Warning: This is a long, long, LONG post with bad photos. (if you want good photos, read Molkan’s post) Enjoy.
For the second time, I’ve had the pleasure of attending Daisy Beauty Expo, which has kind of become the beauty event of the year (though the upcoming Awards Gala is a definite contender). The expo is a two-day beauty bonanza featuring a day of presentations from brands and experts followed by an exhibit where brands share new products & offer treatments along with plentiful press samples to take home.
The Friday was spent in the classic venue of last year, Tändstickspalatset, where brands presented their news as well as made introductions of their brands and work history. First off was Björk & Berries, a swedish natural beauty brand that’s gained certain popularity overseas – as a result, much of their copy is in english. They presented their brand and new products, including a fragrance called Moonflower that I liked the sound of.
This was followed by AnneMarie Börlind, another natural and organic brand hailing from Germany – this presentation was my favourite! The representative, Iréne von Arronet, was such a mega pro who really knew her audience and shared her knowledge about the differences between natural and synthetic cosmetic formulations in a way that never felt condescending or salesmanlike. Natural beauty is often presented in a way I dislike, but this was not the case at all – I was very impressed.
After this we had a short break where I got chia seeds stuck between my teeth that over the course of the day began to rehydrate in all their slimy goodness. Very sexy. The following presentation was about fragrance, where industry veteran Linda Landenberg introduced her body of work, creative process and namesake fragrance line. Incredibly chic woman who seems to exude passion from every pore – she knows her stuff.
Lastly, Marielle from GlossGods introduced herself, her company (a veritable hydra of ventures – always multiplying, from a store to a school to her own in-house brands) and her values. I outed myself as a geek when I raised my hand to suggest she name her space-themed highlighters after prominent women of the space program. (but to my relief, Tova had also thought of Margaret Hamilton).
After the presentations, we all tottered off to Hotel Kung Carl to have dinner and cackle over glasses of wine like the hags we are. We ate well, drank well, scared the life out of our waiter and had a generally grand time but most of us went to bed at a responsible hour in anticipation of the day ahead.
The main event of the expo is of course day two, the actual exhibition. Starting at 9.00 (with breakfast at 8, gulp!), I actually arrived somewhat on time and unlike last year, I actually recognized some people. I’ve talked about my anxiety issues, and let me tell you, I was much calmer this time around. I’d made a list of priorities for what brands to visit first, but of course that went out the window because apparently I can’t follow my own plans. You’d be here all day if I listed off every single feature, so I’ll stick to notable trends, products and so on.
Firstly, this year’s exhibit was much larger than last year’s, which meant a bigger venue at Strandvägen 7 and many more representatives to speak to. I had a skin consultation with Dermalogica while Emilie tried a facial treatment, and got to chat with the staff about skin in what was by far the most relaxed atmosphere of the entire event. There were candles and little cups of green tea. It was like stepping into an ASMR video where people give you compliments on your pores.
I scared the staff at Saether ,who handle several fragrance and beauty brands in scandinavia, by telling them I liked my perfume to be “filthy”. A little bird told me Shiseido (represented by Saether) will be revamping their entire line – sounds fascinating!
Elemis featured superfood skincare and had the most beautiful cabbage on display. I wanted to cradle this cabbage in my arms like a baby but resisted the urge.
Akademikliniken presented a new serum and I took a moment to ask them about the new domestic restrictions on retinol in skincare products – their retinol serums have been taken off the market since they’re soon to be illegal! They said they’d be formulating something different to hopefully the same effect, so I’m sure it will be all right. There was also a contest to which I was directly challenged by Kicki Norman, editor-in-chief of Daisy Beauty and hostess to the event. I had to beat her, of course – the premise of the contest was to make the ugliest, prettiest or funniest face and post it on instagram. I won first prize for being ugly. I’m a beauty blogger, I swear.
At GlossGods, there were no samples since the new products weren’t finished for the market yet but there was a really fun serum workshop! The cosmetic chemist behind the Skinderella skincare line was there, and you got to sit down and sort of mix up your own serum. I asked for a rose-and-raspberry based formula with honey and sea buckthorn oil, and I’m very excited to try it out.
At the Depend booth, there was a disco theme (remember what I said the other week about disco making a comeback?) and a bunch of very bubbly girls who I asked to stick glitter on my face, very cyborg-esque. Tova, who was wearing a beautiful 60s mini dress with a floral print, got a manicure with a matching floral pattern.
In terms of me being an embarassment, I was introduced by Annahita to the much-admired Kakan (aka Dr Cakeman aka Cookie), and I actually got to meet my idol Susanne Ljung who I basically babbled at like a child. She didn’t call the cops so I say I was successful, and she seemed genuinely happy to be showered in compliments!
Here are some of the main trends I saw presented:
One of the biggest trends in beauty right now is pollution protection, and several brands featured products to shield your skin from the environment. French brand noxidoxi is a line built completely around “detoxing” the skin, while both Akademikliniken and Elizabeth Arden brought up environmental shielding as features of their skincare products. AnneMarie Börlind showed a fascinating face oil which claims to protect the skin from blue light – which we all insist on exposing ourselves to by hovering around screens all the time. (The demo where a blue LED pen couldn’t penetrate the oil kind of blew my mind. But I’m easily impressed.)
Beauty has always relied on certain tools, but in recent years it’s become increasingly gadget driven – LED therapy masks, facial massagers, and scary needle-covered torture devices are only a few examples. At the expo, several brands presented tools and gadgets – Beautysticks sells extraction tools (which strike fear into my heart), Elizabeth Arden offered a hyaluronic acid treatment with what looked like an airbrush pen, Dermalogica zapped your skin with electricity… and of course, hairstyling involved various hot tools and brushes. Among the press samples, makeup brushes and hair brushes were included, as well as products with built-in applicators like the clever mini brush hidden in the lid of the Revlon creme eyeshadow.
Lab samples and prototypes
An interesting feature was the fact that certain brands shared and showed products that were yet to be finished or released – Björk & Berries offered lab samples of their new Rescue Cream, and GlossGods brought fresh highlighter lab samples that didn’t even have final packaging yet. The Acasia team offered their new retinol-infused sheet masks, and these had been rushed fresh from the factory. It’s always fun to see products this early on!
So this is a bit of a sore point. An eternal problem, it seems, especially in my neck of the woods – there’s a problem with diversity in terms of shade ranges. While I understand that the local beauty biz is somewhat homogenous – lots of white girls, myself included – it’s not realistic to offer base products only for people who are the lightest of the light. Many of the brands at the expo have this issue, with nothing more than beige powders and foundations. It doesn’t cut it and it contributes to this very homogenous culture. If consumers of colour are ignored, how can you expect writers of colour to pay attention to you?
I’d planned to stay for the post-expo drinks but I was just knackered so I had to go home and nap, despite having vowed to meet a gaggle of fellow bloggers (Hi Tova, May, Karin , Camilla, other Karin aka Wicked Witch of Västkusten, Ida…who am I forgetting…) for cocktails after… but after a few hours of nearly sleeping, I managed to drag myself out of bed and head back to the city for a bit of steak tartare and an overpriced cocktail. I’m glad I did, because it was such a nice ending to an intense weekend – meeting so many new people and reconnecting with familiar faces can take it out of you but it’s also kind of energizing.
I’m glad to be part of a community of people who are so passionate, kind and hilarious.