with experts about your best brow shape sound like fun?

Trust us…. It was!

Beautycon, which took place last Saturday at Pier 31 in NYC, was a coming together of some of the most new and exciting brands on the market, a self-described “culture festival” where famous faces from TV and YouTube made guest appearances to speak on a panel on the topics of beauty and entrepreneurship. The vibe was unlike any other tradeshow we’ve ever been to: kitschy, youthful, and whimsical. There were photobooths to experiment with apps, a giant unicorn statue, and one of our staff members may have taken a picture with a cardboard cutout of Nicki Minaj. The charming atmosphere lent a playful and fun energy to the festivities.

Outside was a DJ on a soundstage playing upbeat music to keep things moving, and cupcakes and snacks available to buy for a quick pick-me-up. Inside, you could shop for new products, meet new tastemakers, or listen to the rotating panel of speakers. Every once in awhile a scream of enthusiasm would be heard as a new Youtube star showed up on the red carpet. We saw a great Q+A by beauty guru and YouTube personality Sprinkle of Glitter.  Also noted in attendance were personalities from reality TV such as Jay Manuel, famous judge from America’s Next Top Model; Lo Bosworth, reality-star turned entrepreneur; and Chloe Lukasiak of Dance Mom’s fame. Upstairs, you could sign up for meetups to have a one on one with the guest of your choice.

 

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Though the lines were long, if you were patient you could try out nearly any beauty service from the brands representing themselves. We saw brands offering everything from brow consultations, to hair styling, to samples of hair removal services. The knowledgable haircare people at Cibu were offering styling with colorful extensions and the chance to try out a faux bob. The makeup gurus at Finding Ferdinand, a chic and lovely cosmetics brand that we totally fell in love with, were helping customers find their essence with a personalized color consultation.

 

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We saw flashes of plastic everywhere as people were buying products left and right. Young women came to Beautycon to be the first to know about what’s new in the beauty game, and many of them left with bags and bags of new stuff. The brands in attendance ranged from the staples in the makeup game (Revlon, Maybelline) to truly brand-new startups. We saw some brands that we are really excited about:

Kalos, a socially conscious line of skincare products that partners with non-profits to help under-privileged girls gain access to an education.

 

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Breakups to Makeup, a wonderfully cheeky brand offering shirts and bags with slogans like this one:

 

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Winky Lux, a bright and playful line of makeup that designs a series of limited edition paletes.

 

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Velvelt 59 by Paris Manning, a glamorous makeup line channeling the vibe of old Hollywood.

 

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Our fav moment of the day was getting our brows done by the cutest ladies at Nudestix, two sisters who started a brand that features natural -looking, multi-purpose makeup sticks.

 

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But the best part of any event is always leaving with some #SWAG. Highlights: Professional-level makeup brushes from Crown Brush, vibrant Colour Pop eyeshadow, and surf texturizing spray by Eva, an eccentric, cool brand of haircare with a spacey and psychedelic vibe.

 

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Beautycon sends out boxes just like this every few months to its members, with new seasonal favorites in each one. They also hold festivals like this across the country a few times a year.

Check out their website for membership deals and more information on how to participate.

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