This past weekend, I had the privilege to be invited to Daisy Beauty Expo, a major conference arranged by Daisy Beauty Magazine, currently the only domestic publication focused solely on beauty.

Now, I’ve been to many conferences but none like this – my experience is with the depressing charity conferences that are important but not very cheerful. Daisy Beauty Expo was like a hug. A hug with great skin. Despite having been an active blogger for less than a year, I was welcomed with the exemplary grace and community, and had a wonderful time. Big thanks to Kicki Norman and Sam Bergenstråhle for being such gracious hosts, and a special shout out to Linnea Öst for her kind words when we spoke. I’d also like to thank Valerie for being wonderful.

It was a two-day affair, split into one day for presentations and lectures, the other for the actual exhibition. Day one featured two presentations by L’Oreal, one by Mette Picaut of M Picaut, L.Y.X Cosmetics and finally Apoteket, the formerly state-owned pharmacy.

L’Oreal Paris started the day with a somewhat self-congratulatory presentation on their sustainability program. While I appreciate their initiatives for eco-conscious production and sustainable staff policies, I wish they’d left us a little space to ask questions. I really prefer to ask in a way that lets everyone hear the answer! And that a multi-national conglomerate can be truly ethical seems unlikely to me. It’s a little odd to see a company that manufactures skin-bleaching products claim to be inclusive of all races. Not to sound political or anything.

The sustainability presentation was followed by some new releases for the coming few weeks, from the colour cosmetics, skincare and haircare lines. Most interesting was the fiber mascara, cleansing cream and brow pencils launching january and glossy lip paints and blush palettes launching february. Most disappointing was the concealer palette that only comes in one colour – so much for covering “every ethnicity” (this was, rightly, questioned by Karin who is in general a beautiful being with brains in abundance)

After L’Oreal’s presentation, L.Y.X cosmetics took the floor to present their new product, Lacqua. L.Y.X is a nail product brand that is known for their Lackryl and ONE STEP hypoallergenic at-home LED-set gel polish systems. Lacqua is their water-based polish system, which looks very promising for those of us who want to avoid solvent fumes. Interestingly, this is also a peel-off polish, so you don’t need to use any nail polish remover either! I’m very curious to try it out. Beauty editor of Femina, Jessica Blockström, sat next to me during the lecture and she showed me her nails that had been done with Lacqua and they looked great! She gave them a review on her blog (in Swedish, but google translate isn’t half bad these days!). Lacqua is available for purchase already!

This was followed by Mette Picaut who was a true energizer, a really funny and approachable lady who runs eco-skincare brand M Picaut. She’s picked up on the gemstones in beauty trend by launching a mask containing malachite. Now, malachite is gorgeous but also notoriously toxic, so there were some questions raised about the choice to include it in the formula – but I have no fears about testing the product on my skin – EWG, known to be extremely alarmist, only rate malachite low-hazard. Plus, the rest of the ingredient list is filled with things I love – niacinamide, squalene, hyaluronic acid… it’s a buffet of skincare delicacies. Eco-beauty isn’t usually my cup of tea, but for this I make exceptions.

The final presentation of the day was Apoteket, a pharmacy chain known for their strict criteria for stocking products. They’re revamping their colour cosmetic line under the Apoliva brand, featuring hypoallergenic ingredients and no preservatives (except for the mascaras). Toxicologist Winta Woldai was concise and precise as she took us through the ingredient lists.

Unfortunately, this line is not shade-inclusive either, which is pretty underwhelming. However, they are launching a series of complexion products specifically for dark skin during the coming year!

Apoteket finished their presentation with a lecture by Pär Svanberg, a doctor of chemistry who’s committed to debunking myths about cosmetic ingredients. This time, he clarified whether us beauty junkies were actually to blame for microplastic pollution – spoiler alert, the cosmetics industry accounts for 0.1% of ocean microplastic contamination.

To finish this long and very info-dense day, I got to spend some time with a really wonderful gang of beauty influencers (including the queen of the swedish beauty blogosphere, Annahita Yazdi, who by the way is an angel in person) who I’d never met before in my life, but if you get a group of girls together and introduce backstreet boys and wine, good things are bound to come out of it. I’m more or less ready to live in an all-girl skincare commune.

Stay tuned for day 2!