Things I learned while attending Beautycon Festival NYC 2018: Outer space is the new unicorn when it comes to fantastically aspirational aesthetics. People will wait in really (really) long lines for an A+ Instagram opportunity (and free products). And finally, no matter how jaded this beauty editor gets, creators will always find innovative ways to do something crazy, kooky and totally unexpected to blow my mind.
From legacy brands to indie darlings, top to toes, the bustling floor of this year's New York Beautycon was absolutely packed with enough brands, products and tools to get any beauty fan drooling. All of those innovations can be a bit overwhelming, so we've picked out a few of the standouts that caught our eye. Your summer beauty shopping list starts now.
The Sign Tribe Nailfix & Chill Nail Polish Eraser Cream
We love a good mani/pedi as much as anybody, but taking off polish has all of the sex appeal of coating your legs in depilatory cream (aka none) - which is why we were so excited to stumble across new German-based brand The Sign Tribe (they plan to launch in the US soon) and its namesake tube. With a light herbal-floral scent and hydrating oils that would be at home in any hand cream, this dense cream eats away nail polish in 60 seconds. Game. Changer.
Coachella may be over, but festival season is just starting. Embrace your inner festival queen with this bouncy, mega-glitzy jelly highlighter (available in pink and periwinkle, natch). It's like your favorite Bath & Body Works roll-on glitter of yore got a Gen-Z upgrade — and if that doesn't sound like something you need in your life, I don't know what to tell you.
If you're going to drop cash on your false lashes, why not also invest in a cleaner that makes them last longer? This nifty kit comes with a cleansing mist that condition the strips and helps break down glue to make it easier to remove, as well as a lash combing tool to keep your falsies looking pristine, wear after wear.
KKW Beauty KKWxArgenis Creme Color Sticks
Kim Kardashian has mastered the art of the hype-able beauty product, and we've been excited about this one since the moment we first heard about it on Instagram. A collaboration between KKW Beauty and Lifetime's "Glam Masters" winner Argenis Pinal (available today), these five eyeshadow/liner sticks, available in black, eggplant, copper, gold and teal, do not disappoint. With a super-smooth application and truly smudge-free wear (nothing puts a formula to the test like a full day of Beautycon hand-swatching), these were an obvious stand-out from the weekend-long event.
Botanic Bouquet Dry Shampoo Scent Stick
If you thought Korean beauty was just a fad, think again, because the K-beauty brands at Beautycon were bringing it just as hard as ever on the innovation front. A personal favorite? This oversized cotton swab doused in a scent- and scalp-refreshing formula, featuring broccoli extract and tea tree oil. It helps zap oil (or that funky post-gym fragrance) without the powdery residue of a typical dry shampoo.
Forget messy glitter fallout — this intensely sparkling liquid eye shadow makes glimmering party eyes astonishingly smudge-proof. Available in four shades (a silver base with multicolored glitter, a rose gold base with silver and gold glitter, a copper base with silver glitter, and a black base with silver glitter), these are sure to inspire some bold summer eye looks.
Avocado. Jelly. Mask. It's hard to imagine a beauty product more deliberately keyed to the millennial sensibility, and we're not mad at it. How could we be, when the springy, avocado oil-rich mask makes skin feel so soft?
We're big fans of sunscreen; less so of the heavy, sticky feeling that some formulas can leave. That's why we were delighted to discover that Olay's recently-launched Whip line of moisturizers (in age-fighting Regenerist, pigmentation-evening Luminous and all-around-beautifyer Total Effects) now includes SPF 25 with the same incredibly silky, lightweight feel of the original.
The next logical step in powder cleansers, these tiny tablets make for a far more portable (and environmentally-friendly) solution. Using just three ingredients — clay, sandalwood and corn starch — Feather & Bone's gems dissolve into a cleanser that, when mixed with water, sweeps away dirt and oil on-the-go.
While beauty brands are becoming increasingly more inclusive of all gender experiences, there's no denying that most of the big beauty innovations are still geared toward those with a traditionally feminine-leaning presentation. Not so with this curated skin-care package that takes a full 6-step facial process and infuses it with activated charcoal and eucalyptus for that "manly" edge that even the most beauty-averse won't balk at.
Loose eye shadow has a beautiful, silky feel and an intense pigment payoff, but it really only takes one lapful of fallout or makeup bag spill to realize the drawbacks. These shadows from German brand L.O.V. Cosmetics (not yet available in the U.S. — sorry guys!) solve that problem by infusing the shadows with magnetic particles and packing them into a pot with a magnet in the bottom to keep everything neat and tidy as a pressed powder. Genius.
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