NEW YORK — Beauty industry veteran Suzanne Grayson watched a dream materialize into reality over the weekend, as she welcomed a conga line of visitors to the first annual consumer beauty and wellness expo, Pathways to Beauty and Well-Being.

The three-day conference was held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here and ended Sunday. The goal of the expo, explained Grayson, Pathways founder and president of Grayson Associates, was to create an exciting, nonintimidating environment for consumers to gain exposure to the latest beauty and well-being products, and to offer attendees an educational experience.

The expo housed 161 exhibitors — touting more than 2,000 different brands — across five pavilions, covering beauty, personal care, nutrition and health, fitness and personal growth. More than 21,450 attendees visited Pathways over the show’s run, according to organizers. “Every exhibitor was delighted,” said Karen Crawford, show director and group vice president for Pathways. “It was really exciting to see all these attendees getting makeovers, new hairdos, facials, massages and free gifts and samples.”

Grayson, whose extensive career included 14 years at Revlon, dreamed up the concept several years ago and has worked to enlist sponsors ever since. Publisher of Allure magazine Nancy Berger recalled discussing the concept with Grayson nearly a year and a half ago, and joked Allure ought to have thought of the idea first.

The beauty magazine, along with Self, Fitness, Teen People, New York magazine and New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, sponsored nearly 40 seminars, covering topics such as dropping a hairdresser to starting a business.

Shortly before the show floor opened Friday afternoon, Grayson presented Emmy Award winning soap-opera star Susan Lucci with the first ever Pathways “Yes You Can” Award, which was created to honor women who have overcome obstacles, or have helped other women succeed. Other recipients of the annual award included CNN anchor Paula Zahn and High Voltage, a personal trainer whose high-profile client list includes Katie Couric.

Drag queen and fashionista RuPaul was on hand, inconspicuous in a smart-looking seersucker suit, to watch High Voltage, his personal trainer, accept the “Yes You Can” Award. In between booth visits, RuPaul stopped to talk beauty, confiding that his favorite products of the moment include Decleor skin care and MAC eye pencils.

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