It’s been a while… but I’m back! I’ve traveled a ton in the past year, and I have a lot to share. Most recently, I went to LA for the weekend to go to Knott’s Berry Farm, my one true love Disneyland, and BeautyCon!
BeautyCon is a festival focused on everything beauty – makeup, skincare, haircare, nails, and more. There are over 100 brands present at the expo, and a ton of influencers and celebs speaking and/or having meet and greets. If I’m being totally honest, my one and only reason for going was the free stuff. Don’t get me wrong – I totally stopped by the stage to see my man Jonathan Van Ness, but I quickly proceeded back to the expo hall to get some more swag!
Since my friends and I were busy Friday and Saturday, Sunday was the only day we could attend. We registered online beforehand and received our wristbands in the mail about a week later, which came with some other goodies! It was a super cute package and definitely got me more excited to attend.
Doors for general admission opened at noon, so we got some breakfast and headed to downtown LA. We ended up parking about 8 blocks away because we didn’t want to pay, but in hindsight the $10 for closer parking wouldn’t have been too bad in the SoCal summer heat! We arrived at the Los Angeles Convention Center around 11:45… which was a BIG mistake. We saw the immediate line from the door… and then saw it go under a bridge… and then it continued further, and was snaking through a huge area. I had read online that we should arrive early, and I wish I had heeded that warning. We jumped in line and ended up waiting about an hour and fifteen minutes, getting in at 1:00. The majority of our waiting was in direct sunlight which meant we sweated quite a bit and our makeup was not looking as great as it was that morning! Everyone in line was very sweet and there was some friendly chatting, but we were very happy when we finally made it into the paradise that was air conditioning.
At the Festival
After a quick security check, we proceeded to the expo hall. We immediately ran to the Target booth and got a fanny pack (yay!), and were handed a couple face masks from other small booths nearby. After that, we prioritized getting a larger bag for all the goodies.
We waited in line at So Fresh So Clean, because their line was fairly short (~5 minutes) and we saw others with big bags from there. Once we got to the front we learned that you only got the bag if you made a purchase, so we ended up doing their 8 products for $10 deal, which seemed awesome! It was time for the real product hunting now that we had our trusty bags.
The queues for most of the popular brands were looooong. Like over an hour long. Only having one day, we didn’t want to waste too much time in these when there were other brands with giveaways who didn’t have lines that were nearly as long. In particular, a lot of Korean beauty brands in K-Town had lines that moved quickly and were generous with giveaways. Most brands required that you follow them on social media, take a picture and tag them on social media, or both. There were 2 booths that I think are worth commenting on for negative and positive reasons:
Loser: Sally Beauty was hosting the Sally Beauty Carnival, which looked awesome! There was a carousel photo opp, popcorn, a ferris wheel of products, and more. This was probably the longest line we waited in, and it was a complete waste of time. In order to get your free items, you had to show that you took a photo with the Sally branding and posted it on Instagram. Most people, myself included, thought that this meant you had to wait to get inside the booth and take the photo there. But, when we got to the front of the line, we were told we would have to wait another 20 minutes because a show was about to start -_- I thought this was very unfair to the people waiting in line, and honestly was pretty pissed. I reread the rules of the giveaway, and realized I could take a picture anywhere as long as it said “Sally”. So I grabbed a box of popcorn, snapped a selfie with my friends, and headed to the back of the booth to get my goodies. Unfortunately, they were both for curly hair, which I do not have, so I was doubly disappointed by that experience.
Winner: One great experience worth noting was Pixi – my favorite booth by far. The line took about 20 minutes, but the process was extremely efficient. There was a woman organizing the line about halfway through, and she was super friendly and talked to everyone about the products we would be getting. Once we got closer to the front, another enthusiastic woman told us about a misting spray, which we had to try in order to get our free blush. Our group of about 10 people then moved inside to take a picture at their cute backdrop, at which point we received our eyeshadow duo (which is super cute!). We then moved out of the booth to post our photos to Insta, and then once we showed them to another representative we got an olive green eyeliner that I also love. Overall, everyone was friendly, the process was smooth, and who can say no to three full-size products for free?! I already loved Pixi, but this experience made me even more of a fan.
A couple notes on some other brands:
Nyx – was creating custom foundation, but there were only 4 working stations and it moved very slowly; didn’t end up waiting.
CVS – line moved pretty quickly, and we got a paper bag of 4 drugstore products; pretty good!
Purlisse – no line, gave away a face mask; I also ended up purchasing 5 products for $10 and they threw in 4 more face masks, so a pretty good deal! I haven’t tried the products, so I can’t comment on quality yet.
Hourglass – love, love, love! Short line, moved quickly, and they were handing out sample mascaras like it was nobody’s business; also were walking around the conference putting them in everyone’s bags, so I ended up taking home 3 and love this product!
There it is… my master haul! I intended on only getting free items, but I did spend $20 total as noted above. The majority of my haul is skincare which is fun, but I was hoping for a bit more makeup. Here are the brands I received goodies from:
- So Fresh So Clean
- Clean & Clear
- Make-Up Eraser
- Yes to
- Creme of Nature (from Sally)
- Ardell (from CVS)
- LA Girl (from CVS)
- Miss de Gaspe
- Ancient Nutrition
- Jane Carter Solution (from Sally)
- Pop Beauty (from CVS)
- Physician’s Formula (from CVS)
As a side note, I ended up just using nail polish remover on the Target fanny pack and the logo came right off!
- Get there early! Learn from my mistakes and do not wait until the doors open. I’ve heard that an hour to two hours early is good enough to get a spot in line in the shade of the bridge.
- Wear comfortable shoes! Especially after 2 days at theme parks, my poor feet needed a break and they didn’t get it. There’s barely any seating, and you’ll want to be in line most of the day anyway.
- Don’t bring a lot with you. If you bring a large purse, you’ll regret it. You’ll be carrying around all your freebies and that will be heavy enough!
- Don’t stress about your makeup/outfit, unless you’re doing it for the gram. Honestly, everyone is concerned with their own agenda for the day. While it was nice to get a couple compliments, it’s not worth a lot of planning.
- Eat beforehand. There were food trucks outside, but we wanted to stay in the AC and didn’t really feel like taking a break when we could be spending that time in line. KIND was handing out granola bars around the expo hall which was great, but it’s not quite the sustenance you need.
- If you want to see anyone on the main stage, get there early. The crowds were huge and very compact, so if you want a spot, you’ll need to devote quite a bit of time to sitting and waiting in that area.
- There are water stations around the expo, so remember to hydrate. Bring a lightweight bottle from home if you can.
Overall, BeautyCon was a fun and busy time. I wish it were a bit more relaxed, but of course this is the nature of the conference. If you’re interested in getting some beauty goodies, particularly skincare, I recommend you go!