The first day of any trade show is always a little overwhelming. There’s squeezing through the main entrance hall at 9 a.m. alongside a hoard of other eager beavers when the floor officially opens. There’s dutifully flashing your badge, bracelet and other official credentials to security officers proving you do in fact belong there. And then there’s managing the adrenaline rush you get from walking down the Welcome Aisle nervously deciding where to go first. However, when you’re on a quest to discover the next big thing in beauty, there’s less pressure than say, running a race, which it sometimes feels like during the first few moments your feet touch the plush trade show carpet—dizzying with myriad designs. Day One of CPNA checked all nervousness and excitement boxes, and gave so much more, too. Here, a brief on who We Saw, What We Learned and Where We Ate on Sunday, July 29, Day One of CPNA as seen by Andrea Nagel, VP of Content; Landree Bower, Senior Development Manager; Britney Turner, Marketing Assistant; and Jessica Caixiero, Events Assistant.

SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2018

Who We Saw

We might as well just start off by saying that Paris Hilton is in the house. Yes, the OG Reality Queen and licensing superstar is at Cosmoprof to launch her new skin care line targeting millennials because there needs to be another skin care line targeting millennials, right? Paris may be lot of things, but she is first and foremost a pro at managing herself, her team and her brand. She astutely (and politely) recommended a cameraman turn on his camera light so he could get a better shot of her. And she single-handedly moved a lighting fixture three ticks to the right—mid-pose—to better capture her luminous skin in front of the dozens of cameras that were recording her every pivot and sashay. She patiently took selfies with gobs of bloggers waiting for personal interviews, and she was gracious and dare we say humble every step of the way. Back on the trade show floor, the CEW crew met with dozens of people, including the Dashing Diva team, who were showing off their latest wares: holographic nail press-ons for fingers and toes. We also met with nail brand Le Chat on their latest dip powders; brow firm Full Brow who’s looking to grow distribution; Korean distributor Umma who aims to be the “mother” of K-beauty in the U.S.; color sensation Glossy Pops, which offered up lip gloss and lipstick in fast-fashion lollipop packaging; and Hawaiian skin care brand, Aim Hi, with natural skin care for the face and body. The day wrapped up with an awards ceremony and meet and greets with select brands, where we ran into CEW Board Members Ellen Lennon of QVC, Ellen Friedman of RPG and Alicia Yoon of Peach & Lily. By 7:30 p.m. the CEW crew was weak in the knees, wanting for only a chair, a massage and a much-needed breath of fresh air.

What We Learned

  • Swarovski, the crystal manufacturer, brought its B2B division to Cosmoprof for the first time with the aim of targeting beauty brands on its capabilities of packaging design collaborations. On display were bedazzled Moroccan Oil shampoo bottles, FHI Heat styling irons and Revlon nail polish caps showing what the design house can create for beauty brands looking to differentiate their special sku’s.
  • Show attendees weighed in on the elevation of wellness in the beauty category. Nutrition, they said, which used to be about pleasure, is now all about benefits. Hence, its natural relationship with beauty. Beauty and wellness, more than beauty and fashion ever was, has synergistic ties, including ingredients, sourcing and safety. These values make the two categories more adjacent than others.
  • Consumer behavior is what is triggering products trends, more so than ingredients and global trends, such as those who use facial masks once a week, or roll their face with jade rollers daily. These are habits that didn’t previously exist and did not replace other rituals. Some liken it to the habits in the spirts world, where aperol and mescal are now familiar additions to the aperitif menu.
  • In 2019 Cosmoprof North America will debut Cosmopack, a section of the show floor dedicated to include ingredients, raw materials and packaging. Up until now, Cosmopack operated as a separate entity. Also, Cosmoprof acquired Health and Beauty, a German group consisting of 30 trade publications and 10 trade shows. 
  • Target is currently reorganizing its male grooming section to include more high-end, prestige lines in order to cater to this growing segment. Brands such as Hue, a multi-cultural men’s grooming line, are joining the new set.

Where We Ate
After an entire day inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, we welcomed an escape, even if was to simply stand on line for a taxi and breathe fresh air. Our dinner stop was Andrea’s, an Asian Fusion restaurant tucked inside the Encore Hotel. There hasn’t been a Cosmoprof in recent years where we haven’t had dinner at Andrea’s—it is that good. The bonus is their dress code, so no shorts, flip flops or too much bare skin allowed. Thank goodness. Joined by WWD Executive Beauty Editor Jenny B. Fine, WWD’s Rachel DeSantis and Faye Brookman, along with Cosmetic Design’s Deanna Utroske, we made the most of the healthy fare options with lots of sashimi, cucumber rolls, sautéed broccoli and grilled asparagus. (We splurged on seafood fried rice.) Our return cab ride to Mandalay was a memorable one—complete with a driver serenading us with opera.