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Show Notes: The Vegas Diaries

Heading to Las Vegas for Cosmoprof NA? Rachel Brown scopes out the latest hot spots—on and off the show floor.

America is becoming more diverse and so is Cosmoprof North America. The section Tones of Beauty returns with a selection of multicultural brands curated by Corey Huggins, founder and chief executive officer of media group Love, Aunt Bonnie; multiple categories will be represented, including skin care, hair care, color cosmetics and fragrance. The retailers scouting the Tones of Beauty offerings understand women of color are an important consumer segment, spending more than $7.5 billion on beauty products annually. AJ Crimson, founder of a namesake cosmetics line, believes Tones of Beauty will help spotlight brands that tend to get overlooked. “I’ve been attending Cosmoprof North America for several years now and what I’ve realized was that many brands like mine who participated would almost lose their voice until they started the Tones of Beauty section,” he says. “I like the fact that they recognize that there is a need. I can’t wait to see how this evolves.” 

Also coming back to Cosmoprof NA is one of last year’s most popular features: Beauty Pitch gives founders of established and start-up brands the chance to sell their concepts directly to investors on July 23. A panel of business and beauty pros, including John Paul DeJoria and Kevin Harrington, pick the winners. Last year, 100% Pure bested the other finalists at the event, which drew 1,400 people, to nab $10,000 from TSG Consumer Partners and a one-year mentorship with Mark Cuban. 100% Pure chief executive officer Ric Kostick says the victory was momentous for his brand. “Due to the exposure, I made some very influential contacts and friends in the industry,” he says. “Cuban also trained me on the art of focus and putting your energy into a limited number of initiatives.” That training seems to have worked: 100% Pure’s growth surpassed 40 percent last year and is on track to hit 60 percent this year. 

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If you’re drinking kale juice while reading this, you’re probably not alone. Consumers increasingly care about what they put into their bodies and on them. The natural beauty sector has swelled as a result. Reflecting interest in the segment, Discover Green will make its debut at Cosmoprof North America featuring brands with both retail and spa distribution, including Avo365, Balanced Guru, Blue Beautifly, Jurlique, Inci Medica, Orgaid, Reload Professional Bio Hair Systems and Youth to the People. Mary Bemis, founder and editorial director of Insider’s Guide to Spas, worked with Cosmoprof to assemble the assortment.

Another must-stop this year is Evine Live’s booth. Along with QVC and HSN, the digital and home television shopping retailer is playing beauty casting agent by holding auditions on the expo floor for brands that would like to score spots on the air. Expanding the program this year, Evine Live will also plunge into the Cosmoprof beauty collection for products to highlight on a segment called “Discovered at Cosmoprof.” Smaller than its home-shopping competitors, Evine Live has pursued a strategy of nurturing emerging brands, including Spoolies, 100% Pure, Salon in a Bottle and EcoTan. 

Vegas is as much about play as work. Food and entertainment have surpassed gambling as top attractions. On the food front, the hottest tables include Alain Ducasse’s Rivea at Delano Las Vegas with a menu of inspired Italian and French choices,  Roy Ellamar’s Harvest at the Bellagio Las Vegas and Julian Serrano’s Lago, also in the Bellagio. Brian Malarkey reels in the seafood at Herringbone at the Aria. Mario Carbone jetted from New York to Las Vegas to plant his restaurant at the same hotel, and Mr Chow traveled a shorter distance from Los Angeles to bring Chinese delicacies to Caesars Palace. If downing a cold one is more your style, try Beerhaus at The Park, an indoor-outdoor beer hall concept with beers from local brew producers.

Jennifer Lopez’s fragrances have rung up more than $2 billion in retail sales for Coty—and beauty is just her side gig. Check out what she does for her day job at Lopez’s “All I Have” show at The Axis Theater in the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. The production includes 16 dancers, a five-piece band and lavish costumes. J. Lo doesn’t disappoint with her hit songs “On The Floor,” “Jenny From The Block,” “Get Right” and “Love Don’t Cost A Thing.” While you’re singing along, you’re sure to get a glance at the derrière that commanded the red carpet long before the Kardashians ruled the nether regions.