BeautyConNYC Aged Me

A caption shot of the crowd at the second annual BeautyCon 

Last weekend I attended the second annual  BeautyCon a collective of well-known and independent beauty brands mixed with YouTube beauty gurus, bloggers with high traffic,  social media stars as well as notable names and faces mixed in with teenage angst.  There were more teens and tweens  that I thought I was at a One Direction concert. Adults were scarce and the few that were there were more chaperon than true attendee.  I even spotted a dad or two and actually saw an African-American father who seems content with helping his daughter take selfies and stand in long lines for product giveaways.  If there were any awards to give that night- you sir anonymous Black Dad in a sea of  teenagers, you are the real MVP.

MVP Dad gave me a moment of nostalgia as I thought of my own mother  back in 1993 when she took me to a Hot 97 concert and we stood outside on a brisk January day for hours all to hear thousands of teenage girls scream at the top of their lungs- this is how I felt, like a dinosaur wondering who the hell were these people on stage who were able to achieve the piercing screams of young girls all merely by waving.

Fans take pictures with social media mogul Bethany Mota

  As media, BeautyCon is very driven for consumer facing, vendors were looking to sell product and boy was product moving. Carol's Daughter and Garnier were giving away samples but most of the attendees were willing to drop dollars on real size actual items.  Anytime I tried to speak to a  brand rep I was glazed over for the more favorable tween with cash and little to no questions. I understand, it was time to make cash not introductions and I was in no mood to play crazed customer.   There were booths with lines that created congestion that resembled Midtown during the Pope’s recent visit.  I also think I was under made up. I saw girls who could not have been more than twelve, with faux lashes, concealer, heavily drawn lips and I thought to myself- they have Kylie Jenner as their icon and I had Laura Winslow. I thought I looked good when I stepped out of the door but, I knew going to a beauty event without any beauty products on was unprofessional but, my well-manicured eye and long-lasting lipstick was not on par with the contouring and strobing of the other attendees.  My face was hella-basic and I was okay with that.

BeautyCon doesn’t discriminate, brands from Revlon to NYX to Ardell Lashes  were there to capture a portion of the beauty loving climate we live in. I passed on the sample size free swag, and one attendee screamed “I’ll take it!” I watched one person drop to the floor when a her Instagram crush walked by and then I sat down for  the BeautyCon  panels and discussions. Set up with major social media stars such as Emily Greener and Betany Mota to more senior fashion personalities like  Joe Zee and Jay Manuel, the stage was set for finding out what your favorite YouTube Beauty Star wants to change up her beauty routine.  With topics discussing like “Uniquely You” and #Girlprobs,  sobbing girls and boys asked their favorite digital icon questions like “What color will you dye your hair next?” punctuating it with lots of “I love you.” And “You are my everything.” With just 20-30 minute intervals  moderators and guests discussed the importance of #selfesteem #dealingwithhaters.

Joe Zee and Bethany Mota chat on one of the discussion panels

After bumping into a colleague who was equally overwhelmed I headed to the outdoor area to catch some possible face time with brands and their  ambassadors  but my media pass confused the gate keepers and shuffled myself to the exit headed back to my cozy home where my senior self could take a nap and read a traditional book- things not that well known to my generation.

BeautyCon was an experience like no other and my takeaway outside of officially realizing I was old and that it is perfectly okay to be thirteen wearing a full set of eyelashes was there are many icons who have found an amazing way to capitalize on the beauty industry and although this whole natural and no make-up era is hindering in my generation, I strongly feel as though late blooming millennials  and younger are mega consumers of all things beauty.