Friday, February 3, 2017

Beauty Finds at the International Salon and Spa Expo

It was a gorgeous weekend in Long Beach, California, and thousands of beauty aficionados flocked to the Long Beach Convention Center to visit the International Salon and Spa Expo, the largest event of its kind on the West Coast. It was the place to go to pick up your favorite beauty products, find new-to-you products, and a place where any beauty professional could take a number of classes to improve their techniques. I had the pleasure of attending the expo, and I wanted to share a few of my finds with you. There was definitely a lot to see, and I'm glossing over a few of the highlights that caught my attention, but this is only a brief glimpse at some of the brands on site and activities to watch. Buckle up because this is a photo-heavy post! Ready, let's do this!

Attendees that had registered in advance were able to go through the self check-in line to get their badges quickly. Advanced registration also offered a discount to attend, so it was definitely in everyone's best interest to register early if they were able. The line was quick to move so attendees could hit the expo floor shortly after arrival.

Something that I often dislike about events is the larger rollerbag that people like to use to transport items. Sure, it makes life easier for the attendee, but they really clog up an already busy expo floor. Rather than having the extra congestion due to the larger bags, they were not permitted on the expo floor. Instead, attendees could use the complimentary bag check outside the expo floor, and these turquoise bags were provided for use on the floor. These bags were massive, and with the thin yarn-like rope handles, they were actually quite comfortable on the shoulder. Obviously vendors often had their own bags, but this definitely prepared attendees for a substantial number of purchases if that was part of their expo game plan.

This is from the opening on Sunday morning. Attendees lined up at the entrance to the expo floor, and it was particularly crowded upon the opening each day. Because everyone had their badges on hand, entry was very quick. I personally appreciated just how prepared PBA staff were for this event so that attendees could get where they needed to be promptly!

I wish I got a better photo of the Beauty Bar, but unfortunately with the late afternoon sunlight coming in on the side, this is the best I was able to get. While the Beauty Bar was not a particularly large feature of the International Salon and Spa Expo, it is certainly one worthy of mention. Attendees could select five different items from ten choices for a $5 donation. All proceeds from the Beauty Bar benefit the Professional Beauty Association's Cut It Out Program, a program that helps increase awareness of domestic abuse in the salon industry as well as giving tips on how to provide assistance to those in need. Fundraisers for domestic abuse awareness and action items are very near and dear to me, and I was happy to see PBA continue on with the Beauty Bar fundraiser this year.

Many of the booths had demos in site, like this stamping setup at the Young Nails booth. The new Caption Art Screens plate in Boho Bungalow is being demonstrated here.

Education could be found outside of the classrooms as well. Booths around the expo floor were often showing off a technique or specialty.  Sexy Hair was one such brand onsite and often seen cutting someone's hair, giving tips to onlookers in the area.

On the scene was new nail polish line, Honey Nail Glam, with their launch collection of nine shades, top coat, and their signature Sweet Honey Cuticle Oil.

One booth visitor got to try out the Sweet Honey Cuticle Oil here. Boxed sets of a single colour and a cuticle oil were available for purchase for "a little bit of honey and a little bit of glam".

While products for adults dominated the expo floor, I was delighted to stumble across Little Green, a company whose products were created with the little person in mind. Designed to not include allergens and known irritants, the Little Green line is gentle for your child's needs. 

The Little Green lineup includes products for kids, infants, and even a lice preventative line. I picked up a few samples to test out on my own little monsters angels, and I'm crossing my fingers these are as gentle as the brand claims!

There were some cosmetic brands on site, and I particularly loved the makeup artist display setup of Absolute New York. There was a separate display for face, eye, and lip products.

I must admit I was unfamiliar with this brand prior to attendance at ISSE, but the products seem to be of nice quality and are affordable.

It's no secret that I love my indie brands, and I was delighted to see SoapyBliss, a bath and body shop where all the products are handmade with love. This was a very popular booth with everyone loving the unicorn horn and cupcake-shaped bath bombs in particular.

More hair cutting demos!

Jessica Cosmetics is a brand that I feel in truly under appreciated, and I was pleased to see the brand on site. This quote' "Colour is a personal style, it defines who you are." seemed to click with me, and I had to snap a photo for this post.

We all know how important exfoliation is for the skin, and BonBlissity was happy to help with their adorable little hand scrubs. These spa-worthy exfoliants are proof that good things can come in small packages, and I love the scent selections!

While Chella may have a variety of makeup and skincare products, I always seem to associate the brand with eyebrow products. They must know that is their niche as well as they had a brow bar on site where attendees could have their eyebrows filled in.

There were hair products a plenty, including the Gotu Kola Keratin Hair Mask.

La Beaute Hair Professionals introduced their new lineup of keratin and argan shampoo, hair mask, and serum to visitors at the expo.

Ella+Mila was on site with their fabulous assortment of 7-free nail lacquers. I adore the elephants on the bottles as well! The small bottles for your mini me is an added bonus to the cuteness factor!

Cailyn Cosmetics was another cosmetic brand present, and they had an assortment of their products. Shown above are their iCONE brushes.

Also on site was the new V11 Total Care Serum. Composed of anti-oxidant Fullerene and Vitamin C, this serum promises to improve the look of your skin after only one day.

One of the most promising finds at the expo was the Vandls Gray Fade Gel. Don't let this photo fool you into believing it is only for men. While it may have been initially designed by a man for men, the fragrance of this gel is quite pleasing and can easily be used by men and women alike. While it isn't designed to fully cover grey hair, it does offer some coverage that is still natural looking. I'm expecting this to take the hair industry by storm once it becomes more well known.

Have you ever wondered why your stylist can dry your hair and have it looking fabulous and yet you have trouble obtaining the same results even if you use the same products and same techniques? One of the biggest issues is a stylist can use a hair dryer at angles that are simply impossible to do yourself. This seemingly simple device, called the Bestie Blow Dryer Holder, attaches to a surface for hands-free hand drying. I definitely would have appreciated this when I had much longer hair as well!

I was also intrigued by the Cordless Hair Straightener from Unplugged Beauty. This baby is very lightweight yet still feels sturdy. The cordless feature is fantastic, and it is even USB powered so you can truly take it with you and charge it anywhere!

Luseta Beauty was on site with their assortment of shampoos and conditioners. No matter what your haircare needs, they were there with a solution.

For hair that needed a little extra t.l.c., Luseta Beauty also had their argan oil serum and hair masque.

With a slogan of "Be your own pro", Kiss New York Professional is on my watch list this year. It's a new brand, but with vibrant colours at an affordable price, it's certainly worth checking out! I picked up a few things to test out, and I'll be sharing my thoughts on the blog soon!

Makeup artist Clint Brock came to my rescue when another brand failed to show to do my makeup as scheduled, and he was simply a delight to chat with!

Arguably nature's best moisturizer, Marula Oil is the ultimate age-defying beauty must-have. I have a small sample of this, and I am eager to give it a try! I'm seeing more aging in the mirror than I am happy with, and I am still on the hunt for my holy grail product regime!

Uberliss had a rather sizable stage to showcase hair colouring and provide tips to attendees.

Fewer things say luxury like gold, and Amazon Series was present with the D'Oro lineup of 24K Gold Age Defying Shampoo and Masque. Gold naturally protects hair and skin from aging, and if you are looking for the ultimate pampering regime, this is it!

Earthly Body was present with their Marrakesh  line of hair products.

Earthly Body also has a Hemp Seed lineup of products, and they debuted their new CBD Daily Soothing Serum. This serum promises to provide fast-acting relief to sore muscles and aches as expected with medical marijuana but without the THC.

ncLA now has a line of gel polishes, and they were on site for purchase.

MoYou Nails was another brand on site that demonstrated the use of their stamping polishes and plates to passersby.

Bio France Lab was another brand that brought luxury through the use of gold to the showroom floor. Attendees could test out their Elite 24Kt Eye Cream or their Intense Facial Serum. These are only two items of a five-part anti-aging, cell repairing and rejuvenating protocol designed to give you a luxurious and nourishing glow.

As I mentioned previously, this is only a glimpse at the my time spend at the International Salon and Spa Expo. It was a pleasure to attend, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts on a few of the samples I picked up at the event.

If you are a beauty professional, I strongly encourage you to attend ISSE next year! Scheduled for January 27-29, 2018, it is a fantastic event with so many educational classes! There are several courses that were complimentary for attendees, and there are also more that you pay to attend. Several attendees informed me the the experience and knowledge they gained was well worth the small cost to attend and a "must attend" expo if you are able to make it.

Thank you for following along with me on this journey! Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!



  1. What a great event. If only I lived in California for all the great expos they have. I've been to IMATS a few times but its become so crowded that I've stopped spending the money to fly out there.

  2. So cool! I'm not a professional, so I'd never be able to attend, but I enjoyed attending vicariously through you in your blog! :)

  3. I feel like it would be so interested to attend an event like this! Also, a cordless hair straightener? YES PLEASE!

  4. Wow! I feel like you hit up all the beauty events around the country! I'm not a pro, but it's fun to see your experiences! I look forward to the reviews.

  5. Ohhhh my goodness. I would LOVE to attend an event like this someday!

  6. What an amazing expo! I wish I could attend something similar in my city.

  7. This event looks lovely, fab review post x

  8. That looks so amazing. I would literally be in heaven, haha!

  9. Marula... oh man I would have loved to go to a show with that line. Love love all the fun :)

  10. This looks like SUCH a fun experience! How awesome! I have never been to any sort of beauty convention, I am so jelly! :-P

  11. Wow it sounds like there were so many great brands attending! What an expensive sounding event haha! x

  12. Looks like a fun time. I wonder how much money one would need to go to a huge cash & carry event like this though.


On Instagram

© Laugh, Love, Contour. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.