Monday, May 6, 2013

The Beauty Board

What was in my gift bag
On Sunday afternoon I finally made it out to my first Beauty Board. Put on by local beauty boutique Blush Pretty, the Beauty Board is an event where (mostly) beauty-related vendors explain and demonstrate their products to anyone who was able to snap up one of the event’s tickets.

But the vendors aren't the only ones who have to do some work. Attendees are randomly assigned three different companies that they’re to “review” (all you really have to do is make a few comments on a card). Once attendees are done chatting with the vendors, they turn in their reviews and get one very loaded swag bag.

And before I go any further, here’s a look at what my swag bag contained:

  • A pretty card made by A Paper Story
  • A roll of printed paper tape from Paper Plus Cloth 
  • A sachet of “beauty tea” from MIYU
  • Montagne Jeuesse Morning After Scrub (this edition of the Beauty Board was technically co-ed)
  • Pure+Simple Sensitive Skin Face Wash
  • Ella’s Botanicals Beauty Bar Soap in Cedar and Patchouli  
  • Lil & Dot’s Winter Tangerine and Mint Soap
  • Consonant 100% Organic Olive Oil Body Soap 
  • Kona Kare Essensual Lip Butter Balm in Original
  • Sweet Leaf Bath Co. Peppermint Beeswax Lip Balm 
  • Crawford Street Skin Care Lip Balm in Tangerine 
  • Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics Nail Polish in Cheap Whore (a dark red)
  • impress Press-on Manicure 
  • Pelle Beauty Botanical Facial Mist
  • Pelle Beauty Stellar Multitasking Facial Concentrate 
  • Kaia 24hr. Booster Serum 
  • Revolution Organics Multi-tasking Beauty Balm in Bronzed
  • Splat Hair Chalk in Violet Sky  
  • Blistop
  • Discount codes for Featherband hair accessories, Nayme necklaces and classes The Sewing Studio

Prior to the Beauty Board, I’d only heard of a handful of the above brands and I'd actually tried none of them so this event gets an easy A+ for exposing me to new companies.

I'm most excited to try out the Cheeky Monkey polish, which in three-free and uses the same base as Chanel’s polish; the Kaia 24hr. Booster Serum, which is made out of argan and moringa oil and is supposed to do double duty as a moisturizer and a primer and Blistop. The latter is a film that you apply to your feet to prevent blisters and if this product works I will sing its praises from my balcony.

The vast majority of the vendors at the Beauty Board were local companies that specialize in natural and/or organic skin care and all of them knew their products very well. I really appreciated how the vendors were able to explain what made them special without giving me a sales pitch (you could buy full-sized products if you wanted to).

I do though wish that there had been a bigger variety of beauty product-oriented vendors. There was only a handful of companies that offered any actual makeup and much to my surprise, I didn't see a single hair care-related product (though there was a company there selling hair accessories).

This year’s edition of the Beauty Board was held in a new spot called Loft 404. Located in an old converted warehouse at John and Adelaide, the venue looked more like someone’s funky hard-conversion loft then an event space (it looked like it was recently home to someone and maybe even still was).
Taken at the start of the event; it would get much busier
But while Loft 404 would be a great place to throw a party, it didn't quite work for the Beauty Board. Its snake-like layout was just too tight once you got all of the vendors and attendees in there and its lack of air conditioning meant that this was literally one hot event. While I certainly plan on checking out the next Beauty Board, I do hope they opt for a different location (though still one that’s downtown).

Overall, I enjoyed my time at the Beauty Board though I do wish that I’d chatted more with my follow attendees (I went with a friend and we mostly stuck to ourselves). Next time I'm going to try and be more social. And next time, I'm going to eat more macaroons. They were made by MANcarons and they were excellent!

I have no idea when the next Beauty Board will be (it seems to be an annual event now) but I’ll be sure to post all of the details once I know them.

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