Real Friends, False Lashes: Beautycon LA 2018 Review
If you’ve been following along, you know that we have been very busy this past summer. Jane did some traveling, Elizabeth has been home in sunny San Diego recharging her batteries to tackle her last year of grad school but most importantly, we both we tackled yet another convention season together! If you can survive going to a convention with your BFF without strangling each other, you’re basically going to be friends forever until death do you part. To kick off convention season, we attended Beautycon LA for the second time. This year, Beautycon was even bigger than last year but it was still a great experience. Spoiler alert: we were living our best life.
What is Beautycon?
If you’ve never heard of Beautycon, Beautycon is a huge convention that challenges traditional beauty standards and encourages individuality. Beautycon manages to create a space of acceptance where everyone comes together as a community to celebrate anything beauty, skincare and lifestyle related. Basically, if you’re human and you have flaws, you are accepted at Beautycon and you are welcome. For those of you that are new to Devoted to Dew, you can check out our experience at Beautycon LA 2017 here.
Beautycon 2017 was a great experience for us and we felt like we had found our niche. Everyone at Beautycon was there to slay and we got to celebrate everything beauty related with fellow beauty junkies. For these reasons, we were very excited to attend in addition to the fact that Beautycon had a K-Beauty section aptly named K-Town for the first time. K-Town looked promised to have at least 20 K-Beauty brands present. We were basically salivating at the thought of getting our hands on all of product deals.
Let’s just put it out there right now that K-Town was glorious and we were in love. The deals were amazing, the freebies were ridiculous (in a good way) and everything was glamorous. There was a huge presence of amazing brands and companies. StyleKorean was definitely the biggest vendor there; StyleKorean had a large selection of products to choose from at convention pricing. The prices were the lowest we had ever seen them for brands such as Benton, Heimish, COSRX, and Pyunkang Yal. COSRX had their own booth as well, while they were not selling any of their products they were giving away full size Cooling Aqua facial mists and samples of their latest products including their new Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream. Commleaf was doing a giveaway of full size products as well - we scored their popular rose sleeping mask and their AHA green tea peeling liquid. We chatted it up with Lapcos who had great deals on their actual skincare products ranging from $5-10. They were generous to offer us some samples as well for us to try. The Amore Pacific booth was a huge force in the center of the convention and we were happy to see it draw in crowds of K-Beauty fanatics and other beauty obsessed folks. They had amazing photo ops at every brand station, featuring Mamonde, Sulwhasoo, Iope and Laneige as well as samples of each brand.
Another highlight of our convention was meeting our friends in the #ABCommunity IRL. We’ve been running Devoted to Dew for a year now and this year we’ve had the privilege to get to meet and connect with many fellow skincare addicts in the K-Beauty community. Beautycon gave us the opportunity to meet some of these amazing people in person. We met @kbutea (Margie and Cindy); you can checkout their blog here. We also got to meet YouTuber @yayayayoung!
Knowing there would be a K-Town section, I was super hyped for Beautycon this year. This year we mostly focused on the K-Town section on day 1. There were a ton of freebies! I really liked that we attended both days of the convention because we definitely didn’t have time to see it all in one day and we didn’t feel rushed to see everything in one day. For the most part, we even skipped a lot of the mega makeup booths (MAC, ABH, etc) and focused solely on K-Beauty and Wellness areas. My favorite part other than freebies and discount shopping was partaking in all of the photo ops with Elizabeth that ended up being fire. A personal highlight was meeting my favorite OG Youtuber, Jenn Im! Elizabeth and I both have pieces from her Mejuri x Links Collection and by chance we endured a very short line to meet our girl; she really appreciated that we both were rocking her necklaces!
In Seattle I’m deprived of K-Beauty products. Places to buy products are extremely limited and shipping to Seattle can get expensive. After months of only having my slowly dwindling stash as company, my body was ready for Beautycon. Last year we only went to Beautycon one day, this year we decided to go the whole weekend and it was well worth the extra day. While it is possible to get through everything at Beautycon all in one day if you prioritize what you want to do, it was nice not having to rush. For the most part we didn’t visit any of the makeup booths because we had other priorities. I really enjoyed the Wellness section of the convention because we had access to products you normally just see online, such as Quip toothbrushes.
The freebies were amazing, the photo opps were amazing as well and the meet-and-greets made my entire weekend. We got to meet two of our favorites, Jenn Im and Stephanie Villa! The highlight of my weekend was meeting Curly Velasquez from Buzzfeed. Curly is one of the main stars from the Buzzfeed Pero Like videos, which are videos about Latino life. It was incredible getting to meet someone you admire that works to create representation for people like you.
Beautycon Survival 101
Being our second rodeo, we’ve put together a few tips to help newbies prepare for their first Beautycon experience.
Come to slay, but dress comfortably. You may be tempted to wear a cute pair of heels or wedges but remember you’ll be standing in lines both inside and outside of the convention. For 6-8 hours a day.
Review the panels and talent beforehand. Beautycon will release their schedule a week or two in advance; be sure to peep the lineup and mark down what and who you want to see so you have a general idea of how to plan your day and you can prioritize what you want to do.
Download the app. Beautycon updates their app every festival season; it’s a useful way to bookmark what you want to see and what brands you’re interested in. It will update a week or two before the event so be sure to check it frequently. A useful thing about the app is it will send you notifications when an event is happening and this little ping comes in handy during the craziness of the convention.
Buy General Admission tickets - buying both days is a better deal than an upgraded package. Keep an eye out for discounts as Beautycon may drop promo codes or their street team (which is how we got ours this year) for ticket purchases. The hauler package might be worth it if you’re willing to drop some serious $, but the social media package is NOT. We were able to meet two of our favorite influencers (Jenn Im and Stephanie Villa) by simply walking up to their meet and greet sessions. If however, the influencer you want to meet is only available through the package, you can reconsider. We don’t think it’s that worth it, but YMMV.
Come early. Elizabeth and I are of the belief that you can do general admission priced tickets and still get your money's worth. Whether you’re doing one day or two, it pays off to arrive early before doors open - at least an hour or so beforehand. Yes, you’ll be stuck waiting in line outside until doors open but you’ll be moving in no time and you’ll be in faster than those who slept in.
Stay hydrated and bring a reusable water bottle. Beautycon is super great about providing water bottle refill stations. You can save a lot of money and reduce waste by bringing a water bottle to refill. You can also buy the official Beautycon Water bottle as a great souvenir.
Don’t sweat the small things. Don’t complain about the wait times or the lines or if you don’t get the freebie you wanted. The whole point of Beautycon is to be in a community that loves beauty, skincare and wellness just as much as you do. Hype each other up. Have fun. Don’t let small things bring your mood down.
Beautycon never fails to disappoint with their focus on all things beauty and an effort to bring inclusive brands and talent together. We thought the vibe was a little bit different than last year being that Kim Kardashian West was advertised as a main headliner so there was a ton of people that were just there to see Kim. Overall it was still an audience of beauty junkies and newbies alike coming together to bond over all things beauty and slay. We could definitely feel that the convention was bigger and better this year, which meant more attendees and more hype. We loved the addition of the K-Town and hope they plan to expand it next year. They did improve the convention in a few key areas such as inclusion of a wide variety of brands and a streamlined process to enter into the convention center (with less time spent in the beating hot sun). Next year we hope that they continue to expand the K-Town section and bring more mainstream K-beauty retailers - such as Sokoglam, Peach & Lily or their founders to the event. We also would like to see more panels or talent featuring skincare enthusiasts or bloggers. Most of all, we hope to see more fellow K-Beauty Community members at Beautycon next year!
Jane & Elizabeth