Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York on Thursday, the number of vendors this year was up 75 percent from a year ago.
“Ingestibles are huge,” noted Jillian Wright, cofounder of the Indie Beauty Expo and founder of her own self-named skin clinic and product line. She attributed the trend to overall consumer interest in health and wellness — “it’s beauty from the inside out.”
Jessica Richards, founder of Shen Beauty and head of beauty at Free People, agrees. “It’s the holistic approach to taking care,” Richards said. “You can’t fix [skin issues] through lotions and potions. If you’re having cystic acne, you have to fix what’s going on inside.”
Among the ingestibles brands was Beauty Works West, a U.K.-based line of supplements — what the brand calls “nutricosmetics” — that debuted in the U.S. at Cosmoprof this summer. The supplements are based on antiaging and hormone research, and are said to address side effects caused by hormonal imbalances in women. The trio of products, which are cocktails of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, are available in straightforward-sounding varietals — Youth, Sex and Energy. The brand’s founder, Susie Rogers, told WWD the brand is carried in the U.S. at Netaporter.com and on B-glowing.com, and is hoping to expand distribution in the U.S. In the U.K., it is carried at Selfridge’s, Harvey Nichols and other upscale retailers.
Also at the show was Hum Nutrition, a Los Angeles-based line of supplements designed to address myriad cosmetic issues — Red Carpet is for “glowing skin,” and Smooth Operator is said to improve skin elasticity. Cofounder and chief executive officer Christopher Coleridge told WWD the line is carried by Sephora.
Edible Beauty, an Australian skin-care line comprised of herbal and botanical ingredients, was highlighting its assortment of teas. Founder Anna Mitsios told WWD that though both her teas, which come in varieties such as Fountain of Youth and Golden Glow, and skin-care products are sold in the U.S. at Anthropologie, it is the teas that are performing best.
Glisodin Skin Nutrients is another “nutricosmetic” line that made an appearance at the show. Founder Corina Crysler, a nutritionist, started the line of supplements in 2008 and initially distributed the line through dermatologist offices, but customer demand grew, and this year she is looking for consumer retail partners.
The question with ingestibles is whether consumers will buy into them. Richards feels they will, noting that about half of Free People’s beauty business can be attributed to ingestibles, but emphasizes the importance of having an education component. “We really focus on giving content and education — there’s founder stories, there’s recipes [on freepeople.com] so you’re understanding why you’re buying and how to use it,” she said.
Aromatherapy was another consistent presence at the show, which Richards attributed yet again to consumer interest in wellness. “It goes hand in hand,” she said. “If you’re looking to get off medication, you would try an alternative, which would be aromatherapy.” Richards met with the U.K.-based brand Olverum at the show, and picked up its essential oil-based bath oil to stock exclusively in the U.S. at Shen Beauty.
Other aromatherapy-focused lines were Province Apothecary, an essential-oil-based line of skin and body care out of Canada; EYSM, a line of portable scent pods that allow users to carry aromatherapy-based fragrances with them on the go; Eco Modern Essentials, an Australian line of essential oils and skin-care that entered the U.S. this year; and Circ-Cell Skin Care, a Wyoming-based brand that was debuting its new product, the Mandarin Cleansing Milk, formulated with mandarin orange and grapefruit oils.
The Indie Beauty Expo will be held in Los Angeles in January 2017 and Dallas in May. Wright noted that the organization is “expanding its services” to “provide support” such as consulting on a year-round basis.