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.

 

Tips for Finding the Perfect Airbnb for Your Vacation

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Know What You Want

It’s important to have a general idea of what you’re looking for. What is the purpose of your stay? Are you looking for the cheapest option or are you interested in a unique getaway? I like to look for places that are very different than my own home with unique features. The great thing about staying at an Airbnb is immersing yourself in the culture of that area and staying in a place that reflects just that. Hotel rooms are pretty cookie cutter but with Airbnb, you can stay at some really cool places you may never have the opportunity to see. Make a check list and find a place that ticks off all your boxes; air conditioning, on-site parking, bath tub, skylight etc. You can get as creative as you want because the options are limitless.

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Plan Ahead of Time

I recommend traveling with a plan. Do a few quick searches online and scope out the sites and restaurants you’re interested in. Make sure your Airbnb is in the general area of the places you want to visit or is at least a good midway point between them. This will really help narrow down your options. If you’re headed on a road trip and will be bringing a car, make sure to check the listing or ask your host if there is on-site parking. And if you don’t plan on having a car, look for other means of transportation in the area such as buses, trolleys or city bikes.

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Pay Attention to Photos

The quality of photos can tell you a lot about the space. Blurry photos with poor lighting can often mean the host is trying hide something. If there are a lot of close-up photos of random plants, pillows etc. it’s a sure sign something is up. Of course, this can also mean the host is simply a bad photographer but take that with a grain of salt. IPhones can take great photos even in low light so there really shouldn’t be an excuse for bad pictures especially when you’re paying someone for their space. You want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and you expect to get what you see in those pictures. Try to find listings that show all the rooms. If the bathroom isn’t shown, odds are it’s small or in poor shape. Small details like this can really help guide you in your search.

IMG_5572Read the Reviews

If a listing has less than five reviews, it’s either new to the market or it’s not a wanted space. Find out. What are people writing about? You can easily find out about the cleanliness and condition of the space from reviews. Most people don’t hold back if they had a bad experience. Reviews are very helpful for small details you won’t get from the listing. For example, if you have a bad back you may want to see if anyone writes about the firmness of the mattress. Another comment I love seeing is about the shower water pressure. There’s nothing I can’t stand more than a half assed shower. Other things to look out for are any complaints of pet odor or any small children living above or below if the listing is in an apartment building. Traveling can be stressful enough, you don’t need a crying baby keeping you from a good nights rest.

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Netflix and Chill

I always like to keep my eyes out for listings with added perks! Some hosts like to go above and beyond to make their guests feel more than welcome. A fully stocked kitchen with snacks and drinks or access to a guest Netflix account are just a few cool add-ons you can find. You can find out about these perks by reading reviews or even asking the host.

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Get to Know Your Host

Some of the best experiences stem from an awesome host. I know many of us prefer not to interact with strangers but there are definite benefits to sending a simple message to say hello. If your host is cool, they can recommend restaurants and bars tourists may not know about. Airbnb also has an “experience” option. If your host offers an experience, it might be worth looking into. You can learn about the culture of the area your in or just make a friend in another city!