BeautyconNYC and Why I Won’t Go Back

In case you wanted to attend this weekend’s BeautyconNYC and didn’t get the chance to, here’s everything you need to know about the land of the pink and home of the highlighter.

I had the chance to attend Beautycon purely by accident. As you know, I work in public relations. One of my clients was interested in participating in the convention next year and I went to scope it out and take lots and lots of pictures. I met a Beautycon employee at 11AM for a walk through tour of the convention center. I thought I would only be allowed to quickly walk through the booths, get my pictures and go but it turns out we were given two general admission wrist bands for free! Also, if I knew I would get the chance to stay, I wouldn’t have worn dress pants. I was definitely looking like a mom in a sea of sequin dresses and crop tops.

I’ve actually been wanting to attend the convention for some time now. I believe this is the convention’s third year and since the first, has exploded on social media. Beauty lovers flock to it almost as much as to Coachella. So safe to say, I would have been experiencing some serious fomo if another year went by without attending.

While the convention is known for having panels of beauty experts, new and upcoming brands, free products and of course, insta-worthy moments, I was curious to see if it’s really worth the money.

Since we were given GA tickets, we were not eligible to receive the swag bag with $200 worth in products. In case you weren’t familiar with pricing, GA tickets for a single day cost $39, a two day GA pass was $59 and if you wanted the swag bag, you have to hand over 200 big ones.

A few takeaways from the booths: Naked men and swings were all the rage this year. Mac had a massive booth bursting at the seams with shirtless men manhandling drills. I will admit, I almost got a picture with one of the guys but another was winking at me and I felt v awkward and ran away. I saw another brand also had shirtless men but the booth was definitely not as popular as Mac’s. While I am not opposed to seeing some man candy, I will say the tactic was a bit corny. Other than shirtless men popping up around every corner, swings were everywhere. While stalking social from last year’s convention, I noticed one brand had a swing which was definitely a hit with beauty goers. I’m sure brands had done their research as well and thought they could incorporate a swing to attract people to their booths and so we were left with three booths with swings. It was definitely a great boomerang but how many swing boomerangs can you really post? The hair care brand, Amika had chosen to include a slide and ball pit into their booth. Obviously I had to slide down it and let me tell you, I nearly died. The slide shook with every step up the ladder and I ended up tripping on the last step but that’s probably my fault and not the slides. Here are two screenshots from boomerangs I posted.

Although there were roughly one hundred booths, I found the content to get old really fast. Being the adult I am, I quickly caught wind of pink lemonade margaritas being sold by the Ponds booth. Had to get one. It was $15. Normal price for a cocktail in NYC I guess…

One of my favorite booth activations was Target’s. I will admit, one of the reasons I loved it so much was because the line was short. Everywhere you looked, there were lines. You were able to choose between three hairstyles; space buns, a braid or beach waves. I don’t know if they were promoting color sprays but you were able to choose between a variety of pinks and golds. I opted for space buns with a zigzag part and pink spray. It actually turned out super cute and I received a bunch of compliments!

Like I mentioned before, because we had general admission tickets, we didn’t receive the swag bag so we had to scavenger for free products where ever we could. Surprisingly enough, there really weren’t that many booths giving out free products. Most booths were selling products which I was not interested in. Side note, I did buy an electric tooth brush for my boyfriend…and a $15 margarita so I can’t say I didn’t buy anything. In the end, I had a small bag with just a few products. Upon reviewing the products later on the train home, I wasn’t really interested in anything I had collected. In my bag were a few lipsticks in some questionable shades, a travel case of tampons, a nail polish, a face mask and a few random itty-bitty samples from brands I wasn’t familiar with. Below are a few of them.

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Overall, my general impression of the convention was lacking. Maybe it’s because I work with beauty everyday or because i’m a little bit older than the average attendee but I don’t think I would purchase a ticket for next year. And for those two day pass holders, I’m a little bit confused as to why anyone would want to go twice. Unless you want to see a specific panelist for example, Paris Hilton and Gigi Gorgeous were speakers on Saturday then there isn’t enough reason to come back. The booths are the same from Saturday to Sunday so your Instagram opportunities would be the same. The Beautycon employee did mention some brands give out different products from one day to the next to attract you back to the booth but receiving a charcoal mask one day and a cucumber one the next isn’t enough motivation to spend the money, at least for me.

I think for younger girls who are super fans of beauty influencers and want to post to cute pictures to Instagram, Beautycon is great. I did have fun, but it’s definitely one of those things you only need to experience once.

Did you go to BeautyCon? Let me know what you think about it and if you would go back a second time.

 

A Refinery29 Style Diary: A Day in Beauty PR

Today I will take you through a busy day in my life working at a Beauty Public Relations agency in New York City.

Spoiler Alert: it’s not a lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Name: Nicole – Occupation: Associate Account Executive (AAE) – Location: 45th ST. NY, NY Work Day: 10AM-6PM


5:05AM I wake up to the worst sound in the world; my alarm. It’s still dark af outside. A notification pops up on my phone: “Get your ass to gym”. I fall out of bed and manage to put on workout leggings.

5:20AM I walk into the gym and immediately want to walk out. I chug overly concentrated pre-workout and head for the treadmill. Then the elliptical. I go over to the free weights. I pick things up and put them down.

6:40AM I stand under boiling hot water in the shower for too long.

7:10AM *obnoxious rattling* I down a protein shake out of my blender bottle because “gains”. I use vanilla protein with almond milk. For an extra kick in the morning and for a little extra flavor, I add in a teaspoon of instant coffee. I fry up some egg whites and my favorite Morning Star meatless spicy sausage patties.

7:50AM I sit in a freezing car waiting for my wind shield to defrost.

8:06AM I board the (what I only imagine hell feels like), train. NjTransit, if you’re reading this, I hate you.

8:55AM I transfer trains at Secaucus.

9:22AM I take the subway to Bryant Park.

9:50AM I sit down at my desk.

10:00AM I scan for placements online. We use a tool called Cision which notifies you based on key words when a client has been featured on a publication site or magazine. I find three new placements for one client and two for another. I send an email with write ups on the placements including UVPM, links and images to clients. I input the new placements into our Rolling Report, a fluid excel document that holds all placements to-date. This report is sent to the client at the end of the month for review.

11:00AM I have a call with a client. I print out the agenda I created the day before and dial in.

11:30AM I recap the call in a word document and send back to the client with any additional feedback or information discussed on the call.

12:00PM Print publications have been folding left and right and editors are getting laid off. Every month we send magazine editors the newest launch from our brands. I comb through our list and delete all the editors out of work. I’m left with 24 editors. I print labels and start assembling gift bags. Each gift bag receives a product, press release, note and business card.

1:00PM Lunch arrives. Every Thursday we have an agency wide catered lunch. This week is Indian, my favorite. We sit at a long table in the middle of the office discussing any difficulties teams have been having with clients, products etc. We brainstorm a few solutions while everyone finishes their curry. Someone mentions a funny story about an old intern and it kicks off a chain of funny stories about the old agency owner.

2:00PM I begin scouting makeup artists for this month’s seeding. I collect information such as Instagram followers, email and agent representation in a word document template. The very specific format takes a long time and I end up taking a break.

2:50PM An old client needs their inventory sent back. I pack up the skincare products and any old collateral. We have our own shipping station so I play UPS woman for a while.

3:40PM I take a stab at some pitching, regional to be exact. Regional or mid-lead refers to magazines specific to a regional such as the AMNY(New York) or DMagazine(Dallas). I send a blast and respond to some reactive emails from the pitch.

4:00PM I run downstairs for coffee. We are lucky because we have 3 Starbucks locations within two blocks, a Pret A Manger IN THE BUILDING and a Gregory’s Coffee a block away. Options, people.

4:30PM Two more placements come through. I send the write-ups to the client and update the Rolling Report.

4:45PM I can’t find a hi-res image of a product in our shared drive folders. I decide to reorganize all product images by name, date and category because i’m crazy. And maybe a little bit of an over achiever.

5:30PM I am spearheading an Influencer program at the agency so I am slowly updating contacts in our influencer media list. Every day we receive requests from bloggers to be added to our media list. Once added, these bloggers receive pitches and are eligible to receive samples to try, review and write about. There are roughly 2,000+ contacts in this list. Slowly but surely we’ll get there.

5:40PM My team regroups for an EOD meeting. We discuss any outstanding work and what needs to be prioritized for tomorrow.

6:01PM I head for the subway to Penn Station, take a connecting train to Secaucus and board the Bergen County local train.

7:50PM We arrive in my town. I sit in a freezing car waiting for my wind shield to defrost and drive home.

8:00PM I’m home. I eat dinner and watch television with my mom until 10:30PM. I need to move out ASAP.

11:00PM I scroll through my Instagram feed in bed liking images or girls in bikinis and think about how much the gym will suck tomorrow morning.

11:30PM Lights out. Do it all again.