With these possibilities in mind, this year’s returning Indie Beauty Expo was on many people’s calendars—and it did not disappoint.
From Pacifica Beauty (with its attractive, eco-friendly packaging) and Goldfaden—both of which have become nearly mainstream—to smaller beauty companies starting out and championed by the individuals that founded them, the Indie Beauty Show featured brands with an independent and passionate voice and vibe. The event was held at New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion August 24-25, and featured about 130 brands—both newcomers as well as some that had exhibited at last year’s premiere in Manhattan. The show has since run in Los Angeles, and next year will debut in Dallas.
Co-founder Jillian Wright told Beauty Packaging (see video) that her organization has identified more than 4,000 indie brands. The idea is to give them a common platform and venue to tell their stories. Many exhibitors we spoke to said that they enjoyed the camaraderie at the show—that they wanted to help one another achieve success. A number of the brands were represented by their owners, many of whom were women entrepreneurs, truly passionate about their beauty “babies.” Many products had been started in their kitchens or labs expressly for solving particular skin care problems, or as alternatives to products that they felt contained undesirable chemicals. Many also had a philanthropic benefit.
Not surprisingly, many of the products carried “natural” “sustainable” and “organic” descriptors. Several products claimed to be edible.
In describing her line, made with herbs from remote areas in Australia and gathered by indigenous people, Anna Mitsios, founder, Edible Beauty (see video), cautioned: “If you can’t put it in your mouth, you shouldn’t put it on your face.” Her items were packaged in Miron glass to guard against damaging light.
Linda Treska, founder and CEO, of Pinch of Color, NY, NY (see video), launched a line of 10 “waterless” lipsticks and a “honey glow stick” at the show. She said she had also wanted to find packaging that was made without the use of water, but has thus far been unsuccessful. A portion of her sales will help bring clean drinking water to communities in need.
Florapy sheet masks (see video) are made of 100% coconut fiber and can hold their weight in water, for an intense hydration treatment. Incorporated with aromatherapy blends, the masks are designed as overall wellness treatments for skin, mind and body.
Manhattan-based plastic surgeon Nina Naidu (see video), created an array of “natural” skin care products at the request of her patients. Her newest line is based on the principles of Ayurvedic medicine. Naidu donates 10% of her sales to Doctors Without Borders.
“Local” was another draw of several brands at the show. Flynn & King bar soaps are all made in small batches in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY. The bar soaps forego traditional packaging and are instead, wrapped in beautifully designed papers.
Many brands used stock packaging with attractive labels to get their products to stand out, such as Java Skin Care, which featured body products infused with organic green Guatemalan coffee extracts for a delightful scent with the added benefits of antioxidants.
Push-up sticks and flexible pouches were also used by several of the exhibitors.
See all Indie Beauty Show videos here.