If ever there was a beauty trade show with a West Coast vibe, it’d have to be the debut of MakeUp in Action LA, held February 3 – February 4 at Quixote Studios in West Hollywood. Los Angeles’ ever-present healthy food trucks were parked right outside the show’s front doors, with adjacent picnic tables to accommodate grab-n-go business meetings. The entrance welcomed more than 700 visitors with white, flowy drapes, while cozy demonstrator booths inside created an intimate atmosphere for the first-ever workshop-style show, which included seven conferences, eight workshops and two round table discussions. In addition, there was a VIP area accommodating two aisles of select vendors, complete with a barista style coffee bar where one could sit and chat with a potential vendor/client. Entry into this area required a premium pre-purchased ticket. And if you didn’t plan on attending MakeUp in Action in advance, you were out of luck: the show was sold out. Attendees included market and formula executives from M.A.C, Benefit, Urban Decay, Bare Escentuals, Sephora, Chanel Parfums et Beauté, Stila, L’Oréal, Cinema Secret, Lorac, Kardashian Beauty, Billion Dollar Brown, Yes To and Physicians Formula.

Here, Elizabeth Forsyth, Global Director Full Service for Albéa, shares what she saw and heard at Makeup in Action L.A.:

  • From a formula perspective, the show was trending textures and flawless skin. Complexion perfection is what the consumer is seeking, specifically light, fluffy textures that act as a second skin. The trend is multifunctional–not just packaging. All-in-one shadows and liners, cream blushes with highlighters were shown both by CG color and Oxygen.
  • West Coast vs. East Coast was discussed everywhere at the show: the competition of speed to market, innovation and growth.Indie brands and their unique distribution and advertising channels and how e-commerce, YouTube, social media and beauty bloggers are driving these brands and taking suppliers—not just consumers—on a journey.
  • The DIY category is growing at a high rate. We are seeing this success right now in the food industry (at-home delivery of dinner ingredients with recipes, a la Blue Apron, Plated, etc.) and this will be seen in beauty, as well. With as few ingredients as possible and using organic ingredients, kits are being crafted that consist of raw materials, a bunsen burner and a mixing kit for consumers to craft themselves, such as Njud.
  • 91% of beauty discussions begin on the internet, according to the Makeup in Action LA conference, The Evolution of Makeup. There’s a 50% increase in beauty content on YouTube versus last year. 95% of beauty demos are done by YouTubers and only 5% by brands.
  • Albéa packaging featured innovation in multi-functional packages and introduced their new volumizing and curling Doe Eyes mascara brush. The double-sided brush has circular grooves on one half to load the lashes and lock in curl. Then, the comb side designs the lashes and distributes the formula for intense volume.