On any given day, the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles is buzzing with the goings-on of the city’s fashion industry. Racks of clothing are pushed and pulled from here to there, buyers bounce from one showroom to the next. Hopeful designers showcase the next season’s must-have dress or handbag. That all changed when the top floor penthouse hosted the Indie Beauty Expo for three days of free-spirited gorgeousness.
Now in its third year, the IBE has now become the largest exposition for independent beauty, lifestyle and wellness brands to connect with buyers, media and consumers. The IBE expo hosts over 100 vendors from around the globe in an industry where independent brands have become more influential and integral than ever. This year’s event expanded to include interactive panels of experts, the IBE TV Media Channel, Best in Show awards, workshops and retail advisory services. The event has become such a big deal, in fact, that even legendary make-up scion Bobbi Brown was on hand to lend her expert insights.
Diversity was the name of the game at this year’s IBE, and we would be hard pressed to select only a handful of stand-outs. Rather, we’ve chosen to briefly highlight many of the visionary brands that made IBE 2017 the premier beauty event for numerous industry insiders and writers.
Beauty from the inside out is making real headway. HUM Nutrition not only targets nutritional beauty needs with gluten-free and non-GMO supplements, they had the most colourful packaging anywhere. For smoothie lovers, a scoop of Vital Nutrients’ Collagen Peptides or Marine Collagen helps fight father time with all-natural ingredients.
The make-up-obsessed on the prowl for the perfect lipstick will worship the Hollywood goddess-inspired collection by Julie Hewett. Camellia oil is the secret weapon for lipsticks, encased in a retro golden tube, to keep lips nourished and soft. By contrast, farm-to-face make-up brand Au Naturale’s products are crafted in purely vegan formulas (including the brushes) for a sheer and natural glow.
Hair care also gets the organic treatment. Beauty with a Twist bottles sulphate-free hair care that smells like a beach vacation, while Lotus RX is the only organic prescription-strength dandruff-control shampoo. For the definitive hair indulgence, Jordan Seban L’Huile is a luxurious blend of oils in a vanity table-worthy artisan bottle.
Sheet facial treatment masks were everywhere (too bad this wasn’t a Halloween party). Korean import Leaders Insolution combats virtually any skin condition along with some playful packaging. Made from 100 per cent coconut fibres, Florapy hydrating facial masks are infused with healing flowers and aromatherapy.
Organic nail products are also on-trend. Jessica Cosmetics has launched light-free gel polishes in striking shades. Also on hand were an abundance of skin and body care lines imbued with rare oils from exotic lands. Coincidentally, they all begin with the letter A: Bella Aura, Akar and Amazonia for starters. Allira Naturals is a unique body care line that utilizes raw ingredients and recipes inspired by the Aboriginals.
Handy-dandy tools and accessories were also generating palpable excitement. There was Dermaflash, the first and only at-home dermaplaning device on the market, and Blackout, a special reusable make-up remover cloth with complexion and environmental benefits.
The skin care category is the most expansive at any beauty show. IBE was no exception, with representation from the worlds of organic and clinical skin care. There was long-time cult favourite Honey Girl Organics alongside Pûr Attitude, a boutique skin care line whose water-free technology delivers pure hydration, essential nutrients and powerful antioxidants. The Seaweed Bath Company delivers a proprietary blend of hand-harvested seaweed that carries multiple skin and sensory benefits. Renowned naturopath Dr Trevor Cates, a.k.a. the Spa Dr, showcased her high-performance skin care, nutritional supplements, and new book Clear Skin from within. RMD, founded by eminent dermatologist Dr Ronald Moy, employs specific DNA enzymes to repair damaged and ageing skin. Using a curated Cell Protection Protein, Lift Lab is an advanced clinical line designed to restore skin to its youthful state.
Hey, this was just the beginning! To see for yourself, check out this year’s Best in Show winners at shop.indiebeautyexpo.com.—Jody Miller, LA Correspondent