The MakeUp In LosAngeles show was held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on February 6 - 7, marking its third year on the West Coast. Organizers report a record number of visitors—3,900, up from 1,700 last year. The drastic increase is attributed, in part, to the addition of the Luxe Pack Los Angeles show this year, which was co-located in the same venue.
The Barker Hangar was conveniently close to the main strip in Santa Monica, as well as the hotels near LAX. The spacious venue felt open and airy, for the most part, except when visitors were squeezing through crowded aisles for a short time early on both days.
Exhibitors represented every sector of the beauty and packaging industries, with cosmetics, packaging and accessories on display.
A Focus on Turnkey Solutions & Speed-To-Market
Many Indie beauty brands are based in California, and aren’t following traditional workflows—they are looking for innovation, short lead times, and turnkey solutions. Several suppliers at the show spoke to teams from small beauty companies about new services they are offering to better meet their needs.
“The Indie brands in LA are doing things differently—and they are growing quickly,” said Dallas Browning, marketing director at Compax. Compax offers design, engineering, decoration and manufacturing services to some of the fastest-growing brands in the market. The team says they are well-positioned to partner with rapidly growing brands—not only to help them lead the latest trends, but to also avoid costly mistakes as they grow.
KDC is also ready to support small companies. Amy Skellett, the company’s marketing and communications manager, said, “We are very supportive of smaller brands, and offer a one-stop shop to meet their needs across various categories, including hair care, skin care and fragrance.” As a contract manufacturer, KDC has an extensive network of manufacturers and custom formulators across the U.S., and specializes in speed-to-market. This year, the company is launching the “kdc/one Innovation Lab” to develop creative products based on breakthrough technologies, the latest ingredients, and consumer trends.
Pacific Bridge Packaging, which offers a large variety of skin-care solutions from high-end airless bottles to budget-friendly tubes, spoke to visitors about the turnkey services the company offers. The company works with an extensive network of factories in China to provide finished goods.
Schwan Cosmetics promoted its speed-to-market capabilities with its new slogan, “Tomorrow’s beauty. Now.” The company is known for its wood cosmetic pencils, but featured a variety of innovative products at the show. Its offerings include vegan makeup, such as liquid liner and loose powder, as well as items made from biodegradable materials, including sharpeners and pencil caps.
Brivaplast spoke about its new “Ready To Go” service that the supplier will soon offer brands. The company will show its extensive range of applicators, mainly for mascara and lip gloss—and each will be paired with a specific product formulation after tests are performed.
“We will be able to ensure the best pairings of applicators and formulas,” explained Adrian Hook, the company’s vice president of sales in the U.S. “With this important step in the product development process already done, we will be re-defining time-to-market, while simplifying projects and shortening lead-times. These products, and packages, will truly be ‘ready-to-go.’ ” he explained.
The service is ideal for a brand developing mascara, since its performance completely depends upon the combination of the formulation, wiper, and applicator. It will be useful for lip products as well. “Lip gloss used to be almost like a commodity item, but now we have seen the category explode, with all types of liquid lipstick as well,” said Hook. The Ready-To-Go service is not truly ‘turnkey’ however, since Brivaplast will be presenting brushes and formulas together, but not selling finished goods.
Hook showed us an example of the vast number of applicator styles the company offers when he opened an extra-long brush roll, off-site, at the company’s showroom in Torrance, California. It was filled with wands in different shapes and lengths, paired with all types of mascara brushes, in wire and molded styles. Brivaplast is headquartered in Milan, and its U.S.-based team works closely with brands on the West Coast.
Toly Products, which also has a showroom in Torrance, California, as well as a new Innovation Center at its headquarters in Malta, gave us an in-depth viewpoint on Indie brands.
“Working with Indie brands is a true partnership. They have a different business model, so they are able to adapt quickly to trends and react to market demands,” said Dorien Bianco, the company’s chief of marketing and business development.
Indie brands are attracting so much attention because many aren’t staying small for long. “They are growing into billion-dollar brands within five years, so they need their supplier to be a true partner. They need innovative packaging—and very short lead times,” Bianco said.
Toly has developed new strategies with a focus on speed-to-market, and its team spoke to visitors about these capabilities at the show. “We are meeting with Indie brands here that have a new, creative energy, and I’m more excited today than I have been in 30 years in this business,” Bianco said.
Innovations for Lips and More
There was no shortage of cosmetic product innovations, especially in the lip category. Strand Cosmetics’ new ‘Charming Lipstick’ has an “ultra-comfortable” texture that “slides and melts onto the lips,” the company said. It also delivers an intense shine.
Cosmetic Group USA featured a vast number of new products—23, to be exact, including several for lips. “We created the Liquid Lip category, and now it is time to reinvent it,” said Judy Zegarelli, founder, Cosmetic Group USA. She demonstrated their new Lip Powder. “It stays on all day and looks great with our new pearlescent gloss over it,” she added.
In packaging for lip products, Axilone promoted its color-matching capabilities. The company has the ability to print the color of a lipstick—to exactly match a bullet—on a case’s mid-section or cap. Axilone also featured a lipstick case that slides open, causing the bullet to pop out.
Lumson’s team spoke to visitors about its eco-friendly line of lipstick packaging. Lipstick cases, including the mechanisms, can be made in PLA that is 100% plant-based and renewable. It is also compostable and biodegradable. A brand can also choose a lipstick package in PP, which is recyclable.
“Sustainability is a hot topic here in Los Angeles, so we are investing in it, because we know it is the future,” said Emanuele Mazzei, CEO, Lumson. Lumson recently acquired a plant in northern Italy where it manufactures lipstick packaging.
Quadpack offers a range of lipstick and lip gloss packaging, including a new Airtight Lipstick, which is part of its Q-Line range. The Q-Line is Quadpack’s own product range of customizable stock packages, which offer short lead times and low minimum quantities. The range includes everything from lipstick cases to jars, as well as flow pens and glass fragrance bottles. Brands have the option of customizing these packages using elegant wooden caps from the supplier’s partner factory, Technotraf.
A Focus on Design Innovation for Color Cosmetics
Color cosmetic packaging that blends functionality with an innovative look is always in demand, and Asquan featured a number of options. “As a relatively new company, we’re making our mark through innovation,” said Rebecca Goswell, the company’s global creative director. “We think about trends in other markets, like fashion and accessories, to come up with new gestures, new delivery systems, and packaging that is emotively interesting,” Goswell explained.
Asquan featured many “color float” designs, where a makeup product, such as lip gloss, looks suspended inside a clear bottle, to showcase the product. “I love this look—to showcase all the brilliant new effects and reflective textures that are coming out now in color cosmetics,” said Goswell.
An Abundance of Applicators
All types of applicators remain popular items for brands, and suppliers showed lots of new options to keep up with demands.
Geka featured several new mascara applicators in innovative shapes. One of its most interesting innovations is its new hourglass-shaped mascara brush. It has tiny bristles at the tip to reach the corners of the eyes and help apply a product without clumps.
At Taiki’s booth, visitors learned about how the company’s wide range of brushes, new fibers, and cushion applicators are designed to provide a better application. Taiki USA’s president and CEO, Jim Perry, spoke to us about the benefits of their cruelty-free Tafre fiber, for makeup brushes. “We invented Tafre a few years ago, and now it is exciting to see it used by many leading brands around the world,” Perry said. It is anti-microbial, has good resistance and a bounce-back quality that keeps its shape after many uses. “We believe it outperforms animal-hair,” Perry added.
Pennellifaro’s specialty is makeup brushes, and the company featured its new Origami collection. The company’s principal, Maurizio Arletti, told visitors the brushes are shaped to perfectly match the contours of the face, and are ideal for applying foundation and powder, flawlessly.
Sara Zanafredi, Pennellifaro’s CEO, participated in a roundtable discussion at the show, speaking about the development of their cruelty-free synthetic fiber, Dermocura. It features “advanced shape memory behavior,” Zanafredi said.
Lots of brands look for decorations to help differentiate on shelf, and suppliers offered all types of decorating options, designed to attract attention.
Compax showed off its shiny foil deco and striking anodized metal finishes on palettes, compacts, mascara bottles, and lipstick cases. “Deco could be considered the makeup that makeup uses to look current and to get attention,” Browning said. “It’s fast, it’s extremely versatile, and there are endless combinations of treatments you can apply to achieve a one-of-a-kind look without ever having to open a mold,” he added.
J-Cop, which is based in Korea, said its strengths lie in its ability to decorate all types of packaging with a gradated finish.
At APC’s booth, Marianna Cilauro, vice president of business development, told us about the expertise it takes to decorate a container using its inner spray technique—and the look is stunning. “An inside gradient spray is a challenge to do, but it is a beautiful, luxe effect. It has more depth, compared to an outer spray, and it eliminates any adherence issues with hot-stamping or screen-printing on the outside of the container,” Cliauro said.
Lady Burd featured liquid metallic eyeshadow, matte makeup sticks, new palettes, and more. The New-York-based private label manufacturer has been working with brands for more than 50 years.
Finding new ways to apply skincare products is another topic that brands are buzzing about, and the show featured several solutions designed to address these issues.
Cosmogen featured a new face tool that attracted lots of attention at the show. It is a “cleansing ball” that looks prickly, and can be paired with a face wash, an exfoliating product, or pore cleanser. The supplier also displayed its new airless tube, Simple Touch, which accommodates thick creams. It will evacuate 98% of a product.
Cosmogen’s team also spoke to visitors about its new “Fresh Look” package, which is a combination of glass and metal. The 20ml customizable glass bottle is ideal for serums, for the eye area or the lips. The applicator has a metal tip made from Zamac, which allows for a “smart application,” the company said. The user applies the product by using the tip to press down gently on the skin.
Lumson’s innovative and stylish Envers airless jar offers skin-care brands variety in container shapes, without sacrificing functionality. Tata Harper’s recent launch, in this jar, was on display. The French brand, La Chênaie, also selected this jar for its Oxygenate Filler Mask. The jar contains an airless pump system that allows for excellent product restitution, while limiting the residue on the bottom of the pack. Lumson decorated the jar using hot stamping and UV screen printing techniques.
SeaCliff Beauty featured a new airtight jar, which is part of its BeautiLock collection. The line is designed for ultra-sensitive formulations, and includes compacts and palettes that are completely airtight, and proven to show less than a 1% loss in weight for solvent and water-based products. SeaCliff Beauty also often works with companies to provide complete, turnkey solutions.
Coffrets, Masks and More
When a brand creates a gift set in a keepsake box, or wants to create a memorable fragrance package, a luxe coffret makes a statement. It makes opening a product feel extra-special. Cosfibel specializes in luxe coffrets and makeup palettes, and its team has worked with many leading luxury beauty and fragrance brands. Cosfibel also produces a broad range of beauty accessories, promotional items, and gift-with-purchases, such as makeup cases and handbags. Several of Cosfibel’s past projects were on display, including an elaborate box for Diesel’s Only the Brave fragrance gift set, which was decorated to look like metal.
The demand for all types of facial masks isn’t showing any sign of slowing, and Taiki says it is the largest global supplier of nonwoven cosmetic masks. The supplier featured several items at the show, including pre-moistened masks, gel masks, and patches. Perry told us, “Our unsurpassed knowledge in masks allow us to create new technologies that offer superior delivery and high moisture content.”
Eisen featured its Click-Fit pencil sharpener, which is engineered to ensure that the cover stays in place, with a “click.” The supplier is also offering its sharpeners in a variety of color options that include pink, blue and green.
A brand chooses to start with a white sharpener for a brighter color after decorating, or a black one for a more toned-down look. Beginning next year, Eisen will offer its sharpeners wrapped, so they can be decorated with a UPC code and sold as stand-alone items.
Innovation Tree Winners
The Innovation Tree, which was a West-Coast-inspired palm tree this year, featured innovative packaging and cosmetics hanging from its branches. The Innovation Tree winners were chosen at the show by makeup designer Michele Burke and Amy Nicole, head of Chic Studios Makeup School, and celebrated at an awards ceremony.
See the slideshow featuring several of the winners on BeautyPackaging.com.
More to Come
Next year’s show dates and venue aren’t confirmed yet, but organizers expect it to take place again in February. Stay tuned for more details about the 2019 edition.