Last year I missed this awesome event, and knew that this year, I couldn't let that happen. I didn't really have any expectations, but I wanted to see and interact with a ton of brands, which is great for the site! What I got out of it, was much more. Prior to going to the event, I met up with Ashley of GreenBunnyVideo, who was seriously, the highlight of my day. Prior to the event, we had an awesome city date, and even created lipsticks at Bite Beauty Lip Lab, which was my second time and her first. Awesome vegan food was eating, tons of city walking, cute photo shoot stops and of course, Indie Beauty Expo.
I will disclaim, I am going to be 100% honest about this event and there are some negative aspects of it, that I don't want to go unnoticed. With that said, I want to first talk about the line. There were 2 lines to wait in, and absolutely no guidance on whether you were on the right one or not. Because of that, I ended up finding out that I was actually in the VIP line, and had to merge towards the door, and had other people complain. I felt bad about it, but I had waited in line and truthfully didn't want to start again. So there's one of my complaints, but once I was in the door...it was smooth sailing.
As soon as you enter, you have booth upon booth of brands and products, so much to see and honestly, so LITTLE time. This is my second complaint. The event was from 5 to 9, and you think, great...I have time to go throughout the whole facility and see what I want to buy and then go back. Nope, making one round throughout the entire expo, took pretty much the whole 4 hours. I had to run back to 2 of the booths I wanted to buy from, and I forgot to go back to some. A couple of brands actually had no products at the venue, and allowed you to shop online with the discount. There are pros and cons for this. My pro is that I didn't have to cary the things home, and for those traveling, it was less baggage. The con, I will have to pay for shipping once I do order it, and the coupon code ends up counteracting that. Regardless, I got a couple of goodies, but not as much as I had planned on buying.
While I didn't spend a ton of money, and didn't buy a bunch of products, I did get to talk to brand owners, and interact with them. I got to meet some of Ashley's fans and hung out with 2 other cruelty free bloggers. The event was successful and the best part was meeting Lori of Lua Skincare, who I have featured on Meet The Maker this year. She was also extremely kind enough to give me 2 new items to try out, and I'm going to state it already, the Sweet Tobacco oil perfume is the best perfume I've tried in a very very long time (can't stop wearing it). I'm completely obsessed with the smell and wear it all the time (like right now as I type this). I have to collect them all now, so kudos to Lori, because she even ended up on Nylon's Indie Expo spotlight post.
Speaking of Nylon, another brand that was mentioned on that list, that I am so obsessed with and can't wait to work with them, is Electric Ink. They automatically grabbed my attention because I have tattoos and seeing a brand like that at an indie expo, was refreshing. I totally fell in love with the oil, and plan on getting the serum for new and fresh ink. They are based in UK, but their stuff is actually sold at Urban Outfitters.
Overall, my experience was great, but there are definitely improvements to be made. One last thing I want to add is that the beauty influencer panel speakers, weren't really indie, or clean beauty bloggers. I thought that was a bit unfortunate and very commercial. I didn't get to see the panels, but none of them called my attention, so I don't think I really missed out. But this also goes with the time frame, how would someone go through the whole venue and still be able to see a panel?
But I digress. Indie Beauty Expo sent out a survey to the guests, and I gave my honest feedback, just like in this post. I'm looking forward to next years and to all the brands and makers I'll be meeting then. Until next time.
If you're curious as to what I got at the IBE, don't forget to check out my YouTube video.