Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vegas Spa Show 2010

Shows are kind of a big deal in the beauty industry. They are where we all get together in one big conference hall to network, see the latest trends, buy products from brands that we don't usually get to buy from, get tons of education and generally get excited about being a beauty professional.

I had never even heard of beauty shows until I started at Wella 5 years ago. Then I had to work them, traveling to Chicago for the big annual hair show or going down to Long Beach for a smaller hair show. Exciting yes, but also exhausting. Standing on your feet for 8 hours a day for three days straight, smiling and selling the heck out of your brand. I also had a pretty fun job of going around and documenting what all of our competitors were doing so I ended up walking the show floor snapping pictures, writing notes and enjoying the energy of the show from a participant perspective.

The past two years I've been able to attend shows from the other side, first as a beauty student, then as an esthetician. I went to Vegas last year for the big yearly spa show when I didn't even know the difference between hard wax and soft. This year was a totally different experience. I shopped for specific products and went to education classes that are going to help me in my business. But my favorite part was walking the show floor thinking about all the things I was going to share on my blog about the show.

The three big trends that I saw were about health & wellness getting big, lash/brow conditioners and glamour entering the spa.

Health and wellness gets cool and goes big I spotted a brand of vegan skin care products called SpaRitual that looked yummy, Eminence (Hungarian brand that is all about natural fruity ingredients) was mobbed and a company was pushing nutraceuticals (drinks that are tasty and good for you). The general sense I had was that health and wellness brands were ready for prime-time. Up until now, the only natural brands that made a big splash in my mind on a national level were Aveda. If anyone has any favorite natural brands that you think are poised to go big, let me know!

Lash and brow conditioning everywhere! Last year all I saw was Revitalash in the lash and brow conditioner space. This year, there seemed to be plenty of competitors, including a brand that was pushing lash/brow conditioners as more of a beauty product than a cosmeceutical called Enormous Lash. Revitalash had a big banner at the entrance to the show so they seem to be in the lead amongst lash/brow conditioners. Also check back here over the next couple of months where I will be posting a progression of Lacey's (owner of Frenchy's) brow transformation since I purchased some Revitabrow for her. I'm  thinking of trying Enormous Lash on my lashes although I'm kicking myself that I didn't get "Draw The Line" from Beauty Society. It's a liquid liner that functions as a lash conditioner. That was my biggest problem using Revitalash, actually remembering to use it at night. I think I would have a much better success rate if I could use it during the day as my black liquid liner. If anyone has another lash/brow conditioner that they love let me know!

Glamtastic comes into the spa: It wasn't a huge part of the show but since I love the glamour I found a couple of fun products such as a 24 carat gold facial mask and body glitter tattoos. Also spray tanning and teeth whitening manufacturers were everywhere. I think it's interesting that Spas are moving towards full-service beauty operators, expanding their services to include not just facial & body treatments but also beautification. What do you think? Would you go to your local spa for a spray tan or make-up? Or do you prefer to go to a specialist?

I ended up buying a high frequency machine, a Clarsonic Pro to incorporate into my facial services as well as test out to see if it works on those bumps on the back of my arm and also post-waxing bumpies, a  glitter tattoo kit, some post-wax oil and my favorite purchase, tiny eyebrow wax sticks. I think I'm going to use the tiny eyebrow wax sticks to help with vajayjay stenciling as well as eyebrow shaping.

I also took a great class from Lori Nestore, the wax queen, on brazilians and guyzilians. She is really the coolest, all tatted up, with bright red hair and a super easy going personality. She's got that no-fear attitude that all us waxing gals need to copy! She lectured for over an hour on client consultation, product retailing, proper brazilian and guyzilian techniques, all while ripping hair off of a guy's and a girl's crotch (my new favorite way to talk about the neither regions). Plus I randomly bumped into Cindy, the owner of Pink Cheeks, at one of the booths. She has that same no-fear attitude that everyone wants from their favorite waxer. All in all the show was a great day of inspiration and shopping!

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