Inside the Coachella of the Beauty World
Beautycon first launched in 2015 as a small-scale meetup for beauty bloggers. Now, it's grown to become the hottest international ticket for beauty brands and devoted consumers alike. Think of it as the Coachella of the beauty world, with multiple stages hosting over 100,000 attendees in New York City, Dallas, London, Dubai, and Tokyo.
On August 10-11 in Los Angeles, Beautycon brought beauty-obsessed fans, over 150 brands, celebrities, influencers, entrepreneurs and tastemakers in the beauty space together in one room. Ticket prices ranged from a $45 one-day general admission ticket to a $1500 executive package, which included a two-hour early entrance, a free VIP swag bag stuffed with over $200 worth of beauty and wellness products, front row seats at the main stage, and scheduled meetups with influencers and celebrities.
And it wasn't just the high-dollar attendees that got samples — in fact, buzzy beauty samples are a huge part of the draw for the event. Target handed out holographic beauty bags based on attendees’ astrological signs and Ulta offered out first-look vials of Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” fragrance. It’s 720,000 square feet of beauty, and for makeup and skincare-obsessed attendees, it’s a utopia.
Attendees from across the country waited in lines to reap the benefits of their Beautycon scannable wristbands, stock up on samples, shop new products, and participate in giveaways galore. Brands in attendance included Glossier, Huda Beauty, L'Oreal Paris,, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Bioderma and more.
Throughout the weekend, Beautycon hosted a series of panel discussions, many of them focused on the event’s mission statement: redefining beauty standards, staying on top of the rapidly-changing industry, and making the beauty space more inclusive for everyone. Expert makeup artists, including Hung Vanngo, took the stage to talk about how the industry is shifting and forcing artists to become influencers in their own right. Beauty influencers like Wuzzam Supa, Liza Koshy, Marsai Martin, and Angie Nwandu discussed the importance of using their influence to make a positive difference in their communities, including how they use their platforms for social impact. Beautycon also hosted panel discussions with some of the industry’s most influential celebrities, including InStyle July 2019 cover star Priyanka Chopra, Kelly Rowland, Ciara, and Yalitza Aparicio.
Aparicio admitted she'd never heard of Beautycon before being invited to take the main stage for a fireside chat about her newfound fame. “After learning about the mission statement and the history of the event, I realized it was a great opportunity to talk about self-love and validation and contribute to the conversation," she told InStyle. Beautycon is known challenge traditional standards and redefine what beauty means, championing enthusiasts of all ages, races, and identities. With her chat focusing on indigenous representation. "Now that I'm a part of the conversation," Aparicio says, "I want to tell young women and young girls that diversity is really powerful."
And then there were the photo ops. Dose of Colors offered their golden ball pit for Boomerangs, while beverage brand Vital Proteins filled an entire swimming pool with bottles of their collagen-infused drink. Juicy Couture brought the '90s vibes, officially dropping their new makeup collection at the event. Sally Beauty offered full-service hairstyling, while festival-goers flocked to receive technicolor braids at the rainbow-colored booth hosted by six-year-old influencer Taylen Biggs.
But the most popular installation of the weekend was Huda Beauty. For the first time at Beautycon, the brand hosted a pop-up shop and photo booth, complete with a handful of ring lights; all positioned to give you the perfect selfie. Lines to visit the booth wrapped around the entire convention center.
It was so crowded, in fact, that brand founder Huda Kattan tells InStyle, "We had to close our booth like three times because the fire marshal showed up. The people, the energy, everybody's love for beauty, it's overwhelming. I can't believe we didn't do it before."