7 Things I Learnt About The Future Of Beauty At BeautyCon
The Debrief: It's less about beauty, and more about the influencers themselves
I have a confession to make: I'm a secret devourer of YouTube beauty vlogs. As a 25-year-old (soon to be 26, I accept gift cards) it shouldn’t be something I feel embarrassed to say, but over the past few years, the scene has felt increasingly geared towards teenagers - and young teenagers at that. Which means that an afternoon spent watching Lily Pebbles videos isn't something I'd necessarily cop to with my mates.
But that said, when I was given the opportunity to attend London’s BeautyCon - an annual beauty expo held in different cities around the world (it first came to London in 2015 after 17,000 people voted for it to come to our capital city) - the inner fan in me went 'obv-bloody-course.' And that wasn’t just because I knew Pixi products would be discounted, although that was a huge bonus. It was because BeautyCon offers the average punter insight into the all-powerful world of beauty vloggers that you'd never get from your computer screen. This is where you see how all that online influence translates into IRL action (and spending power). And where better to work out what the most enduring beauty trends of 2017 are going to be?
The whole premise of the day is: you buy a ticket and get to spend your Saturday wandering around amongst beauty vloggers, watching panel talks and stocking up on discounted beauty products from Collection 200 to Lime Prime. But as I found out, discounted beauty products are a mere sideshow to the main event...
1. The fans might be young, but they also spend real money
I took £20. Because it Christmas and who has money at Christmas? I also didn’t anticipate I would buy that much, because I wasn’t there for that. Some girls I spoke to, who must have been about 17 had saved £200. £200. I couldn’t even save £200 if I tried. When I asked them what they saved it for, they replieed: ‘the make-up, obviously.’
It surprised me at first that so many girls were saving up hundreds of pounds to blow it all in one day, just because an internet superstar has raved about a product on YouTube. But then I thought about it for a moment - myself and my friends can easily spend a hundred pounds a month on beauty products we've read about in magazines (or on The Debrief, obvs). YouTube is just an extension of the media that was already available to us. Plus, these girls had better make-up on than me so they're doing something right.
2. It’s the mecca for all trends
I don’t know my strobing from my countring. If you passed me a beauty blender three months ago I wouldn’t of had a clue what to do with it, and would have used it dry (which apparently ain’t all that bad FYI). But the make-up artists on hand know their stuff. You name it, they can do it.
3. And on that note, strobing is here to stay
BeautyCon told me so. I had it done and while you probably can’t see it in the picture because I’m terrible at selfies, I felt like a dewy princess ready to take on the day with my glowing skin after I received the strobe treatment. The ever-so-beauty-wise lady doing it told me that it’s all about finding where natural light hits your face, and using a highlighter to define it. Think cheekbones, brows, nose etc. You can use either creams to achieve this, or powdered highlighter.
4. The Beauty blender is getting smaller, and much cuter
I was told this little guy was to get into those hard to reach areas, like under and around the eye when using concealer. I was also told that you could use the sharp edges to do your eyeliner and eyeshadow. So these things are like 12 in one, and they are not going anywhere. I predict by this time next year you'll have 22 in your make-up bag. One for each area of your perfectly strobbed face.
5. Pixiwoo really are the make-up queens they appear to be on YouTube
I’m guessing you’ve heard of Pixiwoo, right? Sisters Sam and Nic Haste Chapman are two of my personal favourite YouTubers, and between them they've racked up a whopping (and growing) 2,079,324 subscribers on YouTube. Their no-bullshit videos are honest reviews of products, and a symbol of their talent in the make-up department. So upon arrival at BeautyCon, I went and had a little chat with them about WTF to do with my own make-up.
Nic Chapman was quick to tell me I had ‘hooded eyes,’ something I was completely unaware of. And apparently this explains why my eyeliner refuses to stay on my eyelids throughout the day. When I asked her what I should be doing, she explained that I needed to to work my eyeshadow from the lash line upwards - because if I start at the sockets, you won't see the makeup when I open my eyes. I can confirm that I have since tried this, and my life has changed drastically for the better.
6. They can also give you tips on air con beauty
We spoke a bit about how to achieve the whole ‘I just woke up and my skin is so dewy’ look, which according to Sam and Nic if you’re working in an office with the air conditioning blasting day in day out, that ain’t gonna happen. Their trick? 'Invest in a cheap moisturiser to use after your normal one. Something with oilatum in it. That way, when you apply your foundation, it wont sink in as much, and your skin will look dewy.' Need I say anymore? These guys blew my tiny make-up mind.
7. Yes it's about beauty, but it's mainly about the YouTubers
Before I went, I don’t think I realised how much this day was about the influencers themselves. While there was product after product, and people queuing to get their eyelashes done, this is less about your look and so much more about meeting the YouTubers. Meet and greets looked more like an after-concert scramble to get someone’s autograph, and the YouTubers themselves were outright thrilled to be meeting their fans. It’s refreshing to see such a positive community built online.
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