BOLOGNA, Italy — Buyers at Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna’s 52nd edition lauded the wide variety of beauty brands displayed at the trade fair, which took place March 14 to 18 here.
“I look for a needle in a haystack…something that strikes my fancy,” said Ian Jay Ginsberg, president of C.O. Bigelow. “For distribution, we look for body and fragrance [products]. For retail, I look for anything I think is unique and interesting for Bigelows.”
Some brands that jumped out for him included UpCircle Beauty, which takes coffee grounds and brewed chai tea spices culled from London cafés and restaurants and repurposes them for skin care. Founded by William Brightman and his sister, Anna, the company began two years ago, but its rebranded concept launched in December.
Not only contributing to the circular economy, UpCircle’s product formulas are full of antioxidants and help brighten skin, among other effects. “It’s a great story to tell,” said Ginsberg. “The idea was really cool.”
He also liked Paso a Paso Cosmetics’ cleansing paste that lathers into a dense, yet light foam, and the Resibo skin-care brand. “It’s 99 percent natural, the packaging is all in paper,” said Ginsberg. “It was pretty forward, great ingredients and story, and pricing was reasonable.”
Among the other brands he called out was the Green nail label that was introduced 18 months ago by Manicurist, based in Paris. The 54-item range features formulas that are up to 84 percent natural, obtained by using ingredients such as potato, wheat and corn.
Credo Beauty’s cofounder and chief operating officer Annie Jackson said Cosmoprof Bologna is “unparalleled in terms of the assortment.”
“We are looking for brands that have a very strong ingredient story, where we can talk about the efficacy of certain ingredients,” she said. “Our customer is very savvy about ingredients.”
Brands that typically do well for Credo include Marie Veronique, Tata Harper and Indie Lee. “For us, it’s not just about a brand founder, which is a very important part of the puzzle, but it also needs to set on a very strong ingredient standard.”
Credo has its own clean standard, which isn’t limited to a restricted substance list, but also includes elements such as ingredients, sourcing, safety, sustainability, labeling and claims.
She was interested in a number of brands at Cosmoprof, naming UpCircle Beauty and the Skin Regimen brand, launched in 2017 by Davines Group’s professional skin-care division Comfort Zone.
Skin Regimen is Davines’ first venture into the retail channel and targets Millennials with skin conditions caused by stress and pollution. Designed to be functional, its formulas are enriched with the Longevity Complex, a mix of organic and super-food extracts, such as spinach and wild indigo, and the high-tech molecule carnosine, billed to fight the effects of stress and aging accelerators.
The products, which come in fully sustainable packaging, are already sold in Paris’ Le Bon Marché and Liberty of London, and will launch this year in Italy’s professional channel.
“Beaudiani is a Korean brand with a strong ingredient story,” continued Jackson, referring to the natural label with four types of masks coming with aromatherapy, moisturizing and nutritional claims. Some are to be used to combat signs of aging, while there’s an offer, too, for children.
Kacey Purifoy, president and cofounder of Cult & Commerce, said she was at the fair as a distributor and liaison between international brands and U.S. retailers.
“I’m really excited about Maison8Puro,” she said. “It’s a really beautiful, elevated hair-care brand, that had such a beautiful, unique booth I felt like I was stepping into another universe. The atmosphere, its branding — everything — was just so gorgeous.
“I’ve also loved a brand called Yope, from Warsaw. It was really exciting,” she continued.
While many brands at the fair weren’t necessarily ready for the U.S. market by her estimate, “those who do really stand out [are] really exciting and invigorating, [with] nice founders, great packaging and interesting trends,” she said.
Here’s a selection of some other standout brands spotted at the show:
Founder: Hyunjung Heidi Kim
Home base: Seoul
Description: Currently available only in Seoul, this indie brand aims to boost women’s self-confidence by offering masks and products for parts of the body not commonly addressed specifically. For instance, there’s the moisturizing and volumizing “BumBum Mask,” made to adapt to every shape, as well as a lifting mask for the neck and a brightening option for hands. Retailing online at $15, the Wonder-full and Love Your Body sticks plump and lighten darkened body parts.
Founders: Kate Namgung and Daniella Jung
Home base: Seoul
Description: This three-month-old vegan and cruelty-free skin-care brand offers formulations mainly based on coffee bean oil and coffee grounds, full of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamin E and natural caffeine benefits. Beigic’s founders believe exfoliation is a crucial step in a beauty routine, so they developed exfoliant products for the face, body and hair, such as the Correcting Exfoliator. The line, which includes products such as a face toner, illuminating cream and the bestselling Regenerating Oil, retails online at beigic.com with prices ranging from $40 to $60.
Founder: Andrew Grella
Home base: Canada
Description: This practical product range masks skin imperfections. It includes the Brightening CC Cream, which acts as moisturizer; primer and sun protector, and concealer compacts with three shades. A mascara, eyebrow pen and eye patches are also part of the line, with prices ranging from $19.99 to $35. At Cosmoprof, Formen was introducing a liquid foundation in a dark, skull-shaped bottle. Alongside e-commerce, the brand is distributed in 55 doors in Canada and debuted this month in Milan’s Rinascente department store.
Parent company: Khiron Life Sciences Corp.
Home base: Bogotá, Colombia
Description: Khiron Life Sciences Corp., a vertically integrated cannabis company with core operations in Latin America, launched Kuida as part of its wellness division that’s developing cosmeceutical products based on cannabidol’s antioxidant benefits. In the seven-item line, the combination of cannabis and active ingredients, a technology dubbed CBDerm, was created to retain water within skin, reduce blocked pores, prevent aging and give more skin elasticity.
Brand: Hemp Care
Parent Company: Allegrini SpA
Home base: Bergamo, Italy
Description: All of the brand’s product formulations are based on Italian organic hemp oil. This line, with about 40 items, aims to bring the ingredient’s anti-aging, soothing and elasticizing properties to different product categories, spanning hair and skin care to scents and home fragrances, which blend hemp leaves with Sicilian citrus, sage, white rose, jasmine, spicy and woody notes. Last year the brand was expanded to include the Hemp Care Beard Club, targeting the men’s grooming category, and the Hemp Care Spa Experience, offering professional products.
Brand: Dear Dahlia
Parent company: Baram International Co. Ltd.
Home base: Seoul
Description: Formulas of this vegan, cruelty-free makeup brand are based on a pure extract of the Dahlia variabilis flower to deliver antioxidants and vitamin C benefits. Currently available in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand, the label offers products across the lip, eye and face categories, as well as cleansing products and accessories. Key lines include the Lip Paradise range that comes in creamy textures, with rice bran wax and high-pigment colors created without using carmine and beeswax, and the Paradise Dual Palette combining lip, cheek and eye shadows.
Description: Born from a collaboration between a Japanese biotech concern and U.S. marketers, the four-unit range of serums — called Brighten, Drench, Re-Gen and Resist — allows people to mix products themselves according to their skin’s needs. Formulas include patented AntiBody science from Japan, which combats antigens that speed the formation of fine lines, wrinkles and dull-looking skin, and high-tech ingredients. Each 30-ml. product is priced at $180.
Brand: A DrBrand
Founders: Georgia Lee and Patsy Ong-Hahl
Home base: Singapore
Description: This brand includes beauty products, skin supplements, scalp care and treatments, and medic-aesthetic spas. It has 55 references, of which 35 are available in the retail channel. A DrBrand has more than 95 percent natural ingredients in each product, and says over 90 percent of its ingredients are produced in Japan. Today, its business is primarily in Singapore and Thailand.
Brand: Chic Chiq
Founders: Patrycja and Amol Rotithor
Home base: Kraków, Poland
Description: Mixing the Indian ayurvedic tradition with a DIY approach to beauty, this brand offers five powder facial masks activated when mixed with warm water. There are no added preservatives and stabilizers in the formulas, while ingredients include white turmeric, rose petals, algae, coconut sugar, mango, rice and chickpeas. The powders are available in sustainable bamboo jars and paper sachets, retailing approximately at $25 and $6, respectively.