MAY 13 2016

Indie Beauty Expo LA: Keu's Edit

On May 4 and 5, I was lucky enough to attend the Indie Beauty Expo in LA. The IBE showcases independent beauty, wellness and lifestyle brands. This is the second year for the IBE and the first time it was held in LA. In August it will be held in its inaugural city of New York. You can bet that I’ll be there too.

For two full days I was like a kid in a candy store. The IBE is a beauty lover’s idea of heaven. There were 105 indie beauty and lifestyle brands under one roof, and over 40 speakers and panelists from the industry. I had the chance to listen to influential beauty experts such as Sophie Uliano of Gorgeously Green, Jessica Richards of Shen Beauty, the Organic Bunny, and Jeannie Jarnot of Beauty Heroes. 

Exhibitors setting up in the Shrine Auditorium

Fellow attendees wearing Thistle & Seed flower crowns in front of the stunning flower wall


Me walking the "red carpet" and clearly unable to contain my excitement

And of course there were the products and the entrepreneurs behind them. I met brands I've known and loved for a while, brands I had heard of and been dying to try, and new brands I discovered that I now can’t live without.

Here are the 7 beauty and wellness brands that impressed me the most:

Han Skin Care Cosmetics
Makeup so clean you could eat it. The colors in this range of blushes, cheek and lip tints, eyeshadows, and lip glosses are derived from vegetable and fruit pigments and pure minerals. And they’re preserved using vitamin E and grapeseed extract. Just as impressive are the skincare ingredients infused in each product: anti-aging antioxidants, nourishing butters, and hydrating oils. So not only are the ingredients safe, they actually help improve your skin.

Hynt Beauty
For the woman who wants non-toxic cosmetics that feel glamorous. These are high-performance products made with skin-healthy ingredients. Serious thought has gone into each product, such as lipstick tubes with a hidden lip balm and flip-up mirror. Demand for Hynt’s 3-in-one sunscreen, moisturizer and primer, the Sun Prep SPF30, is so high that the company can barely keep it in stock. Every aspect of this line - from the color payoff to the packaging - is so luxurious, you will no longer yearn for those prestige mainstream cosmetics you used to love.

Odacite Skincare
This line’s Serum Concentrates are game-changers. Name your skin issue and Odacite likely has a serum for it (there were 20 at my last count). From Youthful Glow, to Fragile Capillaries and Clogged Pores, each targeted serum can be added to your current moisturizer or used on its own for an intense treatment. Women are embracing the chance to customize their skincare: Odacite is now being carried by Nordstrom in addition to more indie outlets.

Province Apothecary
Small-batch skincare and wellness blends of the highest quality. Province Apothecary sources its organic, wildcrafted ingredients from each of the Canadian provinces (hence its name), and hand-blends them in small batches to create its products. There are options for all skin types and some exceptional remedies for sensitive or eczema-prone skin. It doesn’t stop at skincare: there’s a Beard Oil, a Hangover Remedy, and even a Sex Oil. Talk about all bases covered.

Aromatherapy balms in twist-up sticks for on-the-go-remedy. Unlike roll-on oils, these balms are invisible when applied to the skin and don’t leave a greasy residue. Developed with leading British perfumers, each fragrance contains 100% natural, therapeutic-grade essential oils and botanicals. There are 6 balms in the collection: Stress Less, Sleep Well, Focus, Love, Escape, and Be Happy. Consider them permission to stop, inhale and reset your mood.

Spruce & Co
Plant-based, adorably packaged cleaning wipes for screens and glasses. You won’t find a more effective, safe and (dare I say) fun way to clean bacteria and grime from your phone, tablet, computer and glasses. These gentle wipes are alcohol and ammonia-free, derived from coconut oil, and vegan. Which also makes them safe for use on screens and glasses touched by little ones. Keep them stashed around the house and in your handbags - you will thank yourself.

Vita Liberata
Innovative self-tanning products formulated without parabens, perfume, alcohol and most chemicals of concern. It’s difficult to find a completely clean self-tanner that also works. VL strives to keep synthetic ingredients to a minimum and delivers a long-lasting, streak-free tan that fades naturally. The formulas are packed with certified organic and Ecocert approved botanicals that leave skin soft and hydrated. And the Odour Remove™ Technology means zero self-tan smell.

I'll be posting in-depth reviews of each of these 7 Keu favorites in the coming months.

Sonia xo