Cosmoprof NA Plays to West Coast Crowd

By Jamie Matusow, Editor-in-Chief | September 9, 2016

The award-winning B2B beauty show has gained in regional importance by offering a wide range of features.

Located just three hours from LA, Cosmoprof NA (CPNA) has become an important resource for the regional concentration of indie brands and retail buyers located nearby in California.

Exhibitors and attendees from more than 30 countries make for an exciting global mix and a plethora of possibilities. According to Daniela Ciocan, marketing director of CPNA, about 60% of the show’s attendees come from California.

This year, for the 14th edition, more than 33,000 attendees (a 12.5% increase over 2015) traveled from 100 countries to spend three beauty-filled days at the annual event held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, June 24-26. Tops on their agenda: Sourcing materials and finished products from nearly1,200 exhibitors from 38 countries, representing the full beauty supply chain.

The show floor always sets the stage for fashionable trends and exciting products that await discovery. Upon arrival, several attendees were spotted sporting shaved heads covered with lots of color, from lime green to rainbow blends.

Beauty Packaging’s publisher, Jay Gorga, and I were drawn to a booth with a large sign that read “kick-ass packaging.” The product was an “all-natural buzzing lip balm” called Lip Freak, in shades that included Clockwork Orange, Atomic Cherry and Berry Sinister. We were game, so we each took a tube and experienced a lip product like no other when our lips started to feel like they were vibrating. The booth representative explained that the formulation draws additional blood flow to lips for rapid healing. But the buzzing, she said, is mostly for fun—and to draw consumers’ attention to the all-natural product.

A Focus on Packaging

Exhibitors for the most part seemed pleased with the show, and many commented on the increased number of packaging suppliers. In addition, a number of supplier booths had been expanded as well as stylishly upgraded. According to Cosmoprof organizers, packaging suppliers had grown 71% in 2016, over recent years.

Next year, according to Ciocan and Roberto Kerkoc, vice president of Bologna Fiere Group, there will be an emphasis on adding packaging suppliers to the Las Vegas show. “There is a great opportunity for expanding this area,” said Ciocan.

In accordance, the packaging component of Cosmoprof NA, which includes private label and machinery, will be rebranded from the International Business Forum & Exhibition (IBFE), to DiscoverPack, with increased programs and initiatives regarding packaging. This will resemble the popular Cosmopack show-within-a-show presented annually at Cosmoprof Bologna, which will next take place March 16-19, 2017.

The 2017 edition of Cosmoprof NA, with the premier of DiscoverPack, will be held in Las Vegas, July 9-11, 2017.

New Features

Every year Cosmoprof NA unveils new and surprising features to spice things up and make the atmosphere even more vibrant than before. A number of new areas were dotted across the landscape this year.

Discover Green, for instance, was surrounded by artificial hedges, which defined a large area dedicated to brands that offered greener choices, such as eco-friendly, clean, organic and natural beauty products. Glamour Me, a new beauty lounge in the Professional Beauty Section, was designed for attendees to experience exhibitor products first-hand, during new product demonstrations. The Emerging Beauty section brought together exhibitors promoting new product innovations, packaging, raw materials, contract manufacturing services, and private label capabilities.

Back by popular demand was the Boutique section, where visitors could choose seven deluxe-size samples from the sampling bar, to fill a personalized box. Available for a small fee, participants were able to aid a charity, as $10 from the sale of each box was donated to the Look Good Feel Better program. HCT Group once again sponsored Boutique by creating and developing the special box and all related packaging materials for this special project. More than $13,000 was raised.

Conferences Galore

A vibrant conference/education program spanned the two days, with topics including How to Best Engage the Multicultural Market, TV Home Shopping Culture, Spa Market Evolution, and The Beauty of Sustainability: More Than Green Packaging, presented by Beauty Packaging magazine. This session featured green beauty iconic brands Method and Pangea—and trends analyst PeclersParis. (See more on this inspiring and informative discussion in an Online Exclusive at BeautyPackaging.com)

Packaging Suppliers

While Cosmoprof NA offers an array of packaging possibilities, there always seems to be a category that stands out, reflecting current trends in the market. This year, advances and offerings in Tubes and Applicators pumped up interest in the packaging aisles, but exciting options in printed cartons and sample sizes also drew brand product and marketing executives looking for new launch ideas.


Airless pump tubes, in demand for formulation protection for everything from foundation to skin care, were offered by a number of tube suppliers, Several especially interesting and unusual tube options also made an appearance at the show.

At Viva Packaging, Bruno Lebault, marketing manager-NA, showed Beauty Packaging the company’s impressive range of oval tubes. From round oval to flat oval, Viva continues to expand the popular tube shape in a multitude of sizes as the shape provides additional surface area that can be utilized for marketing purposes. Smaller tubes, many of which are used for foundation, now come complete with a range of applicator tips. All are made of polypropylene and are recyclable. Another Viva tube contained an RFID chip inside the cap, basically a microchip with an antenna, which makes it simple for a brand to monitor its products and fight against diversion. A tube printed with UV ink is ideal for products such as sun protection because when exposed to the sun’s rays, a message will pop up reminding the consumer to re-apply.

McKernan Packaging, which offers a wide variety of tubes in addition to bottles, sprayers and jars, continues to introduce new products to its wholesale line as well as supplementing its surplus offerings.

CTL Packaging USA proudly displayed its Be Unique Tube which recently won the title of 2016 Tube of the Year, granted by the World Tube Congress. Thanks to the individual QR codes printed on each of them and with the use of a mobile app, an out-of-the ordinary tube from CTL can literally connect and send consumers a message about the product—or about whatever the brand wants to communicate.

Airless pumps and sustainable packaging were top of mind at Essel Propack, where Sydney Owen explained that they were featuring three products: a large 60ml tube for customers making the switch from bottles to tubes; the Green Maple Leaf, a code 2, 100% recyclable tube made of PPL, which helps to reduce a product’s carbon footprint; and an airless pump tube, available in a range of sizes, which guarantees full use of the product within.

Glass for Class

Glass bottles at both Baralan and ABA Packaging drew attendees at Cosmoprof NA.

New to the Las Vegas show was Precision Supply Network, which represented a group of suppliers out of China, with packaging choices ranging from airless and plastic bottles to compacts, pens, mascara and sprayers. Of particular interest, was the high-end lustrous opal glass shown for individual jars and bottles as well as complete families. Standout caps included plastics that fooled the eye as wood. All can be decorated via a number of enhanced techniques, including embossing and foil stamping on stock opal glass. Custom molding is also available, and with short turnaround schedules to boot. The idea, says Marilyn Tiernan, CEO, “is to bring affordable elegance to consumers, with items they’d like to display on their vanities.”


Applicators continue to take on an increasing role in packaging as consumers pay more and more attention to the process as well as the product.

HCT Group, which specializes in full service, held a prominent space in the packaging area of the show floor, and featured a wide range of applicators among many other offerings, which included brushes, formulations, compacts, and jars. Their popular cooling applicators had a new, fun twist: colorful zamac tips, in which jewel-like hues were electroplated over the metallized tips to create a visually striking cooling application tool.

Caressa Kahn, making an appearance from the UK, was seeing interest in the company’s new larger scale applicator, as an ideal alternative to a mitt for applying products such as tanning lotions or creams. A disposable “turning blade” offers an easy grip. Produced in their factory in the UK, and made of their special flocked foam, the applicator can be used and washed up to 20 times. They are available in a number of sizes. Also noted by Barbara Hunt, director of systems at Caressa Kahn, “The devaluation of the pound sterling now makes them more competitive in the U.S. market.”

HCP Packaging offered a wide array of packaging and decorative finishes as well as a vast assortment of applicators for eye, lip, brow and concealer products. Damien Dossin, president of HCP USA, said that mascara continues to be “very active” especially for custom products.

He said more and more customers are sending HCP their mascara formulations with requests for custom brushes.

Twist-up high viscosity dropper bottles, with an auto-fill system were receiving lots of attention at Nest-Filler. Helen Min, VP, explained that these bottles are ideal for thicker higher viscosity serums and foundations. Whereas regular pipettes can’t pull up heavier formulations, these use a piston system that helps draw up the product and also alleviates air bubbles. Min told Beauty Packaging that they are seeing an increase in requests for dropper bottles. “Women used to not put oil on their face,” she said. “Now many brands have a pure oil—and it requires a dropper package.”

Serums have also maintained their appeal. At Virospack, specialists in dropper packages, Joanna Milne, sales manager, said they were seeing “lots of new companies” at the show, and that they were getting lots of inquiries for serums as well as oils.” She explained that this was somewhat surprising, “considering how popular oils currently are.” Virospack also offers some flexibility to accommodate smaller brands and lower quantities.

Sample Sizes

Mixing serums is also a growing trend according to Milne, and in this vein, Virospack has seen an uptick in kit ‘dramming,’ in which a number of miniature bottles (with brand logos on the caps, for example) are shipped to brands for distribution by their in-store counter representatives. These sales consultants may use them to customize a product such as foundation, custom label it—and give it to the consumer as a takeaway for trial use. Sets of small and large bottles with service caps are also seeing an uptick, for products that have to be mixed prior to application.

With so many subscription boxes dotting the beauty landscape, it wasn’t surprising to find a large number of suppliers offering small size packaging. Many of the items fully duplicated their full-size counterparts.

Presto Packaging, for example, presented a full line of lipgloss packages, including travel and mini-sizes. Specializing in samples and small sizes, hard plastic injected pieces truly imitated full-size packaging. One trend in the market noted by Carli Windsor, Presto’s VP of sales and marketing, is that packages now tend to be longer and more slender than in the past.

Unique Distinctions is a Canadian-based company that offers packaging for sampling and amenities that’s all manufactured in China.


Digital printing has expanded the opportunities for cartons, including the availability of smaller quantities when necessary, easy customization and quick turnaround.

On-demand, digitally printed cartons were the highlight at Nosco, thanks to a state-of-the art facility and equipment from HP. The company that started in pharma now offers a number of innovative and attractive options for brands in the cosmetics business. The company also prints conventionally for any run size.

Mid-York Press Inc. specializes in digital packaging for boxes on demand. The boxes are available in small quantities, and can be ideal for startup or indie brands. Robert Tenney, president/CEO, showed Beauty Packaging one of their recent projects. He explained, “FM Brush provided us with the unique brush box design of the New York skyline that is so eye-catching. We provided the low-cost high quality solution with ‘plateless’ digital packaging.”

Success Again

With ever-increasing packaging options and special features that generate interest and excitement on the show floor, Cosmoprof NA continues to be a vibrant destination for the B2B beauty market, near and far.