This past weekend was BeautyCon. A convention that endeavors to bring together
“…high-energy IRL experiences, around the world, for creators, traditional celebrities, brands and fans, to come together around common interests – beauty, fashion, style and staying true to yourself.”
In the last year or so I embarked on an adventure exploring makeup and the many reasons people use it. I am very fond of the saying, “There are no rules in makeup.” And I am of the firm opinion that as long as YOU are the one that likes the way you look (no matter how you wear makeup) then that is all that matters. To me makeup is about creativity.
When a friend suggested that we go to Beautycon I was really intrigued and agreed. We decided to go with general admission tickets because the higher VIP levels were out of our price range. When we looked at the attending guests a few days prior to the event there were several listed that we would have been happy to see-even from a distance. Grav3yardgirl, Patrick Starr, MannyMUA, and Madeyewlook were all listed at that time. (I’ve since gone back to look at the list of guests and they are no where to be found [other than Grav3yardgirl] – I can only assume that they updated the list the day of.)
Excited about the prospect of meeting some of the people I actually keep up with on occasion via You-tube and Instagram as well as seeing what new and exciting things were happening, my friend and I made our way to Fair Park on Saturday afternoon to see what Beautycon was all about.
We stood in line for a solid 45 minutes just to get into the building. Exchanging our paper tickets for wrists bands that were scanned not once but twice. This really didn’t bother me too much, though it could have been handled more efficiently.
Once inside the building we paused for a moment. I had to switch out my sunglasses for my actual glasses and we practically ran into folks standing in a line waiting to take selfies against a chalkboard that was covered in names and “red carpet” wall. After side stepping the line I had my first look at room.
The first thing I noticed: almost every makeup vendor had a selfie station and smack in the middle of everything was the convention swag truck. You know, the place you can pick up t-shirts, sweatershirts etc. The lines were relatively short and we decided to go ahead and pick up something to commemorate our first Beautycon. As we stood in line it didn’t take us long to decide on the “swag bag” or tote. It was stuffed with things (it was actually quite heavy to carry about) and for the price seemed to be the best value. After acquiring our swag we began to wander the convention.
Now, I’ve been to a few conventions in my time. And in general I get the flow. There were several panels that were being held throughout the day. One of them was about contouring which had my interest. When we walked past the stage and saw the seating I knew there was no way that I would be able to listen let alone watch. We caught the introduction to the first panel and my friend was amazed at how some of the audience lost it as the panel came through the crowd to the stage. While I didn’t know a single person that was introduced it was clear that they were part of the You-Tube Generation. As my friend expressed her amazement at the reactions of attendees I quipped that I wasn’t surprised. Just as we had icons and inspiration, these girls represented the same thing. We listened briefly about having a crew a squad before moving on to look at some of the vendors.
As I said, I’ve been to a few conventions and sort of knew what to expect. There would be lines for meet and greets and pictures and possibly a queue in order to pay for things. As we walked around I noticed something rather odd. The entire space was filled with snaking lines. They wound about everywhere. At first I thought they were for the many selfie stations or the meet and greet with Grav3yardgirl. When I walked up to the Crown Brushes booth to look at their brushes a woman standing next to me pointed in a direction and said “The line is somewhere back there.” There was a solid 4 feet on either side of me were no one standing. It looked like there was no one at the booth. I looked in the direction the woman pointed and was floored to see a line of 50 people or more. And that’s when I noticed that EVERY vendor booth was like that. It totally floored me. It seemed that if I wanted to look at ANYTHING I had to stand in line to do so. And with the number of attendees it would take upwards of an hour or more just to get through a single line to a booth. It was ridiculous. The convention was only open from 12 -6 p.m. and if we had to stand and wait in line to see every vendor we wanted to see we would have made it through less than half.
At every other convention I’ve been to the only lines I had to stand in was to pay for what I wanted to buy, not to actually look at what was available. We managed to stop by some of the smaller booths that had no lines – The Cutlife which is a blog for folks with short hair and their sponsor Carole’s Daughter (I had never heard of them but they make hair products). We put on some wigs and took some fun snaps, watched a girl getting her hair done – it looked amazing- and then tried to move on.
My friend and I walked about the convention for a solid hour and half trying to look at the vendors. When we finally paused to decide what we wanted to do we realized that our swag bags had samples or full-sized products from the majority of the vendors or sponsors. So we decided to leave. I spotted a jewelry vendor just before we walked out and stopped to look. I got some information about their jewelry and purchased a pair of Quay sunglasses. The folks manning that booth were very friendly and the exchange was pleasant.
Back in the car we dove into the swag bags. There were full-sized items from NYX, Tarte, Garnier, Maybeline, Lime Crime, Eden and others. While some of it may not have been something we would normally pick up (there was an entire acne treatment kit included) it did have a nice variety. I am particularly fond of the purple eyeliner from NYX and the liquid lipstick from Lime Crime that was in my swag bag.
This was my first BeautyCon, it was my friend’s first convention ever. While the bag was cool and some of the smaller booths were interesting. Were were left with an overall negative impression of the event. Perhaps this is how all BeautyCons are. I simply don’t know. My friend said she read an article that stated BeautyCon had some “growing up” to do and was only 4 years old. I’m inclined to agree after my experience there.
In the meantime I’m going to ComicCon with my friend to show her what BeautyCon has the potential to grow up to be.