In only four short years, manufacturer and designer Frederick Bouchardy, along with Ulrich Lang and Jeffrey Lawson, created Elements, a highly curated beauty show offering niche, luxury and artisan brands, well known among industry insiders. Attendees of Elements range from buyers for department stores and museum shops, to owners of design, lifestyle and fashion boutiques looking for beauty’s next up and comers.

And whether by choice or by circumstance, each year Elements seems to morph into something else. For example, last year’s show theme was Metals of Antiquity: Gold, Silver, Lead and Mercury, among others. This year’s theme was a partnership with Capsule, the global fashion and lifestyle trade event specializing in the high-end, contemporary market. Element’s Women’s Show recently took place at Pier 94, moving from their usual Skylight West’s Hudson Yards showroom location. The collaboration continues this January for the New York Men’s show and again a month later in Las Vegas.

“Last year’s show brought more than 3,000 people,” said Fredrick. “This year [with our collaboration with Capsule] that number will triple.” In the past, the number of exhibitors has hovered between 60 and100; Fredrick admitted this show was indeed smaller. “This year there’s more focus on lifestyle,” he said. “We went back to our roots and were extremely edited.” He added that brands need to feel they’re connecting to the right buyers and vice versa. “The whole point of Elements is that it’s supposed to have a perspective. It’s our own point of view,” he said. “We want to expose these brands to the best buyers of North America.”

According to Fredrick, Capsule aimed to infuse some excitement into their apothecary department. And Elements wanted to introduce more directional fashion integration and retailers into what they were doing. “We have a firm grasp on the department store and the beauty shop buyer,” he said. “And we wanted to give our clients exposure to something new. It’s a joint venture, in a very different space which works extremely well since we have our own destination wing.”

At this year’s event 35 brands were represented. Exhibitors included 1st Femme Fragrance, Atelier Lumira, Balbec Beauty, Biography Scents of Self, Carrière Frères, Culti Milano, David Jourquin, Etre’, Il Profvmo, Immunocologie, Lalique Voyager de Parfumeur, Liftlab Skin Regeneration, Nomaterra Fragrances, Sophie Blake, Sospiro-Kemi, and Villa of the Mysteries, among others. Fragrances had the greatest presence.

In honor of the collaboration between Capsule and Elements, Beauty Insider coupled together some of Elements’ purveyors to reveal some trends.

  • Two cosmetic brands seemed to be showing off a glossy face this year. The first was Brooklyn-based Armour Beauty, created by rocker/model and mom, Theo Kogan. The line offers naturally-based, long wearing, Rock ‘N’ Roll Lip Gloss, named after icons, songs or bands. And, there was Kjaer Weis, the luxury organic makeup line with a refillable jewelry-like compact system. Created by Danish-born, New York-based makeup artist, Kirsten Kjaer Weis, packaging is designed by award-winning creative director, Marc Atlan. 
  • A pair of self-tanners, a first at Elements, got lots of attention. Madame La La, a collection by London-based Nicole Dash Jones, targets a hip, fashion-meets-beauty consumer with formulas that aim to deliver an LA glow for both face and body. Then there’s Svelta Tan, a luxury and naturally positioned brand, with items such as Luxe Coffee & Raw Sugar Body Scrub that aims to works in tandem with the brand’s body tanner to color, slim, firm and soothe. “What sets us apart from others,” said Moe Kittaneh, the company’s CEO, “is that our tanner is made with more than 20 ingredients from around the world.” 
  • A duo of creative and design-inspired products were seen at Elements. Olfactive Studio, whose inspiration comes from matching contemporary artistic photography with equally impressive perfumers, launched in Paris in 2011 by Celine Verleure. Olfactive Studio is a highly-themed concept presented within every aspect of the product from packaging to product name. And Fictions, from Tru Fragrance, pairs perfume with fictional story lines, each taking place in a different location. Tru Fragrance packages their products in hardcover books. Their “first editions” are set in Paris, London and Los Angles, and are found exclusively at Anthropology.Included are bookmarks with the designer’s name and bio on one side, and the same for the perfumer on the other. Printed on the inside cover is a bit about the fragrance’s story and the creation of the perfume. 
  • Two indie brands stood out as those who traveled the farthest to attend Elements: Australia’s luxury fragrance house, Lumira, and South Africa’s Frazer Parfum. Lumira, a boutique brand based in Sydney, was a first timer launching their private collection, Collezione Bianca, a trio of luxury candles. “We wanted to showcase our product in more of a niche market,” said Almira Armstrong, owner and Creative Director of the two-year old company. “90 percent of our business is in candles but we recently branched out into fragrance.” She went on to add that the business is saturated. “We don’t want to be a mass market brand, we want to grow with the right retailers. That’s part of why we are here.” Tammy Frazer, the granddaughter of Graham Wulff, who she said invented Oil of Olay, effortlessly brought together art and design in hand crafted products with organic, natural and raw materials in Frazer Parfum. From local artisans and farmers in Cape Town, the products offer sustainability while giving back to the community. Created in 2008, the company creates extremely high-end and authentic perfumes, shea butters and candles. 
  • Two returnees to Elements, Mine and Thymes, saw value in exhibiting this time around at Capsule. Mine, a highly impressive nail polish company, hand-mixes and pours formulas into hand-crafted Austrian crystal bottles. Created by Veleta Vancza, an artist, goldsmith and enamellist based out of the Hudson Valley, Mine prices range from $100 to $500. Thymes, the Minnesota based personal care brand, has been an Elements fixture since its first show in 2011. New products include Goldleaf Gardenia and Vanilla Ambrette. “We came to Elements to show our story,” said Sarah Grobel, a brand representative. “We have a product that’s amazing and just because we are 30-plus years old doesn’t mean we will go away. People always come back to a classic. It’s tried and true. That’s why it’s called a classic.”