Saturday, Oct 1 I went to BeautyCon NYC for the first time with my friend Christina. (P.S. she is one of the founders of Women of Color in Tech, check it out!) We bought our tickets a few months prior and opted to splurge on the Hauler Package. With the Hauler Package we received early entry to shop the brands that were there and also got a sweet swag bag. I’m assuming that what we got in swag made up for the difference in a General Admission ticket and the Hauler Package.
Besides the upside of the swag bag, the Hauler Package was a great decision for anyone that has anxiety in crowds. Once the doors for General Admission ticket holders opened the venue became packed to the point where everyone was squished together. It was almost impossible to move around. If you’ve ever been at a concert that was standing room only and wondered how you mysteriously moved from one area to other without conciously walking there, then realized it was the force of the crowd that did it, you’ll understand what it’s like at BeautyCon once GA opens. I was planning on staying to watch many of the panels, but it was way too crowded and I couldn’t handle it.
My favorite exhibitor was QVC. They had the largest setup and within it, they had some of their most popular beauty brands. From Julep to Laura Geller to Madam CJ Walker Beauty and many more. Even more than that, both the brands and QVC gave out great samples, many of them were full sized. I received a full sized Philosophy Shampoo, Bath, and Shower Gel in Lemon Custard and a full-size Laura Geller blush in Maui which retails for $28. Madam CJ Walker was also giving out customizable deep conditioners and had their various oils for sale. What stuck out the most about the oils, particularly the Jamaican black castor oil, was how lovely they smelled. If you’ve ever used Jamaican black castor oil, you know the smell is far from pleasant. Julep also had a great deal going on as well. With a purchase of $40 or more you received a gift of 12 nail polishes. So Christina and I both bought a Lip Whip Matte Lip Mousse for $20 and split the nail polishes between us. (This is part of why going to conventions like this with at least 1 friend is a great strategy) Julep also gave out samples of their cleansing oil and a full-size Charcoal Konjac Sponge which retails for $12. I also got to meet the founder of Julep, Jane Park, and she is absolutely lovely.
Another great exhibitor was SokoGlam. Not only were they giving out smaller samples, but if you took a picture at their booth and posted it to Instagram, you got the chance to spin the prize wheel for a full sized product. I won the Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence which retails for $49. Wow!
The exhibitor that I spent the most time at was Milani, mainly waiting. The line was very long and for good reason. Milani’s makeup artists were color matching their Conceal + Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation and Concealer. However, I wasn’t there for the foundation, I came for the Amore Matte Lip Cremes and Amore Matte Metallic Lip Cremes. Soooo many beautiful colors. I wanted them all, but only bought 6. Due to the rough week I’ve had, I can’t remember what the BeautyCon deal was but just know it was fabulous.
I also stopped by Pacifica and picked up 2 lipglosses and a lipstick and I believe those 3 added up to only $15. I bought a Tangle Teezer (for scientific purposes) for $10. A Real Techniques sponge for less than $5 and received a foundation brush as a free gift. I stopped by Luxie Brushes and bought 2 brushes, the large powder brush 502 and a blending brush 229. The deal was 20% off, plus and extra 10% off when you texted a special code. So all together I spent less than half of what I had budgeted because I was going off my IMATS experiences.
In terms of IMATS vs BeautyCon, I still prefer IMATS. There is so much more to buy and try. The venue is much better able to comfortably accommodate the large crowds. The crowd also skews older, more professional, and are there for the love of the art. I can strike up a good conversation with just about anyone at IMATS and don’t feel like an auntie at the club. BeautyCon has a much bigger emphasis on big name influencers, so much of the crowd is there for meet and greets or just to see their favorite YouTuber in person. I prefer IMATS’ emphasis on education over BeautyCon’s focus on popular influencers, although I adore most of the big influencers too because they really gave me my base of knowledge in the makeup world. Another big drawback of BeautyCon NYC was that there didn’t appear to be any free wifi. Very strange for a convention whose biggest draw is social media celebs to not have a way for its attendees to post about it without using their data.
The few areas that I prefer BeautyCon over IMATS are the swag and other free samples. Also, the food trucks right outside the venue were super convenient and the food was tasty and, for NYC, surprisingly not priced too crazy. I also like that it didn’t focus solely on makeup like IMATS, but had haircare and skincare vendors as well. BeautyCon also had water stations throughout the venue, which I loved and took full advantage of.
All in all BeautyCon NYC was a fun experience for me, during the Hauler hours. However, I don’t think it will be on my list of must attend conventions/expos in the future. I’d recommend it for younger people though, especially those that are new to the world of beauty products.
Now to take a look at my BeautyCon NYC haul: