Beautycon Festival NYC is busting out of Brooklyn this year and taking up residence at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The move was facilitated by the need to accommodate the 15,000 to 16,000 attendees, talent and brands expected this year. That’s up from about 12,000 who traveled to Brooklyn for Beautycon’s New York debut last year. “We realized we were simply out of space and we had huge demand from brands and attendees,” said Moj Mahdara, chief executive officer of Beautycon Media. Last year, there were about 200 brands and she expects a 35 percent increase this year. The event, which kicks off April 21, has also been extended to two days this year. Indications are the festival will sell out at least a week in advance.
On the schedule to appear are Halle Berry, Paris Hilton, Lucy Hale, Laverne Cox, Iskra Lawrence and Mario Dedivanovic (MakeupbyMario). There will be panel discussion with celebrity keynotes, celebrity and creator meet-ups and brand activations. “Paris Hilton is one of the original YouTubers, Instagrammers, reality stars,” Mahdara said, adding she’ll be chatting with Teen Vogue’s Phil Picardi. Hale will host a fireside chat discussing her experiences in Hollywood and how she’s achieved her own confidence in the industry.
Some prestige brands are first-timers this year, such as Bobbi Brown, MAC and K-beauty company Soko Glam. “It is nice to see prestige starting to come in. We are no longer thought of as a teeny bopper, YouTube gathering. It is becoming a staple in the beauty industry. We’ve been working hard to get everyone’s trust,” Mahdara explained. Other confirmed vendors include Almay, Lumiere by Lisa, SheaMoisture, Winky Lux, Califia Farms, Pop Beauty, Pixi by Petra, Trèstique, YesTo, Skin Forum, Sooae, Revlon, NYX, Not Your Mother’s, NudeStix, MAC, MODA, Lime Crime, LOV Cosmetics, Grande Cosmetics, Kokie, Essence Cosmetics, Glamcor, Catrice Cosmetics, COTZ, Bioderma, BeautySoClean, BioClarity and AJ Crimson.
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Mahdara said two new areas will bow this year, K-Town and B-Well. K-Town brings in Korean beauty-inspired brands, especially skin care. B-Well fuses health and wellness with beauty. “I think we have realized that beauty has converged into health and well-being,” said Mahdara in regard to adding the B-Well activation. “The category includes supplements, oils, humidifiers, face masks — all of these things that aren’t necessarily cosmetics. In the fullest manifestation, I see B-Well becoming a huge counterpart to Beautycon.” B-Well will be stamped out to other Beautycon events. Signed on for the inaugural activation are Tampax, Kind, Califia Farms, Quip, Vitafusion, Pursoma, Som Sleep, Hippeas, BioClarity, Eden Body Works, Bikini Zone, BeautyKind, Cotz, Feather & Bone, Vow Beauty, Lumière by Lisa, Kevita and Honest Tea.
Next up will be Beautycon Los Angeles in July, which attracted more than 20,000 people last year and is on track to grow 40 percent each year. Then London in November, which is also on target to break last year’s attendance. “Beautycon is growing because once beauty became democratized, it opened up the floodgates for everyone to participate.”