Byline: Andrea M. Grossman / Cassandra Chiacchio

NEW YORK — Treatments for the soul — and soles — were among the most popular beauty products seen at last weekend’s Extracts, a trade show for aromatherapy, personal care and fragrance. There, more than 300 exhibitors showcased approximately 600 new lines, everything from lilac mineral bath crystals to loofah slippers embedded with essential oils.
The four-day show, which began Friday, April 12, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center’s North Pavilion, catered to as many as 3,000 attendees. Buyers from Harrods, The Body Shop and Henri Bendel were seen sniffing, scrubbing and rubbing hundreds of beauty samples designed to energize, relax and beautify.
Included in the mix were an usually high number of lotions, shampoos, bath salts, lip balms and salves infused with essential oils: the industry’s next big buzzwords. AromaLand, a well-respected maker and wholesaler of essential oils, demonstrated just how similar these oils are to wine. The Santa Fe-based company showcased a collection of eight lavender essential oils, each with strikingly different aromas, from different regions of the world.
Kiss My Face of Gardiner, N.Y., showed a line of essential oil-flavored candles; Vienna, Md.-based Nadina’s Cremes premiered beaded tins made in India filled with essential oil-based rubs; and Aroma Naturals from Irvine, Calif., launched a vegan and essential oil bath and body lotion, gel and scrub.
Caswell-Massey, a regular Extracts exhibitor from Edison, N.J., brought surf to Manhattan’s turf with a “Gifts of the Sea” bath collection, featuring a seaweed massage bar, shell-shaped soaps, bath caviar, bath sea foam and silk sponges. Extracts drew newcomers, too, such as Brenda Brock, who told her story of how she turned a friend’s organic farm into a chief ingredient source for her Portsmouth, R.I.-based bath-and-body line, Farmaesthetics.
Bath and body, however, wasn’t the only category with an organic feel to it. Some of the makeup at this year’s Extracts also had a natural approach. Vered Cosmetique, a mostly lip color line with formulas drenched with essential oils, made its debut at this year’s show. Vered, which launched this year, is based in Los Angeles and currently has a concentrated West Coast distribution. Founder Sean Miles “gave the packaging and the shades a natural feel with earthy colors,” he noted. “Our triangular eye and lip pencils with grip dots are [designed to be] totally unique.” Vered also offers cocoa-flavored lip crayons, lipsticks, lip glosses and a gloss in a click pen dispenser. Prices range from $12 to $20.
Hemp Organics, also billed itself as natural. The collection of 32 lipsticks and six lip liners contain hemp seed oil — a moisturizing oil with a naturally high essential fatty acid content — and organic plant-derived ingredients. The lipsticks come in four varieties: medium coverage colorsticks; full coverage mattes and semi-mattes; sheer coverage lip shines and tints, and shimmering satins, pearls and opals, in a variety of natural shades.
Another segment of natural makeup seen at this year’s show was mineral-based cosmetics lines. Diva Miracle Mineral Makeup, an offshoot of Star Bath & Beauty, has micronized minerals and is talc-, fragrance- and dye-free. “It’s safe enough to sleep in,” said Tracy Knight, co-founder of the line, along with Tracy Hollander. “It has long wear and is great for your skin.” The line contains mineral powder foundation, lip gloss, mineral powder allover color, cream eye shadows, shimmer powder, glitter sparkles, sparkle shadow/liner, cream eyeliner and eye glosses.
Mineral Essentials Makeup, a private label line sold in the offices of plastic surgeons and dermatologists, had the same idea. The line, with natural minerals that include titanium dioxide, zinc and iron oxides, freeze-dried vitamins A, C and E and lavender essential oil, made its debut in 2000. According to Barbara Panagos, president of Brush Up with Barbara, mineral-based cosmetics lines are recommended by dermatologists because the natural antimicrobial properties support healing and can be used just days after a surgical procedure.
Aubin Wilson, group and show manager for George Little Management, the show’s organizers, said this season’s 11th production felt super-energized. She cited an eagerness to get back to business as a main factor: Extracts, which is semiannual, canceled its fall show due to the events of Sept. 11. Many would-be, first-time exhibitors therefore had seven more months to prepare their products to present to the trade. “There was a lot of new blood there this weekend. Some of them would have come in the fall and maybe would not have put as good a foot forward. They really had a chance to plan, from the quality of booths to a more energized market,” Wilson said.
For exhibitors eager to meet with a large number of West Coast buyers — only 6 percent of Extracts attendees represent West Coast stores — Extracts will appear at the California Gift Show, Saturday, July 20 to Tuesday, July 23 at The Los Angeles Convention Center. The fall edition of Extracts is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 11 to Monday, October 14 at the Javits Center.


Best Overall Product: Star Celebrity Line by Star Bath & Beauty

Most Creative Booth: Inara

Outstanding Creative Packaging: We Live Like This, distributed by Australian Steamboat Connection

Best New Product: Body Coffee by Stephka’s Collection

Note: A “Best Products” contest is held at each Extracts exhibition. Winners are selected by five trade and consumer beauty editors, including Andrea M. Grossman.

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